Odds & Ends » Home Sweet Home

3506 Taft

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I have a huge crush on ranch-style homes! It must be something about living on a single level. Maybe it's that the flow of traffic isn't interrupted by pesky stairs, or maybe it's the graceful low profile in the neighborhood, or how the home really seems to value its relationship to the yard engulfing it. At any rate, I was super-excited to check out this "total remodel" in one of Boise's neatest neighborhoods—the area of 36th and Taft.

This home sits just east off 36th street and is situated toward the front of its .27-acre lot. The house is quite wide, but the low roof line helps disguise the size. The front yard landscaping is a mix of old (mature rosebushes) and new (young trees) with rock borders and a low split-rail fence. A brand-new front door opens to a large living room, and the "total remodel" is evident here. The old floor has been newly dressed in contemporary bamboo, adding a more modern feel to the home, and the walls are painted in a celery green with white baseboard. I was a bit surprised to discover the living room does not have a fireplace, but the large (original) curved front window adds a focal point. The bedrooms are located to the left of the living room—one small, one medium, one large. All the bedrooms have fresh paint (an unassuming beige-y pink) and new plush carpet in the same color family, and two of the bedrooms share a renovated bathroom. The largest bedroom was originally the master suite and has an updated full bath with white and blue tile work. Things such as the original cabinets and closets remind the new owners that this home has much more history than its new carpet indicates.

Going back through the hallway and living room, I found the dining room. A set of French doors lead to the patio, and though one might expect to find a cement pad, a more contemporary wooden deck with a trellis has been added. The yard is huge, with a few older cottonwoods, as well as younger catalpa and maple trees. The rest is a blank slate. I think the previous owners might have parked an RV there (the gate does open that wide), and the dirt that's now exposed is ready to be cultivated. There appears to be a well on the property, but it is not in use and may require some work to be able to tap in again.

Back inside, the kitchen has been outfitted with new walnut-colored cabinets, granite tile countertops, and black microwave, stove and oven. It doesn't fully complement the home's aesthetic, but is a pleasant space to be in. Beyond the kitchen lies the family room, with new plush carpet and an older wood stove. This room seems to be converted, like maybe it was originally a breezeway between the home and the garage, and the beam that runs the length of the home's ceiling supports this conclusion. The garage is conveniently accessed through this room. A small step up through French doors leads to the second master suite, which is much larger than the first and has a new soaker tub, double-sink vanity and slate tile flooring.

She Said: (Sean couldn't tag along for this one, so you only get the "she said.") The price, at $165 per square foot, seems appropriate for the size, location and quarter-acre lot. The "total remodel" will likely be appealing to lots of buyers, but I am a bit skeptical about "flipped" homes. I think it is important to live in a space for a while before remodeling—it takes time to understand the home's personality! For me, the "new car smell" doesn't translate well to a home. With some living and planning, though, this home could be a great blend of 1960s architecture with a 2006 lifestyle.