Blog Category

Renovation Ruminations


This series is about our adventures in old house renovations. We have owned Historic Houseparts since 1994 and we also own several rental properties nearby. We're currently working on two large renovation/restoration projects: a circa 1840 house which we purchased in 2010 and had to gut completely, plus a circa 1911 house which we purchased in 2018. Our goal with each is to preserve and highlight the original character but make them comfortable and functional. We use salvaged items whenever possible, and prefer to restore rather than replace. We do most of the work on these ourselves with help from our talented staff and a few trusted, talented contractors. We make mistakes along the way but we also have some small victories, we'll share both with you in this series. And lots of pictures! - Chris & Jim

Chapter 5: The Kitchen

The kitchen at the house we purchased in early 2018 was small, dark, and straight out of the 80’s. With three doorways like most old kitchens. Plenty of cabinet space, a large closet filled with dirty glassware and pickles canned in 1997. Virtually no counter space, and ancient appliances. The last renovation, actually in the 1990’s, removed the original doors and windows and added some Pellas and covered up some old yellow plaid wallpaper from the 1950’s or 60’s. The solid surface sink and white faucet were ready to be retired and the dishwasher was actually being used as extra storage. The vinyl floor tiles were worn to the point that the pattern was no longer visible. You see where this is going. Here are some photos of the before:

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21 May 2019
Chapter 4: The Pantry

Chapter 4: The Pantry

I’ve dreamed of having a large pantry since moving into our first apartment. We had an actual pantry in that house, which was amazing, but it was small and collected a lot of miscellaneous stuff. Which is what a pantry is for, really. So when I first saw the Hamilton House pantry I was excited! Then I looked more closely and I was dejected. The room was painted electric blue with white trim, the only room on the first floor with painted trim. Well, the kitchen trim was also painted, around the three doorways in there. The pantry had one original cabinet left in it, the remnants of another one were located in the basement – only two broken cabinet doors sadly. I’m guessing the room was renovated in the 1960’s when the kitchen was renovated. The windows are replacements and were also painted white. Here are a few photos of the room when we first saw it:

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Posted on Categories : Antique Cabinets
Chapter 3: Clean Slate

Cleaning out the house was a monumental task. There was a ton of stuff left in the house, a sort-of gift from the previous owner who knew we would be using the house as a furnished rental so they figured we could use some of the stuff. True, glassware and some of the dishes and kitchen ware was perfectly usable after being cleaned. Less usable were the televisions in each room (and they cost $15 to dispose of), the reptile tank (sold it for $50) and the filthy chest freezer left in the pantry (scrappers grabbed it off the porch).

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Posted on Categories : Cleaning & Restoration Supplies
Chapter 2: A Brief History of Hamilton House

The house was built in 1911 as I mentioned previously, and was moved from its original location on Reservoir Avenue opposite Lamberton Conservatory in nearby Highland Park in February of 1982 by Harry Caulfield,

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Chapter 1: We Bought A House

We did not plan on buying this house. We did not need another house, or another project But yeah, we bought a house. And what a house it is!

 

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