Say Farewell to Shag Carpet—Family Tackles 1970s Time Capsule Makeover

A Florida family has embarked on a wild ride to bring a 1970s time capsule in Indiana into the 21st century.

On a whim, they bought a vintage gem in Fort Wayne, IN, covered top to bottom in shag carpet, after seeing it online. It was our most popular home of the week in early December and garnered hundreds of thousands of views—the Jackson family among them.

How the time capsule was won

“So we weren’t actually looking for a home to buy,” says Alysha Jackson, who lives in Clermont, FL, with her husband, Nate, two toddlers, and a rescue dog, Ingrid.

“We have a home there and we love it,” she says. “We had talked about getting into real estate one day, but it wasn’t really on our radar yet. Then this house went viral.”

Nate saw the house online and came in with his computer to show the listing to Alysha.

“He’s like, ‘Hey, don’t shut this down right away, but what if we put in an offer on this house?’” she says.

“Usually, I’m the skeptical one, but I just looked at it and had this gut feeling, and I said, ‘You know what? I actually love it. Let’s put in an offer.’”

Interior of home in Fort Wayne, IN
Interior of home in Fort Wayne, IN

Dustin McKibben

Interior
Interior

Dustin McKibben

Bathroom
Bathroom

Dustin McKibben

Like everyone who laid eyes on the photos, Nate and Alysha first spotted the colorful carpet. The deep shag is hard to miss: It’s everywhere, even on some of the walls.

Alysha says her first reaction was: “Whoa, that’s a lot of shag carpet!” Then, she noticed how much potential the house had.

“I kind of envisioned what it could look like with some renovating,” she says. “We’re staying thing true to the vibe of it and the time period, but we have to update it.”

Aftermath of Christmas
Aftermath of Christmas

Jackson family

Door
Door

Dustin McKibben

Jackson family
Jackson family

Dustin McKibben

The Jacksons journey back in time

Just a few weeks after putting in their offer, the two former teachers, who now sell on Amazon, packed up their family minivan (including Christmas presents) and headed north. Their work offers them the freedom to work where they choose.

Since then, the family has been living bare-bones in the house, with just a few mattresses and other essential items. They have decided to live in the home as is for a while.

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Watch: Listing Agents Answer Our Burning Questions About the ‘Silence of the Lambs’ House

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“We wanted to just stay in it a little while before changing anything, because we just wanted to get a feel for the house before we just came in and made sweeping changes,” Alysha Jackson explains.

“I’m so glad we did, because we actually changed a lot of our designs based upon actually living in the home for a little bit first.”

Most importantly, they staged a 1970s-style photo shoot.

Interior
Interior

Dustin McKibben

Enjoying the view
Enjoying the view

Jackson family

Even Ingrid, the dog, seems to have settled in.

“She has a spot in the house where she can see the entire yard, thanks to the surrounding sliding doors and windows,” Jackson says.

“Ingrid was so sad when she saw us packing the van for our trip here, but literally jumped up and down when we got the leash out and she realized she was coming with us on the trip.”

Kitchen
Kitchen

Dustin McKibben

Kitchen
Kitchen

Dustin McKibben

Kitchen
Kitchen

Dustin McKibben

The former owner of the house, James Sherbondy, a retired architect, designed the home as his family’s personal residence. It was occupied until just a few months ago, so everything inside was in working order.

“We walked in, brought in our stuff, and used the fridge. The bathrooms were functional. It was pretty great,” Jackson says.

Everything in the kitchen works, and the cabinets are in good shape. However, the layout may not work for the family, she adds.

Lower level
Lower level

Dustin McKibben

Lower level
Lower level

Dustin McKibben

Lower-level bathroom
Lower-level bathroom

Dustin McKibben

Lower-level bathroom
Lower-level bathroom

Dustin McKibben

The family made some immediate changes for safety reasons and are currently living on the lower level. They’re tackling that and the main level first, and leaving the upstairs master bedroom and bathroom for last.

A bathroom with green counters and blue sink will ultimately meet its demise, but the Jack-and-Jill style entry is staying.

“The more we see, the more we want to keep, which is kind of funny,” Alysha says. “Before, we didn’t really know too much about ’70s style, and we didn’t know too much about midcentury modern even. But the more I talk with people and more research I do on my own, the more I see the beauty and the value in it, and so I want to keep that style in the home.”

Stairs
Stairs

Dustin McKibben

Toddler-proof stairs
Toddler-proof stairs

Dustin McKibben

The Jacksons have sought input from a number of experts on the Instagram account they started for their rehab project. They had hopes of reaching 10,000 followers by the summer. As of now, they’ve blown past their goal and have over 30,000 folks tracking the renovation journey.

“I just love sharing projects with people. When we did a ’70s photo shoot, we thought it would be really fun to share these. We had no idea it would go viral as quickly as it did,” Jackson says. “It’s been really fun to share what we’re doing with people, and we’ve gotten so much great input.”

Lower level
Lower level

Dustin McKibben

Lower level
Lower level

Dustin McKibben

The carpet can’t stay

Sadly, for lovers of colorful floor coverings, the carpet is one of the first things that’s going to go.

“There’s literally carpet in every single room, including the bathrooms. It’s everywhere and it’s 50 years old. From what we know, it is original to the home,” Jackson says.

She added that there are stains in several places, and it doesn’t smell particularly great, especially in the bathrooms.

Eventually, there will be new flooring in many of the rooms and tile in the bathrooms. But the carpet won’t vanish completely.

“I am going to be making an art piece of the different carpet colors,” she says. “There’s about four or five different colors in the home, and we just want to keep a piece of each. I’m going to cut some out from each color—deep-clean it, of course—and then create some sort of art piece with it to hang in the house on the wall.”

Master bathroom
Master bathroom

Dustin McKibben

Master bathroom
Master bathroom

Dustin McKibben

People on social media had a lot to say about the carpet-bedecked bathtub in the master bedroom. The tub has purple tile and no curtain. For now, it’s the only bathtub in the house, so the kids need to take their baths there.

Jackson says the tub is super clean, but the trick for the couple is to keep the children from enjoying their time on the floor.

“To them, it’s like a big towel,” she adds. The first time their son took a bath, she says, “He got out of the tub and started rolling on the shag carpet.”

Fireplace

Other modifications on the way

Back on the main level, the dramatic floor-to-ceiling fireplace will stay—but with some modifications for safety.

Wood paneling and accents
Wood paneling and accents

Dustin McKibben

Some of the wood paneling and carved accents throughout the house will also remain.

“I stare at the wood every day. I think that’s maybe my favorite part of the house,” Jackson says.

Some people on Instagram say the carved wood might be by an artist named Ackerman, and the Jacksons are trying to verify that.

“It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the home on the door,” Alysha says.

Work time
Work time

Jackson family

Life outside the box

The Jacksons rehabbed their Florida house, so a huge project isn’t entirely new for them and they have some family support nearby. Both Alysha and Nate are from Indiana, and much of their family still lives there. While some close to them were surprised by the somewhat impulsive purchase, they weren’t shocked.

“We kind of joke with people that Nate and I are ‘Go big or go home’ people. We kind of live life outside the box, so they were excited for us,” Jackson says.

Some relatives thought they were crazy, she adds, but changed their minds when they saw how beautiful the home is—and they’re especially excited that the family will be closer to them.

For now, the family plans to split time between the two homes and rent the other one as a vacation rental.

We’ll be tracking the process of this time capsule transformation and can’t wait to see what’s next.

Source: realtor.com

Living Legacy: Making a Family Home in a Historic Mansion

From 800 square feet in sprawling Manhattan to 6,000 square feet in historic Nyack.

Noah and Dennis Brodsky didn’t set out to buy a historic home.

They were just looking for a place that could provide a bit more room for their growing family than their 800-square-foot Manhattan apartment. But as soon as they saw this Nyack, New York, home, they knew it was meant to be.

The Gothic Revival house hit all the marks they were looking for and more: It’s spacious with a gorgeous view of the Hudson River, and it’s within walking distance to town.

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A powerful history

Discovering the home’s history was an added bonus.

Built in the 1850s, the 6,000-square-foot house was once owned by Thomas Edison’s lab assistant, William H. Hand. Hand and Edison worked together often in the barn, making significant technological improvements to the battery.

The house was in excellent condition when the Brodskys made the purchase in 2014. “What we really spent time doing was making it feel like ours,” explains Noah.

They changed the colors, added their own furniture and built a nursery for their baby. As an homage to the history of the house, they replaced the standard light bulbs in the kitchen with Edison bulbs.

“That personalization is really where we put our energy,” Noah remarks.

Quirks and challenges

While the home has been modernized, many historic touches — like original handmade crown moldings and a maid’s bell system that no longer works — remain.

Noah says that they also find relics hidden around the property. For example, in the backyard, they discovered an old smokehouse and a rusted animal-pulled mower buried in the ground.

Living in a historic home can have its quirky challenges. Getting Wi-Fi throughout the house is “constantly frustrating” because of all the brick. And after the couple’s first chilly winter, they added insulation in the attic to help with the heating.

Tips for historic home buyers

Dennis advises overestimating maintenance costs. If something needs to be restored or fixed in a historic home, often you can’t simply call a contractor.

Additionally, the couple didn’t anticipate the impact that having a home on the National Registry of Historic Places would have on their insurance costs.

“But it’s a lovely house,” says Noah, and the two are relishing creating new family traditions in it.

Related:

Originally published November 22, 2016. 

Source: zillow.com

Would You Roll the Dice on Nevada’s ‘Hard Luck Castle’?

An offer is pending on a remote and distinctive dwelling in Nevada known as the Hard Luck Castle and Mine.

“We got a lot of interesting calls from people in various parts of the country, because it was marketed as kind of a Doomsday ‘Mad Max’ house, out in the middle of nowhere on 40 acres,” explains the listing agent, Brian Krueger.

“It is completely off-grid, self-sustaining. The owner built the home pretty much on his own, and it took him many years to do it.”

Over a decade of hard work created a one-of-a-kind castle on Bonnie Clair Road, which is currently listed for $549,900. The massive, 8,000-square-foot structure sits near the tiny town of Goldfield, NV.

The owner originally decided a couple of years ago that he wanted to sell the castle.

“I think we initially started out at $1.2 million, and slowly, over time, the seller agreed—based on our recommendations—to reduce the price. And we’ve probably had a handful of price reductions,” Krueger says.

Property records show that the castle came on the market in October 2018. Since then, the price was sliced eight times before it landed at its final price in June 2020.

Exterior of Hard Luck Castle near Goldfield, NV
Exterior of Hard Luck Castle near Goldfield, NV

Jake Rasmuson

Exterior
Exterior

Jake Rasmuson

Sign
Sign

Jake Rasmuson

Front door
Front door

Jake Rasmuson

Exterior
Exterior

Jake Rasmuson

The structure was a true labor of love by its owner.

“It was constructed from 2000 to 2012, so it took him about 12 years,” Krueger says.

It’s solidly built of steel and concrete cinder blocks, with 16-inch thick walls, and since it was engineered to last 400 to 500 years, it’s not going anywhere.

As for the infrastructure, in this remote corner of Nevada? The property has a 4,000-gallon water tank, solar and wind power, a 3,000-gallon propane tank, and diesel generators.

Equipment
Equipment

Jake Rasmuson

Solar
Solar

Jake Rasmuson

Interior
Interior

Jake Rasmuson

Fountain room
Fountain room

Jake Rasmuson

Theater
Theater

Jake Rasmuson

Inside, the four-story castle has 22 rooms with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a number of unique features.

“There’s a wine cellar, there’s a theater and a game room, there’s a glass solarium planetarium. And there’s a fountain room,” Krueger says.

Oh, and there are also two 1920s pipe organs.

“This was kind of just a personal love of the owner. He loves to play the organ, and it’s quite a spectacle when you go in,” Krueger explains.

“I don’t think he ever thought he was going to sell it when he built it. He was building this to be the place he was going to live in for the rest of his life. One of his loves was the organ.”

Dual pipe organ consoles
Dual pipe organ consoles

Jake Rasmuson

Organ
Organ

Jake Rasmuson

Interior
Interior

Jake Rasmuson

Interior
Interior

Jake Rasmuson

Kitchen
Kitchen

Jake Rasmuson

Bedroom
Bedroom

Jake Rasmuson

Deck
Deck

Jake Rasmuson

There are also two kitchens and decks with views of the surrounding land. Many of the antiques inside the castle will convey with the sale.

Mine
Mine

Jake Rasmuson

Mine
Mine

Jake Rasmuson

Mine
Mine

Jake Rasmuson

For the buyer truly looking to dig in, the property’s 4 acres offer an intriguing element. A dormant gold mine with mining rights is also included.

The listing details state that the mine shaft is in serviceable condition, even though it closed at the start of World War II and was never reopened. The owner also offered tours to any tourists hardy enough to reach this remote locale.

Land
Land

Jake Rasmuson

Workshop
Workshop

Jake Rasmuson

The outbuildings include a wood and metal shop, a miner’s cabin that sleeps four, and a shower house.

Monument
Monument

Jake Rasmuson

Hard Luck is the original name of the mine on the property. From a monumental tower on the property, you can see open desert for miles.

“Gold Point is about 10 miles away. That’s the nearest town,” Krueger says.

At one point, the mining town had 125 homes and various businesses. Now, it’s a historical ghost town.

To give a sense of how far removed the castle is from civilization, the bright lights of Las Vegas are 187 miles away, and the city of Reno is 325 miles from Hard Luck.

The white tower on the property, on a rocky outcrop, serves as a landmark in the area and lists all the names of the U.S. presidents and the years they served.

Like everything else on the property, it’s distinctive. Suffice it to say, the Hard Luck Castle isn’t for every buyer.

“It kind of combines the Wild West with a modern-day castle,” Krueger says. “It’s definitely eclectic, but that’s what made it unique.”

Interior
Interior

Jake Rasmuson

Interior
Interior

Jake Rasmuson

Interior
Interior

Jake Rasmuson

Interior
Interior

Jake Rasmuson

Exterior
Exterior

Jake Rasmuson

Exterior
Exterior

Jake Rasmuson

  • For more photos and details, check out the full listing.
  • Homes for sale in Goldfield, NV
  • Learn more about Goldfield, NV

Source: realtor.com

You’ll Be Climbing the Walls of This Tiny Home

This tiny home packs a bouldering wall, a roll-up garage door and a full-sized soaking tub into just 250 square feet.

There’s no need to park in the mountains when the rock climbing is right at your doorstep. 

At least that’s what the team at Tiny Heirloom figured when they set out to design a tiny home for an intrepid couple looking to take adventure on the road.

The Portland, OR-based company combined two of the things its clients enjoyed most — fitness and being outside — into a 250-square-foot, custom-built home, said Jason Francis, creative director and co-founder at Tiny Heirloom.

The idea for a tiny home with a bouldering wall came from organic brainstorming, Francis said.

“The rock wall really started as a long-shot idea, but the more we thought about it, the more excited we got,” Francis said. “So we figured out a way to make it happen!”

“We’ve built many custom homes,” Francis added, “but this was definitely one of our most unique.”

His team added some rich design elements, including a roll-up garage-style glass door, to bring the outdoors inside. The couple intends to use the place as their primary residence.

The home cost about $145,000, but $35,000 of that went to building the custom climbing wall.

The home is 24 feet long and 13 feet tall, providing plenty of room for outdoor climbing. The bouldering wall is on one side of the home, and the handholds can be reconfigured to change up the climbing route.

One side has a traditional entryway, while the other has the roll-up door to provide expansive views of wherever the home is parked.

The living space contains two lofts: one with an office and the other with a bedroom. Designers hung a chandelier made of Edison bulbs between the two.

The kitchen features a farmhouse sink and full-sized oven. The cabinets are a rich blue color with brass accents. There are two open shelves above the countertops.

The home also contains a dining space with bench-style seating that doubles as storage.

An arched blue-tile doorway leads to the bathroom, which has a full-sized soaking tub, white subway tiles and a rainfall showerhead.

After completing the tiny home and sharing it on social media, Francis said they’ve had a number of inquiries about building similar spaces for clients.

“Ideas have spread from it quite a bit, but no one else has bought the exact same thing,” Francis said. “We have had a client request a rock wall system in the house as a way up to the lofts for his two young boys.”

Photos courtesy of Tiny Heirloom.

Related:

Originally published March 2018

Source: zillow.com