1 House 100 Years

Preparing For The Centennial Of A Place That Matters

Month: September, 2013

One More Old House Secret Revealed

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It’s nice to know that my old house still has a few more secrets to reveal to me. One of the things that I have always found really fascinating about old houses is how you can often uncover interesting items hidden away in the attic or even within the walls.

This has not been the case with my house. There have been no stacks of old movie posters used for insulation in the attic, no prohibition era liquor bottles stashed inside a special wall, no diaries, old photographs, or precious possessions…just dust, dirt, and projects needing to be done.

I have been considering options for what to do with a closet had been turned into an awkward hallway from the living room into the bathroom. After scrapping some ideas including built-in bookcases, I decided to eliminate the doorway altogether since it did not fit the room’s original design.

While removing the doorway framing, I was amazed to see some color and pattern that at first looked like just some oddly stained water damage, nothing new. Then I realized it was original wallpaper, coordinating perfectly with the grayed-green paint selected for the walls almost one hundred years later.

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These photographs were taken September 2013. Here is a post with photo of how this doorway looked before any demolition work was done. You will notice that it looks as if the doorway is jammed into the corner, and this is magnified by the way that the framing on the left side is narrower than that on the right side.

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Upholstering a Rocking Chair…(Every Layer Tells a Story)

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Sometimes old furniture can surprise you. That’s exactly what happened with this oak rocking chair. It came from Poplar Hall Antiques in Farmville, Virginia. I discovered this great place on the way back from helping my mother move into her retirement apartment over the weekend after the Fourth of July.

The simple style fit my house perfectly. The wood was in good condition and would only need a few touch-ups here and there. I was looking forward to putting it in my sunroom where the oak finish would really stand out against the painted floor and coarse wool rug.

The only major flaw was a really ugly, cigarette burned piece of pale blue upholstery on the removable spring seat. After finding some upholstery material with colors that complimented the rug and a geometric pattern that would provide contrast without clashing, I was all set for the quick replacement project.

While removing the blue upholstery, underneath I found a dark brown material that was a replacement for what was probably the original leather. Although not genuine, it did have the look and feel of leather. With some cleaning, it fit the chair and the room perfectly. I was pleasantly surprised.

Quick tip: Don’t judge a chair by its upholstery, particularly if it is easily replaced. It was probably to my advantage that there was a really bad piece of upholstery on the seat. I imagine that quite a few people didn’t give the chair a second look because of it.

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If you are ever in the Farmville area, it may be worth your time to stop by Poplar Hall Antiques.

These photographs were taken August 2013.