Tim W. Roby, 208-343-5748
When looking for a new home, you may come across a place that at first glance seems all wrong. The exterior paint might be an unappealing color. Or the dated interior may beg for a contemporary touch. A mish-mash of paint colors inside can make a house feel disjointed, and walls seem to plead for a coat of primer and a fresh, cohesive palette to better showcase its distinctive character.
Sometimes, though, despite a handful of unfortunate updates made by a previous owner, something about the bones of a house—its vintage character or serene setting—grabs you. Such was the case when I saw this house.
From the street, this 35-year-old ranch-style home, painted taupe-gray with burgundy trim, seems as though it is trying to hide itself in the shadows of a large blue spruce tree and other mature, neatly trimmed evergreen shrubbery in the front yard. But a semi-circular flagstone driveway and the deep front porch's wide, arched entryway drew me in as I approached the two-story dwelling's low-slung facade.
Four plate glass sidelights, two on each side, flank the dwelling's heavy front door. On the other side, a foyer is created by a sweeping semi-circle of Oakley stone underfoot and a curved, textured brick partition that blocks a visitor's view of family members lounging in the living room or snacking at the breakfast bar in the kitchen.
Two more curved walls sit just behind the one in the foyer. One faces the red-walled living room, where it acts as a fireproof backstop behind a wood-burning stove. The other adds a pleasantly funky quality to what would otherwise be a fairly sizable kitchen outfitted with white painted cabinets, white appliances and medium-brown laminate counters.
The split-bedroom floor plan places the kitchen and a step-down living room with hardwood flooring at the center of the house. Two bedrooms and a full bathroom are located on one side of the home, while a family room, a three-quarter bathroom and a second-story master suite are arranged on the opposite side. Cool '70s-era light fixtures dangle from the ceiling in about half of the rooms. A pair of cut-glass globes flanks a computer desk in a bedroom painted dark blue and brown, while a faceted pair of upside-down teardrops illuminates the mirror in a bathroom.
The family room is a versatile space that could be used as a bedroom suite since it has a closet and is adjacent to a bathroom with a tiled shower stall. It also has a separate entrance from the front yard, which would suit it for use as a home office. Above it is the master suite, where you'll find an angled ceiling with exposed beams, a full bathroom and a private balcony overlooking the park-like back yard.
The back yard is accessed several ways: through a sliding glass door in the kitchen, French doors in the light green rear bedroom, and also from the laundry/mud room. Out back, you will find a large, unfenced lawn surrounded by willow trees, tall pines and landscaped beds. The neighboring lots are fenceless as well, making the merged yards seem like a lovely park. An irrigation canal, disguised as a shallow, burbling creek flowing along the back edge of the property, attracts ducks and deer and completes the park-like scene.
Pros: Character and potential with a park-like back yard.
Cons: Its uncommon style will only appeal to certain buyers.
Open House: Saturday, Jan. 31, noon-2 p.m.