Friday, December 22, 2006

You know my name is Simon, and I love to (get) drawings!

Yesterday we met with Steve & Dean from Urban Order Architecture to review design drawings for the layout of the house. The second drawing above is of the ground floor "as is." The first drawing shows the small modifications to the ground floor. While we plan on opening up the half-walls between the areas labeled "dining room" and "office", open the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, and move the bathroom (not as shown) to give it a more open feel, the rest will likely remain the same. The second floor is in for a complete make-over. The third image above is the current 2nd floor layout, followed by our preferred design (4th image). This is a pretty substantial change as it will involve raising the roof on the back half of the house and adding dormers.

We will spend the holidays mulling over the layout. This is the fun part, as we haven't started getting quotes to actually DO the work.
Any ideas? Feel free to post comments!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Clean Sweep for the Holidays

We hit the house last night to "clean" it for the holidays. While we'll not be in it for the holidays, we thought it would be nice to not come back to piles of plaster rubble, boards and drywall scraps. Eric hauled many-a-two-by-four out of the house while I shoveled up piles of plaster from a wall I knocked down. When all of the "big stuff" was up, he took a push broom to the living room while I shop-vacced the dining room and middle room. All-in-all it LOOKS cleaner, although taking photos revealed that the air is now even thicker with dust particles. We finished and headed home for showers before going to the Harrison West Society Annual Party to meet some of the new neighbors. The shindig was held at Victorian's Midnight Cafe on 5th Avenue where we've not been for awhile. It is now quite the bar. We checked in, grabbed food and squatted in one of the old diner booths. We were joined by the Reno neighbors who bolted early for a better offer. Grand-dame realtor Kathy took their place and then the rest of the Dooley crew joined us for the drawing of the prizes. We claimed a pound of Appropos coffee for the absent Mrs. Reno and Eric won a GC to the Cafe Corner, a mere three blocks up the road from the new abode, I'm quite sure it will be our new "Dube." (That's the nearby restaurant where we walk to eat when we're too lazy to cook or to drive anywhere).

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sledgehammer for the Holidays

Monday night we dropped by the house for a couple of hours of good sledge-hammer action. While Mary hit the lathe & plaster, I finished removing the thin panelling and mounting frames from the living room, revealing the dark mustard colored plaster. While Mary kept hammering away, I then targeted the guest room, revealing 4'' of insulation behind the drywall, which was framed over the plaster, which was applied over the brick.
As you can see, I'm not a big fan of inhaling drywall and plaster dust, so I am sporting the "Darth Vader" respirator mask.
To our surprise, the dumpster was still at the house. While it was pretty full, we took advantage of it and loaded a few more sheets of paneling and drywall. Getting our money's worth on that rental, fo' sho.

Sunday session part deux. A productive afternoon.

We returned rejuvenated by ham sandwiches and Oreos (definitely by the Oreos). Eric climbed the ladder and began removing the rest of the framework in the living room and the middle room. Me, the prybar, screwdriver and hammer attacked the plaster on the back and side of the middle room. We got a nice break when neighbors Bob and Jeff stopped by for a tour. Bob had seen the house the night of the party, but Jeff had not. They (like us) were in awe of the 10 foot ceilings and how open the house looks with so much panelling and "extra stuff" on the walls removed. It was nice to hear how "great" the house looks (with plaster all over the floor and wires sticking out of the walls) and how much potential it has as we are mired in the nitty gritty of demolition. We gave the full tour from top to bottom with all of the hypothetical plans and then they were off and it was back to work. Eric started taking off the "what the?" panelling from above the dropped ceiling, and I engaged in more plaster removal. We were getting ready to call it quits for the (very long) day when the scooter posse arrived. Joe, Andrea, Dave and Dave all arrived out front, coincidentally and simultaneously as Brian and Suz pulled up on their Stella in the back. Another tour was given and more astonishment at how much stuff we've done and how much potential the house possesses. All good feedback for a very long day's work. To reward ourselves we joined the gang at the Press Grill (after a hot shower) for the Sunday sirloin steak special. Shortly thereafter we collapsed exhaustedly into bed.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sunday work session part one.

We are at the house by 9am fortified by a homemade waffle breakfast. It is ridiculously (and thankfully) sixty degrees again today. This enables us to do things that would be otherwise unheard of this time of the year. Mary hoses off the new screen door to reveal a buttercream yellow that was barely discernible beneath the layers of dirt. The hose has a hole just under the nozzle which means both Mary and screen door are showered. Eric seals the wood on the front porch and back steps that he cleaned pre-party to ensure that the slippery moss is kept at bay. Mary clears the wall next to the front door of plaster and lathe. Eric clears the backyard of at least one season of leaves. Mary and Eric take a break and walk the dog down the alley to "Side-By-Side Park." It's a lovely venue at the end of the street next to the river. We sit on a bench and enjoy the warm weather and the river and barely notice the highway screaming past just over the bridge. Renewed, it's time to get back to work. Eric clears the accumulated crap from next to the house. Inexplicably this includes a garage door opener. Shed yes, garage no. For our final "morning session duty" we decided to take down the ceiling in the entry/dining room. First we cut the power and remove the disco fan. Then we start popping drywall panels. It's all fun and games until we drop the one over the door and an avalance of old plaster and other crap come raining down upon us. The old ceiling rotted and the debris was trapped behind the dropped panels. Yuck. We load the drywall panels onto the dumpster as a cover and head home for lunch.

Time to get to work.

Having engaged in pleasant consumer activities in the morning it was time to return to the hard labor. Eric attacked the remaining wood panelling on the front of the house while I chipped away at plaster and lathing on the wall hiding the pocket door on the dining/entry room side. After a couple of hours it was getting dark and we called it quits for the day. From Eric's work we could see the shape of the original window casing left in the relief formed by decades of wallpaper and paint. Where they've gone nobody knows, but they look to have been regal at one point in time. And there's that Clayton again with his name scribbled on the front wall next to Mickey's. I wonder if his mama appreciated that he practiced his penmanship on her house.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A little Saturday downtime.

Saturday morning we grabbed McFood and headed out to a few suppliers. First stop was the Design Marketplace on the east side towards the airport. It has various home supplier showrooms to browse. We coveted hardware from the hundreds of styles on display at the first showroom. Then we visited the Columbus Wood Products showroom and perused moldings and doors. We finished with the flooring guys and myriad stone/tile/wood options. We also hit Hamilton Parker (right across the road) to check out their gazillion tiling options. It was all fun, but entirely hypothetical at this point.

Next stop was Habitat for Humanity's Build it Again Center on Westerville Road. We've been donating our old fixtures here (from our kitchen remodel in our current house to the ceiling fans in the new one). They re-sell them, you get a tax deduction and it helps a good cause. It's a great place to scout home stuff for cheap, but it is very hit or miss and requires a lot of digging. We hit a home run on this visit! First, we found an awesome old screen door in excellent condition, albeit filthy. The screen was in perfect shape, and inset on removeable hinges plus it's a solid old wood door. Of course, we didn't KNOW we'd be looking for stuff, so we had no measurements and NO CLUE if it would fit at the house. Well, it's only $10 bucks, so we're willing to take the chance. Next we stumbled upon a HUGE stainless steel work sink for a STEAL ($45). I kept calling it EIGHT FEET long, but it's likely no more than six! We took our prizes home and rejoiced when the screen door looks like it's almost a perfect match for the back door. The sink required much wrangling and turning on its side and lifting up one end and lowering the other, but it finally made it all the way down the basement stairs and into a back room where it will probably reside later when we've got real plumbing. We were feeling mighty.

We decided to drive to Chillicothe where a fireplace dealer was advertising HUGE SAVINGS on their ENTIRE INVENTORY REDUCTION of wood stoves. Eric has done a little research on stoves and fireplaces and such. Wood stoves actually heat your house where other options tend to draw the heat out of it. We thought a wood stove would be a good option for one of the places on the first floor to add both heat and coziness. It was lovely unseasonal 60 degrees outside so the trip was an easy one. McCloud Fireplace is just off route 23 in a little house/showroom. All of their wood-burning stove inventory seemed a little more geared towards heating entire farmhouses vs. adding ambience and heat to our smaller bungalow. That and the HUGE SAVINGS was a mere 10% off the list price. We didn't find anything suitable, but our consolation prize was the offer to take 10% off anything we ordered through them (thanks, but we'll probably continue our search closer to home). Eric did find an awesome stamped cast iron register plate. We'll probably use to cover an old windowless cellar window that is directly on the front of the house and stuffed with insulation.

We headed back north and decided to stop at the Southland Expo for final kicks and giggles (and more shopping). The Expo was once the Southland Mall. It's been converted into a giant indoor flea market, but the back half is an antiques and collectibles consignment mall. I sold a lot of "Transformations" inventory there when I went out of business. Our first find was a gorgeous arts and crafts style heavy old mirror for under thirty bucks. It was too heavy to carry so we left it next to the checkout desk. Walking through the booths we learned that Bob Evans had bought the building and were taking it over. Everybody had until December 31st to clear out. A couple of dealers were pretty contentious about this, but that meant lots of SALES and 25-50% off at various booths. Next I found an old Westinghouse fan. I am a HUGE collector of old metal fans. From the iron ones of the 20s to the vintage modern sleeker styles, I love em all. And I have about 30 on a shelf in the basement. But this one was just FIVE BUCKS and my grandfather used to work for Westinghouse so it was also sentimental, so I proceeded to haul it around until I found an outlet to confirm that it worked. It did and went to the front of the store to what was to become "the pile." To "the pile" we ultimately added an old cast iron fireplace insert ($18 and currently spray-painted gold, but that will change), a round 50's table ($5), a mod schoolhouse chair ($7), a steamer trunk ($25), and how are we gonna get this all to the car? How about that Radio Flyer wagon ($7)? We loaded up the wagon and didn't make it to the front door before buying a solid old coal shovel ($2) and an old mitre-box ($1) for our trim-trimming future! We decided we'd spent enough cash and ought to get to work on creating a place to use all this stuff!

And, lo, the dumpster was full. And it was good.

So Friday night while most normal kids were hitting Happy Hour, the Martineaus were in their grubbies heaving two-by-fours, slabs of drywall and panelling with wild abandon into their rented dumpster. Forty five minutes later the yard was clear and the dumpster was full. It no longer looked like the yard was the local dump. We treated ourselves to the company of friends at Chile Verde. Oh, and a few margaritas to numb the aches!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Comment Wall Came Tumbling Down!

Eric hit the front wall of the entry room (or the dining room as he calls it) and took it down. I hit the comment wall from the party in the same room and worked my way around the corner towards the kitchen and back bedroom. More drywall corners were tackled and removed. The front room is now drywall-free. We were disappointed that neither of the transoms we discovered were intact. Eric uncovered the one over the front door that had a frame, but no glass. I unwalled one over the kitchen doorway, it was just an empty space, not even the frame remained, although the space was obviously a transom in the past. Former owner, Jim Teasley told us at closing that the place was so well insulated that it didn't need AC. He wasn't kidding. The entry room had at least 6 inches of pink fiberglass on the exterior wall and other rooms have had styrofoam panels behind drywall, not to mention that the walls are so built out that each consecutive layer is another insulator! Today the dumpster arrives. We're taking that as an opportunity to clear some our our enormous (and growing daily) backyard pile. Then we're going to tackle all of the plaster and lathe on the interior walls and knock it out. This may not be that hard as I am amazed at how many of the interior walls are turning out to be brick! The dividing wall between the dining room and kitchen (comment wall) is looking pretty brick-y behind the plaster that was covered by drywall. The doorframe of the back bedroom and the wall that separates it from the middle room is brick. I took down a section of panelling around the doorway of the steps to the second floor...more brick. This house is SOLID!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Drywall corners are a royal pain!

Eric and I spent a few hours at the new homestead last night. Each of us started on an opposite end of the wall dividing the guest bedroom from the weird middle/BLUE room. Between the old closet (see photo of me "attacking makeshift shelving with zeal") and the short wall, there were at least four of those god-awful metal corner pieces to be removed. They make something so simple as a foot-wide stretch of wall take an hour to clear. You've gotta pry off the metal strip from the nails that are attached every six inches OR knock out enough drywall underneath that you can pry off the nails. There's about twenty of these for each side on the corner. Many a profane word slips as this task is undertaken. Eric has a completely different method from my methodical nail removal system. He beats the crap out of the metal strip with our mini-sledgehammer. We have come to love this tool so much that we have given it it's own name, "Thor!" After two hours of nail-stripping and drywall ripping I was ready for some instant gratification. I took Thor to the two-by-four framing in the back bedroom and over the yellow tile fireplace/closet to another dimension. (See photo "not a fireplace") A couple whacks to the vertical boards toe-nailed into the floor frame and they'd splinter. Some contorting yoga moves later they could be removed from the top frame as well. In 15 minutes I had both frames knocked out and got to hurl the beams into the growing pile of debris in the back yard. There's nothing like a two-by-four javelin to perk one up from the nasty metal corner strip removal. We get a dumpster delivered on Friday, which is a good thing, because I'm afraid we're bringing the block down with our growing pile of panelling, drywall, metal strips and two-by-fours. Thank goodness Bry and Suz stopped by to check out our progress and tear us away for dinner. A couple of Barley's ales were a welcome reward for our labors!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Some significant progress

We removed the drywall drop ceiling in the front room (with window out). Then the middle room (with brown walls). And we removed the shelf next to the fireplace to discover a closet to another dimension! And the big blue wall is where we were expecting to find a fireplace...and that's not it!

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Ceiling has Fallen!


Sunday was a very productive and exciting day. The day before was spent getting ready for Saturday night's party at the new house. In an attempt to improve the house's first impression, I cleaned the front porch of probably 10 years of dirt to find actual wood. I also tore off the trellis sections which had been nailed to the front porch railing. As it was 35 degrees out, that was about the extent of my outdoor activity.

The party was a cocktail/light snack event... we don't have a working oven, nevermind any other kitchen necessities like knives, plates, etc. Many thanks to our friends who dropped by with encouragement or condolences, and a special thanks goes out to our new neighbor Kevin who accepted the invitation we tucked in the mailboxes of our neighbors on Third Ave. I will try to post a photo of the comment-wall we created.

Now, on to Sunday. Our goal was to take down the ceiling in the living room. After a quick baby-sitting stint for our neighbors (congrats to the Hoyts who have a new baby girl!) we arrived a the house around 11:30. As a warm up we tore out some of the rough wood panelling in the dining room. Then we cleared the living room and got to it. AND IT WAS GREAT! Within 15 to 20 minutes we had popped off all of the ceiling drywall panels, revealing the original ceiling height around 10'. We didn't even send any pieces through the windows! It was so quick we attacked the middle room ceiling, only to realize it is much easier if you have taken down the wall drywall first. So we changed gears and went after the walls, which requires you to pry up the carpet strips first. So from floor to ceiling we worked.

Our work became even easier once our friend Barb arrived. We tore through 2 layers of drywall and returned to the ceiling. Barb and Mary set a record by pulling down a fully-intact drywall sheet. And Barb also pulled down a right angle piece, earning an honorable mention.

In the "what the?" category, we found there was panelling above low ceiling in the middle room, but not below it. We also found what looked like a doorway from the middle room, but when we pulled out the drywall filler, found it was only a 4 inch recess... no idea what that was for.

Having accomplished twice what we had hoped, we still were not quitting. Instead we laid siege to the rest of the rough panelling in the dining room. We told Barb it was easy to remove (the first section had been), only to find her nearly cursing at the stuff. We attacked it as a team and after some near injuries such as Barb falling off the step-ladder (we caught her), we prevailed. Our work revealed a closet which had been covered with the paneling, leaving only 2 shelves to indicate space behind the wall. The closet, which is not deep at all, still had this amazing wallpaper with stars and clouds. Suzanne said it's a doorway to another dimension!

Final note, our neighbor to the east stopped in to introduce herself and say hello. Jody has lived in the condo for 3 years and is very excited that someone purchased the house. She apparently did not have a close relationship with the former tenants, who she confirmed were in the adult entertainment industry. She says the rest of the neighbors are great and told us if we need anything as construction continues, just ask.

While I am sure many challenges remain and setbacks will occur, we can't help but feel energized by the huge progress we made in one day. Thanks, Barb!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Clayton likes to write on the walls

Jesse Dillon was supposedly a previous resident who raised 21 kids in this house. We are guessing that Clayton was one of her unruly progeny who liked to write on the walls. His signature is all over the house in weird places- like behind drywall and plaster.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

The Back Bedroom Adventure

There's a nondescript room (as most of them are) in the southeast corner of the house which we assume was used as a bedroom. It, until tonight, had built-in plywood shelving. We wondered how this wall in the middle of the house ended up being 3+ feet thick that they could put in such deep shelves. During the home inspection we finally noticed the top of a third chimney on the second floor. We think there's another chimney or fireplace back there. Our goal last night was to remove the plywood shelves and see what we could uncover.

Some former owner had a real penchant for birds. There are three birdhouses in the backyard and there was an enormous birdfeeder on the fence. I mention this because these shelves were undoubtedly where someone stored their birdseed. With each shelf that came down, it rained birdseed. Guess who else likes birdseed? Meece. Hence, the shower included mouse pellets. Ick. When all of the shelving was removed there was a cavity to the back of the framing. The mice liked their smorgasbord spot so much that they set up camp here. It was cozy little nest of shredded cardboard and newspaper. With the house being empty for some time (at least 6 months), there must not have been a lot to eat. We haven't found any LIVE mice (thank goodness) so far. We have found 3 mouse mummies (and I'm not speaking maternally). Mr. Martineau set about the task of removing one petrified (stiff not scared) mouse carcass and a grocery bag full of mouse mattress. I was thrilled that he took on this task given his phobias. My husband is mold-phobic not to mention hanta-virus hysterical. It was the latter that had him encased in a double-dust mask, goggles and gloves (the one which touched the debris was promptly discarded post-cleaning).

The gaping hole where the shelving had been was framed like a door. We think it was possibly a former closet. What's awesome is that we think we might have discovered the original ceiling height. Eric has a penchant for high ceilings. When we first looked at the place, I immediately dismissed it as a possibility because the ceiling is only 7 feet 10 inches (yes, he measured that with a tape) and knew that that would not fly. However, husband went outside and counted bricks from the top of the front arched window (where the ceiling starts) to below the second floor window (2nd level flooring) and did some algebra and deduced that a couple of feet had disappeared in there somewhere. Uncovering the closet gave him the glorious confirmation that it appears the ceilings were dropped some time ago. It was a trend in the fifties to lower ceilings in a theory that it would cost less to heat your house. Sears even sold kits to ease the process. Who knows if we have one of those. The living room ceiling is scheduled to come down on Sunday after our look-see party for our friends and neighbors Saturday night. In the meantime, the gap in the back of the closet revealed at least another TWO FEET of ceiling height up there. Needless to say, Eric is ecstatic.

From there we tackled the sheetrock over "the chimney." It is SO MUCH cleaner and easier to remove than plaster! We'd pry loose a section then rock it to pop it off the drywall screws. For the most part it came off in sizable chunks. What was uncovered is framing and a painted pink plaster wall with what looks like a stove-pipe vent higher up on the wall. Presumably anything that might be more interesting is hiding on the other side of the wall. That's an adventure for another day!

Friday, December 8, 2006

The Neighborhood

Wanted to give a little information on the neighborhood where our house is located. It is called Harrison West and is directly west of Victorian Village, about 2 miles north of downtown Columbus. While Mary and I have lived or worked in the Victorian Village/Short North area for most of our time in Columbus, we are learning a great deal about Harrison West thanks to our friends and neighbors Clinton & Becky Reno. They purchased a home directly behind ours maybe 5 months ago (yes, they purchased theirs first, so we are obviously copying them). Through the Reno's we have learned about the plans for Harrison Park, a 4+ acre park being constructed along the Olentangy River. When completed, it will be less than 2 blocks from our house. It is designed to include bike path connector and a pool! Now, this is a different park than Batelle Park, the greenspace located directly in front of our house. So for an historic neighborhood, we are very fortunate to have new parkland under development.

You can learn more and even download a rendering of the new park at

Mothball Hunter

I mentioned before how the kitchen and bathroom had mothballs in cabinets and drawers. After removing close to a dozen, I thought I'd got them all. But the kitchen still had that lingering mothball smell a couple of days later, so I went Mothball Hunting. I double-checked and cleaned out every cabinet, removing the baseboards and vacuuming out every corner. Yet I didn't find any. I gave up for the moment, but while I went back and forth through the kitchen, my eyes fell upon the heat duct. Upon prying it up, I found 6 more mothballs! With any luck, I have now hunted them to extinction!

A Dynamic Duo!

Eric and I hit the house for another three hours again last night. We stripped all of the panelling from the west wall in the living room. Our dream was to find an entry door hidden behind it all. Old italianates often had two entries. One was the "formal entry" into the parlor where they welcome guests. The other was the "familiar entry" which family members used in day-to-day activities. This probably would have been the "formal entry" (if the living room was once the parlor). The existence of an entry is evident from a piece of plywood outside sealing up the old door. Alas, some former owner must have removed it and left drywall, insulation and plywood in its place (sigh).

I continued around the wall to remove more panelling, plaster and lathe to expse the second pocket door. Meanwhile, Eric tore out the strange ceiling abuttments and the strip covering the pocket door track. So IF we removed the carpeting AND the nail in one of the doors anchoring it to a stud...we probaby have working pocket doors! Too bad we plan to tear down those walls and will have to find a better place for them. The removal of the panelling exposed lots of old plaster attached to the exterior brick walls. Some of it still has very victorian-looking floral wallpaper that comes off in sheets. It looks like it was printed on brown packaging paper, but I'm pretty sure that's just because it is so old! While cleaning out the walls from the mountains of plaster and dust I created, Eric suddenly jumped up and scared me to death with an excited "Mare LOOK!" He produced a flat case that with some soot scrubbing turned out to be a decorative black and silver deco cigarette case! I grabbed the camera to take pictures of our diligent work and our new prize. I was very proud of myself for remembering it on this trip. Too bad I didn't check the batteries at home! I'll try to get shots next time of the wall paper and newly found pocket door.

We make a point to clean up each night before we leave. It makes for a good "cool down" period from the heavy labor and makes it nice to return for the next smash session without encountering a giant mess. Last night just after Eric found the case and I pulled some weird fabric-y pieces (curtains?) out from on top of one of the pocket doors, I went to turn on the vacuum and "pop!" all of the lights went out and the vacuum started smoking. Now, we'd had the radio, the Shop-Vac AND the Hoover vac going earlier ALL at the same time without incident. I spookily surmised that we'd disturbed some spirit in the house who was displeased with out intrusion! The ever-stoic Eric just went down the basement, flipped the breaker, on came the power and all went back to normal (vacuuming included). Stay tuned. The ceiling might come down Sunday after our party!

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Wallpaper Patterns

So, there are a ton of layers of wallpaper on most of the walls with various period patterns. Here are a few

Let the demolition begin!

So, last night Mr. Martineau was supposed to have beers at Mac's with a few law school buddies and I was going to work at the house. Alas, either a touch of food poisoning or brief bout with the flu kept him in bed most of the day and out of the social circuit that evening. He was kind enough to drop me at the house as I was determined in my quest to uncover the pocket door he'd discovered a few days ago. Prybar in hand, goggled, dust-masked and ventilator-ed, I knocked down a side-wall's worth of crumbling plaster and removed all of the wood lathing to expose a gorgeous six-panel wood pocket door. That was a couple hours worth of work. Then I hit the faux-wood panelling on the adjacent wall to uncover more of the lovely (um, sarcasm) plaster. It shall be permitted to remain intact until we have more permanent plans...but the exterior brick wall was peeking through a few of the plaster holes and giving me visions of an exposed brick living room. I'm not allowed to remove the crumbling plaster from the chimney either...more brick to expose...and it's driving me crazy. Like that mosquito bite that you KNOW you shouldn't scratch but it's just itching at you! I'll post plenty of pictures soon...promise!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

More before and shortly thereafter

The kitchen.

The mantle in progress.

The cool fireplace tile in the living room.

And the icky plywood, mouse-poopy shelf


The Demo continues: "Mary the Hammer" and "Prybar Eric" kept at the panelling in the living room. At the edge of the walls separating the living room from the next room we found the original hardwood doorway framing. Tearing the drywall off which covered it we were very excited to find a pocket door which had been completely concealed by the drywall and panelling. While it will take quite a bit more demo to access the doors, they appear to be still hanging on their tracks!

Photos of the house "BEFORE"

What are you looking at?
From the top left. Photo one is is standing in the living room looking into the "middle room." Top right is the cool yellow tile in the fireplace in the entry room. Middle left is standing in the front doorway taking a photo towards the hall to the back bedroom/kitchen/stairway. Middle right is
is the entry room (Eric calls it the dining room in his posts). Bottom left is the view out the front from the living room and the painted wood mantle we are trying to strip (and my dad). Bottom right is a view of the bathroom (REALLY?)!