Downstairs Tour of Cambridge House

I just pulled brownies out of the oven and my house is a mess, but hey! Tonight seemed like a great time to finally share pictures of the downstairs of our new home. These were taken right when things were finally getting renovated (instead of just demoed by Michael and I).

Walking through our front door, here’s what would greet you:

If you haven’t guessed yet, you’re staring at the innards of a 114-year-old house. In fact, you’re staring through them into what is now our kitchen. Oh, and that floor? That’s wood—it’s just so dusty it looks white. To your left, you’d see this:

That’s our living room. Who knows the last time that fireplace worked—it’s probably partially to blame for the fire that occurred in the basement decades ago. Good thing this tour is virtual—this way, you don’t have to avoid stepping on a nail as you move into our dining area:

Just seeing this picture brings back a minor form of PTSD for me. And gives me a case of vertigo, sorry for the oddly tilted shot. Through that opening is a hallway to the only bedroom and bathroom that are on the first floor. But before we get to that, here’s the kitchen:

OK, so it’s not exactly a foodie’s paradise in this state, but it has been transformed since I took this picture. I mean, now there are WALLS! If that’s not an upgrade, I don’t know what is. Also, in its original state, this kitchen featured many charming aspects of layering. For the floors, three layers of linoleum tiles were attached to wood paneling, held together by nails and placed on top of one another. Pulling up those floors was more satisfying than peeling nail polish, although may have exposed me to asbestos in the process (but that’s an issue for 50-year-old Emily to deal with). Here’s another lovely example of layering in the kitchen:

Don’t let this beautiful arrangement of bricks fool you—only one section of bricks is real bricks. Much like a trip to downtown LA, in this kitchen, you can’t tell what’s real and what’s not. To ease your confusion, I’ve labeled each section. Here’s what happened on this wall: Someone apparently did not consider the real bricks to be “bricky” enough, so they covered them up in wallpaper designed to look like bricks. From there, brick paneling was added and —down the road—painted bright yellow. Because, yellow.

Here’s a picture of the kitchen taken while standing in front of the brick wall:

Nothing too exciting, but at least it gives you another look at more brick wallpaper. (Which, if all this talk about brick wallpaper has left you inspired, just stop by your neighborhood Lowe’s and


If you’re still reading, thanks! This is a long post. I’ll wrap it up with two pictures of the downstairs bathroom and bedroom:

If the placement of the toilet and vanity has left you confused, let me clarify: the bathroom is the first picture and the bedroom is the second one.

So, what are your thoughts on the downstairs? Do you see potential or think the whole thing’s a total mess?

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