The Big News…

I cruelly left my last post with a big teaser and then promptly disappeared for nearly two months!  It wasn’t intentional but sometimes these things do happen.

Anyway, the big news is we’re moving!  But not to worry we aren’t going far.  Just next door in fact.  This past July we signed the papers to purchase the three acre plot next door to our property.  It features a one-hundred-year-old, charming house that is perfectly situated on top of a hill surrounded by trees, it also has a very large shop, a gorgeous view off the back of the property and… lots of junk.  So much junk; inside and out and all over the property.  Did I mention that it happens to be the neighborhood eyesore?
The Hill House | InAnOrchard

But nothing that a lot of hard work won’t fix.  Really if you can look past all the abandoned cars and piles of rubble, it’s a gem of a home and the sweetest little setup anyone could ever wish for.  It’s on a hill for crying out loud!  For those of you who aren’t familiar with our area, we live in a giant valley.  It’s flat everywhere.  When I drive over the freeway overpass my kids get excited, that’s how flat it is around these parts.

Needless to say we have a lot of work ahead of us and we alternate between feeling so excited and feeling so overwhelmed.  But I thought I’d give you a brief tour of the house (soon I hope to post pictures of the property and shop).  These picture s were all taken over a month ago so things have already changed but for now they will have to do!

So, lets begin with the font door.  You walk in through this charming front door which I’m hoping to keep and paint a fun color (maybe yellow?).  I like all the carvings and the oval glass; I think it really fits the house.

The Hill House | InAnOrchard

This is the view you are greeted with; the living room area and a view of the staircase.  The doorway at the bottom of the stairs leads to a small bedroom, and the doorway to the right of picture is the downstairs bathroom. There was a lot of stuff left in the house when the previous owners relocated.  If you can believe it these pictures don’t show half of the stuff that was left behind.The Hill House | InAnOrchard

Still standing at the front door, if you look to your right, you will see what will eventually be our dining area, the kitchen, and the walk-in pantry.The Hill House | InAnOrchard

The kitchen was gutted before we took over the house; it was an edition that for some reason includes an indoor fire-pit??  As much as the boys are lobbying to keep the indoor fire-pit I think it will be one of the first things to go.  Obviously we’re starting from scratch here in the kitchen (actually every room in the house is from scratch) so there are a lot of big decisions to make here.  Because the home is older and has a farmhouse feel to it, we’d like to keep that look as we update the whole house.

The Hill House | InAnOrchard

That is the side door that leads out to a rundown garage.  The very large, convenience store fridge has since been moved and the entire kitchen is empty. The Hill House | InAnOrchard

This is the downstairs bathroom, which the previous owner had begun to redo but hadn’t made very much progress by the time he decided to move.  It’s decent sized but long and narrow which is proving to be a little challenging as far as layout is concerned.The Hill House | InAnOrchard

This is the downstairs bedroom that is right off the base of the staircase.  Initially this room seemed like it was in the best shape and would require the least amount of work but as we were taking out the flooring we noticed some water damage behind the bead-board so all of that had to come down. The Hill House | InAnOrchard

The kids love this hand-carved heart light switch so I think it will stay. The Hill House | InAnOrchard

Here we go up the narrow staircase.  The Hill House | InAnOrchard

Directly to the left of the stairs is the very large,and very scary upstairs bathroom.  This is a space that has loads of potential but it’s going to take a lot of work to unlock that potential.  While the bathroom is large, the huge window and low ceilings are tricky to plan around.  Where to put the shower, and the vanity, and the mirrors?  How do we create and maximize much needed storage?
The Hill House | InAnOrchard

The large picture window will have to go.  Who puts a giant window in their upstairs bathroom anyway??  We’re kicking around the idea of dividing this room in two, but we’ll see.The Hill House | InAnOrchard

From the bathroom you can see the length of the upstairs hallway.The Hill House | InAnOrchard

Sections of the hallway walls were removed to install builtin storage.  Those will need to be designed and installed.The Hill House | InAnOrchard

This is the largest bedroom in the house and was meant to be a master bedroom.  Justin and I considered using it for our room, but it’s not connected to a bathroom and it’s upstairs in “kid central”.  In the end we decided to have the girls share this room.  There are a lot of skylights in this room, which are sort of nice because they let more light in the room, but they create a LOT of heat for a westward facing room.  Still trying to decide what we want to do with the skylights.
The Hill House | InAnOrchard

Directly across the hall is a second bedroom that will become J’s room.  It has a small closet and a window that faces east.  I love the charm of the upstairs bedroom.  All the cozy nooks and corners.The Hill House | InAnOrchard

The Hill House | InAnOrchard

At the end of the hall is the third and last bedroom which will be G’s room.  This window faces the front of the property.  The upstairs bedrooms are all in pretty good shape.  Painting, framing the windows, and adding trim are the extent of the work that needs to be done to those rooms.  The Hill House | InAnOrchard

Heading back downstairs there are three doorways at the very center of the house.  The middle door leads the back the house.The Hill House | InAnOrchard

I love this little builtin cupboard and I think it will look really nice painted.  The shelves are shallow so it’s not practical from a storage stand point but they add character (which is important!).
The Hill House | InAnOrchard

I think this back room was at one point the kitchen, but we’re going to use it as a laundry room/sewing room.  At first I wanted to keep some of the cupboards but as we started really looking at them, we realized they aren’t quality cabinets and rodents had been living in them for the last year….so out they came.
The Hill House | InAnOrchard

This is the same room looking out to the hallway that leads to the living room.The Hill House | InAnOrchard

The ceiling is paneled with old wooden drying racks and I actually really love the look.  I’d like to take them down and give them a little TLC, maybe some whitewashing before we rehang them?  Maybe I’m crazy but I also like this lamp shade.  I think I could work with it; do a little paint and fabric makeover.   The Hill House | InAnOrchard

Most of the doors and hardware seem to be original to the house and I’d like to keep as many of them as I can salvage.The Hill House | InAnOrchard

Sorry this next picture is so blurry, it was getting steadily darker and my camera was having trouble focusing.  This is another hallway that connects the “sun room” to the rest of the house.  The sun room is and addition to the house and is in rough shape.The Hill House | InAnOrchard

It’s got potential but it need so much work inside and out.  We’d like to eventually convert this into a master bedroom/bathroom suite but for now Justin and I will use the small downstairs bedroom.The Hill House | InAnOrchard

I love the beams and the vaulted ceiling!  I think this could be a really lovely master bedroom with nice windows and a little sitting area.  Some place tucked in the back house to provide a little peace and quiet.The Hill House | InAnOrchardAnd that’s the house tour for now!  I can already tell that it’s going to be a challenge to keep up with the house progress but I will try to be better about doing house posts (posts in general!).

I can’t wait to see this house take shape and have it feel more like a home and less like a construction zone ;)

Thanks for coming by, for your patience during quiet times here on the ol’ blog.

See you soon, April

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