Today Laurel, my wife, and I checked out seven South Salem houses that were part of the 2018 Salem Tour of Homes. Naturally we focused on the more expensive houses, since they have the most interesting architectural features. Here's photos and commentary on some of what captured our attention.
We don't have a fireplace in our 1973 rural south Salem house, just a wood stove. We certainly don't have an OUTSIDE fireplace. I want one!
Laurel liked the look of this countertop. We believe it was marble. If so, it was an unusual marble pattern.
Great idea for a "mud room" next to the garage. A place to sit and take off your shoes, plus shelves to store shoes and other stuff.
I'm a big fan of bathtubs. I enjoy a hot bath, and bathtub reading time, almost every night. Now that I've seen how big and deep modern bathtubs are, ours seems narrow and shallow.
Showers sure have evolved. Ours has a single handle to turn the water on and off, and to adjust the temperature. This futuristic version looks like it belongs on the command deck of the Starship Enterprise.
It was a perfect day to have these wide doors open onto an outside deck. Great view. I'd love to have a large covered deck like this, where you could sit rain or shine.
The used bricks, or at least bricks that look like they've been used, made the fireplace harmonize nicely with the rest of the room. The wood on the mantle definitely was well used.
Here's a closeup of the mantle. It has a lot of woodsy character.
The wood accents do a lot to make the front of this house look more appealing.
This was one of our favorite homes, constructed by Sunco Homes & Remodeling. I enjoyed talking with the Sunco representative standing behind the kitchen counter. The color scheme looked great. Nice to see something other than white walls.
In the photo above, Laurel was admiring the fireplace rock. Nicely done.
Living as we do in a 70's era house, it always blows our mind to see how modern bathrooms look. The walk-in closet at the end of the bathroom definitely gave my wife closet-envy. Not only are we unable to walk into our closets, we can barely fit our clothes in them.
The Sunco guy told me that he got the light fixture from Russia as a remnant from the 1950's Sputnik satellite program. I'm so gullible, for a few seconds I almost believed him. Laurel really liked the art on the wall.
This large oak at the Sunco home made the house way more appealing. It's great to see wise developers in Salem doing their best to preserve large trees, because some developers don't. They add a lot of monetary and aesthetic value to a home.
The outside of the Sunco home featured the same rock as the fireplace had.
I like the front porch look of the homes at Fairview Addition, built by Olsen Design & Development.
The Fairview Addition home featured a rockery on the deck.
Plus an elevator to get residents between the three stories.
The bathroom floor was eye-catching, for sure. If somehow I ever ended up living in this house, I made a vow to never use psychedelics while in this bathroom.
This piece of furniture on an outside deck looked eminently loungeable.
Even on a warm summer day, I enjoyed the light and heat from this piece of fire art.
The builders of this house made an upward sloping back yard look quite attractive. Laurel asked if the large rocks would stay put in an earthquake. Answer: yes.
This refrigerator had a display screen that, among other things, could show what is inside on each shelf. That way, I guess, you don't waste as much time looking for the leftovers with the refrigerator door open.
Laurel liked the indirect lighting at the base of the cabinets in this kitchen.
A window shade that keeps out hot sun, but lets you see the outside. Nice.
Most homes in the city don't have greenspace behind the back yard. This house did. It made the yard look much more welcoming.
Even with my finger finding its way into this photo, the fire pit looked like a great backyard amenity.
The look of this kitchen was nicely woodsy. Everything harmonized.
Creative tile work in this shower.
So in the end, as happens every year we visit a Tour of Homes, we return home -- our minds filled with visions of what we'd like to have in our house, but also happy to know that what we do have has helped make us happy for the past 28 years, and will continue to do so for as long as we live where we are.
Wishes are one thing. Reality is another. Truth be told, we wouldn't trade our house for any that we saw on the Tour of Homes, because our house, well, feels like ours, and the others didn't.