Location: Santa Cruz, California
I have lived here for eight years. When my realtor showed me the house my heart stopped. It had fallen out of escrow and was suddenly back on the market. Despite its quite grandiose exterior (Victorian Italianate style) it is actually a very comfortable family home. The rooms have wonderful proportions and 12-foot ceilings. Fortunately, the necessary modernizations have left the house reasonably intact. The integrity of the house has not been compromised.
There is a working fireplace and the living rooms are dividable by the original walnut pocket doors. The biggest change I made beyond new paint on every wall and staining the floors black (over the yellow toned oak) was to knock the kitchen and dining room into an open plan space. It doesn't sound too complicated but here in earthquake county it meant tying the wall back into the foundation of the house by way of a 25ft 'I' bar.
The house is on a corner plot which means that the garden surrounds the whole property, which I adore. I feel like I am in Savannah, Georgia – it's terrifically romantic.
I always thought that I would end up living in a house with steps up to the front door. This is that house. I know that one day I will want a new challenge or a clean palette but right now, I never want to leave.
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