New life for old home featured on Everett tour

  • By Andrea Brown Herald Writer
  • Friday, September 6, 2013 1:24pm
  • LifeEverett

Her favorite room is the kitchen.

His favorite place is the bedroom.

All the rooms are pretty sweet in the Rucker Avenue home renovated by Oliver and Julie Batson.

Just for the fun of it, you can pick the room you like best on the Historic Everett Home Tour. The self-guided tour on Sept. 14 features eight homes in north Everett, including a California Craftsman bungelow, a Queen Anne cottage and a house with eight jukeboxes.

The Batsons’ two-story home was built as a boarding house in 1920. It was stuck in the 1960s when the couple bought it in 2011.

“We’d fixed up one old house prior to this so it wasn’t too daunting,” Oliver Batson said, “especially since she does all the work.”

Indeed. She did the design, scraping, soaking, staining and research.

“I did the heavy lifting,” he said, “and tried to earn some of the money to pay for it.”

He’s an Everett Clinic oncologist at Providence Regional Cancer Partnership. The couple moved from Bothell to be closer to his work, walking distance in this case.

It wasn’t easy to get the right digs for their two dogs, five grown children and a grandbaby on the way.

They looked for a long time before finding the house on the corner lot with the private outdoor courtyard and leaded glass windows.

“It was love at first sight,” Julie Batson said.

When they went through the front door, the sweeping staircase in the foyer added to the love, even with the green floor tiles and painted banister.

The Batsons saw beyond the unsightly updates and envisioned the home in its original splendor. A contractor helped make it happen.

Still, it was a massive undertaking.

“I was thinking we could live in the basement,” she said, “but that was wishful thinking.”

So, they pretty much stayed put in Bothell, with him occasionally bunking on an air mattress in the basement.

They only replaced what could not be re-enameled and refitted.

“We kept the hardware, and soaked the paint off it. We kept everything we could save,” said Julie Batson, who owns two vintage shops, Cranberry Cottage in Bothell and Vintage by the Bay in Oregon.

“I love old things. I make things out of old pieces. I made a hall tree out of a door,” she said.

She turned an old radio cabinet into a glass-front liquor cabinet. Industrial sawhorses from a yard sale hold a beveled glass top that is her desk.

And the coffee table?

“That’s an old industrial cart out of a factory,” she said. “I painted it with chalk paint and waxed it.”

The list goes on, with evidence of her creative genius throughout the rooms.

“I’m not a very good sitter. I’m always active and busy and my mind never stops,” she said.

Her husband is her buffer half. “He’s the muscle behind it. He’s a good sport.”

Urban life is a contrast to their former rural Bothell homestead, but it’s no fishbowl.

The master suite is a scenic retreat. “It has a beautiful view of the bay,” Oliver Batson said.

His wife likes the neighborhood feel.

“It’s quiet. You can look out and watch the people walk by,” she said. “We’re all about community. People walk their dogs at night. It is so friendly.”

And it got even friendlier. Her parents recently moved from Camano Island to a house a few blocks away.

“I ride my bike down to their house every morning,” she said.

Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com

Historic tour

The self-guided Historic Everett Home Tour on Sept. 14 features eight homes in north Everett.

Tickets are $20 for members and $23 for nonmembers and can be purchased in advance at J. Matheson Gifts, 2615 Colby Ave.; Home Inspirations, 1502 Hewitt Ave.; or at www.brownpapertickets.com.

On tour day tickets can be purchased and brochures picked up from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Van Valey House, 2130 Colby Ave.

For more information, go to www.historiceverett.org or call 425-870-6699.

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