Where old meets new

  • By Sarah Jackson Herald Writer
  • Thursday, September 8, 2011 12:01am
  • Life

When Robert and Kelly Hallum were raising their four children in Lake Stevens, they often would venture out of town to do long runs.

North Everett, featuring two of the quaintest streets in the county — Rucker and Grand avenues — fast became one of their favorite jogging spots.

“We l

oved the charm of the neighborhood and the homes,” Kelly Hallum said. “We thought, ‘One day, that’s where we’ll live.'”

And now they do.

In 2007, the Hallums moved into a 1928 Tudor revival on Rucker Avenue.

And in the past four years, they’ve turned it from a diamond in the r

ough to a shining gem, inside and out.

This Saturday, the Hallums will open up their pride and joy, which won Everett’s Monte Cristo Pride of the Neighborhood award in 2007, on Historic Everett’s annual fall tour of historic homes.

Eight homes will be featured along with Historic Everett’s third-annual restoration fair, a showcase of two dozen exhibitors and restoration experts, held at Trinity Lutheran College in downtown Everett.

The Hallum home, which sits on a sloped lot overlooking the street, features captivating architecture and picturesque gardens on the outside.

Inside, it’s a blueprint for how to renovate a historic home with modern conveniences while still respecting its history.

Visitors will enter the 3,000-square-foot, five-bedroom stucco house through its original rounded-top wooden door, featuring an inset rounded-top door and, inside that, another miniature peephole door, just 2 inches tall, for easy peering out at would-be guests.

How could the Hallums resist that?

Kelly Hallum, who has a knack for decorating, fell in love with the home’s original interior molding and millwork, still covered in a natural finish, including a set of leaded-glass doors between the living and dining rooms.

Hallum’s decorating style, which leans heavily toward the Arts and Crafts era, relies on warm, rich autumn colors, a perfect fit for the house.

She delights in the historic home’s quirks, including its creaky wood floors, its tile-surround fireplace in the living room and an unexplained closet in the dining room.

Could it have been a pantry or maybe a former coat closet? Why is there a window inside, facing the street? Kelly Hallum loves to ponder it. She even loves the old house smell that seems to linger in the small walk-in space, now filled with glassware.

One of the first things the Hallums tackled was the kitchen, which needed a complete overhaul.

Though the space had two built-in cupboard areas, they were falling apart. And the floors, sticky and made of mismatched boards, needed to be replaced.

Local contractors seamlessly matched the old floors with the new.

And Wes Axlen with Axlen Construction of Snohomish brought the kitchen up-to-date without downplaying the home’s historic character.

Today the space boasts modern appliances and granite counters, which might look overly contemporary if it weren’t for the refinished floors and traditional white painted cabinets with cup-style drawer pulls.

Even the small, almost-square kitchen island makes sense in this space, thanks to the same traditional cabinet style supporting its granite top.

Matching built-in cabinets fill the wall where the broken ones used to sag.

Behind the gas cooktop, an old-world backsplash of white and yellow tile looks right at home.

Over the kitchen windows, lavish fabric is looped and swirled to soften the space, which features an original archway between the dining and kitchen areas.

Just around the corner, visitors will find stairs that feature what appear to be original treads. Though the curving wood banister looks original, it’s not.

The Hallums, finding a strange half-wall and railing in the space when they moved in, had the area renovated to better fit the house.

Upstairs, there are three bedrooms, two decorated sweetly for guests.

Even though the Hallums didn’t change their upstairs floor plan, they still managed to create a master suite of sorts, by adding a door between the largest bedroom and the adjacent full bath.

In the bathroom, the Hallums did away with the peach-and-white decor and went with soft earth tones, including tile flooring with radiant heat and a new shower-tub.

They gave a nod to the history of the home with a free-standing double vanity, featuring dark wood cabinets with intricate scrollwork befitting a piece of built-in furniture.

“I like mixing the old and the new,” Hallum said. “I know what I like, and I just do it.”

Kelly Hallum said her three sons and daughter were all a bit dismayed when their parents decided to leave their childhood home after 14 years, even though all but one of them were living on their own.

It felt strange to them.

But now, with four years and many renovations behind them, the Hallums, even the kids, feel right at home, especially when everyone’s home for the holidays.

“The kids said, ‘We don’t ever want you to move. It’s home. We love it,'” Kelly Hallum said.

Sarah Jackson: 425-339-3037; sjackson@heraldnet.com.

Take the tour

What, where: Historic Everett’s 2011 Home Tour & Restoration Fair will feature eight homes on a self-guided tour as well as a vendor fair with two dozen exhibitors and regional restoration experts at the Trinity Lutheran College, 2802 Wetmore Ave., Everett.

Homeowners visiting the fair can learn from professionals how to update or renovate one room or their entire home. Guests can bring house photos and members of the Everett Historical Commission will try to identify the architectural styles.

Specialists will demonstrate the best ways to refinish furniture, restore historic tile and flooring, fix double-hung windows and reconfigure old floor plans.

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Cost: Admission is $20 or $15 for Historic Everett members. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the tour at the Van Valey House, 2130 Colby Ave., Everett, and at the restoration fair; or in advance at Port Gardner Bay Winery, 2802 Rockefeller Ave., and J. Matheson Gifts, Kitchen and Gourmet, 2615 Colby Ave., both in Everett.

Information: See www.historiceverett.org or call 425-530-2722.

Wes Axlen, Axlen Construction, Snohomish: 425-418-4353, axlenconst@comcast.net

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