Last year I noticed a 100 year old brick row house by the river. It was obvious it had not been cared for in over 60 years. Its “beautiful bones” were there; ornate molding, though dirty and damaged, 10′ high ceiling, though lowered in some places, tall Victorian windows, though drafty and cracked, etc. It was in desperate need of rejuvenation.
I have always liked a challenge, and this potential gem spoke to my creativity. Working to restore it was like a three dimensional art project. For over 10 months we tore out old lath and plaster, lowered ceilings, and replaced rotting floor boards. We needed to change door entrances to several rooms. For example, the kitchen had 4 doors leading into it…not great for having a serviceable kitchen! It was fun restoring the old world charm, yet making it comfortable, convenient, and beautiful.
I chose this fine old house as a way to earn some income, so I decided to make it a vacation rental here in Salida, Colorado. Since Salida is such a popular getaway in all seasons, being a lovely 3 hour drive from Boulder/Denver, it often has no rooms available for visitors. In my travels the last few years, I have found that staying in a vacation rental is much more comfortable and interesting than booking an ordinary motel room. Also, I prefer to cook some of my meals instead of eating out all the time.
Once the renovation was done, the next challenge was furnishing it. This can be an enormous expense, if you want good quality, attractive pieces. No problem…my grandchildren call me the “Craig’s List Queen”. I have gotten really good at finding everything from beds to rugs to dishes that others are ready to let go of, usually at a fraction of the original cost. It is a good thing I have our GPS to get me to all the unknown streets in the metropolitan area. I met some very interesting people in the months that I hunted up my treasures.
Concerning the walls, I am an artist, so I hung 8 of my paintings in the rooms. They are for my guests’ enjoyment and also for sale. My Dad was a great businessman. I seem to have his entrepreneurial spirit in my veins.
Salida, Colorado is famous for hot springs, restaurants, art galleries, skiing, hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting, fishing, swimming, dancing and tango. If you have not visited yet, you should plan a trip!
I look forward to welcoming you to Salida.