Thursday, August 9, 2012

Huckleberry Finn: A Family Home Tour

   "Yes. My great-grandfather, eldest son of the Duke of Bridgewater, fled to this country about the end of the last century, to breathe the pure air of freedom; married here, and died, leaving a son, his own father dying about the same time. The second son of the late duke seized the titles and estates -- the infant real duke was ignored. I am the lineal descendant of that infant -- I am the rightful Duke of Bridgewater; and here am I, forlorn, torn from my high estate, hunted of men, despised by the cold world, ragged, worn, heart-broken, and degraded to the companionship of felons on a raft!" 

Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn Chapter 19

My great-great-great-grandfather came from Norway to America in the 1850s.  He had a strong Norwegian accent and was hesitant to speak much in public.  By all accounts, he was a shy man.  

On the other hand, he married a plucky and robust woman from Sweden who had neither trouble speaking her mind nor getting to know others.  (She was a midwife, and probably knew more about her neighbors than they would like to admit.)  I like to think I take after my grandmother---aside from the midwifing part.

My great-great-great-grandparents purchased a little brick home and its adjoining farm in the late 19th century.  It later passed from their hands to a son's hands and on down the line.  Unfortunately, it wasn't the genealogical line I happen to be standing in.  Great-Great-Uncle Soren got the house.  

 And so marked the end of my connection to the family ancestral home.

That is, until today.

I was dumbfounded this week when I discovered while flipping through a magazine that it was listed as "House #7" in the Salt Lake Parade of Homes!  Apparently, a builder took enough interest in the historical landmark to renovate the home into a showpiece.

I realize no one is a fan of looking at someone else's family photos, but I hope you'll indulge me as I take you on a tour of the little house in all of its renovated glory.

Welcome to The Brinton-Dahl House

The builder salvaged everything he could that was original to the home, including the front door and some of the home's pocket doors.

The fireplace in the living room is original.   A picture of our Grandpa and Grandma hangs over the mantel.

I am smitten with the blue hues of the house, especially in the "game room."  And oh, that molding . . .

The sitting room off of the game room is a light and airy compliment to the masculine feel of the game room.  Where do I sign up for that coffee table and those armchairs?

The kitchen walls are made of exposed brick from the original home.  What is it about brick in a kitchen?  Yum.

I adore these framed recipe pages.  What a cool way to preserve family memories!  Wish I had thought of that . . .

The dining room is a scrumptious little nook off of the kitchen with its funky wallpaper, vintage light fixture, and antique portrait.
The master bedroom is full of interesting textures and eclectic decor.

I have to admit that the master bath is probably my favorite nook of the house.  There is something about that fantastic wall paper and the claw-footed tub surrounded by photographs that makes me swoon.

The kids' rooms are all situated in various eaves of the house.  The sloping ceilings make for unique spaces in each of the bedrooms.

Even the upstairs hallway makes a nod to the past with its quilt hung over the railing.

This old house even makes space for a practical craft/homework/activity area and a modern laundry room.

I was as enamored with the outside of the house as I was with the inside.  I loved its crisp color scheme, its charming lanterns hung from old trees, and its original milk house.

I realize I can't take credit for this unique and adorable home.  I just had the good luck to have roots in its foundation.  I would like nothing more than to move in and triumph in finally staking claim to the ancestral home, but at a hefty $1 million price tag, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with some photos instead.

So here is my most triumphant of pictures.  This is me, our sister Hillary, and my brother and his wife standing proudly on the front steps of the house.  Doesn't it look like we belong there?  

I just wish the builder thought so, too.


  1. Erika,

    Isn't that amazing. I love the molding in the upstairs hallway. Thanks for a glimpse of remodeled history!

    Have a wonderful and blessed day!

  2. what an amazing home

    i love every bit of it
    i might personalize a few colors
    here and there

    it's pretty large too

    what fun!


  3. What a beautiful home! Wished I lived close to view it in person. What a wonderful blessing to be able to go in and think about your ancestors living and working there every day. Not many people outside of Utah are given that opportunity. Thanks for sharing with others.

  4. UNBELIEVABLE. The perfect mix of old and new, funky and classic. I love it.

  5. Oh, I wish you could live in this beautiful home. It's a shame that it's no longer in your family. My father's family home, which is in England, is now part of a small inn. My husband and I stayed there when we visited in the 1980s. Something about standing on the stairs and walking through the rooms made me feel really connected to my great grandparents who I never knew. Then just a few weeks ago, my sister and I found the property that was a dairy farm that had belonged to my father's mother's parents. We used to attend family reunions there when I was a child. By then it had been passed on to one of my dad's uncles. When he and his wife went into a nursing home in the 80s, all the property was sold off to a developer. I had always thought the old home place was long gone. Not so, it's still there with acreage around it. The current owners allowed us to roam around and explore the creek area we played in as children. They are restoring the old rock home, so we couldn't go inside it. The property will eventually be used as an event venue for weddings and parties.

  6. wow, how amazing is this?!!! I'm with you, that master bath is my fave, the whole house is wonderfully renovated. too bad it's so pricey, but how great to see it looking so fabulous!

  7. what a fantastic home. thanks for the tour. I think the builder needs to at least offer you the family discount!! :)

  8. This is Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle. LOVE that house! Oh how I would love to restore an old home. . . Too bad my husband starts hyperventilating at the thought! That exposed brick in the kitchen is just amazing! And, the tile in that master bath is crazy beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  9. That is fortunate that you found out about it!! The house is gorgeous...and that kitchen...what IS it about brick in a kitchen that wants you to put it into your own ~ lol!! Loved it!

  10. Oh, how I've enjoyed the wonderful tour! What a lovely house! I love the kitchen too! Oh, my goodness.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  11. How gorgeous! I love it! Will feature today on Home Sweet Home!

  12. That is a gorgeous home, each and every room.

  13. I want your house! I love the way you cozy and nice!

  14. I really liked your post, in general your entire blog. Here I can get kitchen (cocinas) ideas. Since I have been wanting to change for a long time and here I have seen some ideas that I can do in my kitchen, thanks to this post. That touch as if it were old, I liked it a lot. Thanks for sharing.


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