To Keep or Not to Keep?


One of the most important things to us as we embark on this renovation project is finding a balance between maintaining the historical integrity of the home while making it attractive to modern buyers. Already we’ve had to ask ourselves some tough questions:

  • The clawfoot tub takes up most of the upstairs bathroom. But it’s beautiful. Can we find a way to work it in?
  • Our realtor suggests getting rid of the mud swirl ceilings. Erica thinks they’re lovely. Todd is undecided.
  • The sink in the kitchen is undeniably cool, but undeniably impractical. Can we use it anywhere?
  • The radiators are in solid shape, and they’re a great heat source. But do modern buyers want them in every room?
  • The home’s original windows are in good shape too, and studies have shown that replacing them actually has a negligible impact on energy costs. But will modern buyers see that?
  • There are hints of features that have been removed over the years, including columns in the foyer and pocket doors between the dining room and living room. Do we invest the money to add those back in?

As we move forward and weigh our options, we’ll be sure to share how we come to a decision on each one of these questions. Have an opinion? Feel free to leave a comment!


2 thoughts on “To Keep or Not to Keep?

  1. Sabrina December 16, 2015 / 10:02 pm

    I’m loving this blog! I’m just going to leave a whole smattering of opinions, because my brain is all in home design mode as of late.

    Bathtub: A a cool walk-in shower would probably be the right answer, since it takes up less visual space. But clawfoot tubs are a dream. Maybe if you painted the base pale gray or another light color and kept things simple with whatever shower curtain you add to the mix? OR could it be used in another bathroom, like maybe if you redo the master bath?

    Kitchen sink: Maybe it could work in a laundry area, or you could create some sort of gardening area in the backyard or a shed, and it could be a spot where you’d rinse off from yard work.

    Windows and radiators: The buyers who will be looking at a home like this will hopefully be in it for those special vintage details. I think keep them — saves you extra work/money and has oodles of charm!

    Special features: I always think that you pick and choose the features that will maximize charm and functionality. Pocket doors are charming AND useful!

    I can’t wait to see more updates, and thanks for letting me ramble! (I can’t wait to finally be a homeowner so I can get down and dirty with an old house like this.)


    • ETC at Home December 17, 2015 / 1:10 pm

      I like the way you think! I’m definitely thinking most buyers in this neighborhood will be drawn to the old stuff. If they’re looking for new and perfect, they need to head out to the ‘burbs.


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