House Tour: Our “Old” Craftsman

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I’ve referenced this house before, so I thought it was about time I dusted off the old photos and put it out there for all to see.  Here’s the story…

I was living in my first home which happened to be on a beautiful street in my dream neighborhood, Hyde Park in Austin, Texas.  I loved my home, but it was small and was becoming dysfunctional with my growing impatience with roommates and garage apartment tenants.  Plus, with it being my first home, the mortgage was a killer with my teeny downpayment and the 7.5% interest rate that was normal way back in those days (2002).  In a stroke of amazing luck, the opportunity to buy an over-sized lot a block up the street came our way and without blinking an eye, my parents bought it as lot inventory for their company and later sold it to me.  I never would have been able to jump at this opportunity and would have missed our so that was my second stroke of amazing luck.

My love for the neighborhood, old homes, and all things craftsman coupled with my need for my next home, my desire for my dream home, and the dream of designing my first home from scratch (previously, I’d only designed remodels).  I partnered with an architect and created this home as a throwback to the neighborhood’s 1920-1940’s charm with modern amenities.  I wanted it to be authentic and based the floor plan off of the basic four square design popular in the neighborhood’s era.  I made the rooms a little larger, the ceilings a little higher, and included more bedrooms than was typical between the wars, but kept with the prevalent materials like hardwoods and simple tiles.

There was a small, original home that had to be moved on the lot already.  Many neighborhood purists threw words and literally things my way for moving the home, but it was an asbestos-sided 700sf home in need of more repairs than I could invest into a home situated oddly on nearly 2 lots.  Ultimately, we found that the opportunity to build a lasting home from scratch in the craftsman style of the neighborhood was a benefit to the neighborhood as well as to my dream.  The small home was not torn down.  Instead, it was bartered to someone who appreciated it and was able to have it moved to his lot a few miles away where it fit quite nicely.

In the end, my life situation took a huge and unexpected detour and I ended up selling the home a few years later to a large family already in the neighborhood who, like me, loved old homes but yearned for modern treats… like a dishwasher, double-paned windows, and a laundry room.  I’m proud of how my first “from scratch” home turned out.  I only wish I could have better furnished it since at the time I was still in my early-to-mid-20’s and was still living with mostly hand-me-down and displaced-by-family furniture.  I did win an award for the master suite design – my first design award!  And now, I’ll STFU and show you the photos!

4608AG2008-09 222The front exterior blends in with the period homes with custom wood shutters and a reproduction front door with a transom window.  Unlike period homes, you can see the over-sided 2-car garage peeking out from the side of the house.

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4608AG2008-09 231 4608AG2008-09 2334608AG2008-09 243 Pst… recognize that bed?  It’s now painted and in Chloe’s room.

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