I dream about houses. Really. Ask Carla. Sometimes I wake up and am able to tell her the tiniest details of a home I “visited” in my sleep. But I recently began work on a house that I couldn’t have created…in my wildest dreams.

If you drive down the Doylestown street where the house “lives,” it’s easy to miss. Hidden behind tree cover, you don’t get a glimpse of the dark cedar structure until you’re well along the front path. …And then suddenly, there it is!


When owner Chris Grebey opened the exposed-nail shiplap door, I was sure this was a historic home. And when I say historic, I mean really old. Small rooms, low ceilings, multiple front entrances.


But it’s not that old. The original section was built in the 1930s and the addition went on in the ’50s. You can see here where the two meet.


Chris doesn’t know much of the house’s history except that the owner at the time of the addition did the building himself, and was pretty thorough at continuing the “antiquing” details the original builder, who was a designer, had begun two decades earlier. And when I say details, I mean even the hidden ones. Take a look at this cut nail, used since the dawn of the Metal Age, I pulled out of one of the clapboards.


Then there are the diamond windows throughout the house….and the latched “cupboard” storage in the hallway…


And get a load of this tiny door, about 5-feet tall, that leads from the living room to the garden…


But what really got me going were these… I took a picture and did a fair amount of googling. They looked like finials – and they are – but I had never seen them as “icicles” before, dropping instead of crowning a structure or piece of hardware. Three of them adorn the front of the original house.

Interestingly Chris, who is a project manager, used to be an anthropologist. So when her realtor kept showing her one cookie-cutter house after another, Chris was eager to “unearth” a treasure.


“I wanted a house that wasn’t like any other,” she says. It certainly isn’t.

I’ll update you on the house as we complete the job, before “weather” comes. Happy Autumn!