Monday, November 29, 2010

Is It a Sears Catalog House?

I've often wondered if my house was a Sears kit home. I've recently started visiting Carol's Our Sears Kit Home blog and she recommended Houses By Mail by Katherine Cole Stevenson and H. Ward Jandl. I've just started reading it. I recognize many of the houses in my neighborhood in this book. What I find interesting about my street is that in a three block span, it contains houses from many different decades. At the "beginning" end of my street, are houses built before 1900. The house across from me was build around 1940 and the house before it was built in 1950.

This is a very informative article by Cleveland Magazine written about Sears homes in northeast Ohio.

Our house was built in 1920. The garage was built about 1936. It has a living room, dining room, kitchen, basement, attic, one bathroom with the original claw foot tub. It also has this little "kick-out" off the kitchen that could be used as a breakfast nook. We use it as our computer room. The other side of the front porch is an enclosed porch area with wood floor and heat. Because of all the single hung windows, it is very cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Right now we use it for toy storage, but I hope to someday decorate it.

Unfortunately, someone got the home-renovation bug in the early 80's. The kitchen has been redone (not very well.) It has a hideous drop ceiling that I would really like to replace someday when funds allow. The kitchen cabinets have been replaced. I've painted them white. They put up barn siding on some of the kitchen walls. I've painted it with a high gloss white and it looks a tad better. We have the original claw foot tub but the sink has been replaced with a stock cabinet-style sink with "modern" fixtures. Someone added a linen closet and you can see that the entire bathroom used to have tiles halfway up the walls at the back of the closet. All of the original light fixtures have been removed except in the covered front porch. Fortunately, they didn't paint any of the downstairs wood work. Solid oak doors and trim. Wood floors in the living room and dining room. Window seat in the dining room. I will have to do a post on the interior some day. All of the upstairs closets have the original wallpaper still on the walls. I love that!

Right now you're probably wondering why I would call my blog "Lovely Little Cottage" when my house does not appear "little" or to be a "cottage." When we were getting ready to add our third child, a friend asked if we were going to move. "Why?", I asked. She replied, "Well, it's a lovely little cottage, but it's not very big!" From then on, I've referred to my house as my "lovely little cottage" because I think her idea absurd. I love my home and find it just right for the five of us!


Carol said...

Your "lovely little cottage" is beautiful! I'm getting my Sears Kit Home book out to compare! I'll let you know what I come up with!

Garden Girl said...

Thanks, Carol. It's fun to think about! Did you read the article from Cleveland Magazine? I found it very interesting. Sad that the records have all been destroyed.

Carol said...

Ok. It could be the Hamilton or the Chelsea. They would often take liberties with the houses, so they might have changed your front porch roof to add more character.
You know your floor plan, so that should help.
The front of our house was reversed from the catalog, and they also used different angles for the turret roofline.
I'll check out that article now!

Saminda said...

Your house is GORGEOUS!!!! :D I would love to live in a home with this much character. :) So pretty. xx

Brenda Kula said...

I love neighborhoods where the houses are all from different eras. I live in a garden home neighborhood where every one pretty much looks the same. But once you walk through my gate, that all changes! Let us know what you find out about your house.

Kathy said...

Love it! We have a Craftsman shingle styled house - I've seen a couple of the Sears homes - very nice

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish said...

I love your little cottage! What a neat way to look into the history of your home!

Anna @ Blissful Whimsy said...

I am in love with your "lovely little cottage."