Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Announcing...The Hippest Home in the Cove!

Remember this picture from a few posts back?
Remember that I mentioned that the little community to the right of the steeple at the foot of the mountains was called Olympus Cove?

Well, we just bought the Hippest Home in Olympus Cove!

I know that is true; it said it was the Hippest Home In The Cove right on the top of the real estate flier!

And here in all it's winter splendor...our new 1954 Mid-century modern rambler.

Note the lamp post: the area has no street lights, each home has a lamp post instead.
That means the night time star gazing is going to be simply wonderful!

Well, what do you think? On the main level it's got a living room with fireplace, three bedrooms, dinette area off living room, eat in kitchen and full bath.

Downstairs in the walk out basement are three more bedrooms, a 3/4 bath, a family room with second fireplace and a "cold storage" rooms. And a laundry room.

(I really don't want a "laundry room". What I really want is a person who does laundry for me...in a room that I never have to go to...I can dream, can't I?)

Each floor has about 1,250 sq ft. We could easily just live on the main floor.
(If we didn't have to ever do laundry... dreaming here again.)

So checking my check list: The house is about 20 minutes from my work, 15 from Bernie's.

Has a two car garage.

Mountain view out the back?

Oh yeah...



The view from the back deck...Mt. Olympus. The wispy oak bare oak branches will be trimmed back later, of course.



View from the back, looking to the left.

The view up the street from the house.

Out front, and from bedroom window: view across the valley, and to the Great Salt Lake.

The sunset views are spectacular.

View of downtown, in fact a view of where I was downtown when I took that first picture of the snow covered mountains. I was tucked amidst the tall buildings.

The lake can be seen in the back ground, and the city lights at night are just beautiful.

As I kept saying as I was looking for houses: It is all about finding a view.

A view is something that can not be remodeled or renovated.

THIS house had VIEWS!

The house as it was when we first met in October. The owners had strings of lanterns along the typical wide eaves. Hip indeed!

I was pretty turned off by the ashlar cut sandstone rock facing; Bernie LOVED that detail.

It eventually grew on me too. Two chimneys...and a gray box between on the low pitched roof.

That's a swamp cooler, probably all that a house up in the mountains needs, but it is going to be removed, and we'll have central air conditioning instead. That should help the roof line look a little neater.

Notice the tall tree in the back? That is a rare (for the area) 80 foot tall sequoia. It is in the far back corner, away from the house. I have no idea how it got to SLC, but it is pretty darn special that it is growing in our yard.




The house had been empty for months. The vines were starting to take over. And the hedges are just begging to be trimmed.



At first I was quite mystified by the matching brick and mortar. Had they been painted?
No, it was considered quite "the thing" back in 1954 to have mortar that matched the bricks. Ohhh...designer touch!
(There is a Smurf blue brick house of the same era in the neighborhood that also has matching mortar. Amazing....I didn't know you could even make bricks that were blue!)

Well...you ready to go inside now?



Oh yes, another designer touch from 1954! And yes, this house actually was a designer house; it was custom built by a local architect, and was featured in the 1954 Salt Lake City Parade of Homes, an event that featured all the finest new homes in the area to be highlighted on a tour.

This house was built in addition #2 of the newly created Olympus Acres subdivision. Previously the area had just been a great place to go hiking.

Can you believe it...the Salt Lake City planning commission approved the creation of Olympus Acres on April 13, 1954.

I was born the very next day!

We have a copy of the promotional materials for the 1954 Parade of Homes. This house was selling for an amazing $24,000. Two years later my parents built a custom house in San Diego; it cost them $17,000.

This "hip" house had all the great new features, including a balcony, tile floors and TWO fire places! And "pink mortar and red brick."

La-de-DAH!



The front door really is a big deal.
A business in Austin has just begun to replicate the classic Mid Century Modern front doors. Apparently people are beginning to appreciate the signature styles of the post WWII era houses, and needed appropriate doors for their mid century houses.

I am so pleased that our door is a unique ORIGINAL front door! The retro door company doesn't have anything as cool as this!
The house had a wood and glass storm door over this door, it kind of hides the great details. I think that is a bit of a shame.

(If you are thinking there is something vaguely familiar about that last picture, you are right. I had posted it during my house hunting posts.)

Well, come on inside and take a look around.


The living room fireplace, which is at right angle to the picture window.
The yellow paint has GOT to go.
Last night we were planning on lighting the gas log and enjoying a glass of bubbly together to celebrate, but we discovered the gas valve is INSIDE the fire place. How on earth do you reach inside to turn it off once the fire is going?
And B. realized he hadn't had the chimney inspected yet. There could be a raccoon living up in there for all we know...we decided to postpone having a fire until we were sure we wouldn't accidently burn the place down.
(And yes, I had posted this picture before too...)



The real estate flyer said the house had custom designer finishes. Two tone paint!
This is the area just beyond the living room with the fireplace. It is called a "dinette" in 50's
style house lingo.

Ranches almost always had a sliding glass door at just this exact place. You can literally see right through the house from the front the picture window! This door will be getting replaced with a double paned wood framed slider soon.

Don't you love the oak floors? They will be getting refinished; the contractor has already happily pointed out that they are in beautiful condition, little will need to be "fixed", but I will need to decide what color to have them stained as the bedrooms and the living room and hall way stains don't currently match.

If you look carefully you can see one of the two pocket doors that lead into the kitchen; one from the dinette, and the other in the hallway.



Through the sliding door to the deck. This is where I fell in love with this house.
I plan to live on the deck, staring out at the mountains, watching birds playing in the trees, enjoying the garden growing below.



Yesterday the deck was covered with snow, yet the sun shone warmly there too. We could see rabbit trails in the garden snow.


The huge tree (ash?) shades the deck in summer, and had gorgeous golden leaves in the autumn. I first saw the tree when it was still green. Then visited again a few weeks later, when it had turned color. Now the tree is bare, but I hope we will be in the house to live when the leaves begin to unfurl in spring.

A night view from the deck...you can just barely see the full moon in the sky.

Back in through the kitchen door (which also has a window) that is accessible from the deck. Won't that be handy for barbecues?

I'll bet you remember this house now! Oh yes....the house with the wild red kitchen!
Metal cabinets...back in the '50s they were considered "the thing" to have; wood was not quite as "modern". Then there was some rethinking, and wood fronts were put on metal frames, like this kitchen.

I did not care about all that. All I cared about was the pop out "eat in" space that looked out to the trees and the mountain. A cup of cocoa and good conversation at the kitchen table on a snowy day while baking something that smells wonderful...ahhhh. Bliss!

The color actually makes me quite happy. The old style kitchen is fine with me...but eventual resale sensibility requires that we take advantage of B.'s GE employee discount and get new appliances and renovate the whole kitchen. The tile floor will be replaced to oak to match the rest of the house. I am still undecided what style and color cabinets I will have, but we ordered all the appliances last night. Including a wine cooler...

(MY idea of a perfect kitchen renovation is a Mennonite Girl somewhere who brings over food as needed from HER kitchen. I would turn my own kitchen space into a hat salon and tea room where friends would gather and try on hats and sip tea or wine all day, enjoying conversation and books. Why should this not be possible? It seems perfectly logical to me...)


The kitchen does have gas, but I decided I wanted a GE Profile style stainless steel smooth surface electric free standing double oven. We'll have to sell this old one.



I liked the metal trim on the original white kitchen counter tops. While usually a sink with no window is not desirable, I don't mind; the dirty dishes will just be popped into a dishwasher anyway.

The second pocket door is just to the right of the dishwasher. It leads to the hallway.



Kitchen door is first door on the left, and the bathroom is just beyond that, and a small hall closet too.

On the other side of the hallway, (the front of the house side),the first door is the opening to the basement stair case, then there are two bedroom doors. The back door one is the master bedroom, the front will be used as our office.

At the end of the hall is the door to the third bedroom, which will be the guest room. It has amazing views!

First room, to become the office.
Love those "hip" beaded curtains!



Master bedroom, in the front of the house. I don't like master bedrooms in front, because I hate to have to mess with pulling curtains whenever I change. Nicely the front windows are so high up all you could see is my head anyway unless you were standing outside right next to it.

Yes...the two tone paint will be going....I think.

A single six foot long closet to share. We have been sharing a six foot closet in the apartment for the last four months; we CAN do this...
(and use the closets in the other five bedrooms for rarely used or seasonally used clothes)


The guest room with the current new thing: removable carpet squares. Only these don't "stick" like the old ones used to.


The original upstairs bathroom across from the master bedroom. Love the glass block window and letter box window to vent the room!

I LOVE it, and I would have left it just as it is but the tub had been refinished with epoxy, as had the tiles, which were in perfect condition with a very interesting wavy surface design, but they were ashy pink with gray trim.

I wouldn't have minded having a pink bathroom. I would happily have taken the pledge and joined the cause to Save the pink bathrooms!

But as it is, epoxy on a tub will not hold up, so we will be getting a new tub, sink, and taller toilet (better for older knees...), heated flooring and new tiles, color to be determinded later.

So now you have seen upstairs. Let's head down stairs shall we?



Jeff LOVES this three sided wood burning fireplace. Cozy!

I love the bead board walls, hate the current white on top and dark black brown on the bottom paint job that the other walls currently sport. I would happily spend today painting it RIGHT NOW!

The door on the left leads to a bedroom we will use as a sunroom, the door on the other side leads to a hallway with a bathroom, small bedroom and laundry room with door that leads outside to the under the deck.
The stairs will be getting railing too by the way. The room will get new carpet and paint, the hall will get some kind of tile so trips to the bathroom from the garden hot tub won't result in wet carpeting worries.

The ALL ORIGINAL downstairs 3/4 bath. Love the sink with the overhanging lip.
Love the tiles!
Love the etched medicine cabinet mirror!
Won't be changing a thing in here except a new coat of paint on the walls.

The "sun room" which I hope will eventually hold my white glass front book cases, and white Etorp couch and chair and ottoman. If I am not to be found on the deck, at the kitchen table or by the upstairs fireplace, you can be sure I will be haning out in this room.

I like the white bead board....

Outside that door...the garden. The deck below will be where the Japanese soaking tub will be placed, from where we can enjoy a view of Mt. Olympus in relative privacy. The garden slopes down to an easement where seasonal runoff flows. Most months there will be stream in the garden, but we intend to put in a water feature too. Stay tuned for more about that later.


Back inside. At the foot of the stairs is a door way that leads to the unheated cold storage room. I have no idea what exactly was the intent of a cold storage room, but I figure I can alway use it to store stuff, regardless of whether it needs to be cold or not.

The laundry room is pretty basic and unattractive right now, so I will spare you a shot of that. The other tiny bedroom off the hall is about 8 ft by 10 ft with one window looking out the back. I'm thinking it will be the sewing/hat room, but I am not sure...B. is eyeing it for a sauna room.

We have one more room to see.

Bedroom #6. It is entered by a right turn at the foot of the basement stairs.

I'm sure you will remember seeing THIS room before:

Oh yeah...and Marley is going to have to go too. It is a room that has only the one small window,and no heat; the only basement room that is fully underground. I will be putting most of the bloomin' 220 moving boxes in this room until I can get them unpacked, and then mostly using this room for storage.

Can you believe we bought the Hippest Home in the Cove?

Believe it!

We BOUGHT the Marly house! Oh my gosh. I would never have imagined such a thing.

Don't you just LOVE it though?

(I didn't at first; it took some getting used to. And lots and lots of reading and research about the style. Boy oh boy are there some really fun resources out there about 50's style houses!)

Now it is time to start imagining this house again. As it ought to be...a place for friends and family, with harmonious colors and sensible (yet fun) decore. We will meet with the contractor's foreman tomorrow to figure out the work flow for the renovations. The contractor says it all can be done in 45 days; we need to move in on Feb. 1.

The race is on.

Wish us luck! And start making plans to come visit us!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jill, I do love your new house. We were born the same year, probably in the same county (San Diego), and I also rejected those tract homes for a long time. Right now I am living in a small ranch (a rental) built in 1955, and I love the simplicity of it. Congratulations on your new home and its beautiful setting. May it be blessed in all ways. That cold storage room, by the way, was for the year's supply of food; you know, all the fruits, vegetables, and meats you have canned, the eggs gathered and stored in the proper medium, the root vegetables, the apples and winter squashes. . .Debbie

Anonymous said...

We are so happy for you both!! The house is great and I know you will do wonderful things to make it even more beautiful!! I was so happy to read you are going to put a railing on those stairs! You can store all your canning and winter food storage in your cold room, some thing else from the 50's and earlier. It's good to sense happiness and excitement as I read your blog, Jill. A great start to a new year. HAPPY NEW YEAR. Love you both. mom, S

Cristina - madhatter wannabe said...

Happy New Year! It's wonderful to have you as a friend!

Your new home looks absolutely amazing, I think it has been worth the wait!

By the way... so many rooms... have you decided which one will be your millinery workroom? I'm curious!

Lin said...

I love the house! Hate to say it, but I love the Marley room, too. I wouldn't get rid of it, myself, but that's because I live in a guitar-loving family that wouldn't think of it.

My favorite part of the house is the upper deck. I would live out there with the upper view. I would probably live as if there were only one floor, though, since I really hate stairs. Whenever we have stairs, I go up...and stay up, or vice versa. I plant myself on one floor or the other.

I was born just under a year after you in March. I really am stuck loving '50-early '60's era ranch homes. One of my favorite features is the way they do sprawl. It keeps one from being claustrophobic.

Enjoy your new home! I can see that you will have lots of happy times in this home. It really is beautiful.

Julie said...

Ohh .. I love your attitude, Jill.. and I love your house too. The views alone would have sold me. As you said renovations can always happen..views cannot!
There are soo many features about your new home that promise it to be a perfect haven!
And old houses have character... just like.. hmmmmm.. how come the house is considered 'old' but you are not ?? smile..seriously .. I love that the house was 'new' when you were ! so special!
Some of your pics didn't open.. I was disappointed.
I will be eagerly watching the process of turning a house with promise into a home with warmth!

Your New Year has a perfect start to it ! May it all be Happy for YOu !!

running wildly said...

Congrats on your new purchase! I am thrilled you are so thrilled!!!!!! It truly is lovely. What an exciting adventure you've just embarked.

Janel said...

The house is wonderful! Congratulations on finally settling down. ;) hehe

Enjoy & happy remodeling.

Islandsparrow said...

I'm so glad you found your new house - it has such a gorgeous view - I can just imagine sitting on the deck looking out over that beautiful garden to the mountains. Congratulations!!

Anonymous said...

What a great house Jill! I grew up in a house very similar (born in Dec. '53) and my Dad was a building contractor, so I'm pretty familiar with that era of houses.

I love the window in the kitchen, and the deck is fantastic with those awesome views. I'm sure with your planned renos and your own furniture, it's going to look and feel very homey.

Good luck with the renovations and all the choices you will be making. I hope it finishes on time!

Lori T

PS We recently got new appliances and I have the exact same stove! (LOVE it)

Lovella said...

Jill, it was so wonderful to take time to savour this post. . . there is a movie on in the background but I was completely lost in the tour .. .I love it. . you chose well and God has blessed your determination to wait upon Him. . .I'm so thrilled for you and Bernie. .
It has such wonderful features, I am so taken with those bathrooms for some reason or other. . .and I must confess I see myself sitting on that deck with you . .and popping some wonderful baked things in that new double oven your kitchen will be sporting..
I will start tomorrow to go shopping so that I will have enough points to travel to Salt Lake City . .. so that I too may enjoy all those wonderful views from the hippest house in SLC . .and perhaps the whole of USA.

Lovella said...

Jill, it was so wonderful to take time to savour this post. . . there is a movie on in the background but I was completely lost in the tour .. .I love it. . you chose well and God has blessed your determination to wait upon Him. . .I'm so thrilled for you and Bernie. .
It has such wonderful features, I am so taken with those bathrooms for some reason or other. . .and I must confess I see myself sitting on that deck with you . .and popping some wonderful baked things in that new double oven your kitchen will be sporting..
I will start tomorrow to go shopping so that I will have enough points to travel to Salt Lake City . .. so that I too may enjoy all those wonderful views from the hippest house in SLC . .and perhaps the whole of USA.

Vicki said...

The friends that we just returned from visiting (New Year's Eve/Day) had just moved into their newly remodeled home. They have the identical stove that you're getting. She loves it, although she hasn't used the convection oven feature yet.

I'm glad to see more photos and hear about your plans for the rooms. Before you have Marley painted over, you should get a really good photo of him and have it framed. I think it would be a great conversation piece when you're showing off your fantastic "new" home.

From age 7 until I married, I lived in a previously-owned ranch home that was built in 1961. It was the largest home in the planned subdivision with 4 bedrooms...and only one bathroom...and we thought it was a mansion. Keep in mind, besides my parents, there were five of us kids all sharing that single bathroom.

I can't wait to visit you in your new home...and I'm looking forward to seeing SLC.

Sara said...

This was great fun to take the tour with you. You are right about that yellow wall - it so clashes with the beautiful fireplace...I love that brick. My grandmother had a fireplace with that same stone.

Very cool indeed. The deck is fantastic...and, star gazing did you say? I'm green with envy...how I would LOVE to gaze at the stars and actually SEE them!

I notice they even tiled the window sill in the downstairs bathroom - love it.

Thanks for letting us into your new home...now the fun begins and I'm looking forward to the "during" and "after" photos!

Congratulations on your new home...it's wonderful.

Kate said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh lovely! Can't wait to see what you do with all of it. It's going to be a grand home. I'm coming to visit to soak in that Japanese tub and drink in the view (with perhaps a Silk Stocking Cocktail?). Congratulations! Have fun making it your own.
Kate Q:-)

Becky said...

Oh, my! What can I say to further your visions and dreams? I love the back yard and views!!! I agree, views are to be treasured. I so enjoy just staring out my windows. You have lots of work ahead of you but I am sure your organizational brilliance will make it a time of adventure rather than loathsome. Praying that as you build your house, it becomes your home!

Ladygrande (Texas Marie) said...

I love it! And such a grand tour....can't wait to see it completed.

Judy said...

I see I have missed out on all the excitement...but would like to pass along my congrats on your house purchase. It is great! It looks like it has been well preserved...and the setting is beautiful!

Have fun with all the reno's...and maybe once it's all done, some 'mennonite girl' will pop by with fresh baked goodies for the housewarming!!

Melody said...

I just found your blog. Your new place looks a lot like our new place in a lot of ways. Ours is in Indiana though. Same year too.