I realized halfway through posting last night that my posts so far are mostly excited ramblings. Last night was more of an exhausted rambling, but a rambling nonetheless. I’ve hardly mentioned anything about the actual house. So here’s the deets:
What we now call home is a duplex located on a busy street just a few blocks from the metro station. The busy street definitely isn’t ideal, although I admit I actually like the sound of traffic. It’s usually pretty soothing to me. Between our duplex and metro there’s a 7-Eleven, a couple small apartment buildings and a strip mall with a laundromat and couple of carryout food places. It’s a transitional neighborhood. Several years ago it was a little rough but now there’s plenty of young professionals (DC is full of them) buying places here. We also have a bus stop directly in front of our house. Again, not ideal, but I like the urban feel it has. We’re also thinking of placing a geocache somewhere at the bus stop for entertainment (any geocachers out there?). We certainly have some colorful neighbors – more on that in another post when I can add pictures – but so far we really love the place.
The home was purchased in October as a foreclosure and then flipped to us. The inside really is pretty great! It’s an older home – built in 1951. It’s solid construction. That’s one thing I really like about older houses is that they were built right and built to last. It definitely feels more sturdy than newer constructed homes. I love that our walls are real brick and plaster and not drywall. It has great bones!
It’s a two-level 2 bed/ 1 bath duplex with an addition behind the kitchen that could function as a large third bedroom, but we’re using it as a family room. The problem, we’re learning, with the family room is that it’s cold in there! Because it’s an addition, it’s heat is provided by electric baseboard heat and not the furnace for the rest of the house. The baseboard units are inadequate to heat the entire space, however, so they don’t really do much good. It’s on our list to do something with the heat for that room by next winter!
Since the house was renovated, the kitchen is awesome! While it’s not incredibly large (the house was built in 1951 and kitchens were pretty tiny back then) it’s about the same size as my apartment kitchen was, but better! We have all new stainless steel appliances, maple cabinets, granite counter complete with a breakfast bar. We also have a full-size stacked washer and dryer in the kitchen. My brother pointed out that it’s very convenient in case I get bacon grease on my new blouse, the washer is right there; and I can also baste my turkey while doing a load of whites. My brother is very practical, if not weird. I just love being able to do laundry without making it a full-scale production. In the apartment, I had to haul my laundry down two floors in hopes that there were machines free and in working order. Then I had the privilege of paying $1.60 to wash and another $1.60 to dry my clothes. (Laundry at my college was free.) Ugh! Even if it’s in the kitchen, having my own W/D combo totally beats the communal laundry room experience.
The entry to the house is a beautiful space with wood floors, lots of windows and open kitchen with the breakfast bar defining the two spaces. The front room was the original living and dining space in the house. I can’t imagine how that really functioned as the space isn’t big enough (by modern standards) for both a dining table and living room furniture. We’re going to use it as a dining room plus. For the “plus” we intend to purchase an incognito desk and a comfortable reading chair for the front part of the room. That way the room can serve multiple functions.
Upstairs we have our bedroom, and a second, smaller bedroom. The bathroom was nicely redone with stone tile around the bathtub. However, it’s lacking a medicine cabinet or other storage. The vanity under the sink is not very deep at all. Storage is definitely going to be a challenge. Right now, I’m thinking about putting up some open shelving above the toilet to at least store cotton balls and q-tips and whatnot. The linen closet should help with storage except there are no shelves! We’re working on getting those soon.
I’ll have to save the description of the front and back yards for another time. There’s quite a bit to describe. The short story is, we’re planning on entering for a chance to be HGTV’d on a new show of the same title on HGTV. The yard simply requires more, time, money and effort than we’re able to give right now, so hopefully they’ll be able to help us with a big step in the right direction!