Old Lady Taylor, our nearly 100-year-old rehab near downtown Taylor, is ready for her debut on the world stage! She’s on the market now, so check out the official listing! See the gallery at the end of the page for lots of before and after pictures.
She may no longer look from the outside like the sad old lady we first encountered several months ago—we’ve given her gorgeous new paint and stonework—but we didn’t have her turn her back on her past. All through the rehab process, we worked hard to retain and polish the early 20th-century features of this special property, from the crystal knob and the scroll gingerbread on the front door and cornice to the egg-shaped interior knobs on the original solid wood 5-panel doors and layers of crown molding in the formal dining room to the bay window with sidelights overlooking the huge backyard full of mature trees to the bath fixtures, while keeping our eye on what today’s homeowner wants and needs.
But we also made many improvements. The master bath was almost completely gutted, and a new toilet, vanity, tile, lights, and fan were added. The back foyer and staircase were stripped of the ugly blue carpet, the picket fence wall treatment that covered almost the entire foyer, and the log round and tape measure that ran along the wall next to the backdoor. Our contractor, Chris, did an amazing job repairing the stairs, adding new shoe molding, painting the rich brown I picked and using it to accent the skirtboards that lead the eye up the staircase. His suggestion that we move the chandelier from “Granny’s bedroom” (aka the downstairs bedroom) to the back foyer was exactly the right, elegant touch that was needed.
The dining room hutch/cabinet was repainted and new hardware (all of the kitchen cabinets also got the same new hardware) added along with a chandelier that mirrors the kitchen chandeliers so that the entire area looks congruent and thought out, unlike the afterthought it was for so many years. The minty green kitchen was textured and repainted white and the rusty refrigerator exterior was de-rusted and repainted. We removed the sad wine-colored carpet and replaced it with modern plush beige carpeting. Luckily the tragically dated wallpapered paneling in Granny’s bedroom (actually the reason we named it Granny’s bedroom) was hiding perfectly intact sheetrock walls. The paneling came off easily and the sheetrock was textured and painted. We added a new overhead light and installed a new set of bifold closet doors with knobs that match the front doorknob.
The downstairs bath was in pretty good shape but lacked a vanity light. I found a set of art deco-inspired vanity lights, which meshed beautifully with the pedestal sink and mirror—I even found a second set that we installed in the master bath. The walls were also retextured, to match the style throughout the rest of the house. The glassed-in room adjoining the kitchen, which overlooks the backyard, was restored and could be used as a sunroom/greenhouse or a breakfast nook.
The closets in the master bedroom were repaired and refurbished, and the walls in the master bedroom that had held numerous metal bookshelves were restored. The strange assortment of chandeliers/pendant lights was replaced, and the plantation shutters repaired and painted. We lacked the budget to refinish the original hardwood floors, so we laid the same carpet here as in Granny’s bedroom. This en suite encompasses the entire second floor. There’s even an area by the back windows for a spacious reading nook.
As with any rehab, we encountered obstacles along the way, like Chris losing his assistant, subcontractors (pre-Chris) who disappeared suddenly, and misunderstandings/language barriers. All in all, though, this was a fun rehab for an old house junkie like me. I got to use the skills I honed rehabbing my circa 1803 house in Baltimore and added some new ones to my repertoire, thanks to our contractor, who was more than willing to share his knowledge and skill. I’m really looking forward to working with him on the next project!
In the meantime, please enjoy this gallery of before and after pictures of Old Lady Taylor. She came a long way, baby.