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Open thread: Did you “Listen to your house” before making any changes?

evaxebraHere’s a fun one for a Friday: As an owner of an old house… did you take the tried and true advice to “listen to what your house says it wants” before making updates or remodels?

  • If so: What did your house tell you — and how did that affect your plans?
  • Flip side: Did you not take the time to listen to your house… and make a rash decision you later regretted?

It’s pretty clear what the fabulous evaxebra’s old apartment was telling her: Don’t you dare mess with the pink bathroom!

  1. KStacey says:

    I JUST bought a ming green American Standard sink (the deluxe ‘projecting’ model) at a salvage yard! $25, looks like it was taken out of a bathroom nobody ever used. The one thing they ripped out of both bathrooms was the guest bath sink, replacing it with a Hope Depot honey oak horror. At least the vanity counter was separate, and they left the Wilsonart ‘marble’ alone!

    If you keep looking, it will find you!

  2. Tommy Knappenberger says:

    If you want to have a little fun with your long bell chime, if it is the four tube Westminster type, you can rearrange the tubes so that it will play “How dry I am”

  3. Ronda Matlow says:

    I answered mine immediately too. The counters, stove top, and oven were installed for someone very tall. I am only five feet. Reaching to use a back burner over a hot front burner, or standing on a stool to use the counters could be dangerous.

  4. Kari says:

    When we purchased our 1954 split-level in ’07, the original plan was to “update” and make the home eco-friendly with bamboo, recycled glass counters etc. Previous owners had done a 90’s re-muddle. We had a lot of exterior & mechanical renovations that needed to be done 1st. Fortunately in the interim we found this website, re-imagined our plan & with the help of Craigslist, eBay, our local architectural salvage warehouses & demo sales we are bringing it back to its original glory. Our small yellow master bathroom was recently featured here on RR.

  5. Heidi E. says:

    My previous home was built in 1924. I remember walking around for days with the words “Peonies!” and even more bizarrely, “Peony Paper” seemingly shouting into my head every time I tried to think of how to improve the living room. Eventually, I pulled down some cheap 70s fake wood panelling, and discovered the original lithographed wallpaper, which was indeed patterned with peonies. It was too damaged, and frankly a bit too gaudy to leave fully intact, but I was able to steam off and save a piece to put in a frame where it had originally been attached, which I called my “window to the past” and very much loved. Eventually I sadly had to leave there as the neighborhood deteriorated beyond recognition.

    My new home is not nearly so old, built in 1979/80 when I was a wee tot. It was painted inside entirely in bland flat white and beige that felt as if someone truly terrified of showing any color or personality lived here.

    While I never cared for much for yellow and orange shades before, I am convinced this kitchen (which, by the way is about the most functionally well-designed space for its size I have ever seen anywhere, and yet I got an extra good deal in part because the previous owner didn’t like it) is telling me it wants to be harvest gold and burnt orange and damn the torpedoes, but it will let me have black iron accents ( goth girl at heart forever, me), so at least we’re going to get along there. 🙂

  6. Donna J says:

    When a leak required a whole bathroom makeover, I went back to the origins of my 1923 craftsman-adobe style house (which had a remodeled 1960s vintage peach tile look). Pedestal sink, white subway & hexagon tiles, lots of white with black trim and accents. I’m in love with it and it finally feels like the bathroom “goes with” the rest of the house. Now to tackle that 1970s add-on kitchen … Hmmm

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