Annnnnnd… we have a house!

We couldn’t be more excited about our new home.  The past several months leading up to closing were absolutely bonkers, and we almost didn’t buy it…  but that’s a post for another time.  Right now we just want to focus on giving this house the love and attention it’s needed for a long time, to bring it back to life.  It’s such a unique place, we keep pinching ourselves that it’s now ours and we get the chance to do right by it!

Let’s give you a quick tour and history of the place:

The house was built in 1957, custom-designed for a Philadelphia business owner who supplied appliances and furniture to bars and restaurants.

welcome home!

You can tell that he must have designed the place to do a lot of client entertaining at home; the open floor plan and massive back patio just beg to be filled with people drinking highballs and smoking.  😛

living roompatio

The family room (or “rumpus room” as we’ve started calling it) is what really got us when we first saw this place.  An entire wall of beautiful built-in cabinets, glossy wood paneling, and an amazing view of the backyard through the sliding doors.


The kitchen, back in 1957, must have been the height of modernity (especially given his business)…


More on the kitchen in another post, but to start, here’s a close-up of the fabulous ovens.  *drool*

love these ovens!

The amazing thing about this house is that the second owners (from whom we purchased the house) didn’t do anything to change it.  They purchased it in the ’80s, and in 30 years of living in it, they never made the effort to upgrade or customize anything in the entire place.  Which means it’s a total time capsule, with pretty much everything in the house original.  *squee*  I KNOW, RIGHT???

Except the bedroom, which got head-to-toe purple sponge-painted at some point.  That will definitely be going away.

master bedroom - eek!

The upside of having an untouched house is that we get to experience this home the way it was meant to be.  The downside is, while none of the decorative elements of the home have been updated, neither have the structural ones.  You can’t tell from the photos, but this place needs WORK.  So much needs to be fixed in order to keep it safe and livable — the roof, the electrical systems, the chimney, windows, years of hidden water damage, the list goes on.

The worst, though, is the SMOKE.  We don’t know if the original owners were regular smokers, but the second owners sure were. 30 years of chain smoking have taken their toll…  the entire house smells like a dirty, stale ashtray.  You walk in the door and the smell punches you in the face.  So our first order of business is getting rid of everything that’s holding onto those smoke particles — replacing the carpet and wallpaper, replacing the drapes, cleaning out the duct system, and scrubbing everything else that can be scrubbed.

This is the smoke residue from wiping just 6 inches of a door frame.  *gag*


We have a lot of work to do in the coming months, but we’re beyond excited.  It took us a long time to find our dream home, and we feel so lucky to be able to take care of such a gem.  As we go we’ll post all of the fun details of the house (OMG there are so many!) and a blow-by-blow of what we’re doing to bring it back to its glory.  We hope you’ll enjoy reading this as much as we’ll enjoy tracking our progress!

10 thoughts on “Annnnnnd… we have a house!

  1. This looks really amazing. I’m so happy for you guys!

    As a side note: what’s the gizmo in the wall behind Jack in the ‘smoke residue’ photo? Could it be an intercom?


  2. Brian C. says:

    When I saw the ovens, I first thought they were front-loading washing machines. What’s that metallic thing to the left of the ovens, dishwasher?


  3. Zabadu says:

    So is the stainless in the backsplash a warmer as well, or an intercom?

    Money saving idea: Don’t toss the drapes, have them all professionally dry cleaned!! Pinch pleated drapes are expensive!


    • Believe it or not, it’s a tinfoil dispenser!!!! One of these days we’ll do a whole post on the kitchen so we can show everyone all the fun little nooks and crannies… it’s full of fun surprises like that! 🙂

      We did have to throw out one set of drapes because they were just falling apart. But Jack’s dad did take the others to the dry-cleaner as a housewarming present to us… I’m hoping it was enough to remove the smoke smell and nicotine stains, otherwise you’re right, we have another expensive item on our to-do list…


      • Zabadu says:

        OMG OMG OMG! A built in dispenser? Oh yeah, you have to do a post about all that. Those are the things that are so incredibly special!!

        Well, replacing one set is better than all…cheaper-wise. The drapes are probably like everything else – they probably never open and closed them (or did all the time) and never thought “gee, let’s get these cleaned before they disintegrate!!”

        I can’t tell you how excited I am to watch what you do to this place. That literally is a home I would truly love to live in!


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