Monday, September 14, 2015

Introducing MeadeHouse Manor

When last I wrote, we were moving out of our Temescal home and I alluded to our finding our new home; well, here it is! I'm excited to give you a preview of our forever home: MeadeHouse Manor. 
Our new home is located in Alameda, a "man made" island between Oakland and San Francisco. While I'm never a fan of unnecessary quotes, calling the island man made is a bit of a misnomer. Let me explain. When people in the Bay Area hear Alameda, the man made island, they assume the whole island is landfill and will fall into the Bay when the next Big One comes. This belief isn't true, however. Alameda was once a part of the Oakland landmass but a canal was dredged in 1902 to provide better access to the expanding Port of Oakland. So yes, the island is "man made" but not in the way that people traditionally think. 

Anyways, I digress. Let's get back to our house.

Our house was built in 1895 by the Meade family and is a wonderful victorian, with those victorian high ceilings, moldings, and lack of all things closet. We have lots of work ahead of us, but are so happy to be home. 

First up, before we even moved in, we fixed the floors and painted over the pale pink the whole interior was painted. When we bought our house, almost every floor was covered in white carpet and underneath were these beautiful, Douglas Fir floors. I'm always confused why people lay down carpet over wood floors, but covering these beauties up allowed them to be preserved for us. Before moving in we pulled up the white carpet and uncovered seemingly worse for the wear floors (paint splatters, pet stains, nails upon nails upon staples upon staples) but our floor guy, Tony, worked his magic and refinished them to the gloriousness that you see above. (And yes, those are missing tiles in the hearth. That's a future, non necessity project. Details. Details.)

While I'm always a proponent of DIYing, doing floors, especially old softwood ones, is something best left to the professionals. After estimating what it would cost us to do them ourselves (ie renting equipment), it was only a little more to hire a professional. And with softwood floors, if you leave the sander for just a little too long in one place, hello uneven floors. Not worth the risk, in my opinion.

Here's what is now our bedroom and while you might not be able to guess from the photo, it lacks a real closet. One of our future projects will be building some custom wardrobes.

And this is what is to become our office. The house was once divided into two apartments and what is now our office was once a kitchen, which explains the excess of outlets and oddly placed pendant lights. We've painted this room a dark navy, the swatches you can see on the walls. And where might those doors lead, you ask? Out to a most wonderful second floor deck. Yes, this is truly a dream house.

Miss Alta, our rescue pup, endured our spending many late nights pulling up carpet, then carpet staples, then carpet tacks all without the comfort of soft furniture to lie on. She was quite the patient little lady. Here she is looking at the living room, a week before we moved in. And yes, we moved flower arrangements in before furniture--priorities people!

Up next after the floors was paining the soft pink walls (who paints their walls pink? People who cover soft wood floors in white carpet) a warm, classy gray. And look! No tape for edging! I've advanced in my painting skillz.

And I'm guessing you're wondering what the garden is like. Well here she is! Hello invasive ivy and overgrown wisteria! Your days our numbered. The space looks small in the photo but beyond the wall of wisteria is a second garden/patio area; we're hoping once we trim back the wall of wisteria then garden will feel a lot more open, rather than a huddle of cousin it's. 

First thing up is clearing out the ivy and cleaning up the wisteria. Let there be light!

So many projects to come. 

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