Before jumping into this post, I must preface it with a warning: I know next to nothing about architecture, home design, decoration, restoration – anything to do with houses, much less historical ones. So my names for things, and my descriptions, will be completely ignorant. I apologize. If I were more motivated I’d look all this stuff up before writing about it, but I mostly want to share pictures and the memories they evoke for me. I realize this makes me lazy and sloppy, but it’s my blog, so if you want to read expert writing on this subject, go read someone’s blog who’s getting paid to write. Moving on.
(And as previously stated, all pictures were taken with my iPhone 5S. I love how easy and portable a smart phone makes photography!)
The first house we toured had a name – Rosecroft – and was one of the more modest homes we visited. For that reason, I liked it best. It was still small and homey, and although it had been completely restored, all the renovations were fairly true to the original home. Call me crazy, but I actually prefer small homes to large ones, small rooms to big, and dark walls to light. I guess my ideal living space would be a cabin – something cozy and warm. Light, airy rooms feel sterile and drafty to me. So this house, which had retained the narrow hallways and tiny spaces of the original, felt very homey.
The house was named by the original owner, artist Charles Sherman. The name is seen here over the porte cochere (the brochure calls it that – I would have called it a car port, because I know nothing).
The rose motif carries over into the house, where stenciled art graces the sunroom. This is original artwork, which was restored by the current owner.
The sunroom, showing the rose stencils in action. The stained glass windows are a new addition.
Oh, how I did love his bathroom! I know that sounds weird – but the bathrooms in both my great-grandmother’s and grandparent’s houses were so distinctive, and different from what we had in our modern home, that they are etched in my memory. Tile everywhere – hexagon tile on the floors, and shiny tile on the walls, the counters, just all over. And in my grandmother’s house, it was ALL pink! And then of course, she kept pink toilet paper on the roll (remember colored toilet paper? I know it’s horrible stuff, but I miss it). Then my great-grandmother had a claw-foot tub, so I enjoyed seeing another one of those here, too. The tile on this guy’s floor was new, but it is very true to the original tile of the houses of the time (I think – remember, I know nothing). In all the other houses, the bathrooms appeared to be the one area where the owners modernized a lot, but I feel this gentleman did a nice job of maintaining some of the original feel (of the bathroom? Weird, I know. But still, it mattered to me).
Could have used tile on the walls, though.
And now to share a shot that really captures a childhood memory for me – the glass doorknobs. Every door in my grandmother’s house had glass doorknobs (and that house had a lot of doors – every room including the kitchen had doors to close it off from all other parts of the house) and when I was a kid, I thought they were diamonds. I figured out at some point that they were not, but still considered them incredibly fancy and extravagant. This house maintained the glass doorknob feature throughout the house, so I made sure to get a shot of some:
The back of the house, where the two bedrooms were, was quite small and cramped, and although I loved that about it (the hallway was teeny-tiny, yet there were still built-in cabinets in the walls) I couldn’t get any decent shots of anything. So this house, although it was probably my favorite, doesn’t have a lot of photographic representation. Not that I didn’t try:
A shot of the den, taken from the front sunroom.
I also didn’t get any decent shots of his kitchen, once again because it was so small. But you can see a little glimpse of it there in back of the den. Here’s a shot of the den taken while standing in front of the fireplace:
Probably my favorite photo from the whole shoot. I don’t know if there’s a name for this feature, where the driveway pulls up right alongside a side door of the house – but I love it. So glad I got this shot.
Sadly, this next one is the last photo from this house. It felt rude to me to spend too long setting up shots and getting obsessive with the photos, so I tried to do what I could quickly and move on. Since the den area was the largest part of the house, well, that’s where I took most of my shots. This last one was taken from the kitchen:
One of those dudes is my husband. Unfortunately, the owner of the house (whom everyone is listening to, as you can tell) can’t be seen. He was an incredibly friendly and interesting guy.
Oddly, both houses I liked the best have the least photos to represent them. Again, this is partly because the spaces within both places were very small, but also, I think when touring them I was more interested in experiencing the space than taking pictures of it.
I’ll share my shots from the second stop tomorrow.
OK! Sold! I am ready to move right in. These are exactly like my grandparents’ houses on Long Island. I miss every one of those features, like the hexagonal black and white bathroom floors, the old claw-foot tubs. The old kitchen appliances and the colors. I do remember them having colored toilet paper. My grandmother had a mint green and white and black bathroom upstairs that we used when we visited. And downstairs it was shell pink and she had tp to match. That library is to die for. I prefer small, cozy places too. I have to write some time about my parents’ friends who had a mountain cabin in Cupsaw Lake, NJ that has always been my ideal for a place to live. LOVE this series. (And your phone takes better pictures than mine, wow).
I do a lot of processing with my iPhone photos, so that helps. But it has to take a decent shot to start with, which the iPhone definitely does.
This gentleman had books everywhere – you would have liked him. 🙂
And there’s LOTS more photos to come! As I stated, this house didn’t have many photos but some of the larger ones I was able to take more. Next up are photos of the oldest house in the area; I think it was one of the first 3 built 100 years ago.
I love old architecture and design, although I too know very little about it. Beautiful.
Great “tour”.. Yes “port cochere” is very proper over here.
I’d never heard of it. “Car Port” is as far as I’ve ever gone, LOL!