Odds & Ends » Home Sweet Home

709 E. Warm Springs Ave.


4,605 sq. ft.: 5 bedrooms, 4 baths

Built in 1925

Lot size: about 60' x 150'


SelEquity: Laurie Barrera, 208-859-5660, lauriebee@cableone.net

Some of the biggest and most opulent houses in Boise were built along Warm Springs Avenue early in the 20th century, including this jewel of a red brick colonial revival built by a Dr. Beck and his wife Amoral.

The bright entry is painted "Navajo Dawn," (peach). Its floors, as all the floors on the first level, are oak. The stairs are constructed of warm brown fir with classic white turned balusters. French doors lead to an elegant living room lit by a picture window. The white coved ceilings are nine feet high and seem to float above the taupe walls. What a place for conversation. An archway leads to a den graced with a blue-tiled fireplace, where I can imagine someone reading or watching television. A second archway leads to the rear of the living room, which is set up for formal dining.

A second French door off the entry leads past a cozy knotty-pine den and into a kitchen lit by three big windows over the sink. All the ceilings (including the kitchen's) on this floor are nine feet high which gives the rooms an old-fashioned feel. A door leads to an inviting private patio. Behind the kitchen is a room with an extraordinary wall of windows overlooking the yard and the next-door neighbor's huge, extraordinary garden below. This room could be an informal eating area, a formal dining room, etc. A small hallway leads to a nicely finished bathroom with a claw-foot tub and a big bedroom. I love the four windows overlooking the back yard and the long window seat with drawers underneath. It's a perfect place for hours of reading.

Back in the den open stairs lead down to a daylight basement, a big room with laundry hookups, storage and a door leading in from the heated single-car garage. At the back of the house is a knotty-pine-paneled room which would be so cozy in plaid furniture. The large room next door features five-foot-high wainscoting and could be a master suite. It has a walk-in closet and is next to a full bath with a separate shower and tub. Best of all, besides a picture window, this room opens out to the back yard complete with a big deck and a sunken hot tub. The yard features flower beds, several big trees, and a wood fence and bushes for privacy.

Further in the basement are a carpeted, mirrored exercise room with an egress window, another room, a three-quarter bath and a full kitchen with big windows. These rooms could be guest quarters or this kitchen could be used during backyard parties.

At 4,600 square feet, this house goes on and on. The stairs in the entry lead up to a large carpeted room, which in turn, leads to a bedroom painted in lively periwinkle lit by two big windows and two skylights and cooled by a window air conditioner. The attached bathroom is small but includes the original claw-foot tub. Next door to the bathroom is yet another kitchen with a skylight. It could remain a kitchen or be used to expand the bathroom next door. Off of the center room, another door leads to a large, unfinished attic space.

Pros: This home has too many features to mention. Only $54 a month fills the radiators with geothermally heated water and supplies water to the faucets so hot that it's best to immediately mix it with cold. City water flows out of the cold water taps. Dr. Beck was an obstetrician and a mechanical genius who invented and installed a system that uses the chilly soil under the basement and a fan to cool most of the house. This system still works. For an additional $15,000, the present owner, who works with solar energy, will install solar panels on the roof that will reduce electric costs to zero.

Cons: Some of the carpeting in the basement is stained and needs replacing. The three quarter bathroom could use spiffing up.