Monday, December 12, 2011

{Home} Holiday House Tour 2011

We participated in the Holiday House Tour in our little New Jersey town on Friday night, and it was so much fun. We had approximately 125 people walk through our home, and everyone was such a pleasure to talk to. It was a great community building experience as well. After working a full day on Friday and running home to quickly finish up a few last minute things before the tour started, I was only left with a few minutes to snap pics {please excuse the poor lighting in some of them}.

Just to give you a little history -- our home is on old farmhouse that was built in the late 1800's. In the early 1990's a woman bought the home and poured her heart and soul into restoring it. She replaced the electric, took down plaster and added drywall, put in a new kitchen, added a small 1/2 bath on the first floor, added wide plank hardwood floors throughout the entire home, enclosed the once open staircase, and added custom built-ins and a brick fireplace in the dining room. She did a lovely job on all of the renovations and that is ultimately why my husband and I ended up buying the home in May 2009. We love the character and charm of an old home; however, we also love the modern conveniences that newer homes have to offer. This is a perfect marriage of the two -- an old home that has been updated without comprising it's historic charm.

Here is a walk-through -- WELCOME! As you will be able to see from the pictures, I love mixing the old with the new. First up is our family room, which faces the front of the home. It's a cozy room and we love hanging in there together as a family and playing with our son. Last year we added the built-in bench in the window alcove.

Next up is the dining room. This is the room you walk into when you come through the front door. This is also where we entertain when we host dinner parties and holiday celebrations.

Now you see the other side of the dining room. The previous owner added the large built in surrounding the fireplace. She used the original closet doors from the upstairs bedrooms to create the cabinets. The cabinets provide four nice sized storage compartments with shelving {not sure what I'd do without them!}.

Another angle -- just past the cubby unit and behind the built in is the enclosed staircase leading you up to the second floor.

The back of the home houses our little kitchen. We recently added a new tile floor, and made some changes when we first moved in in 2009 {added a white tile backsplash, added a glass panel to the top corner cabinet, and installed pendant lights above the kitchen island}. We are contemplating painting our island soon. I'm still thinking about it....hmmm....I love that look but....I'm a little nervous!

Most recently, we also added a small built-in desk/single bench seat {remember -- small spaces we are working with here ;-}.

This is a better shot of the built-in. I had a seamstress make me a fabric covered bench cushion, and I found a 12 x 18 black and white chevron pillow on Etsy -- perfectly sized for this small space. The pillow picks up on the chevron pattern I used on the kitchen rug I painted this summer. We also added two shelves with hidden brackets above the unit. I'm still not completely finished with this area, and will hopefully be adding a few more simple and subtle touches soon {pics when I'm finished}.

Another angle....

Attached to the kitchen is a small mud room that houses a small half bath {not pictured} and a built-in pantry we added after we moved in. Part of the pantry features open shelving {as seen above} and the other half has doors {behind the door}. Just beyond the mudroom is a tiny back porch that we enclosed with windows after moving in {it had been screened in}.

I snapped this picture while standing in the enclosed porch and looking into the mudroom. The big closet doors hide our stackable washer/dryer and a coat closet on the other side.

We added storage lockers to our back porch last year, and it was one of the best moves we've made. Each of us has a cubby, and we use them every day and all year long!

Let's head upstairs now -- this enclosed stairway definitely took a little getting used to when we first moved in.

One of my favorite things about our upstairs is the huge open landing area we have. It makes the second floor feel a little more roomy. In the open landing area, I added a bench with cubbies, a shelf, and a second Christmas tree. This tree used to sit in my mom's kitchen ;-}

The lone full bath is the first door you come to once you reach the top of the steps. We recently added a new tile floor and bought a new toilet {pictured below -- lol}. We love the clawfoot tub {but not so much taking a shower in it ;-}

I found the little black footstool under the window at Home Goods this summer and snagged it right away. It saves my back from breaking when I bathe my son every night in that tub!

The new toilet -- it sounds silly but even my husband loved this toilet when we saw it in Lowes! We love the square back and base.

This is our master bedroom.

Another angle...

My son's nursery....

This is the other side of the room. I've spend my fair share of time in that chair -- thank goodness it's super comfy ;-}

Changing table and dresser....

And last but not least is our back bedroom, which is a craft room/office. This will eventually become Dean's big boy bedroom in the future when our family grows. At that point, my craft room will move to our third floor attic, which we finished when we moved in -- one side is my closet and the other side will become the craft room.

My hubby's desk and home office area is across from my craft station.

The lighting isn't so hot but this gives you an idea as to what the outside looks like when the Christmas lights are turned on. Simple.

Lanterns adorn my front steps leading up to my door.

And lastly is my garage. We just had electric run out to the garage and added a lantern to give a little light to that area, which is very dark if unlit.

***The tour was on Friday night and on Saturday night, there was a private tour for the homeowners followed by a soup dinner at the Little Red School House. The homes were so nice to look through. The Bodo Otto House in Mickleton was MAGNIFICANT. I've wanted to see this home for YEARS. Dating back to the 1700's with ties to the Revolutionary War, this home featured seven fireplaces and so many unique, historic features -- there was a story to be told about each and every room. The owners might be putting it up for sale soon -- too bad it's WAY out of my price range at 600K+. Boooooohoooooo -- I WANT it!