1/2 A walk through (and around) 4247 Maplewood Drive- Seasons 1 and 2 by Kiwismh

Hi Guys! Kiwismh here introducing my guest post on JWWM.

I live in New Zealand and (for my sins Winking smile ) I have been in real estate for the last 11 years. Given my “expertise” Iwsod thought it might be a good idea for me to write a post on Amanda’s house.

In this first post I have covered 4247 Maplewood Drive and the neighbourhood as it appeared in the first two Seasons. I expect to do another post at the end of Seasons 3 and 4 on the same topic – it will be interesting to see what changes and what stays the same as the series proceeds. There was plenty of material to work with in the first two seasons and it’s such a zany neighbourhood I’m sure there will be plenty more to comment on at the end of Season 3. 

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this post and feel free to add comments and point out anything I might have missed.

First off, let’s be clear, this is Amanda’s house :

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This is not Amanda’s house (but it does feature in the opening credits of every episode of the first two Seasons) :

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General Disclaimer : My forte is New Zealand houses, so if I get anything wrong or I use a term you are not familiar with, feel free to correct me or ask me to explain.

I believe Amanda’s house is what is referred to as a “Cape Cod” style home. We have a version of this sort of home in New Zealand, although they are not that common compared with other styles of houses. In the real estate industry we often refer to them as “dolls houses” or sometimes “colonial style”.  Most of this style in NZ were built in the 1970’s through to the early 1990’s (see pic below as an example).

I’m not sure how to date Amanda’s house – I notice a chimney (or possibly two chimneys) so it would have been built with open fires, so does this date it to most likely prior to 1960’s as it would in NZ?

The sash windows in Amanda’s house make me think of 100+ year old houses as those windows are typical of New Zealand villas of the 1870-1920 period.

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A 1970’s era New Zealand “Cape Cod” style home with hints of Tudor and Colonial influences. In other words, a typical New Zealand mash-up of styles and eras. (And it looks like the original garage has been converted into a room as well – lower left hand side of house.)

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Briefly, 4247 Maplewood Drive features a medium to large medium size 3 bedroom home with two living rooms downstairs (is one of them what Amanda calls “the den”?) and I assume 2 bathrooms upstairs.

There must be a downstairs toilet at least and possibly a shower too, but more about that later. At a rough guess I would say 180 to 200m2 floor area, excluding garaging. I’m thinking NZ sizes here – maybe being American it’s larger than that?

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So, let’s start at the Front Door.

There is only one ongoing anomaly I noticed and that is the odd cover that sometimes appears over the door. I thought it may be a pull-out or wind-out awning – used in the colder months to shelter the doorway a little from the weather? Whatever it is, it doesn’t look like it would provide much cover.

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Even Lee is wondering what it is :

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Thanks to BJo who spotted a random one-off anomaly in A Relative Situation – a weird eagle-like motif over the door.

The only explanation I can come up with that would make it fit in the show is it is one of the boys school projects Winking smile What do you think?

For a reasonably detailed view of the front door area, here’s Amanda stepping out with Art Garfunkel,

clip_image016errrr, I mean Artful Dodger. She even has a boot scraper at the front door. Wonder if she had one at the back door for Lee after all the tramping around he did in Dotty’s flower beds?

The Entrance Foyer

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This is really quite spacious but with all those steps it’s a real nightmare for the mobility challenged and a crazy tripping hazard even for the able-bodied. A trend towards sunken lounges and split level homes from the 1960’s to 1980’s in NZ saw many homes built with step-ups or step-downs where a level floor would be the preferred option today.

<<Check this out – how is it that Amanda doesn’t have water flowing in her front door when it rains. The outside pavement is higher than the level of the interior, which in turn features two steps down. There might be a small lip on the edge of the paving but this wouldn’t be enough to stop the water in a real downpour. Not to mention why would you want to be on a lower level than the person outside when you are answering the door?? Very odd.

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See those crazy steps up and down through to the kitchen/family room area. Great exercise I’m sure but trippy, trippy, trippy!

The closets either side of the entrance door are handy storage for coats and jackets, bowling gear and of course the occasional knife wielding criminal.

The interior lay-out Amanda’s house can seem pretty darn confusing so Jeanine’s floor plan was an invaluable resource for me during my research, and is helpful to include here for readers. The original plan can be viewed HERE

Apart from scale it was pretty accurate but as I researched this post I noticed that something wasn’t quite right in the plan and I began to notice another small nook between the laundry and family room that has an outside access door. I have overlaid some features on Jeanine’s original plan. None of this is to scale and I haven’t drawn in all windows, etc. Although out of kilter it does give us a good idea of the floor plan. One day when I have oodles of time to spare (in other words, when my Lotto numbers come in) I will draw this up properly as close to scale as I can. I the meantime, if anyone out there has drafting or architectural drawing skills, feel free to volunteer for the task.

 

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The two rooms we see most are the kitchen and “family room”. What I call the family room is the living room adjoining the kitchen – not sure what it would be called in the US. I would call the living room on the other side of the house, which we don’t get to see so much, the “formal lounge” (more about that later).

The Kitchen and Breakfast Nook

Amanda did some significant remodelling to part of the kitchen after Season 1 – maybe that’s why she was having cash flow problems later in Season 2 – overspent on the remodelling? clip_image026The oven which was originally situated on an angle by the breakfast nook has now moved along to form part of the wall between the kitchen and laundry rooms. Early in Season 1 she got rid of those ugly lights over the island bench and she moved the blue and white planter from next to the oven to the wall over the bread bin. No doubt she moves lots of stuff around but she has so much “stuff” it’s hard to keep track of it all. Time to de-clutter Amanda!

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Here is the Season 2 remodelled kitchen. Notice the view through to the laundry room behind the Colonel, and L-shaped cabinetry next to the breakfast nook, where the corner oven used to be. 

The rest of the kitchen stays much the same throughout with the exception of ornaments and other stuff being re-arranged from time to time.

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Hey, here’s Amanda and Lee looking quite domestic in her kitchen in ROTP. Interesting stable type door between the kitchen and formal dining room. (Not common in NZ homes except for a few built in the 1970’s).

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And we don’t often see the breakfast nook from this angle, looking back into the kitchen. clip_image040

From I’m Not Now… a view of the other end of Amanda’s kitchen, which remains unchanged.

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Looking back into the formal dining room. There are those icky lights from TFT. They are a real distraction which probably accounts for why they disappeared immediately after TFT.

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The wall the plates are displayed on here in S1 is where cabinetry housing the oven is located in S2. Notice Lee disappearing out the side door onto the driveway side of the house.

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If you can look past the eye candy here, you’ll notice cabinetry where the oven used to be, and (below) the wall oven now located on the wall in front of the laundry.

This cabinetry also closes up the other doorway into the laundry/driveway side entrance door that we see Lee using above.That triangular set of display plates gets moved around a lot!

The Family Room

The main changes here between the S1 and S2 are the installation of bi-fold doors (I think called pocket doors in the US?), and a window instead of cabinets in the nook at other end of the room which also has a side door onto the patio/gazebo area. (This is in addition to yet another side exit door out of the laundry.)

 

Here’s the family room from TFT. Amanda subsequently changed the family room couch too.clip_image048clip_image050

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New or re-covered couch, less bookshelves and now a door through to the formal lounge, vinyl flooring with a smaller rug too. The bookshelves move a bit as we also see them further along the wall from the French Doors.

 

Now let’s check out that often seen but very confusing side exit door tucked away in a nook in the family room.

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Here it is early on with some cabinets in the background. The same door later on features a window where the cabinets are, just out of shot to the left side in this pic with Amanda standing outside.

 

Confusingly what is apparently the same door with Lee standing outside has a straight wall and window instead of a corner, or is Lee looking into the laundry door but that does look like the family room through the window beside him – it does get very confusing.

 

I’ve included lots of photos so you can see it is definitely meant to be the same door, but the exterior does seem to change. Maybe two different stage sets? Playing Possum has a good exterior scene showing Amanda coming out of this door and past the laundry door.

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Any comments? thoughts? questions?? feel free to share!!
Next in part 2:
The laundry, the formal dining room, the formal lounge room, the stairs and upstairs, heating, the garage and th
e neighbourhood.

29 responses to “1/2 A walk through (and around) 4247 Maplewood Drive- Seasons 1 and 2 by Kiwismh

  1. Amazing post! I really appreciate your hard work.

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  2. Thank you Kiwismh! It must have taken a lot of time and work to put this all together and I really appreciate it. I’ve always been a little confused with all those doors so close together but your post has helped settle some things and it’s so fun to read. I live in hawaii and we don’t have these types of homes here . I’ve always associated that type of architecture with New England….so during a recent trip to Virginia was excited to see all kinds of Amanda looking homes! I can’t wait to read more. Thanks again!

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    • Thanks for your feedback htm1 and welcome to the blog (I don’t think we’ve met before?) This post was lots of fun to put together and I am sure my update at the end of S3 will be a fun project too.
      Hope you’re enjoying the journey.

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      • Very much enjoying! I just started the journey a few months ago and have enjoyed all the posts and comments. I’m slowly catching up to the current posts. You guys are great and have such interesting insights.

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  3. I believe Amanda described her house in one episode as a 3 bedroom, with a convertible den? I kinda thought the living room was where she set up the Christmas tree in the first season, since we only saw the family room & kitchen continually throughout the rest of the series, & we never did get a good look at her bedroom, or Dotty’s, or the boys’ room either-shame..

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    • Hi Molly. I was never quite sure what room was the “den” as it’s a term we don’t use in New Zealand. Yes, the Christmas tree was set up in the formal lounge (living room) in the first season.
      I am going to try and work out the lay-out of the second level of the home. I can work out where Amanda’s room was but the rest will probably be guess work.
      Thanks for your contribution.

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    • Hi Molly! lovely to hear from you!!!

      I think we get to see Amanda’s bedroom..that is coming up in a few episode’s time.. so we’ll have to revisit this!! I’m sure you and kiwismh will be on it! 🙂

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  4. Regarding the front door – I’m thinking that all the times we see the flat board above the front door are external establishing shots, which are utilised at random throughout.. It’s when they are actually filming a scene in the front of the door that we see the bigger white cover which sticks out more. I haven’t checked this though and I could very well be wrong!

    I find the mysterious eagle very creepy!!

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    • I’ve been curious about that eagle, too. Plaques like that aren’t common in Arizona. In fact, I can’t think of any houses in my area that have them, but I’ve seen things like that in the Midwest, where my relatives live, usually eagles or stars on the sides of houses. Some people have already commented on it, but I did a little research today to see if I could find out any more about it. Most probably, it’s an American patriotic symbol, like the ones described here:

      http://askville.amazon.com/significance-eagle-house/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=1607594

      And here:

      http://www.americanfamilytraditions.com/American_Eagle.htm

      Some other sites I looked at said that people sometimes put eagles on their houses when the mortgage is paid off, and since they mention Amanda as still having a mortgage, they could have covered it up for that reason.

      However, this eagle bothers me a bit because the shape doesn’t seem quite right. It’s a little more blocky than ones I’ve seen before. It could have been hand-made, since it looks like wood to me, and whoever made it just made it a little blocky. Someone here already mentioned that it reminded them of a Third Reich symbol, and that might also be the reason they covered it up.

      On a forum I saw, someone said that there were some white supremacists during the 40s and 50s who adopted a Third Reich type eagle as their symbol and put it on their houses:

      http://www.cottagesandbungalowsmag.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1126&page=2

      I don’t know if it’s true, or if the eagles looked like this one, but someone might have decided to cover it up to avoid giving anyone the wrong impression. Historical research over. Time to get back to the story I’m supposed to be finishing. Although this eagle may merit a story itself later . . .

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      • Hi Jestress, it was me who commented that it look a bit “Third Reich”. To someone from New Zealand it just looks kind’ve tacky. We don’t tend to have any kind of symbolism on our houses, you rarely see a flag or anything like that. However, I understand Americans are more given to flag waving and other symbolism.

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        • Flags are pretty common decorations where I live, especially on patriotic holidays, but those eagles are unusual for my area. Like I said, it’s something that I’ve seen in the Midwest, like Indiana and Ohio, but not really where I live. The ones I’ve seen look different, too. If I remember right, they were black, and the wings were more rounded. I also think they had kind of a different pose, more like leaning forward or flying. I never thought to take pictures of them, so I can’t be sure, but this eagle just seems different. This particular eagle actually does look more tacky than the ones I’ve seen on houses in real life, not as natural-looking.

          Looking up information on the eagle has been educational, though. I’ve seen houses in the Midwest with large stars on them, too, and I wondered why. Looking up the eagle thing, I saw information on the stars, too. The most common one is that it’s a good luck symbol popularized by the Pennsylvania Dutch (who are actually of German descent, but that would require more explanation). I’ve never seen those stars where I live, either. If there’s a sign or decoration on the side of a house here, it’s usually a decorative house number or family name. The best one I ever saw was where the Usher family lived. They had a sign labeling their house “The House of Usher.”

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          • Jestress, thanks for the info. I live in the Midwest (somewhat, Michigan) and agree about the flags. People also hang seasonal flags and door wreaths. I’ve never seen any eagles, but have seen tons of stars. I never noticed them until a few years ago when I went to W. Virginia. I wondered why there were so many and then noticed them in other places. Never thought to check it out. One of the things I’ve seen done in Northern Michigan and probably in other places, is the naming of homes/cottages. It’s usually some cute name like “Northern Comfort” or “The Hideaway” and sometimes they use the family name as well. Usually these are near lake associations and so forth. Some are really bad puns.

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            • The eagle never made me look twice, what I found interesting was hat they had tried to cover it up with that panel. Maybe they had forgotten to put the panel up in that one shot and the eagle was there from another filming set using the house. But, to me the eagle seems in place. Our house had an eagle on it when we bought it (did I say that already). I guess it doesn’t seem strange because VA was part of the original 13 colonies and that kind of patriotic home decoration is fairly typical in more historically noted colonial areas. As are the stars. here are quite a few on houses in Alexandria VA which is right across the Potomac River from DC, just down the river from Arlington. I gather the stars signified that the household had someone serving in the army fighting in the Revolutionary War. I read somewhere that in the southern states stars are common on houses, even multiple stars, signifying the number of members serving in the Civil War.

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              • I also wanted to say how nice it was to scroll through the pictures and see all of the ones with Lee in the kitchen, made for a nice post season 4 feeling with Lee around the house.

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  5. Shona – I love this!!! 🙂 Awesome research! I can’t wait until the end of season 4 for another Amanda’s house wrap-up… how about one at the end of season 3 and then one at the end of season 4? Hint, hint… 🙂

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  6. Thanks for your comments everyone. I’ve been working so hard this week I haven’t checked in to JWWM to see this had been posted. Today is my first opportunity in 6 weeks to have a day off – it’s already gone pear shaped due to some folks insisting on viewing a property this afternoon. They’d better buy the darn thing is all I can say! Imagine a sweet smile through gritted teeth here. I love my job, I really do… grrrrrrr
    I may attempt a floor plan for the second floor at some point (probably in my end of 3rd Season Post), even though it would mostly be conjecture as we never really get to see the second floor except Amanda’s bedroom. I have figured out though where Amanda’s bedroom is in relation to the rest of the house, although it may require some further research through S3 and 4 episodes again – I can think of worse assignments. 😉
    The eagle over the door can only be a school project, otherwise it is just too Third Reich, don’t you think? The things we have to do to explain SMK whoopsies. I suppose some numpty left it there from another show/film, either that or there was an SMK scene explaining it that was filmed but cut from the episode during editing.
    Yes, I remember the kitchen remodel comment from Spider Web but for some reason I thought it occurred before A met Lee – hmm, might have to go back and revisit that episode.
    BJo, the room labelled Living Room (aka Formal Lounge) is where Sydney Whathisname had a snooze on Amanda’s couch. We will get to that in the next part.
    Morley – Dutch Door? Hmmm, don’t think I’ve heard it called that before. We call them stable doors, for the obvious reason. Maybe Dutch Door is more correct – are they are feature of Dutch homes? Or is there a less obvious reason for the name attached to that style of door?
    We also call that style of window “double hung” although we often refer to them as “Sash” Windows. I have a 100 year old villa that features similar style windows although not all of mine work properly – they are somewhat of an adventure to use and for God’s sake don’t stick your head out the window just I case it decides to crash down without warning in a disturbingly guillotine-like fashion. Yikes!
    Cindy, I’m a trained professional, I can take in everything in the room and appreciate the “eye candy” simultaneously. What can I say, it’s a skill. Don’t try this at home, trained professionals only. 😉 I’ve been in thousands of houses – it takes a lot to surprise me now, although I’ve seen (and smelled) more weird and disturbing things than I care to recall.
    Also, good point about all the knick-knacks, it hadn’t really occurred to me that of course all Dotty’s stuff and some of Joe’s stuff would still be there too. The bull over the Living Room fireplace (next Post) is definitely not Amanda or Dotty – must be Joe’s.

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    • Kiwismh, I looked up Dutch door on Wikipedia, here is what it said, “This type of door was common in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century and appears in Dutch paintings of the period. They were also commonly found in the Dutch cultural areas of New York and New Jersey before the American Revolution.” It also said they were called “double hung” in British English. We used to have one in our old house and I have a lot of family in Holland, they love the Dutch door.
      The eagle tends to be a patriotic American thing. It is not rare to see an eagle over the front door of a house in New England or especially around Washington DC. The thing I find confusing is why they covered it in such an obvious way and that covering tends to change size, I think.

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      • I second what Morley said about the eagle thing over the front door. I thought exactly the same thing when I read your comment, kiwismh. And thanks for the shout out about it 😎

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  7. This is awesome, Kiwismh!! Amanda’s house has always fascinated me. The crazy steps for some reason always made me think of the Colonial Era and I often wondered if some of the homes of that time period were set up like that. And then all the exit doors in and out of the kitchen. I sort of understand the one that would lead into the laundry room as there are some people who refer to that as the mud room. That was in case you came in all wet or muddy and then wouldn’t track it through the house. I do like looking at blueprints and floor plans. And it’s cool to see Amanda’s house. I actually liked all the space in the kitchen. My kitchens have always been so small. I also like the fact of the den/family room being so close to the kitchen. Cooking is fun for me and being able to do that and socialize would be wonderful. This was a fantastic post, Kiwismh!!

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  8. Wow. This is great, kiwismh! House plans are such fun! Thanks for de-mystifying Amanda’s house for us.
    I think the door between the kitchen and dining room may be called a “Dutch door”.
    We would call the bi-fold door either “bi-fold” or just “folding”. A pocket door is one that slides into the wall (common in Victorian or maybe Craftsman-style houses?)
    There is a little step-over-thingy at the front door which would keep water out, and I agree with BJo that the brick porch probably slopes slightly for run-off. Looking up the steps at your front-door visitor is so awkward! I don’t like how it puts Amanda in a subordinant position to the likes of Ed Ballon and co.

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    • Thanks for your comments LASinLA. That front door and path wouldn’t pass the current building code in NZ even if the path did slope away from the door. And thanks for clearing up about the bi-fold/pocket door – I noted on Jeanine’s original plan it labelled it as a “pocket door”, which is a term I’m not familiar with.

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  9. Holy Houseplans, Batman!! This is awesome, Kiwismh! You have a real eye for detail and an amazing ability to look past the eye candy 😉

    When I first spotted that eagle-ish thing over Amanda’s door, I wondered if the little overhang we sometimes see was to cover it up during shooting to protect the real life home/homeowner, but it seems like overkill, so I’m not sure. A boys homework project is just as plausible a scenario!

    I agree with you, why would you want to answer the door at a lower level than your guests? That doesn’t make sense. I’ve been in homes with sunken rooms, but never a sunken entry like this. I do wonder how they keep rain out of the front door in a downpour – perhaps that front brick landing is slightly sloped downhill.

    We call our room adjoining our kitchen where we spend most of our time the Family Room also. I’m sure there are lots of names for that room – even just in the U.S. I can imagine how many names we’d have if we included all the countries represented just here on the blog.

    I agree with debilyn, she must have done the kitchen remodel after the electrical fire we heard about in Spiderweb – $US 10,000 in 1984 would have bought her a nice little remodel in 1984. And I remember some friends having those doors that opened halfway – think it was called a pass through door?, I can’t remember – but I have no idea what it’s practicality was for, unless the little ledge is wide enough to sit something on, but it doesn’t look like it.

    I wonder just how much filming was done on a made-up set vs. the real life house. In ITCK someone pointed this out in the comments – forget who, sorry! – but in the ROTP pic of Lee’s cheeks 😉 and in the one from TFT right below it, you can see in the background that there is no ceiling over the family room/staircase. I never notice when I’m watching the show – I only ever notice in the screen caps and only when I’m looking for it.

    So the room labeled living room in pencil on the floor plan is the room where Sydney Whitsit (sp?) spent the night on Amanda’s couch while her dining room was converted to the Soviet Embassy, right?
    Brilliant job, Kiwismh! You have an amazing capacity to chase down all these details! My mind is spinning a bit from trying to take it all in.

    Thank you for doing all this work! Can’t wait to see what’s in part 2!

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  10. You did a great job with the tour. Thank you.

    I live in the North Eastern part of the US and, yes, Amanda’s house is called a cape cod (a 1.5 story house). It is a very typical house style for this part of the country. The window style is pretty typical as well, called a “double hung” window.

    I agree, Iwsod, that initial couch is awful, but the blanket chest/ coffee table from that first episode is a real antique and worth quite a bit of money. I would not have it front and center in a house with little boys, glad she moved it. Maybe she put it in her room and stores foot balls and pandas given to her by handsome spies?

    I do love the fact that Amanda’s kitchen has Delft Blue all over it, I have it in my kitchen too.

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    • Ooooh, thanks for coming up with an explanation for where the blanket chest coffee table went – to Amanda’s room to store all her Lee momentos. There’s a fanfic in there somewhere. 🙂
      I love blue and white too – it’s timeless and always classy looking.

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  11. Lovely job, Kiwismh! In our area, we use the terms “living room” and “den.” However, I did have friends in middle-school who called their “den” the “family room.” An older lady I knew called her “living room” the “front parlor.” Whatever you call them is fine with me!

    I assume the remodeling would have occurred when the kitchen fire happened? We hear about this is “Spiderweb.”

    You’ve done a lot of work here. Thanks!

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  12. You must be a professional if you can look past the eye candy!
    You’ve done a very thorough job, I am not sure how much I absorbed as I have not had my caffeine yet ;-), but I have taken away from this post is that I need to put more energy into decluttering my home. Oh vey! I am assuming that when Dotty moved in, she brought all of her knickknacks with her (and maybe Amanda kept all of Joe’s family heirlooms too.)
    Well done!

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  13. Kiwismh you’re mind is amazing!!! Mine just doesn’t work this way at all!! You’ve translated Amanda’s house brilliantly for me and my feeble brain!!

    rofl loved Lee wondering what it was above the door too! haaa!!!

    oh and a random comment – how ugly is that first couch they had in the family room??!!!

    Thanks Kiwismh!!

    Like

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