Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Country Mouse, Town House Q&A

I promise I'll post about something else tomorrow. I PROMISE! But there were some questions I wanted to answer in your comments yesterday!

How old is it, is it a craftsman style house? It is a 1920's tudor revival. I don't believe it is a craftsman style, mostly because its three (well 2.5) stories, while most craftsman are 1 or 1.5. It also does not have the open floor plan that most craftsman style homes have, although I wish it did, because the first floor feels chopped up to me. It DOES have the stained glass windows though, which were a huge selling point to me. They are GORGEOUS.

So when do you move? Due to our lease agreement at our apartment we had to give 60 days notice before vacating the apartment. So our closing date is November 7th. We have our apartment until November 14th, so we will use that time to scour the inside of the house (trust me, it needs it!) and then move our stuff over.

Is there room on the front porch for a porch swing? You bet it does! Actually there is one there already. Who knows if that will actually stay or if they will take it. Technically it is theirs, so I would assume it will go with them. The porch actually wraps around the right side of the house, you can't see it in the picture because of the random Poplar tree growing in the garden(unfortunately that tree will have to go, I'd like to keep it, but it is much too close to the house and would destroy the porch if it gets the chance to get much bigger.)

Now for the interior pictures......? Are you sure you really want to go there? REALLY?? Well, all I can give you is what is in the listing since we are not actually moved in just yet.

Holy sponge paint batman! Obviously this kitchen would need some work. Really, who pairs forest green and bright yellow? And could they have found a more awkward place to put a refrigerator?

I am not really sure why they would choose this angle for this room. The room is actually huge, but somehow they managed to make it look pretty small. The fireplace is not working right now, we are discussing the idea of a pellet stove insert. Do any of you have one? How do you like it?

While the previous owners had a questionable sense of decorating style, the house itself is pretty sound. We will find out just how sound when the inspector picks it apart next week, but we already know a great deal of what he will tell us...update your electric!! We know! We will! We promise! The house retains a lot of its original charm, the floors, the moldings, the windows(except one, which we are going to have a hard time matching AND its in the front of the house! Bah!)

Now I have a question for you...how does one get rid of the smell of cat urine? Yeah. They have three cats, and one unused litter box. We will undoubtedly be ripping up all the carpet, but you know how that cat urine odor lingers! Suggestions? Guidance? It is SO welcome! I have heard vinegar helps? Is this true? Any first hand experiences out there? I know some of you are cat-owners/lovers.


  1. Bekah, congrats again.You are going to turn it into the nicest house on the block. I have also heard that vinagar works, but maybe someone else will come up with a better solution.


  2. OMG I seriously LOL'd at that kitchen picture. That color combo? Ick! Like someone threw up on the cabinets! Ha ha!

    Yay,though! It looks so sweet!

    Cat urine...ugh...it's a bitch I tell ya...DEFINITELY rip up the carpets. What kind of flooring is beneath? IS it hard wood?

  3. it is hardwood underneath the carpet. It was all finished (except one room) at one point, so we are hoping that the sander can take off the stinky layer since it SHOULDNT have soaked into the actual wood.

  4. Wow! That is some pretty insane sponge painting! Just...wow!

    Your new home looks like it has a lot of charm lurking under it! How exciting it's going to be to make it all yours.

    I don't have any cats, but I have a friend with a houseful of them and I can't bear to go into her place, so if you find a magic trick for the smell, let me know and I may slip it to her discreetly!

  5. Carpets soak up all kind of smells! Promise me you will rip them up and then keep the hardwood floors underneath? You can smooth them with a special machine and then oil them or polish them with floor oil. Or maybe varnish. Then, every time you enter your house, you will enjoy the fresh smell of wooden floors. It's heavenly! (Here in Sweden everyone has wooden floors.) You can strew rugs here and there, especially during the winter, for a dash of colour and warmth...

    We have an insert for burning wood - smells gorgeous. But burning pellets is also popular over here - good for your personal economy and the environment. And a real stove can warm up the room really well!

    I want to see pictures of the stained glass windows!!!

    As for cat urine - ripping out the carpets will help. Opening all the windows. And by the time you've repainted, then you'll smell fresh paint and, I hope, wooden floors! Also - open all the windows and let the fresh air do the job.

    Failing all that, get some pegs for those noses of yours!


  6. It figures that my electricity would go out when you PURCHASED YOUR FIRST HOUSE!! Yay!!!

    As for vinegar and cat pee, I didn't have much luck with it. Maybe I had the wrong mixture, or something... but it just ended up smelling like vinegar and cat pee mixed together. I know veterinarians have special stuff that is supposed to take out the cat urine smell. I've never tried them, but you can always take them back if they don't work!

    Just by taking the carpet up and revealing the hardwood floors will up your home value.

    For painting, I recommend bhg.com (better homes & garden) You can test out color schemes there for bathroom, bedrooms, etc. I've also been watching A LOT of HGTV. They have so many good ideas about how to update your home on limited dough.

    I love the front of your house. The landscaping is a great start!

    I LOVE before-and-after pictures, so I hope you will at least post those type of pictures. But I'm all for the home-improvement projects posts too. I'll probably be doing the same when Mr. C and I start making our improvements!!

    Wow. This was a long comment. Whew.

    We're a lot alike, b/c I told Mr. C that I would be willing to buy a fixer-upper as long as it had the land we wanted. I'm all for gettin' down and dirty!!

  7. Before you rip up your carpet try and enzymatic carpet cleaner like Nature's Miracle on it. It might help some. If that doesn't work then I hope the hardwood underneath is in good shape for you guys.

    We have two dogs and the one that we adopted recently isn't good at giving us "outside" signals so our carpet cleaner has been a good investment.

  8. yeah the hardwood underneath..not sure what condition it is in, eventually we will refinish all the hardwood anyway. its all original flooring, and just that alone will improve our house a good deal.

    as for cleaning the carpet, we arent really interested. its filthy. we have a steam cleaner but i dont even want to try.

  9. My bf once remodeled a house that he called Chez Shithole. He and his brother were ripping out the ceiling and a whole load of raccoon poop came down on them.

    He dealt with that, but for some reason he has no idea how to get rid of cat pee smell. Useless! I'm sorry, Bekah!

    Don't you wonder how some people come up with certain color schemes? You will see the color of our bedroom here in London later today...

    But I bet you and Matt will have a blast fixing things up. Your house has GREAT bones. I can't wait to see what you guys do with it!


    Jen xx

  10. I'm with Jen all the way. I've been watching A LOT of HGTV and they have some great tips. In fact, you and Matt should totally sign up to be on one of those cool shows!

    Looking at your pictures makes me appreciate the poor taste of the previous owners of our home. Yikes!

    I like to use Nature's Miracle for cat pee. I think you can get it at target. Use it before you use anything else though. It's the best I've found.

    The original wood flooring will help it tremendously!

    Weeeeee!!! I'm so excited for you two!!!!

  11. What is under the carpets? Because if it is concrete, use the concrete etching stuff, it will eradicate a lot of it. I did that and then used bleach, heavy bleach, and scrubbed the floor by hand....

    Hardwood floors, just have them refinished. It will make a huge wopping difference.

    I've dealt with both. Worked in both situations.


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