Take My House, Please!
Paraphrasing Henny Youngman’s constant plea, “Take my wife, please!” is easy when talking about my house at 105 Spring Street in the heart of Port Jefferson Village. I love my house, possibly a little less than Youngman loved his wife, but alas, due to personal circumstances unrelated to our country’s fiscal state of affairs, it has to be sold, the sooner the better.
My husband and I purchased this home in the summer of 2000. We knew after only one visit that there were wonderful possibilities for this house built in 1893. The house was split up into two living areas, one upstairs, one down, and the floor plan was convoluted, to say the least, due to modifications made by previous owners: A bathroom with stall shower on the first floor blocked passage from the front of the house to the back. A wall added to hide the inside staircase hid the beauty of what was beneath.
We realized we could never afford to hire a contractor to redesign the house, so we set out to do it ourselves, room by room, and lovingly transformed the house into a home we knew we could love and live in comfortably, “comfortable” being the operative term. Because the house has two functional kitchens, we were able to tear out the main, first floor kitchen and enjoy the use of the one that was upstairs. With the help of plumber-friends and electrician-friends, we updated the entire infrastructure as we redesigned the house to the splendor that we imagined once existed within these walls.
The first floor now boasts a huge, ‘50s-style eat-in kitchen, updated with brand-new plumbing, a subway-tile backsplash, and beautiful, stainless appliances including a six-burner Vulcan stove that any gourmet cook would drool over. Boomerang Formica® and yellow-and-white tile floor give it a mid-20th century feel reminiscent of Grandma’s kitchen. The relocated full bath with giant-sized stall shower has black-and-white hexagon tile on the floor, just like Grandma had, too! The only touch of formality is the sparsely furnished first-floor parlor with its original wood floors and gold-and-green wallpaper.
On the second floor, an area that could be a separate apartment has a full working kitchen, sans stove to keep it legal, but with a little 1950s refrigerator that keeps drinks cold when entertaining, and an expansive family room with wall-to-wall windows overlooking the Presbyterian church on South and Main. On a clear day in winter, you can almost imagine seeing the harbor, but can clearly see the church’s steeple and downtown Village areas! A small bedroom which I use as my office (I work from home), and full, tiled bath completes this separate living area. Three bedrooms are located on the second floor, as well, complete with generous closet space, added on since houses built in the late 1800s didn’t have much in the way of storage space.
There’s a finished, heated, third-floor attic that offers us out-of-the-way storage, but which can easily become a bedroom if a prospective owner had the desire to add a regular staircase to replace the pull-down steps.
This barn red house with gold accents and a green-trimmed, glass front door is eminently livable, beautifully redone, functional, and the perfect home for a family with children, along with an elderly parent to care for. There’s plenty of room for all!
The above article was written by Stephen Doone for Patch.