Odds & Ends » Home Sweet Home

1731 S. Michigan Ave.


South Boise Village sounds like a new subdivision, but is, in fact, an established area of Boise bound by Boise Avenue, Broadway Avenue, Howard Street, Protest Hill Road and Federal Way. It boasts a strong neighborhood association, pocket parks along Boise Avenue, and interpretative plaques explaining its relationship to the Oregon Trail. There is a part of the village just below the bench that includes Michigan, Vermont, Warren, Garfield, Williams and Manitou streets that I consider one of Boise's hidden treasures. Trees line the streets, the yards are well landscaped and the houses are neatly maintained. The house values range from modest to very expensive. Manitou Park is just a few blocks away.

This house is a Cape Cod style that was a builder's own home. It is clinker brick with yellow dormers and gable ends. There are mature trees in the front yard and an exuberant perennial flower bed. The doors of the two-car garage and the house are painted an elegant black. The living room is floored in hard wood as are all the rooms on the first and second floors. Its focal point is a clinker brick gas fireplace, around which are built-in cabinets and shelves, and a long mantelpiece. The front of the room is lit by a picture window and a window on the fireplace wall. Many of the windows in the house are new. The ceilings in the first floor are coved. Under the front windows is a radiator, but it's camouflaged by a vented cabinet, a feature repeated throughout the first and second floors. This front room is painted yellow, and the entire house has been freshly painted in designer colors.

Each floor of this house has two bedrooms and a bathroom. The second floor bedrooms each measure 18 feet by 18 feet and include 400 square feet of under-eave storage. Every bedroom in the house includes built-in closets, cabinets and shelves. In the master bedroom is a large window seat, and the basement office includes a built-in desk, counters and shelves in an attractive dark wood. The bathrooms on the upper two floors combine the original ceramic tile with newer cabinets and lovely floral wallpaper.

An archway connects the living room to the dining area, which has a big picture window facing the backyard. The kitchen counters and the breakfast bar are covered in gray-green vinyl. The new maple cabinets are lovely, and include two display cabinets over the breakfast bar. There is a gas stove/microwave convection combo and space for a side-by-side refrigerator.

Walking toward the attached garage, I stepped down into a long narrow mudroom/pantry with many cabinets and another built-in desk. It has picture windows facing both the front and the back of the house with a door to the backyard. The yard is a fully fenced resort with a 20-foot-by-40-foot heated, in-ground pool surrounded by Trex decking, mature trees, lots of lawn and covered and uncovered patio space. The property includes a well that provides free water for the yard and pool. Further behind the house, steps lead to a basement door that opens into one of the biggest, most retro (yet well equipped) utility rooms I've ever seen with lots of cupboards, a folding counter, a built in ironing board and a big sink. Two laundry chutes empty into to this room. Beyond, the entire finished basement is newly carpeted wall to wall, and each room has egress windows, some of which are quite large. The basement family room features a cast iron wood stove.

PROS: I adore this house. It is charming, has tons of storage and is made of easy-maintenance brick. The rooms are large rooms, the in-ground pool is a real bonus and the house is in a nice area. There are too many features to mention.

CONS: Because of the hydronic (hot water) heating system, you can't easily and cheaply install central air conditioning.