Hatton House Diaries

One day, we decided to buy a 125 year old Victorian House in Des Moines, Iowa…….

Let the Projects Begin! December 18, 2011

Filed under: Everything Else,Remodeling and Design Projects — hattonhousedsm @ 7:01 am

Step1: Paint the two-story hallway

We moved into the Hatton House prior to closing on it. Yes, in retrospect, this is both the craziest and smartest thing we’ve ever done. It nearly drove us insane, because we were in love with the place before we moved in, and once we moved, it became the only house that would ever do for us. Which was also why it was the smartest thing we could do. There was no way I was moving out of this house, and living here made it all the more definite in my mind that we would eventually find a way to own it. But first, there was the matter of some very dark paint.

Even when we moved in over Memorial Day weekend 2010, I knew the paint needed to go before Fall. The front hallway was dark red, even the ceiling. The front parlor was a deep, smokey purple on the walls, with a dark red ceiling. The whole place felt like a cave, even with it’s huge spaces in the middle of summer. By August, I was getting nervous that we would close in time to get anything done before winter.

We decided to take paint possession of the house, and without sampling bought several gallons of a buttery yellow color that we loved in our previous bedroom. You can see from our process photo that the difference from the dark (edges) to the yellow primer coat was literally like night and day).

I have a degree in Interior Design, and I’ve told I don’t know how many clients that you can’t just pull a color out of a magazine and expect it to look the same in your house as it does on the page. But I couldn’t see fit to take my own advice, and I got caught. What was a delicious, warm ray of sunshine at the old place turned pale and grey next to the dark walnut staircase and vibrant stained glass. I went back to the paint store and sampled colors like Bright Sunshine and Yellow Highlighter. As you can see in our About Us photo, it’s the perfect brightness and warmth to welcome you to our new home!


Welcome to the Historic Hatton House! December 15, 2011

Filed under: Everything Else — hattonhousedsm @ 12:30 pm
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The Hatton House Family, circa 2012 (photo credit Tina M. Johnson)

After a five year search and fifty-three weeks of short sale drama, my family and I can finally call the Hatton House, in the River Bend neighborhood of Des Moines, Iowa, our home! This blog is about our lives: historic preservation, raising kids, growing and cooking our own food, ghost stories of our haunted beauty, loving on our neighborhood, working on our home, and all the other adventures that go along when an entrepreneur/artist/writer, a Mechanical Engineer, two kids and three cats take on restoring an 1887 Victorian to her former grand place in the world.