This is the same tour we take everyone on the first time they come see us in our new digs, so please do come in and enjoy...
When visiting our home, you'll find our little yellow house among rows of other brick town homes in the Fan district of Richmond, VA. It's currently one of the few on our street without the original front porch — something we hope to restore way down the road if it pans out. The house was built in 1912 and has been entered into the historic register here in Richmond. We have double front storm doors with large panes of glass, where you will most likely always find Basil, our dog, there to greet you as you come in.
Be warned, the remainder of these almost 120 home tour photos are pretty shaky, poorly lit, and all around less than stellar. I took them pretty rushed as we were first getting in and was still using our macro lens instead of the kit lens that came with our camera, which allows for much better panning out and full room views (thanks for teaching us how to use it, Kelly). All of the images I got are pretty choppy and don't really illustrate full rooms, but I did want to document what the home looked like in its first state before we really began to move in.
Also, we're keeping it super real in these shots — stuff thrown everywhere as we literally brought carfuls of belongings over and just tossed them about. All the window treatments, finishes, and hardware are as we found them when moving in, so we'll have fun updating those elements as we go along. So thanks for bearing with us on these initial shots — we're looking forward to sharing updated photos of how things progress along in much larger and more easily viewable formats.
When you come through the front doors, you're greeted by a front entry hallway that looks straight up our front staircase and gives a big open view of the rooms on the main floor. In this view, directly to the left of the entry is our front parlor (we keep calling it our paaaawwwlaa with our best southern drawls), followed by an open family room, then our kitchen.
Here we are in the next room, the family room looking back into the front parlor:
Standing in the family room, looking back at the front hall (parlor behind that wall to the right):
Views into the kitchen and back of the house from the family room:
From the family room, you walk into the largest room on the main floor — the kitchen. We love this part of the house since most kitchens in these types of homes would have been in the back room of the house. This one has been updated and brought into the heart of the home. The photo directly below was taken about a week into living here but gives a wider, less choppy view, of what the kitchen looks like:
The light in the kitchen is unbeatable for these Fan type homes. There are three bay windows shining light into the room, which makes for great food photos when Tim's cooking. The kitchen has a tall island, gas stove with 5 burners (something Tim's been wanting for a long time), and lots of storage.
As you continue walking towards the back of the home, just beyond the kitchen is a smaller hallway which we think could work well as a mudroom of sorts. From this little space are two doors — one leading into the half bath downstairs and the other leading down to our partial unfinished storage basement:
Behind door number one, you'll find the downstairs bathroom:
Behind door number two, you'll find our slightly scary but great for storage basement.
The basement currently houses the less-than-desirable-looking (but fully functional) washer and dryer, along with a retired boiler, old storage shelves, and a door to our back patio. This space needs a lot of work, but for now it will serve as great storage and the temperature down there is just perfect for storing wine.
The room behind the area we are calling the mudroom is what will be our dining room and the very back room of the house on the main floor. Neither Tim nor I are big fans of the marble floor (or purple walls), but these are of course things that can be changed over time.
It's a large room with two windows looking into the back yard. We are currently using this room to literally catch everything we bring over or want to get rid of in one place.
The back yard is a small but workable space, mainly covered in bricks. It looks out to our separate garage, and then back to the house. You'll notice decking and stairs that we think were used as a second entry or fire escape when the house used to be a duplex. Down the road we think we'd like to do something all together different with this decking, but for now it's great for getting outside from the upstairs and we think it will serve as a nice aid in our vertical gardening plans.
The back patio leads to our detached garage. We were thrilled the house came with a "carriage house" since so many were sold off from the original homes over time. Right now we are using it for storage and for off street parking of course. We hope to create some more creative storage solutions and possibly make a dual workshop in there.
Here you are looking to the back of the house as you come up the front stairs:
If you turn around, you can see back down into the front hall and straight ahead into the master bedroom at the front of the house.
Let's go to the front of the house and work our way back from there. The master is along the full front width of the home, has two large windows looking out the front, a functioning door out the front (where we think you would have been able to step out on that front porch), another fireplace, a deep closet, and a bathroom within the master.
Here's a view out that front doorway and a look at the pull down door into the attic (that big blue rope has got to go).
More views of the master and a peek into the small bathroom with lots of shelving and a stand up shower:
When we turn back around and head back into the upstairs hallway, to your direct left there is another small room before you hit that big green room (you can barely see the doorway in this shot to the left in front of the other doorway):
This small room is directly connected but walled off from the master. The previous owners were using it as a nursery. We're thinking it could make a great office, studio, or even a walk-in closet/dressing room. Way down the road we are hoping to bring the walls back down between these two front rooms to join them up and possibly create an upstairs laundry area between the two.
It's hard to imagine from the photos, but the closet in this room and the closet in the master are side by side — so these walls should be easy to break down in the future. This charming little room also has a fireplace and a big window, which we just love.
Next up on the tour is the main bedroom after the master on the second floor. It also has those big beautiful bay windows you saw down in the kitchen, a closet with nice vertical storage, and it's own doorway into the guest bathroom.
This brings us to the upstairs full guest bath, which if you are a regular reader, might remember views of when Tim's dad helped us open up that painted shut medicine cabinet on the left wall. We love this bathroom and although it could use some minor upgrades and paint, we think it's got tons of character.
Walking out of the guest bath from the hall door (pictured below directly on the left), leads you to the very back room of the upstairs (it's right over the dining room if that helps orient you).
In this back room, you'll recognize the top of that rear staircase, two big windows looking out into the backyard, a couple built-in bookcases and light fixtures, it's own closet, and a doorway leading out back.
That's my dad sweeping up the back patio when we were first getting in the home, hey dad! This stairwell comes in handy in the middle of the night if Basil needs to "go outside." Instead of having to walk all the way downstairs, we can just let him out from the upstairs.
Now you've had the grand tour — thanks for hanging in there with us. Anyone that's made it this far deserves a prize! You can see we've got a lot of work ahead of us to make it ours, but we're still at the stage where the thought of all that work is exciting and not yet overbearing. We're planning to just take our time, enjoy it, and share bits and pieces along the way.
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UPDATES: Now that we've been in our new house for over 1 month, here's a handy list of updates we've made along they way:
- We finally got around to painting over those bright red front parlor — see the results here.
- We painted the kitchen, hallway nook & downstairs half-bath — check it out here.
- We painted the family room and front hallway — see how it turned out here.
- We painted the dining room, hung curtains, and even got a new set of dining chairs.
- See the mini photo gallery and secretary desk hanging our in our front entryway.
- We upgraded the lights and window hardware in the downstairs half-bath.
- Find the new side table we made for our family room here and the coat rack we made for the family room here.
- Check out the school map we hung in our upstairs hallway.
- Outdoors, we added some giant wine barrel planters and installed trough planters along our top landing.
- Want a good look at everything under our kitchen sink?
- A few electrical updates.
- Updated register covers and more.
- Upgrading the upstairs guest bath shower head.