House made of spite? You don’t say!

Photo by Elf

Have you ever seen an unusually narrow house wedged between two others? It’s possible it was a spite house, or at least the oddity that’s become known as a spite house.

Wikipedia defines a spite house as such:

A building constructed or modified to irritate neighbors or other parties with land stakes. Spite houses often serve as obstructions, blocking out light or access to neighboring buildings, or as flamboyant symbols of defiance. Because long-term occupation is at best a secondary consideration, spite houses frequently sport strange and impractical structures.

It turns out there’s a spite house here in Alameda (seen above).

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Our next project

I’ve been thinking a lot about what our next big project should be. Would you like to weigh in? The candidates are:

Remove the drop-ceiling in the kitchen or Total bathroom/laundry renovation.

Let’s look at the kitchen ceiling first. The late 1950s brought many changes to this house. The then-owners wanted a cozy kitchen in the style of the time, meaning dark wood cabinets, loud wallpaper and inset flourescent lighting. And of course, a lowered ceiling. Have you seen Betty Draper’s kitchen? It was a lot like that.

Betty Draper

Click through for the breakdown and pics!

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San Francisco, I love you

Yes, that is postcard row rendered in Jello by the amazing Liz Hickok.

This week Randall and I had some Alameda cabin fever so we tooled around San Francisco looking for food and adventure. SF is about 15 minutes away and I work there five days a week, so it’s not a big trip. I spent my teens and twenties growing up there. I love the city and how it looks and the character of the buildings, but I never really realized what a miracle it is that so many amazing houses survived until I got my own house.

Click through for pictures of real live beautiful houses.

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…Of the website variety. Just some odds and ends I wanted to post before I forgot.

I started a Revictorian account on Pinterest. Edit 8/20/13: I’ve consolidated Pinterest accounts. This is also my personal account and has both Victorian/architecture and unrelated boards.

Pinterest is a great place to find and collect inspiration. If you have a Pinterest account you’d like to share, please comment. Or if you want an invitation let me know, I have a few.

Young House Love has a couple of very good posts on installing and grouting with penny round tiles. I’m bookmarking that for the Great Bathroom Remodel of …2012? 2013? We’ll see.

More links and a video after the jump.

Continue reading “Housekeeping”


You may not think that a post of this kind is appropriate on a blog like this, but it is. If SOPA/PIPA passes, we won’t have the same WordPress, Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia or any number of other sites that blogs like this rely on. It would open the door for massive corruption and censorship on the internet. I don’t want that. Do you? Watch the video to learn more.

Please call your congresspeople and representatives.

Classic tub roundup

When we finally get the budget settled we’re planning on redoing our pink-tiled bathroom. It’s adorable in a Mamie Eisenhower kind of way, but it’s deteriorating and it doesn’t quite fit the house. So let’s look at some tubs!

66″ Larimore BateauCopper Double Slipper with Nickel Plating – $3,197.66

The nickel finish gives this tub a modern feel but it would still work well in an old house bathroom. Gleaming and lovely.

Nine more after the jump.

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The architecture of Disneyland

Welcome back! Over the break my family and I went to Disneyland. Though it’s not the first time I’ve been there, I can’t help but to be impressed again and again by the design of the park and the architecture within it. Regardless of what you think of the Mouse as a media conglomerate, they know how to do a lot of things right. Lots of photos after the jump.

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Unreal Estate

An occasional roundup of interesting or fantastic old houses on the market.

 Ames-Webster Mansion (shown above) in Back Bay (Boston), a 26,000-square-foot palace with 50 rooms and 28 fireplaces is now bargain priced at $692 a square foot!

The Austin Mansion in Effingham, Illinois was built in 1892 and has a storied history. It was once a college and has been featured on TV and in the press. A great look at it that includes historical photos. Hooked on Houses

1803 New Hampshire Mill overlooking a waterfall. Obviously modernized since it’s now a residence, it’s still pretty amazing. 

Oakwood in Cincinnati, is listed on the National Historic Register. It was constructed over five years from 1859 and is a castle smack dab in the midwest.

And finally… Ghosts! Craigslist