Jan Higginbotham, 208-850-8555
Look for homes that are quirky. That pretty much sums up my mission for this column as suggested by my old editor. This week's home bears enough quirkiness to put a smile on my former chief's face.
The home's 59-year-old facade is constructed of quarter log siding, making it look like a log cabin with a covered porch and a low-sloped roof line. Whole logs support the porch cover. The three other exterior sides of the structure are made of handsome red brick. Inside, yards and yards of original knotty pine paneling cover nearly every interior wall and much of the ceiling. Some doorways bear scalloped headers, a detail more commonly found above the kitchen sink as a whimsical valance decoration in homes of this period.
The Wild West theme created by the log cabin facade and the extensive interior use of tongue-and-groove wall coverings make it the perfect setting for screenings of John Wayne Westerns.
It looks like the original floor plan was a simple two bedroom, one bathroom home with a sizable kitchen and a laundry room with a concrete floor. At some point, the attached two-car garage was converted into two rooms that could be used as a master suite/changing room or a family room/office. A portion of the changing room could be remodeled to create a second bathroom. Out front, a big pull-through driveway cuts an arc through a lush lawn that carpets much of the lot, which is just over one-third of an acre in size. The log facade on the newer, detached two-car garage matches the house.
The living room features a large Oakley stone fireplace flanked by a pair of pine cabinets. Knicknacks are visible through glass doors on the upper cabinets, while the storage shelves below are enclosed by hardwood doors.
An open doorway with a scalloped header leads to the kitchen, where all cabinetry is constructed of pine. A sheet metal hood vent with a faux-copper finish looks like another preserved detail from 1950. A series of mismatched updates made over the years to appliances, flooring and countertops gives the kitchen a disjointed feel. A more cohesive appearance could be easily attained by bringing in a matching range, refrigerator and compact dishwasher. New countertops would help, too, because the Formica looks like it has been used as a cutting board.
Nestled behind the kitchen and living room are the two original bedrooms. They feel small compared to modern standards but are in line with the modest proportions that were common at the time the house was built. A heavy door that slides open on an overhead track separates the living room and the larger bedroom, where there is an abundance of closet space and built-in storage cabinets.
The dwelling's sole bathroom is outfitted with a combination shower/bathtub unit and a mismatched pair of wall-mounted medicine cabinets. The bathtub appears to be the original porcelain-on-steel model.
The houses on Manitou Avenue, south of Boise Avenue, were built mainly between 1936 and 1953. Along this eight-block stretch, vintage cottages and modest ranch homes mingle with a healthy smattering of late-20th century and newer structures. Directly across the street from this residence sits Manitou Park, a verdant 11-acre oasis that has tennis and basketball courts, a playground and ample space for playing cowboys and Indians with friends.
Pros: Quirky Western theme from 1950.
Cons: One bathroom, although a second could be added.
Open house: Saturday-Sunday, May 9-10, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.