A 1910 Craftsman Home Renovation In Montana
HGTV’s Mountain Mamas Star Trecie Wheat Hughes Shares Her Home Restoration Story
This is a guest contributed article by Trecie Wheat Hughes, agent affiliated with Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties
The restoration process of my 1910 Craftsman in Livingston, Montana has been a labor of love. Even as a child I remember loving old houses. Historic homes tell a story and each one is magical in its own special way. In 2010, as I was tirelessly searching for my next renovation project, I walked into a run down Craftsman and I instantly knew it would be mine. My intention was to renovate and flip the property. What I didn’t know was that I was about to fall deeply in love with the salt of the earth people in the community of Livingston and Paradise Valley, Montana.
Prior to purchasing the home in 2010, the house had been vacant for 8 months during one of the coldest winters in my lifetime. Through the inspection process we found that the cast-iron radiant heating system and all the plumbing was completely frozen, not to mention the roof needed to be replaced. BUT the biggest problem was that I had already fallen in love with the 100+ year old home and nothing was going to stop me from buying it! The radiant heat, plumbing and roof were addressed first and then the real work began….
The house has been carefully renovated and restored using only time period appropriate materials and design elements. Most of my built-ins are actually antique pieces that have been purchased at local antique and thrift stores. Many of the kitchen cabinets are from an old farmhouse that I picked up for $100.00 at a local thrift. The cabinet above the range was custom built using an old window with the original blown glass.
The fireplace mantel is my favorite find EVER! The antique tiger oak mantle was purchased at an antique store in Bozeman, MT. It perfectly frames the existing coal burning copper fireplace. Copper was a popular finish during the turn of the century as Butte, Montana (referred to as the “richest hill on earth”) is 100 miles from Livingston. The “herringbone” marble tile was added at the same time as the mantel but the floor tile is original to the house. Each tile is a little different and has held the test of time in a beautiful way. Some of the colors have faded and some of the tiles are cracked but it doesn’t bother me one bit.
My love for old houses and antiques is only matched by my obsession with vintage rugs. I spend countless hours finding rugs for myself and for my clients. All my rugs are 50-100 years old, hand woven, plant died, low pile and made out of the finest wool. Vintage rugs bring a beautiful, rich color and guarantee a custom look to every room.
I often think of the major events in our world since 1910: the Titanic, World War I and II, women’s suffrage movement, roaring 20’s, art deco era, great depression, the civil rights movement and so many more. And all the while, my old Craftsman stands as strong and beautiful as the day it was built.
For more information on our HGTV Renovation Series, “Mountain Mamas” or current Montana Real Estate info, go to our website: www.jackieandtrecie.com