Century-old home has bells, whistles and Christmas glow

By: Gloria Young Home & Garden
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The first time Jim and Vicki Johnson caught a glimpse of their 100-year-old home, it struck a chord. “We took our dog to the lake and this house was for sale. So we took the flier,” Vicki Johnson said recently. “The people here before had lived (in the house) for 40 years and were in their 80s. It was overgrown but we just fell in love with it. We put in an offer and put our (Granite Bay) house on the market and it sold the first day.” In the nine years since, the Johnsons have painted, scoured, polished and done a little updating — but all while keeping the craftsman bungalow’s structure and character intact. “There was gold shag carpet in the living room and dining room,” she said. “We picked it up and there were beautiful hardwood floors underneath.” In addition to restoring the floors, they removed the stained foam-board ceiling and water-damaged plaster. “The whole ceiling had to come down,” Johnson said. “But it still has the big beams.” The kitchen got a total makeover. “When we bought it, it had a little sink, one cupboard, the stove and a little pot-belly stove,” she said. ... “We took out the wall between the kitchen and dining room, so it is one big room. We put up a bar and bought a new stove. Off the back hallway was a closet. We opened it up and made it into a pantry. We were going to close it off with a door but left it open, so now it is kind of a walk-through pantry.” They redid the cabinets, but kept the old-fashioned pulls. The finishing touch was granite countertops. “(The kitchen) is painted a pale yellow and pale green, so it looks old, not modern,” Johnson said. Seven long, skinny windows in the dining room bring in lots of light, creating a bright, cheerful atmosphere. “There’s a lot of crown molding around everything,” she said. “There’s paneling three-quarters of the way up, like a shelf, all the way around the dining room. You can set pictures on there. Everything was dark, so we painted all the paneling.” The Johnsons brought in a specially built table. “It is 5 feet by 7 feet,” Johnson said. “It is made from reclaimed lumber. It’s very heavy and very old, so someone probably danced on it. It fits very well with the wood floor.” Typical of craftsman homes built in that era, it has a lot of wood molding and built-in wood cabinets with leaded glass fronts. The Johnsons chose to keep all of that. There’s paneling in the room designated as Jim Johnson’s office, as well as built-in cabinets; a hutch in the dining room and built-in cabinets in the living room. The repairs have long been completed and now — decorated from floor to ceiling for Christmas — it will be one of the stops on the Dec.. 10 Loomis Basin Holiday Home Tour. “My favorite thing is that I can be in the house and look out and see the fields,” Johnson said. “We have probably 60 acres around us not (developed). We are really in the country. There are deer out here and coyotes. There are a lot of windows in the house. Anywhere you look, you have a view of something. You’re not looking at a neighbor.” Johnson is an avid quilter and the home is the perfect setting for her many colorful quilts. “They’re all over the house,” she said. “I’ve made bedspreads; there are quilts on the couch and on chairs. Just about every room has a quilt somewhere.” For the holidays, Johnson is pulling out all the stops. “I have lots of Christmas stuff because that’s my favorite holiday,” she said. “There’s a big tree in the living room. I’ve given my kids ornaments every year since they were born — something they liked or a vacation we took. The whole tree is (filled with) ornaments from throughout their childhood. My daughter is 28 and my son is 21.” Another tree is decorated with Santas. A guest room tree is all Barbie ornaments. “This year all the decorations are coming out,” Johnson said. For Loomis Holiday Home Tour Chairwoman Leslie Griffith, the Johnsons’ residence is a perfect fit. “I like the fact that it is a historic home here in Placer County,” she said. “I thought people would be really interested to see a bit of history. With her quilting, her home is so inviting and so warm with the quilts displayed throughout.” In addition to the homes on view, this year’s tour will feature a lunch buffet, holiday boutique, art show and music. This is the fourth year of the tour, which benefits the Loomis Basin Education Foundation. “It helps supplement the school district where they lack funds,” Griffith said. “It keeps the P.E. program in our schools and the goal is to help keep the arts in the schools.” Reach?Gloria Young at ------------ Loomis Basin Holiday Home Tour What: Tour of five Loomis Basin homes decorated for the holidays; gourmet buffet lunch and Holiday Boutique featuring musical entertainment, art show, gifts and silent auction at H. Clarke Powers Elementary Who: Loomis Basin Education Foundation to benefit students of the Loomis Union School District When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10 Tickets: $25 in advance or $30 on tour day; $10 ticket for gourmet buffet lunch is also available in advance. Tickets available in Loomis at High Hand Nursery, Blue Goose Produce and Flower Farm Nursery; in Rocklin at Pottery World; in Roseville at California Backyard; and in Auburn at Eisley Nursery More information: