Danascara Place

I am so excited to finally introduce you to Danascara Place. I say finally, because we made an offer on this house December 1, 2018. After 8 months of waiting and paperwork, we are finally ready to show you this amazing property.

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My husband would laugh at me for saying this, but I didn’t plan for us to move again! I really love this house, moving is emotionally exhausting, and I had big plans for our current home.

But when Danascara Place, a local historic home built in 1795, came on the market, we both wanted to take a look – “just out of curiosity.” As we walked through the property and the house, we both fell in love pretty quickly with the idea of living there. The private setting, the history, and the amazing Italianate details (from the home’s 1870 reconstruction) roped us right in.

But the house does need a LOT of work. There was a fire in an addition on the back of the house in 2011 — that wing is entirely destroyed and will need to be removed. The original structure is intact and in surprisingly solid condition. We later found out that a 1980s renovation included the addition of steel beam supports that staved off sagging and foundation issues a lot of old homes face. Despite that, the slate roof needs repairs, the whole house needs insulation, the electric heating system (!) needs to be taken out and replaced with something more energy efficient, window glass needs to be replaced, new appliances in the kitchen, and all the bathrooms need to be gutted, plumbing throughout needs to be replaced, etc etc etc.

Our plan is to use a HomeStyle renovation loan to complete Phase One renovations — i.e. make it liveable! We hope that will take 2-3 months and then we will be moving in and continuing to take on projects as we live there. This will NOT be an HGTV style before-and-after situation in a few months, or even a few years! We believe this will be our lifelong project, and we are so excited about it!!!

With that short introduction (more to come!), here are all the “before” photos –

The south side (front)

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The west side

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The east side

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The east side with the burned addition.

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The north side (back) with the burned addition.

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The swimming pool/swamp.

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The barn. It needs roof work and window glass but little else.

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We believe this old stone outbuilding is from the 1700s!

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These two outhouses as well.

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This is the view when you walk in the front door. The water damage on the ceiling is from the bathroom above, which will be gutted. The staircase is Italianate in design, from the 1870s reconstruction of the house. All the arched windows are typical of Italianate style homes. And can you believe those floors?! To the left is the living room, and the dining room is to the right.

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This is the view from the back of the foyer toward the front door.

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This is the living room. Italianate villa style architecture in America was meant for country houses. It was supposed to be an easy way to transform a colonial style home to something more asymmetrical, ornate, and connected to the outdoors, like a bucolic Italian villa. The elegant arches, marble fireplace details, and the French doors throughout the first floor reflect that style.

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The view from the dining room through the foyer into the living room. That black rectangle on the wall is one of the electric heating vents that are throughout the house.

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The dining room has a beautiful bay window with three arched windows (obscured by squared off storms right now) and a paneled jamb, with another (non working) fireplace.

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In the back of the dining room there is a hallway with two more French doors that lead out into the pool area.

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This small half bathroom under the stairs (with a cool porthole window) is off that hallway. It’s scary now but I have plans and I think it will be so pretty!

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Take a right in that hallway and you reach the kitchen. What I love about this kitchen is that it is very large and has beautiful south facing windows that will let in so much light after the plywood comes down!

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The kitchen was renovated in the 1980s, so it doesn’t fit well with the style of the house. Unfortunately, a kitchen renovation is not in the Phase 1 plans. For now, we will get new appliances, probably paint the cabinets and most likely replace the countertops with something inexpensive.

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This is the view of the staircase from the second floor. One of my favorite views in the house! I love those arches and the curved wall!

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This is what you see at the top of the stairs. Straight ahead is the bathroom, flanked by those curved built-ins.

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This is the main full bathroom, which will be torn out and redone in the Phase 1 renovation.

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To the right when you walk up the stairs are two rooms. One is the library, full of built-in bookshelves.

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The other is one of the 3 bedrooms. They are not large but the high ceilings make them seem larger.

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The view down the hallway to the master bedroom.

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The second bedroom is off the master bedroom hallway. This will probably be Graham and Harrison’s bedroom.

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This is the master bedroom. All of the windows are boarded over, but it will be so bright and pretty someday.

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There is water damage from a roof leak on the ceiling in this room which will need to be repaired. The master bathroom is through the door to the left below.

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The master bathroom. Check out that gigantic tub! How long would that take to fill?!

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And a view back down the hall from the master bedroom. These floors are my favorite!

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That’s it for today! I am hoping to get a video walking tour of the house on the blog soon!

7 thoughts on “Danascara Place

  1. Jessica I am so excited for you and Steve and also for the Boys… what an amazing example for them to see you both preserving history. And such a rich history it is #danascara 🙂
    xo Meryl

  2. What a beautiful home! I can see how you fell in love with it. It’s so sad to see this grand home in need of so much help.

  3. I found your Instagram from the Makerista and now onto your blog. This house is the stuff of dreams (and probably nightmares as restoration progresses.) I cannot wait to see how you tackle the restoration and how you will bring this beauty back to life. What an amazing project and amazing adventure for your family. I can totally see how you fell in love with this house.

  4. Wow! That is an amazing house! I love the light fixture in the kitchen. I have no idea how true to period/style you want to go….but I can envision the island and sink wall being adapted to a pretty trendy kitchen without much fuss. I see adding decorative trim to the plain island face. Maybe picture frames? And paint. Take down the upper cabinets on the sink wall and add open wood shelving. If the countertops are in functional shape (just not to your taste) you could skim coat them with concrete. Depending on the paint colors you go for in the kitchen…you could go white or maybe a stained concrete if you go with more earth tones. I have no idea what to do with the cabinets on the other wall. The house moulding is gorgeous but the gap above the built-in really bothers me. Those cabinets are also lacking symmetry….I think with some thought and creativity there is a way to salvage the cabinetry. Not sure why, but when I saw your kitchen this inspiration kitchen came immediately to mind http://mundadaa.blogspot.com/2018/03/our-kitchen.html I am really looking forward to seeing what you do with this gorgeous house!

  5. I love this! My husband and I bought a farmhouse about a year ago and we are also restoring it back to life with our own hands. It is definitely more challenging when you have little ones around, as we are learning – haha! So excited to follow your family along on this journey ❤

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