This 1929 Tudor Revival Was Saved from Bad Remodels Made in the ’70s and ’80s

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Credit: Marie

Name: Marie, partner, cat, kiddo, and occasional sibling
Location: Montlake/Capitol Hill Neighborhood — Seattle, Washington
Type of home: House
Size: 1,765 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My husband had a job offer in Seattle that seemed like a good fit. At the time, neither of us had ever lived outside of Southern California. Right around the time the job offer came in, I found out I was pregnant. We decided to make some big life changes and move with a newborn. When I look back now, it was kind of crazy to move away from our families right after having a baby! Luckily, my brother-in-law and his wife also live in Seattle and were kind enough to let us stay with them while we house hunted. The housing market was way more competitive than we planned for! Our wish list was to find an older home with charm that didn’t need a ton of work, and to remain near my brother-in-law.

Credit: Marie
Free credenza found on Nextdoor in dining room

What we bought was a 1929 Tudor revival that had been remodeled in the 1960s or 1970s. Many of the original features had been replaced, and the house overall needed many repairs. In addition to new electrical (replacing knob and tube) and new plumbing (replacing corroded leaky cast iron), we had to hire a company to do lead and asbestos remediation. This really ate into our budget. My husband stepped up and did much of the work himself to offset the expense. He did some plumbing, all of the tiling, drywall, and installed kitchen cabinets. He would work his day job, and then head to the house to do construction. Friends and family stepped up and really helped out by getting their hands dirty alongside him. Our budget got a further blow when my husband lost his job — the new job we had moved for. We considered moving back to the LA area, but we felt so invested in the house.

On the bright side, my husband was able to spend more time on construction. When we moved in, one of the two bathrooms was complete, the fireplace was unfinished (windows on either side of the fireplace had been covered with faux wood paneling; moulding was ripped off, the original shape of the fireplace had been modified), there were no baseboards, and the exterior was a mess. Our vision for the home was always to strip away the changes that had been made in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s and add back the 1920s feel.

Credit: Marie
DIY flower bed and DIY espalier trellis — accomplished during many nap times!

With the guts of the house repaired, we turned our focus toward repairing the old windows that had been painted shut, finishing the other projects, and clearing out overgrown plants while my son napped. Our old house has taught us so much patience and really tested our stamina. There are more projects to be done, but the house has come so far. There were a lot of moments where we asked ourselves what did we get into. Each time a new issue cropped up was a blow to our psyches. Then we would look back at photos of the gold flecked popcorn ceiling, dingy carpet, smoke-tinged walls, and we’d get inspired to keep going! We’ve often been outside doing yard work, and neighbors will give us a shout out on our improvements. Those moments help buoy us, too. We love our house, and I think it really shows.

I’ve loved old things since I was a kid. My mom and I lived with my grandma for the first 11 years of my life. My grandpa had brought a ton of antiques from his childhood farm home. When I was really young, there were still olive green drapes, Cesca-style dining chairs paired with an oval smoky glass dining table, and a very groovy bar. I think being surrounded by these treasures, the mix of styles — plus going to yard sales and thrift stores — influenced my home style. My husband and I met in high school, so our styles have been merged for a long time. A tricky but fun thing was to move from beachy SoCal to a neighborhood in Seattle that feels more like a small East Coast town (there are still some cobblestone streets here!) and into a house that feels English cottage. We brought some of our old furniture, but of course, I have had fun shopping local thrift stores, Craigslist, estate sales, etc.

Credit: Marie
Craigslist couch that was reupholstered and wall to be made into gallery wall — still a work in progress!

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Vintage, collected, cozy, Tudor revival

Credit: Marie
The breakfast nook!

What is your favorite room and why? Oh this is tough. Funny enough my son was just saying his favorite is the living room where he does all of his Lego building and the yards. I agree with him, but I would add the kitchen, too. We added a breakfast nook, which was something I had been pasting into collages since I was a kid!

Credit: Marie
Fireplace mantel and one of the windows that had been covered for 50+ years.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? While doing yard work, I found what I think is one of the original lights from the house! It has a brand marking “P&S,” so I was able to research and find some examples and history of the company. I don’t think I can actually use it, but it will be cool to display, and I like to imagine where it was in the house. I have found a ton of random things buried out in the yard: old bottles from the Prohibition era and old toys, but this was the first light fixture.

Credit: Marie
Our upstairs bathroom

Any advice for creating a home you love? Stay true to what you like while honoring the style of the home. Mix old with new, which I need to heed myself and add a bit more new to my home! Since my house was built in 1929, new can be 1950s, right?

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.