Hey, I mentioned that…

Hey, I mentioned that the house we're putting in an offer on is a Victorian, right? It needs some fixing up work urgently (radiators / electrical / plumbing). Plus, we'll quite possibly want to do some addition work in a year or so, when infant is older and once we've lived in the house for a while to get a sense of what we really do like and not like about the space. I think it may be big enough for us as is, but Kevin isn't as sure. There are various relatively minor bump-out options (attic dormers and the like), some moving of interior walls options, as well as the possibility of a serious two-story addition. Eep.

To that end, I've started reading Victorian renovation blogs -- so far, I'm immersed in the archives of The Petch House. If anyone else reads this kind of thing and has recommendations for blogs -- or recommendations for good renovation or decorating books or tv shows -- let me know, okay? Thanks!

Oh, and if it helps fine-tune the recommendations, we're definitely not planning to DIY for the addition part of it, or for any major renovations. I love the idea of DIY, and even enjoy the process (and of course the savings), but a) we don't have the time in the next few years, and b) we don't have the experience for such huge projects. If this happens (we should know if we get the house by Tuesday), we'll be looking for an architect to consult with and a good general contractor to oversee the entire project. (If you know of great ones in Oak Park, PLEASE let me know.)

But I'm happy to read DIY blogs; they help me get a sense of the process. And also remind me that I really don't want to spend the next year stripping paint all day, every day. :-)

Some of the home renovation/decorating books I've already read and liked:

  • Domino: The Book of Decorating (a little modern, but good all-around reference)
  • Indian Interiors (Taschen) (gorgeous book of a variety of fancy and humble Indian homes and other spaces)
  • More Period Details (lots of helpful specifics for fireplaces, fences, hinges, etc. and so on; I like seeing twenty different fireplaces next to each other to compare styles)
  • New Rooms for Old Houses (great book on aesthetically pleasing additions to old houses, done by the National Trust for Historic Preservation)
  • The New Traditional (he's over-fond of white walls, but helpful in considering options to traditional over-the-top Victoriana -- actually shares a lovely pared-down aesthetic with many of the interiors in the Taschen book)
  • Perfect Neutrals: Color You Can Live With (beautiful neutrals in greens, blues, red, pinks, oranges, purples -- with swatches and specific paint references; really helpful if you want color, but don't want dark walls)

5 thoughts on “Hey, I mentioned that…”

  1. No book recommendations, but do research being your own general contractor. I was reading up on that with respect to a possible renovation, and I think it’s definitely manageable. It’s just an administrative job. Lots of organizing, lots of phone calls, lots of cat herding, and it saves you a ton of money.

  2. Have you posted pictures of the latest house? I have been following your saga with interest.
    You and Kevin are far tougher than I am. By this point, I would have given up and moved under a bridge.

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