la marquise du sud (la_sherazade) wrote in quirksandsauce,
la marquise du sud

Hello there! I just wanted to introduce myself and our house. We are closing on a wonderful 1917 bungalow on Friday and couldn't be more excited! It's our first house and a bit of a fixer-upper, but we don't mind. I'm very interested in historic preservation, and the house hasn't been altered very much over the years, so I'm looking forward to trying to recreate some of the interior colors and decorating styles. There are four bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs and four rooms downstairs, plus a kitchen and bathroom that were added on to the back of the house (we think) in the 1930s. The front of the house has a full-length porch, which is good, because we live in North Carolina, and it gets quite hot here!
The house has some old-house issues: it needs to be rewired, some shingles need replacing, some of the window panes are cracked, and the bathroom downstairs (there's one upstairs, too) will need a completely new floor. But we are thrilled to have found a house with its original hardwood floors (carpeted in two rooms), original windows, and original mantels. Even the kitchen has its original cabinets and sink (the enamel kind with a high backsplash). The house sits between two businesses that were built around the same time. It is the only house on the block. Across from it is an old hosiery mill that is still in operation. (It's screened from the house by a row of mature trees.)
A few questions for you fellow old-house owners (or future owners)--
The floors in the house are currently stained or painted a very dark brown (upstairs) and painted a dark red (downstairs). I think we'd like to keep this color scheme rather than refinishing the floors. My impression is that houses in the 1920s quite often had painted floors. Does anyone have any advice, comments, or information on this?
We will need to paint the window frames quite soon after moving in (they are 4-over-1 style, with long thin panes on the top). A few of the windows appear to be painted shut. Does anyone have advice for dealing with this, or for painting old windows so that they don't get stuck?
At some point many of the ceilings (probably beadboard) were covered with square, white ceiling panels that I assume are stapled on. They have some discoloration in several rooms (old leaks). Has anyone had experience with these--can they be easily replaced? Can they be painted? Ideally, we'd like to take them down, but we're not quite sure what's behind them and don't want to get involved in too much renovation work, at least for the time being.
Finally, one of the bedrooms has fabulous ca. 1930/40 wallpaper--the kind made from real paper, not vinyl. It has some discoloration and is a bit grimy. I'd like to try to save as much of it as I can. Does anyone have experience trying to clean this kind of wallpaper?
That's it for now! Here's a photo of the front of the house--

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