July 21, 2008

House Tour, Ocean Grove

This past weekend mom and I enjoyed the annual Ocean Grove House Tour. We first went a couple of years ago, and each tour has ended with me going back to my apartment and bundling up at least one super sized Hefty bag to bring to the Salvation Army. (House tours have a way of making you feel so inadequate. Like you’re a filthy, crazy pack rat. Or is that just me? And should I have been using my quiet inside voice just now?).

Anyhoo…Incidentally it was that first house tour we went on that got me to thinking how I’d love an older home on the Jersey Shore. And, wow…how truly fortunate I am that the mister and I are there now, splitting electrical cords and shimming up creaky floorboards. Bliss.

The house tour is a fundraiser for the Ocean Grove Historical Society. Each year about ten generous homeowners and inns open their doors to the 400 people who buy tickets. I only took a few photos as it was hard to get shots with so many people traipsing through. And, at the one house that I really wanted photos of (the kitchen, in particular), I was smacked down (metaphorically speaking) by a docent (doing her job, so I respect). Other homes welcomed photos so I’m not sure if it was this homeowner in particular or what. In any event…totally understandable, and here’s some highlights of the tour I was able to get. I’m saving the tents for a separate post. (“Did she say, ‘tents?’” Yes; she did. About 114 families live in tricked out tents here in the summer, and if that doesn’t deserve its own post I don’t know what does!).

The very first house we went in was probably my overall favorite. It was like going into a lovely historical inn…but it was someone’s home! Here’s the outside:

I love how they staged the dining room! Good thing I had just eaten ‘cause there’s no telling if I would have been able to exercise self control around the cupcakes.

An amazing silver set was on one side of the room (my arms are tired just thinking about the pre-tour polishing ritual that took place)…

…and this extensive collection of souvenir ruby flash glass from turn-of-the-century Ocean Grove and Asbury Park beach kiosks were displayed in the window behind the dining table.

The butler’s pantry was fantastic, and connected the dining room to the kitchen (I’m not used to seeing this sort of “breezeway” layout. And those floor to ceiling cabinets on either side – to die for!).

The master bedroom was a similar color to mine, which made me feel a little better about my paint.

Their black and white toile bath was gorgeous, and hello: that’s a wall o’ window there. Swoon.

Oh, these pillowcases. I. Want. Them.

This cozy one bedroom cottage was midway on our tour. What a fantastic use of space! The freshly remodeled home won an award this year for historic preservation.

Check out this dining nook. It is teeny tiny, but could easily sit six comfortably:

Outdoor space is at a premium in Ocean Grove, as the houses are built thisclose to one another. The cottage’s outdoor garden was an adorable use of a very small space. If it wasn’t 100 degrees Kelvin out, I would have plopped down right in that chair and sat a spell.

One house was filled with fascinating objects from around the world (“No photos.”). The owner’s father was a pilot back in the early days of commercial aviation, and the beautiful screens from Egypt, drums and carvings from West Africa and silver from Europe were displayed lovingly. Her grandmother was obviously a gifted artisan – take a look at the detail work on this bedspread!

Every bed in the home had one.

One home, only four houses in from the beach, was pretty large by Victorian standards. When the house behind them came up for sale, the owners bought it and joined to two together (!!!). So now it is huge. This is the bathroom that connects the two houses. And it is good.

And I love the antique swimsuit as art. (Note reflection of the Atlantic Ocean in the glass. So lucky!)

They also had a billiard room that kind of put ours to shame. The fireplace is taller than I am.

Next is the house I mentioned earlier that I really wanted pictures of. It was a freshly redone house that I’m sure will be an award winner next year.

I did manage to snap what I think is the most creative use of a small outdoor space: A mini shower cabana!

The last house we went in was a large pink Mansard Victorian. They had a matching pink dining room scattered with rose petals and ready for company.

And, their breakfast nook right off the kitchen was charming. The skylight made the room feel huge (and look closely…there’s a hot tub right outside the door. More creative outdoor space use!).

Isn’t that cabinet beautiful? They use it as a bar, and presumably enjoy their libations in the nearby hot tub before settling down to dinner at that inviting little table for two. This homeowner gets extra points for preparing punch for guests (yes; I did mention 400 tickets are sold) in a beautiful crystal punchbowl. I think I need to become friends with them.
While walking around town, we spotted a couple of candidates for next year’s tour. I just love to see this. These old ladies are going to shine once again!

Hope you enjoyed your abbreviated online tour. This year I only filled up half a Hefty bag when I got home. Progress!


Nicole said...

Wow, those are incredible pictures. I love all of those houses. I really like that little dining nook, I bet it's hosted a lot of fun family dinners.

Sweet Bunny said...

Thanks for the beautiful shots! I love seeing the insides of other homes. SO inspiring! It looks like it was a wonderful day.

Courtney said...

oooh...am drooling here....how embarrassing. thanks for sharing these pics!!

Fifi Flowers said...

Love home tours! Thanks for sharing!

pve design said...

What a wonderful tour down history lane along Ocean Grove. I have so much respect for anyone putting their home on tour.
Hefty bags or dumpster, whatever it takes to get ready for a tour deserves a round of applause! (that includes you and your bag too!)

j.cro said...

You put me to shaaaaame woman!
I've lived in our area for YEARS and haven't done a thimble-full of the things you've done in the past several months.
Hats off to you, my friend!

Rue said...

Great pictures! I'm so happy to see those two ladies at the end, getting a makeover. Warms my heart :)


Cucina Cara Mia said...

Great pics of charming old homes, i liked the smallest one the best. I have been purging quite a bit the last few months, it feels good, but don't dare look in my garage-ITS SCARY IN THERE!!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Thanks for the tour! I love going in other people's houses & looking around. And I esp. love old houses, although I've never lived in one. They are so special.

Mrs. Limestone said...

Thanks for sharing. I saw the ad for the House Tour but what kind of house tour is held on a Friday? Am I the only person who has a job?

I digress - thanks for sharing as I love the area. The interiors of the homes are a little over the top in their devotion to the Victorian look but I can appreciate it from afar :)

PS: The fall OG flea market is on Sept 6 and Im definitely planning on not missing that one!!

sarah@abeachcottage said...

oh my! i loved this tour, I *wish* I could do it, I've always loved those big ole American houses - we are doing a round the world trip next year, we all choose a country, mine is the States, I so won't to do something like this, however it will be winter but oh all the Christmassy things will be fantastic

ok I love the vintage swimsuit most of all, I would love one for here, love the ruby flash glass, that is gorgeous, the butlers pantry, hello!, is bigger than my kitchen, err my cottage, those bedspreads are fabulous, imagine having the patience to do that! and the outside shower I am going to try for the summer

great tour...

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Oh...Thank you for all the kind comments, everyone! I've been working like a dog (woof) only to check back in and see you enjoyed the house tour, too. I love going through other people's houses. Legally. ;-) Which is probably why I love this whole blog thing -- I get to look at photos of other people's houses -- your houses, in fact! -- every day. I love it.

Ocean Grove has another house tour around Christmas time, too. I've never been on but I think I'm in this year. For the blog and all. :-)

Jersey Girl in DC said...

I just discovered your blog and love it! I'm from Jersey - we visit Cape May during the summer and we just got married in Ocean City. Love the house tour pic's... thanks for sharing! :)

heidi said...

Thanks for this amazing tour! What delicious details!

Laura said...

Love these pictures - Other-Fabu-Laura - great job! I am dying to do one of these home tours I'm always hearing about in different areas. Unfortunately it's always AFTER they've happened.

laura b. said...

Sorry, that post above was made by "laura b." ;-)

Jen r. said...

OH I love house tours! Thanks so much for sharing! Jen R

Pat said...

This was fun! What gorgeous old homes so beautifully restored and decorated! I live in B rooklyn NY and our backyards are teeny tiny too!

jenny holiday said...

oooh how fun!! Aaron's mom and her friends have attended the OG house tour many many times. This year may have been the first year in over 5 years that they missed it. I'll be sure to send a link to her! :) Great pics!!

Ohhh and Aaron and I had a good laugh at your comment about our "scary lady" (as we call her) The antique portrait in the super duper old frame...YES! She is in fact from the purple unicorn in OG! So so funny that you recognized her! :)

Thanks bunches for popping by my blog!!

Happy Summer!

xoxo Jenny