Show us your vintage home!

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by LolitaHaze, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    13,522
    Location:
    New York City
    Big Man,

    Your posts on your clothes, car, night out and, now, home almost always say / imply something wonderful about your family - so much so, that I look forward to them for that as much as for the topic of the post itself. And I know this isn't your intent, it just comes through in the background details, anecdotes, pictures and the casual references to or pictures of your granddaughter or wife.

    This one has it all. Your home is gorgeous - warm, inviting, beautifully maintained and comfortably lived in. The story about your grandparents furniture ("the new furniture"), the organ's history and, best of all, your use of the "front room" for "sitting on Sunday afternoons and only for other special occasions" lifted my spirits. The lovely picture of your granddaughter just completes it.

    You maintain a family structure, a respect for the past, for your parents and grandparents and, I'm sure, are imparting this spirit to your children and grandchildren in a way that proudly stands aside today's warp-speed, technology driven culture that looks to superannuate everything and everybody that came before the digital world.

    Thank you for your wonderful posts.

    FF
     
  2. Big Man

    Big Man My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,726
    Location:
    Nebo, NC
    Thank you very much for the most kind words. I fully understand that I've been blessed beyond measure. The "bond of family" has been strong over the past generations, and I am trying my best to keep it going into the future. I do, however, have very big shoes to fill ... and, boy, do I ever know it. I met an elderly man (in his late 80s) not too long ago that stopped to talk. He said that when he was a small boy he used to pass by the house here walking to school and back. He said he was "dirt poor" as a child, and that my Grandmother would meet him most every afternoon at the end of the driveway and give him a glass of milk and some gingerbread cookies, as she knew he didn't have much of anything at his own home. My Grandmother was a widow who, herself, was just getting by, but saw a need and shared what she had with someone who she knew was in need.

    Trying to live up to a legacy like that is a might big task.
     
  3. DecoDame

    DecoDame One of the Regulars

    Big Man, you just made me tear up.
     
  4. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    13,522
    Location:
    New York City
    I felt the same.
     
  5. Your Grandmoher was a great example who did what she thought was right without any recognition for 70 years. Being thoughtful is a gift that keeps on giving. We never know whose lives we touch or just how much of an impression we make----even after we are long gone.
     
  6. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    13,522
    Location:
    New York City
    Many, many people are charitable today and we - as a society - have almost incorporated being charitable into child education (as anyone familiar with raising children today knows). Also, our corporations have taken active roles in supporting charities and, of course, our government programs of support have expanded greatly.

    What seems different to me though (as in addition to Big Man's grandmother, I had a grandmother who lost everything in the depression, but after she past away in the '70s, we learned how she had helped several families while she had next to nothing and we never heard a word about this from her) is that today charity is both discussed actively by those engaged in it and it seems almost like an industry (as those aforementioned children use it to build their resumes - which is not their fault as it is expected of them).

    Maybe today is better if the publicity of it and the institutionalization of it means we have more of it, but there was a quiet elegance, a beautiful selflessness to what our grandmother's generation did. Again, I'm not denouncing what we do today as I'm happy that charity is important to our society, I'm just recognizing the different style that some practiced it in the past. And I have no doubt, that some still practice it that way today.
     
  7. EmergencyIan

    EmergencyIan Practically Family

    Messages:
    918
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Whew...a great and very touching story.

    - Ian
     
  8. As my grandmother used to say---charity is anonymous. Anything else is advertising.
     
  9. Big Man

    Big Man My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,726
    Location:
    Nebo, NC
    I'm finishing up on a project on the old house - re-glazing the windows. I think all the old windows have not been re-glazed since the house was built in 1907. I do recall my aunt working on re-glazing some of the downstairs windows back in the late 1960s or very early 1970s, but the upstairs windows look like they have never been re-glazed.

    The windows in the old house are the kind where you lift up the bottom sash and keep it up with a window stick (no window weights like in a "double-hung" window). Taking the old windows out to work on them reveled some interesting things, most notably a very good indication as to the original colors of the window sash and the individual rooms of the house. This will be great help in restoring the paint colors to what the house was in 1907 should I ever want to undertake such a task.

    On one of the old windows (photo below), the glass in one of the panes has been broken for a long time. That little hole came from my Dad shooting the window with his BB gun sometime in the 1930s. For whatever reason, the glass was never replaced, just taped over. I thought about replacing the glass but decided that, since it had been this way for 80 some years, why change it now. Besides, it is a reminder of my Dad in his youth and a good story to relate to my grandchildren. I'm sure my Grandmother wanted to keep it this way as a reminder as well.


    [​IMG]


    One other interesting (and surprising) thing I found was this finger print on the top of one of the upper window sashes (photo below). I know from old photos that the outside of the window sashes were painted black as early as 1925. They have been white all my life, and again from old photos, must have been painted white in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Evidently, when they were painted black whoever did the painting left a finger print on the top of the sash. It had been protected all these years. Who knows who the finger print belongs to? My granddad? Some house painter who was hired to do the work? It will always be a mystery, but that's just one more thing that makes owning a vintage house all the more interesting.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. EmergencyIan

    EmergencyIan Practically Family

    Messages:
    918
    Location:
    New York, NY
    ^ Pretty darn neat, Big Man.


    - Ian
     
  11. 1mach1

    1mach1

    Messages:
    15,256
    Location:
    Arlington, Virginia
    +1
     
  12. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I've just completed laying a new kitchen floor in my 1911-vintage house, and as part of my ongoing war on the bland '80s-neutrals which dominated the house before I got hold of it, I replaced the textured white photo-finish peel-n-stick tile floor with something as close to a proper Golden Era kitchen floor as I could get. My grandparents' home had asbestos-asphalt tile in the kitchen, in a red-and-yellow pattern, and I've replicated that using my preferred green-and-yellow theme.

    [​IMG]

    Since asbestos-asphalt tile is no longer manufactured, I went with the closest modern equivalent -- Armstrong "Excelon" vinyl composition tile in Sea Green and Buttercream Yellow. You won't find this tile in the home-decor department -- it's commercial tile, the same sort of thing used in stores, schools, and office complexes -- and the home-decor salespeople will actively try to prevent you from buying it, because it's much, much less expensive than the trendy overpriced ceramic stuff they push. VCT tile is about 80 cents a square foot, more or less, depending on where you get it, and is extremely easy to install yourself. All you need is a flat, level underfloor, a bucket of all-purpose mastic. and a notched trowel.

    I did the entire flooring job myself -- the kitchen is bigger than it looks in this picture, and it took me about twelve hours spread over a week's time to do the whole job, including prep time and cleanup. The entire project took four and a half cartons of tile, at $45 per carton, and one bucket of mastic at $28. I already had the trowel. So my new floor cost me $230.50, plus ten hours of labor. Pretty good deal compared to what it would have cost to have it done by a "home decor installation professional."

    One thing the sales clowns will do to try and talk you out of VCT in your kitchen is the maintenance -- "you have to wax and buff it or the surface will be ruined." That's the bunk. You can get a nice, diffused shine by mopping on a few coats of "Mop and Glo," the modern equivalent of Johnson's Glo-Coat, and this will last for months under normal conditions. We have VCT in the kitchen and concession areas at the theatre and I schedule the maintenance for those floors -- they get waxed twice a year, and they don't need buffing at all. Buffing is unnecessary unless you want a mirror shine, which is impractical for a working kitchen.

    So if you're looking for a good, inexpensive, Era-authentic floor you can install yourself, ignore the sales pitches and go with VCT.
     
  13. Auld Edwardian

    Auld Edwardian A-List Customer

    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    SW VA Blue Ridge Mountains
    Hi Lizzie,
    A did a very nice installation. And you are quite right about the duability of the commercial vinyl tiles. You could have the entire troupe of "River Dance" trough your kitchen and they would still stand up fine. I know, I used to strip and wax floors in a past life. By the way, what is the style of your home?
     
  14. dh66

    dh66

    Messages:
    12,455
    Location:
    down south
    That looks absolutely fantastic Lizzie! I like the color scheme and the pattern you chose. And... I'll back you up 100% on the vct. It's cheaper by far, and much cooler than modern tiles. I put a classic black and white checkerboard pattern floor in the kitchen of our other house, an early '20s bungalow, and it was very easy. It cost me less than $300 to do the job, and that included replacing about half of the plywood sub-floor. The only thing I will do different when I get ready to do the floor in this house is choose some color besides white. Six kids and two dogs left that one looking pretty dingy most of the time. I'll probably go with grey and a contrast color next time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  15. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    It's what they call a "New Englander," a simple one-and-three-quarter-story wood frame house popular among the working class in the early 20th Century. Five rooms and a bath, an enclosed porch and an unattached garage. Solid comfort.
     
  16. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Fifteen years of living with a white *textured* tile floor swore me off white floors for life. Every single speck of dirt, spilled tea, dribbled cat food, and heel scuffs shows. This new floor should last me the rest of my life, and I'll never have to live with a white floor again.
     
  17. Auld Edwardian

    Auld Edwardian A-List Customer

    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    SW VA Blue Ridge Mountains
    I loath "texutured" vinyl. Our kitchen floor is a beige textured vinyl. I'm getting ready to do something similar to what you did in our 1895 Victorian.
     
  18. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,206
    Very classy Lizzie! I think the general population has been brainwashed by all the interior decorators on the DIY shows. I have toured a lot of open houses in the last three years, it is a crime all the taupe tile in old houses! Walls, floors, even ceilings in bathrooms. :eusa_doh:
     
  19. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    A "neutral palette" makes even the finest house look like a cheap rental in 1995.
     
  20. dh66

    dh66

    Messages:
    12,455
    Location:
    down south
    Agreed 100%
     

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