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Creating Functional Living Space in an Old Home

Christina Swain

Christina was born into real estate. She grew up watching her mother run a successful real estate business and she wanted to follow in her footsteps...

Christina was born into real estate. She grew up watching her mother run a successful real estate business and she wanted to follow in her footsteps...

Oct 20 4 minutes read

Everyone loves the charm and unique character of a farmhouse.  If you are thinking about purchasing an old home search our inventory of old homes for sale in Bucks County or Montgomery County.   The features an old house has to offer are striking from the old stone exterior to the pine wide plank flooring.  Yet, it may not be functional for today's homeowner which is what hurts the value of many old homes.  Years ago the rooms were smaller, ceilings were lower, closets weren't deep,  and the number of bathrooms was often less than desirable.  Over the years many homeowners have renovated and tried to bring many of these homes to the functional standards of todays living.  Join us on our journey as we make our old house functional for today's living while keeping the charm and character of yesteryear.

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For our first project we removed the wall dividing the living room and dining room.  Both rooms were small.  In fact, it was a turn off to me when purchasing the home that when you walked in the front door you entered a small living room with a wall immediately on your right.  It did not feel specious nor open.  The living room offers many custom built ins with charm yet, leaving little room for a sofa and TV. 



The stone fireplace is the centerpiece of the dining room but it is small with just enough room for a table.



Our thoughts are if you remove the wall that divides the rooms you will be left with a large functional open space for entertaining.  Which as an expert realtor, I know adds value to the home.  So lets go for it and figure it out!


Taking the wall down presented some questions.  Will there be anything in the wall?  The living room ceiling is a textured plaster whereas the dining room has exposed beams.  How to we blend that and make it look natural?  What will the floor look like?  There are wide plank pine floors in both rooms, but what is the condition of the floors under the walls?




All those questions were answered after two evenings of plaster removal.  It was neat to see how the wall was constructed with old wide wood planks which they nailed the wood lath to for the plaster.  

Luckily, it went smoothly and there weren't many surprises!  A small portion of the wall had to be left leading into the sunroom as some of the plumbing pipes ran up the wall to the 2nd floor.  There was some older hidden electric in the wall which we updated and relocated.  The floor was in good condition, we sanded it down and identified a matching stain.  



Next, was the big question...  How do we transition the two ceilings?   We looked at it for several days and tossed around some ideas.  Finally it came to us!  Let's reclaim and repurpose the planks of wood that were in the wall and cut them for trim.  It worked seamlessly.  

Next, came the paint.  The living room was a light blue shade and the dining room was a beige.  We needed to blend these rooms and make them look like one.  Our goal with the paint color was to lighten up the rooms and make them look larger as both those elements add value to your home.  

Wow what a difference the paint makes.  The room looks uniform.  Now when you walk in the front door you see many of the homes selling features sprawled out before your eyes.  

Be on the look out. Next week we will update you as the work continues.  

Old Homes For Sale

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