1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Best Porch in Eutaw

This is the first in an occasional series of interior/exterior tours of some of my favorite houses in Eutaw. It may be the last in the series because I haven't secured permission from anyone else, but we old house people love to show off our houses, so I bet many of our friends can be persuaded.

I decided to do this interior touring thing because one of my favorite things about Houseblogs is seeing interior shots of old houses, decorated and lived in the way real people do it. Museums are wonderful and shelter mags are great, but they're so out of reach, y'know?

Besides, I get inspired every time I visit one of our friends' houses. There's always a creative wall color or space-saving device I want to copy - or spin off of in my own direction.

So enough of this rambling. Why am I even explaining to a bunch of house lovers why I love touring old houses? On to our first victim house ...


"The Best Porch in Eutaw"

Our neighbor/sort-aunt Judy is well known around town for two things. 1. She likes to talk. 2. She's unstoppably hard-working, especially in her garden.

It makes sense then that Judy's porch is one of the best in Eutaw, maybe the best - and that's saying something, because Eutaw has many lovely porches.

Surrounded by green on a corner lot, it's shaded and cool, and fellow Eutawans often stop for a chat or just slow down to wave.

Though it's right on one of Eutaw's main drags (officially, it's on Main Street), the white picket fence draped with Confederate jasmine shields you just enough and makes you feel like you're in the middle of a secret. (Plus, you have a lovely view of a little white Victorian across the street *wink wink*.)

Judy recently stained the porch floor and furniture dark green. Most of the porch floors in town are slate gray to pastel blue (including ours), so it's refreshing to see something different, especially when it works so well. The green floor, the red geraniums and the massive ferns Judy nursed through the winter make the porch feel nestled down in the garden rather than perched on top of it.

Judy's house is Victorian on the inside but Greek Revival on the outside. It was built in 1904 - would that be Greek Revival Revival? - with massive columns across the front. (I couldn't get photos that really capture the awesome of these columns. Must ask my photographer sister's advice on this.) The whole-house pic is an old one I took in cooler weather and before the roof was painted.

Inside, the house reminds me of a dollhouse, packed to the hilt with Victorian details. You could spend hours in here and not absorb it all.

Judy and Coach do most of their living in a connected bedroom and study and in the cutest yellow kitchen ever. The rest of the house is a showcase for Judy's antiques and Victoriana. Upstairs is a bedroom decorated with wedding dresses and paraphernalia. Another room Judy plans to turn into a little boy's room. These rooms aren't designed so much for use but for admiration; they're each a life-size vignette.

The dining room features an original leaf-motif stencil around the top of the wall and a row of plates propped on the chair rail.

Most of the woodwork has never been painted. The dark wood and the sun-filtering curtains over all the windows make the house feel quiet and cozy.

When you head around to the back of the house, you find more plants and delights for the eye everywhere.

One of my favorite parts is an old framed photo of the house that hangs on the landing of the staircase. From the children's attire and the bareness of the yard, it looks to me to have been taken not long after the house was built. I wish I had a piece of evidence like this on my house. Judy used the picture to recreate a fence like the one in the left corner across the front of her house.

The coolest thing about this picture (at least to me) is that those kids must have a great view across the 149 steps between their home and our freshly minted house with only baby magnolias at best in front, no power lines in the way, no little bungalow in between, no paved roads. How I wish the photographer had turned around and taken a little snap-a-roo. Maybe he did. Maybe there's a photo out there somewhere.



Anonymous said...

I love a good porch. Last month I drove down to MS from NY (1300) miles (to see my grandchild born - can't think of any better reason!) and noted the exit for Eutaw. It took me awhile to remember who I "knew" there. Have you been surprised by any blogger/reader/strangers finding you? I wasn't going to do that (really) but it seemed kind of fun to drive down your main street and gawk a bit. But, then I remembered how many miles were left and kept on going.
Thanks for sharing your little town with us -
not a stalker.

9:15 PM  
Greg said...

Very, very nice. That wood must be that Southern Pine I hear so much about. We don’t get many real Greek revivals out this way. It really screams The South. My first thought is what are those columns made out of. Are they all wood. Cast concrete. Are the caps and bases plaster? Love the second story balcony. Very, very nice.

9:17 PM  
John said...

Thanks for the house porn, lovely house.

8:02 AM  
Christine said...

Wow~ thanks for sharing the photos of this beautiful house.

I've been trying out different paint 'peel-n-sticks' for my porch, and the green they use is a good idea for me to consider!

11:35 AM  
mindy said...

Great photos! Love the giant ferns on the porch, with that green floor. What a neat house.

Tell your neighbors thanks for letting us peek at it!

10:47 AM  

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