Rebecca and Chuck Olmstead were led to their amazing home at 1306 Pleasant by a whole series of events.
The 1917/18 home was one they each had admired, just waiting for them. Rebecca had been divorced, raising four little children but she still wanted to meet someone, fall in love and have a father for her children.
A deeply spiritual person, she went to church and every Sunday drove past a great Craftsman house. She made a list of what she wanted in her life going forward and put it on the list.
Six months after the list was made, she got a new job and there she met Chuck Olmstead. They hit it off really well and married. They went through a series of amazing situations, both were active with the Little Theatre of Walla Walla and had a great deal in common.
“We each had a house, but they were too small,” Rebecca said. “Then he brought me an ad of a house he liked and I said, ‘That’s my house!’ We made an offer in 2003. I thought, it’s a lovely dream ... I’ll be just as happy somewhere else ... The price was too high for something that would be that much work. It was on the market a long time, it just wouldn’t sell.”
It just was meant for them. It needed electrical upgrades before they could even get insurance on it. But of course, Chuck is an electrician. It also had a lot of water damage from having very old plumbing. The home needed work, but it was sturdy.
“I was just in love with Craftsman architecture, its stability and solid structure,” she said. “It’s unique to America, not Victorian,” Chuck said.
The large, just under 3500-square-foot home has three stories, with a covered porch and carport.
Downstairs the flooring is narrow plank oak, upstairs it’s fir, like many homes of this era. Two rooms in the back were added on in the 1940s.
They are very happy with the whole house and have redone the formal living room, one of her favorite rooms. They have plenty of space, four fireplaces and a lot of storage. As the older children have grown up and moved out they have rooms for guests, hobbies and devotions.
“The penthouse is my prayer room,” she said. The home is a work in progress.
“There’s not any part of the house we don’t like, but the kitchen isn’t done yet,” Chuck said.
“But we have plans for it,” Rebecca added. “New countertops.”
Like most remodeling projects, it’s all about time, energy and money at the same time.
Rebecca has been in the process of painting one of the bedrooms. They plan to redo the stairs and have completed upgrading the foyer, to lighten it up. She didn’t like a dark entryway. There’s also a bathroom that needs some refurbishing. Chuck said at one time the house had six bedrooms and five bathrooms. And Rebecca said at one time it also was a nursing home. “We’re slowly correcting that,” she said.
The home is charming, with an old-time elegance combined with a comfortable feeling throughout. When they moved in, it had the 1970s original rust color carpet which was torn up. In many places they went through two layers of wallpaper.
Rebecca has space for a craft room for sewing or scrap-booking. They enjoy a comfortable TV room and they needed a quality mud room.
Adjacent to the kitchen and dining room is a huge pantry, something Rebecca had always wanted.
The spacious dining room has a coved ceiling that adds to the elegance of the area. The dining room is large enough for family gatherings for holidays and special occasions, set around an Amish table.
The home also has a pump room for its own well.
Rebecca and Chuck and children are happy and enjoying their peaceful, spacious home.