Monday, October 1, 2012

The Key Mystery Comes to an End

Are you ready for the dramatic conclusion to my "Old House Tale" skeleton key mystery?!?
Okay, I guess I shouldn't say dramatic but it just sounded fun :) For those of you who aren't up to speed on the key, here's a short version of the story...

There was an estate sale at a home in my neighborhood that I have been dying to see the inside of so I stopped by.  I took a look around and even though the home was in rough shape it had all of it's original charm and character- I kept thinking if it was sold to a new owner I hope that person would restore it properly.  I left the estate sale with a few things including a chair that I wanted to reupholster.  A month later when I started to tear the chair apart, I heard a "plop" and looked down to find an old skeleton key!  I couldn't believe it! Could it be a key for that house- that house I already had so much curiosity about in our neighborhood? 
Thus the mystery began!

It wasn't too long after writing that post that I received an email from the person that was in the process of purchasing the home and now they own it!  We remained in contact via email and tried to figure out a good time for me to swing by with the key.  Needless to say, they have been very busy with their new project but we finally got our schedules lined up on Sunday and I headed over with the key in hand! 
First off, it was just great to finally meet and chat with the owner in person and when she said, "want to take a quick tour?" I politely said "of course!"- which was way better than screaming "YEEEAAAA!!!!" in her face but that is how I was really feeling- I was so. stupid. excited.... It was stupid, I think I hid it well :-) 

She let me take a few photos too, which was extremely nice!  Here are some comparison photos from the house during the estate sale and the work in progress now starting with my favorite, the grand staircase...
Here's the Living Room, not the best photo but lots of work on the on the walls and woodwork.
And the Formal Dining Room.  There's the Butler's Pantry through left doorway and Informal Dining Room(?) though the right.  Again, most of the work done is on refinishing the walls since removing all the wallpaper.
The Kitchen....
... and I was surprised to learn that the original cabinets were lined with galvanized metal.  Apparently, that kept pots and pans from rusting?
 Here's a look into the Butler's Pantry located next to the kitchen and behind the Formal Dining Room.  Funny, it's bigger than my actual kitchen :)
Then yes, oh yes!  I finally got to see what was up those beautiful grand stairs!
As I walked up to the second floor I spotted the next staircase into the third floor attic space- which seemed like it's own little apartment since it was used for the family's maid or butler (back in the 1920's).
Here's a look at the beautiful stair railing and landing from the second floor.
One detail I didn't notice the first time I went through the house was the little scallop design on the staircase woodwork.  Isn't it just beautiful?
Actually, there was a TON of other details everywhere I looked in the house.  Even rooms we walked two or three times, I noticed something new each time. It just amazed me!  I really envy the fact that the owners get to find all those fun little details and secrets as they get to know their new home- that is the best part of buying an old house!  There's history and a story everywhere you look!

Speaking of stories- let's get back to the key! 
The reason I said that I couldn't call it a dramatic conclusion was because the first door we tried it in actually turned the lock.  Yes, it was cool it worked but I guess I thought it would take more searching inside the house?  Not sure if it is a master key for the whole house or if it is just a standard kind of key that would just work?
Either way, it was fun getting the opportunity to investigate the mystery with the new home owner :)
Well the key mystery came to an end but this old home restoration story continues! 
Plus, I'm pumped that we've got some new neighbors that are not only pretty cool, they are also passionate about restoring the home the right way.  I'm so thankful that this ol' blog got us connected and well, it also connected me with other neighbors that I didn't know before.  So crazy!  The good kind of crazy :)

Thanks for following along with me on this adventure!  Made it all the more fun!


  1. So glad you had a chance to connect with Allisa! She is the best!! Worked with her on the West Broadway Alive project, what seems to have been a zillion years ago. This is the perfect project for them...they will make it shine!!

  2. Omg. That house is gorgeous!! I hope she will let you show us the finished project! So happy it is now in the right hands!


  3. I so hope they show you the home (and then you share with us)the home when it is finished. Such a neat house!

  4. Marybeth PattersonOctober 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    SUPER excited that you got to see the inside.. Thanks for sharing the adventure!

  5. #1. Very few skeleton key patterns available. Probably many doors in that house the key would open.

    #2. Galvanized metal lining on the cupboards is 100% mouse proof.

  6. I'm totally jealous you had a tour of THE HOUSE!

  7. I'm totally in love with the old stove in the kitchen. Wish you had highlighted and talked about it. Are the new owners going to keep it?

  8. So did the new owners keep the skelton key?


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