Monday, December 27, 2010

Old Home Insider Look: The Kilpatrick's 1907 Bungalow

Remember back when we blogged about redoing our nephew Henri's bedroom?  We mentioned how much we loved the Kilpatrick's old house, and that it was one of the reasons we decided on buying an older home with character and charm. Everytime we went to their house I couldn't stop myself from staring at all the historic details and it always stuck with me.  Because we went back to Michigan for Christmas, we thought it would be fun to share the rest of their house with you and some of the old details that we fell in love with. 

Here is a shot of the front of their house, wouldn't you love to spend Christmas here!?! I loved how they put ornaments outside, it was such a great idea! Their charming 1907 built home is a classic bungalow style that is just loaded with charm. I love their front porch, it is a lovely place to sit when the weather is warmer (a nice front porch is on our wish list for our next house since we don't have one now). I just love the style of their home, it is so adorable, and their landscaping is beautiful in the summer.
Their house is in Midtown in Grand Rapids, just next to Eastown. I love that they have a historic name plate on the front of their house, when you take a look down the street you can see several houses with this plate near their front door.  I think it adds unique character to the neighborhood, you can tell the owners are proud and it sort of makes you feel special being there. I would love it if I could get our neighborhood something like this, I am sure most of my neighbors would be interested!

Since we are talking old houses (like over 100 year old houses!), I have to give you a bit of the history of this neighborhood. In the early 1900's this area was predominantly Polish.  The entire neighborhood used to be a brick yard and was almost named "Brick Yard" because of it.  Amber and Ryan even said that they can't dig more than a foot or two in their backyard without hitting bricks that have been buried there for years (weird! but neat!). In the 1920’s, with the advent of the downtown trolley, which ran down Lyon Street , Old East End became a hot bed of residential construction. The 1920’s bungalows and victorian style make up a lot of the homes in this area.

Let's head inside!
Right when you enter their beautiful solid wood and glass front door, you end up in a beautiful foyer.  I love their staircase and the light that these two large windows provide for the space.

In a wider view you can see this is where they have their piano which certainly adds to the charm and elegance of this space.

Here is a look at the front door from the stairs.

When you head upstairs there are two bedrooms, you have already seen Henri's room.  In the other I wanted to show the ceilings.  You can see the white beams that raise to the center wall and the cut out for the windows and window seat.

I know this is kind of hard to visualize, but here is a look at both beams at the peak of their roof.  I love how this room has so many angles and slanted ceilings, just feels like a cottage! It made me wonder why you never see this is newer homes, is it because of building codes, or simply to maximize 'useable' floorspace?  Anyone know?  I think it is charming to have the one and a half story look in houses, makes the rooms very unique. 

I have mentioned how much I love the old doors in our house, theirs are equally as charming! Love the detail.

Here is a closer look at the door knobs and locks, love them!

Their home has forced air and has all of the original vents! Such a beautiful detail by the base boards. I also have to mention that their flooring is the original pine wood.  Pine wood flooring has larger wide planks and the color is a darker shade, love it!

Okay, ready to be SUPER jealous?  Here is their kitchen with the original cabinets and wainscoting. Sigh, I think this is my favorite part of their house. When we visit I always find myself in their kitchen with a cup of coffee staring at these beautiful built in cabinets.

I feel like this is something you would see in older homes in England or something, they are just so historic looking.  I love the detail on the wood doors, the cabinet hardware and the wainscotting on the side and bottom cabinets.  

In the back of their kitchen is a door that goes to their basement stairs.  I love this door because they left it with this shabby/chippy style. It looks so perfect in their kitchen, almost like something you would find at an antique store, but theirs is original to the house and so charming.

One other little detail you would miss if you didn't look hard enough is the old stove pipe cover.  We imagine there was a wood burning stove in their kitchen and this is where the pipe vented out of.
In between the kitchen and front foyer are their living room and dining room.  These are separated by these lovely sliding parlor doors.  Here is a view of them from the dining room into the living room.

Now from the living room and into the dining room (you can see into the kitchen too).  Amber and Ryan usually leave these doors open which makes for a nice open floor plan.  Even with this house being over 100 years old I feel like the floor plan is still really functional for how we live today.

I hope you enjoyed a further look into the Kilpatrick house, thanks to Amber and Ryan for letting me share!


  1. I am totally drooling over those kitchen cabinets!! I would kill for those!! What a beautiful home they have! :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love peeping around other people's houses!! I love the feel of older American houses too. The details are gorgeous.

    But that staircase doesn't look to me like one you could sled down so I'm afraid it loses points on that front!!

    Happy New Year!


  3. Beautiful! Gotta love houses that ooze with character.

  4. I love seeing other "real" peoples houses! And those cabinets are just gorgeous, along with all the interior doors - love 'em!

  5. I love, love, love their kitchen! You're right, I am jealous. I think we had a wall that used to look like that, but they cut a hole right in the middle to put the fridge. We painted the leftover surrounding cabinets white, but it doesn't look as stunning as that. And I wanted hinges like that, but couldn't easily find them! I understand now why you guys wanted an older home. Your personal inspiration is beautiful!

  6. Those built ins? TO DIE FOR! And the pocket doors? LOVE! What a fabulous house!

  7. I love all the great features in this home. A great craftsmen built this house that's for sure. It oozes in charm and detail. We sold our 1915 Arts & Crafts home to buy the family the property..hate the house...a 1950's ranch! We are slowly trying to add character with wainscotting, wood floors, wood planked ceilings etc.

    I am jealous the the Kilpatrick's house!

    Love from Iowa,



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