45 Elm Street – Owners: John Walsh and Bonnie Spencer

Immediately you know this is the home of a loyal Boston Red Sox fan. You cannot tell by the home’s traditional Victorian exterior. But you cannot miss the Red Sox baseball protruding from the home’s front window. This combination of tradition and playfulness is the home’s character.

Owners John Walsh and Bonnie Spencer spent years renovating this home from a modest 1100 sq. feet to its present 2,068 sq. feet. Built in 1871, the home still retains its historic origins.  The front fence is Queen Ann picket, which John milled by hand, along with the porch railings. The living room preserves a Victorian style. Floors are original knotty pine. Crown molding tops the walls. The fireplace, rebuilt to include a gas stove insert, has a traditional white mantle, custom made to match the bookcases. Antiques, family heirlooms and artwork complete the decor. Notice the needlework piece above the front door, stitched by Bonnie’s grandmother while on the Oregon Trail.

The adjoining dining room has cranberry colored walls, crown molding and white bead board wainscoting. The room’s centerpiece is a family heirloom antique chandelier above the dining table, which Bonnie’s great grandmother ordered from Sears and was delivered by Pony Express. A Tiffany style lamp was built by Bonnie, as was the grandfather clock. Black and white photos on the wall show views of the original home and a painting on the opposite wall depicts old Sutter Creek.

A set of stairs leads to a cozy attic bedroom. A perfect setting for whiling away hours reading books under the attic eaves.

A surprise awaits on the other side of the dining room. A large great room and kitchen are revealed. This is where the original home ended. The room is warm and inviting, featuring a stenciled floor, painted by Bonnie. The floor and ceiling beams are also stenciled in a charming pattern reminiscent of the late 1800’s. Comfy sofas and a wood burning stove complete the homey setting.  Cabinets are whitewashed pine, built by local Cabinet Maker John LeSage, with added cutouts by Bonnie. Bonnie’s touch is also on the tile work, including a hand painted tile with the home’s 1871 date.  John Walsh also put his stamp on the room. His collection of vintage fire trucks, cars and airplanes decorate the cabinet tops. Look around the room. Can you find Fenway Park?

On the first floor are a guest bedroom and bathroom, which the owners used while renovating. The guest bedroom’s bay window and window seat were completely rebuilt. The iron bed frame was a rescue find. Antique furnishings create a cozy setting. The guest bathroom was the first room to be remodeled,  retaining a vintage feel with wallpaper, claw foot tub and wainscoting. Bonnie also hand painted tiles and constructed a wall-mounted mirror from a dresser top.

At the back of the great room is the new addition. A wide picture gallery hallway leads to an office on the right and the master bedroom on the left. The master bedroom features a beautiful antique bed. Above the bed is a quilted wall hanging created by Bonnie’s mother showing 45 Elm Street.  At the foot of the bed is an antique chest, a family heirloom handcrafted in Hong Kong. An Art Nouveau armoire and night stands complete the furnishings. Flowered stenciling and crown molding decorate the walls. Note the black and white drawing of a young girl, created by the owners’ daughter Kevlyn when she was 15.  The adjoining master bathroom continues the vintage theme, with classic white hexagon floor tiles, claw foot bath tub and white bead board. Blue faux painting matches the bedroom walls.

Upon departing, the view from the back door shows a picturesque backyard. a concrete and brick patio provides outdoor relaxation in front of a soothing water fountain. The hillside has colorful perennials beneath shade trees, with a vegetable garden tucked in the back. Around the patio corner is a secluded hot tub, a fitting ending to this fun and vintage home.