A peek at our new house | How About Orange

July 09, 2013

A peek at our new house


We're off to the Cincinnati area next week, leaving our pretty 1920s condo and going back in time. To 1899. To this house. We like interesting homes, and nothing says interesting like a house with a servants' stairway. This place is lovely.


Or almost lovely. I adore orange, but this is Halloween all day, every day. You can see the potential awesomeness, though, with different paint and a new light fixture, right?


So far we've moved in a couple of our picture frames. They will look microscopic on the walls, because this place has... gulp, 12-foot ceilings. Nope, 10-foot ceilings. (The information on the listing was incorrect.)


Above is the living room.


Here's the master bedroom. See a pattern here? There is A LOT of dark wood. It's really dim inside. After reading old-house forums and Apartment Therapy for awhile, I know there are people who would stab me in the eyeballs for even thinking of painting trim white. On the other hand, they'd probably feel bad if the gloom caused me to fall into a deep depression and I jumped off an Ohio River bridge someday. But I will do everything humanly possible with wall paint, rugs, furniture, and light fixtures to avoid painting over the old wood and then re-evaluate. This bedroom with light, cool-toned walls already looks better than the living room.


Here's the kitchen. The design doesn't make me do cartwheels, but I'll be happy to cook and hang out here.

I'm terribly excited to get in there and start sprucing things up. It's a wonderful house with so much character, and we like projects. Wish us luck! I'll be sure to post lots of before and after shots.

82 comments:

Maria said...

Wonderful! COngratulations! All the best!

Erin S. said...

Call me green with envy! I LOVE how much potential this house has! It's STUNNING! I can't wait to see what you do with it!

PS - I love me a good, white trim!

Kara {me and elna} said...

Great house! What part of town are you in? I'm thinking either Clifton, Columbia-Tusculum, Northside or Oakley. :)

Margeaux Cotton said...

I love your new home! So classic! Can't wait to see you put your own little spin on it!

RhondaBuss said...

The house has great bones. You will have a lovely life there I am sure, but Chicago will miss you :)

Anonymous said...

My house (in Richmond, Virginia) was built in 1889. The trim was all painted white when I moved in, and I would not even consider going back to natural wood. The white trim makes the rooms look fresh and bright, and avoids the inverted shoebox feeling that can happen with 12 foot ceilings and dark wood.

Kim said...

What a cute home! My husband and I are going under contract today with our current home, so we'll begin out new house hunting this weekend. I love older homes and hope to find one that has tons of character that we can update to make it the way we want it! Looking forward to seeing the before & after pictures as you make progress! Best of luck!!

Lisa Von De Linde said...

I LOVE the wood trim! So gorgeous. And the tall ceilings? Amazing...except when painting the walls.
I had 10'ceilings in my last place and painting was a pain...get a TALL ladder! Go for some Restoration Hardware neutrals. Also, how funny that this house is so ORANGE! :)

Jessica Jones said...

I'm happy to hear from fans of white! Kara, it's in Newport. We loved the neighborhood and how we can walk to the river. Excited to get there!

Jessica Jones said...

Lisa, do you think I was subliminally influenced by the orange, even though it's not a good choice for these walls? Hmmm....

Grandma G said...

I'll be happy to hang out in your kitchen and let you cook for me, too! ;)

Mum

Jessica Jones said...

It will be your reward for painting. :)

Marie said...

What a gorgeous house, such character! Paint will definitely make it absolutely beautiful. Congratulations!

Grandma G said...

I do get to choose the paint colors, right?

Mum

Grandma G said...

Mint green... pale blues.....

Jessica Jones said...

We'll see. Probably not green, sorry. Maybe very pale blue-gray... I will ponder.

Irina said...

It's beautiful! *_* congrats! :)

CT@Living Analog said...

I've been "spying" on you via Pinterest and am excited to see what you do with your new space. I love the idea of an old home with more modern furnishings in it. An eclectic mix does everyone good. And paint that trim if you want to! At 124 years old it probably needs TLC anyways so if a future owner wants to restore it, more power to them. To each, her own. Congrats and cheers - CT

two hippos said...

good luck with the move!

wobblybobbin said...

We lived in a beautiful old (1920s) apartment and almost all of the thick wood trim was painted white - it was beautiful! It looked amazing with just about every color I painted the walls. You could keep some and paint some, best of both :)

Camilla @ Something Is Done said...

Ohh! I'm excited to see what you're going to do with the place! You'll have to do a stint as a home decor blogger for a bit =).

Christina said...

Oh, what a beautiful house! You are going to have so much fun making it your own. My parents just bought a house with dark wood just like that.

Anonymous said...

BIG CONGRATS and all the best! If it makes you feel better, it is a TON of work to paint over the stained wood anyway (sand, clean, sand more, clean more, special primer and more sanding, before you can even paint).

So it's just as well if you wait a bit and think about it....

IRedS said...

Welcome to Newport!! I was born and raised in that town. I wish I still owned one of the beautiful old homes in East Newport. Yours looks beautiful!! East Newport is great -- so close to all Cincinnati has to offer PLUS the levee. Best of luck on your move.

etta said...

I have a similar style of house in Melbourne Oz and I am also dying to paint the trim white. Can't wait to see what you will do!

Beth Anne said...

That is a beautiful house! Have fun sprucing it up... that's the best part about a new house :)

Stephenie Daily @ Garden Girl said...

Beautiful house. But you're correct, I'm thinking of strangling you (not as violent as stabbing in the eyeballs) for thinking about painting that wood! Please keep Pinteresting and see if maybe a lovely shade of paint on the walls might offset the dark wood so that you don't become depressed. ;)

TJ said...

Stacks of potential!
I love old houses & house makeovers. Can't wait to see what you do with it!

Leslie Hanna said...

Oh, this house is a dream! For YOU! I would love to own a house like this, but couldn't handle the stairs. I look forward to your updates!

PS: I'm moving to Springboro in a couple of months. Ohio ROCKS!

Cassandra May @ Little Red Window said...

Do you ever read Making it Lovely? She painted her wood trim and loved it. Google, she gave some convincing arguments for it!

jintyoo7 said...

Absolutely charmig - and orange walls - how cool is that :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, what a lovely house! I think I'm jealous of the 12ft ceilings though I'm having trouble even imagining them, normal walls x 1.5--wow!

Re trim, I'm not a paint-hater, but will share our experience: we also have lots of dark trim. I moved in expecting to paint it, but it's grown on me and I'm ok with it dark now. But do what will make you happy!
--tuulikki

Kara {me and elna} said...

Newport?! I live in a bordering town, 5 minutes away! Be sure to check out Newport Pizza Company and their spinach dip; yummmmm. :)

Jessica Jones said...

Kara, will do! I saw that pizza place and thought it looked interesting. Cassandra May, I do read Nicole's blog! And I'm dying of curiosity to see what her new house looks like. And what color the trim is. :)

Jessica Jones said...

Stephenie, that made me laugh. Actually I'm surprised nobody else has offered to strangle or stab me at the thought of painting the trim. I'll do my very best to make it work, I promise.

Rebecca said...

Oh, you'd love this blog: http://victoriaelizabethbarnes.com/

hoopty doopty said...

Congratulations. I too love a project and the character old homes have is so interesting. I own a 1904 home with a unique rounded wrap-around porch in a charming historic district so your place is very appealing to me. We worked painstakingly,and I mean painstakingly hard, to refinish all of the beautiful trim in the entire house to the natural wood. I vowed I would never ever paint it after all of the hours we spent scraping and chemically treating and sanding, and then using a dental tool (no joke) to scrape and clean every crevice to restore the wood to it's natural beauty. That was 13 years ago. I actually admitted recently that I would consider painting it. I can't believe the words came out of my mouth or that I even thought it. After coming to my senses, I realised the wall colours need to change and other things would make it more appealing now. It's tempting. Best of luck with this new adventure. I know you two will make it a really hip and cool space. Cant wait for you to share it.

Jessica said...

I'm originally from Pittsburgh and I really miss the old houses with character. We're in Virginia Beach now and everything is so new and plain.

Sarah @ *Tadaam! said...

Great potential, indeed ! Have fun with your new walls !

annie dee said...

Good luck and congratulations! It looks like a load of beautiful is waiting to be exposed!

Megumi said...

Hmm. Which tone of orange would work... So excited to see the kitchen! That must be a great place, even you could enjoy puzzles there!

Kristin | Mountain Paper said...

Love it! Reminds me of all our old homes here in Philly. :)

When we moved into our turn of the century home, about a dozen contractors and family members tried to slap me for wanting to paint the rosy pink brick fireplace white. It was scary to take that first swipe of paint to the brick, but I am SO GLAD I did! Yes, the brick will never go back to its original color... but the original color was kinda pukey, so who cares!

In defense of woodwork, it could look very fresh and arty to stick with whites on the walls and bright rugs over the dark wood floors. Would probably make the space look bigger and save you the trouble of painting trim. Because painting trim sucks. Let's just be honest. Ha!

Needle little Balance said...

Wonderful! This home has so much potential. White/light walls would certainly look nice with all your orange accessoires. :) I think it wouldn´t be a sacrileg to paint the kitchen cabinets either since they are probably not OLD-old.

Good luck with the move!
I´d love to see some before and after pictures someday.

Jessica Jones said...

Rebecca, thanks for the blog tip! Can't wait to poke around on that site.

Bright white walls for most rooms sounds really good to me; I agree, guys!

Susan said...

I'm just chiming in with the others wishing you and Alex all the best in your new space! It's lovely and you will only make it lovelier!

I too am on the paint-the-trim team if that makes you happy! Life's too short to not love your surroundings!

Peace and blessings!

d r e w said...

If you are in town this weekend (july 13) check out the city flea at washington park in OTR. you'll love it.

Jessica Jones said...

Shoot, we're gonna miss it by a couple days!

amy said...

Don't paint the trim. It would be your life's work. Two houses ago we had a house built in 1908. My favorite house ever. So functionally once we added a powder room on the first floor :). Good luck. My best advice is to live with it for a year and then decide.

bbphoto said...

I don't know if this helps, but our house is from 1908 and we mixed modern in a bit...
http://www.seechicagorealestate.com/listing/08378234-1210-south-3rd-street-st-charles-il-60174/

Mizz Mitten said...

While daunting and scary, I vote to paint the trim white! The contrast with your floors and maybe a subtle color on the walls would be so lively and fresh. Most of the houses and apartments here in Minneapolis are old with that similar dark wood and it drives me insane! Wood is nice and all, but I'd way rather be in a cheerful and bright space than somewhere dark and heavy.

brambleberries said...

Painting trim means repainting when there are scuffs. Leaving wood natural tends to disguise little boo-boos. (They become 'character'!)

Flax Hill Gardener said...

What a great house! I have a 1920 house with all the original unpainted chestnut woodwork (thanks to the chestnut blight in the early 1900s). I have left all the original wood, but have put up light colored curtains to brighten up the rooms.

Swan said...

What a lovely home you've chosen! I'm sure you'll give it all the needed TLC it deserves.

Given your design preferences, may I suggest leaving the wood trim in all its natural glory, while combining it with other natural elements? Look to nature for inspiration while 'filling in' the spaces with wall color and accessories. Soothing earth, air, or water colors might be able to harmonize well with the wood in its natural state.

To illustrate how wood and stone can pair well together and still look modern and eclectic, here is an example: http://www.cultivate.com/projects/ambiance-interiors/craftsman-inspired-kitchen

Cultivate.com focuses on kitchens, but I think you get the gist.

For choosing your color palette, I recommend http://design-seeds.com/ Be warned, I've lost hours there, reveling in the inspiration.


Wall paper was also popular in many older homes, if you're willing to take that leap. Please don't shoot me for the suggestion? hehe.

That sums up my three and a half cents. Thanks for the privilege of allowing us to weigh in. Best wishes, have fun, and most of all, enjoy your new home.


Sarah said...

Congrats on your big move. I live about 20 minutes north of Cincinnati and would love to help introduce you to the area! Cincinnati has really blossomed into a fun city. Can't wait to see what you do with this lovely space!

lp said...

This is an awesome house. I have no doubt you will make it even cooler. Hope you share photos of your projects!

Jennifer Radtke said...

Beautiful house. My husband helped remodel a house with that same entry. He designed a secret door that went into the basement under the stairs. Hope your house turns out as fabulous as that one did.

Jessica Jones said...

Secret stairs? I want secret stairs!!!

Anonymous said...

The first thing I noticed in the photos was that none of the woodwork was painted over. It is so hard to find that anymore and it is so beautiful. Do, please try everything you can to avoid painting it. It is so charming with all of the other details of the house.

Nylonliving said...

love the dark floors! i too have a period house with dark floors, light walls and high ceilings - mostly an off-white which heads towards grey. Cornforth White by Farrow and Ball. I painted the powder room a glorious aubergine (including ceiling) and the colour is really sumptuous in a small space. I wouldn't like it in a larger space though. you can see my home at the my home section at www.nylonliving.com

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! We just moved from Newport (702 Overton in the East Row.) I don’t know if that is where you house is (it certainly looks like it could be) but either way, I highly recommend the East Row Garden Club. (meets 3rd Tuesday night at the Sanctuary, 6th and Monroe). Its a great venue for meeting residents and learning about gardening. They have their annual Garden Walk the first weekend in June. Look for the Victorian Christmas Tour and Tea there the first weekend of December. It is a great way to get to see inside some of the coolest houses ever. (I am slightly jeal. We really miss our friends and the neighborhood there.)

Jessica Jones said...

Nylonliving, thanks for the link; I'll check it out.

Anonymous, yup-- East Row! Thanks for those tips. I wanna see inside other people's houses!

Margaret Cooter said...

12-foot ceilings - fabulous! Consider keeping curtains minimal so that the light can get in through those big windows, to counteract the dark wood.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

What a great house with fabulous features...I can't wait to see your creative touch in every room...please keep us posted :o)

Kate G said...

Definitely back away from white trim. I know you'll find your way. take your cue from the street and watch the light change in the rooms.

One thing I've found while living in a dimly lit Vitorian is that those drak wood tones like colors like moss, paper bag and warm whites.

Good luck. This is going to be fun.

Miggy said...

I too am thinking Northside. :) Not that you want any of us knowing your location. We too had a lovely old victorian in Cincinnati and here are some pics of the house...http://placetobloom.blogspot.com/2011/03/at-home-with-miggy-home-tour.html

If you click over you'll see that I mixed modern furnishings and there were some rooms where the trim was left wood and some where it was painted white (that was actually done before we moved in and we just left it). So don't feel like it's got to be all or nothing. Can't wait to see what you do!

Ajay Prasad said...

Congratulations for your new home Jessica. It is so gorgeous. The orange is absolutely stunning. I am certain it is going to be fun decorating it. The kitchen looks awesome, so does the stairway. Can’t wait to see it when you are done. All the best.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a beautiful home. My house is old, but you have me beat by 23 years! I hate to admit that I am all for the white paint. Yikes! I hate gloomy spaces. My hallway is yellow, my kitchen ORANGE. . . . My furniture isn't modern, though. I will scan some Canadian magazines and send you photos. Check House and Home website (Canadian magazine). They may have something. Good luck. Will be checking in. Laura

Katie Lewis said...

Yay! Welcome to Ohio! I grew up in a house that was built in 1906 and this house totally takes me back to my growing up years. Umm... but this house is way prettier. :)

Jessica Jones said...

Miggy, thanks for the house tour link! Our houses are quite similar! (It's Newport.)

BetsyE said...

I Love the wood trim! It's so hard to "undo"... I vote for holding off if you can. :-) I'm amazed at all the fireplaces!

silverkeys said...

Congratulations! And welcome to Kentucky! We were just in Newport the other week.

Making it Lovely said...

I was a bit behind on my blog reading, and just saw this now. What a fantastic house! Congratulations! The one we're buying was built in 1891, and also has a back staircase. And loads and loads of wood trim.

Jessica Jones said...

Nicole, I can't WAIT to see yours!

Del4yo said...

Congratulation on your new home!
When I was 12 my family moved in a 1704 house with genuine oak wall covering "boiseries". They were beautiful but stripped bare, it was dark as hell and I hated it. And hated them even more when I discovered in art history that they must have been painted white originally. And then I grew up and grew out of the "respect your house like if it was a museum " feel.
Match the present. A healthy dose of vintage is nice, too much is like spending your life with the Adams Family.

I say, paint those trimmings!! Maybe they were painted originally, anyway.

Jessica Jones said...

Thank you! I like the attitude!

Faizal Rahman said...

Very nice house you have, love all those wooden floor.

Adrienne Latimer said...

I also LOVE white trim, but the idea of ruining wood that has lived happily in a house since 1889 makes me sick inside. It is an awesome house. Have fun decorating!

Jessica Jones said...

Don't worry, the wood is safe. :) Some is original, some has been replaced over the years. I'm not going to paint any of it. Changing the wall colors has brightened things a lot.

WhatHouse.co.uk said...

Lovely house, in time will be fabulous with all those original features.

Shelley said...

Some areas look haunted ;) let us know if anything crazy happens ! Congrats!

Alix Bloom-Collins said...

Congrats Jessica!

Have fun decorating your new place and making it feel like home.

Your new house has huge potential and very good bones. Celebrate that fact!

The master bedroom is just right as is IMHO, just add that Jessica touch and you're set. And you can definitely decorate around all that dark wood.

sfgirlbybay.com has a nice blogpost about "dark & dramatic" decor, it may help you embrace the dark side of things, with measure.

The dark cabinets in the kitchen will have to go, tough! Just awful! They need a much lighter, brighter shade of paint. But all that space in the kitchen... YUM! invaluable, indeed.

The halloweenesque hallway you took care of already, which is good.

Next are those awful yellow walls in the living room.

Enjoy the ride!

-Alix

Jessica Jones said...

Alix, I love your comments! The yellowy green alien glow in the living is now gone. :) That happened along with the orange removal. I agree with everything you said, and I'll check out SFgirl's post!

ShareThis