Linda Wallin knew she wanted to live in the three-story north Brainerd home years before she set foot inside as its owner.
Wallin lived nearby for years and watched the corner home, which used to belong to Zane Smith, from across the street. The home's Victorian charm was largely restored by a north Brainerd couple who accomplished this task on several homes in the neighborhood before reselling them.
There were challenges, including an infestation of bats in the attic.
But Wallin was interested in the work to renovate the Victorian Queen Anne home right away and bought the home from the renovators. She is still in the process of moving in, which has been helped by the close proximity of her old house.
In 1920, the home was divided into two apartments for the extended family. Restored in 2001, the upstairs is now back to a single-family home with additional storage space and walk-in closet.
The Victorian home's character and the original fireplaces were an immediate attraction. And Wallin's little pugs are also settling in to feel at home.
"This is my favorite room in my house," Wallin said of the airy living room with French doors, high windows, refinished fir floors and massive red brick fireplace.
An iron hitching post, still in the front lawn of Linda Wallin's home, is a link to the days when visitors arrived on horseback.
The home also has provided room for Wallin's collectibles from a rack of rolling pins displayed along a kitchen wall to bowls, spice racks and quilts.
The fir floor provides an interesting wide board look with reddish highlights throughout the home.
"I really like them," Wallin said. "They have a warm, old look to them."
The small but serviceable kitchen includes narrow shelves that are perfect for a spice rack display.
Wallin plans to add a carpet runner to the stairway, work on a few projects and complete her decorating. She also plans to paint and stencil the steeper stairs to the attic, a treasure of storage space with an added plus. Furniture was added to recreate the small maid's room and the wooden floor refinished there as well. A pink chair Wallin was not sure went anywhere now appears to be the perfect complement to the room.
French doors to the left and high windows create a light and airy living area made cozy with books, colorful quilts and stuffed chairs. (Dispatch Photos by Renee Richardson)
At night Wallin said the large windows from the maid's room provide a bird's-eye view of the cityscape with a nice vantage point of St. Francis Catholic Church's stained glass windows when the church is lit from within.
Wallin's home will be decorated for the holidays and is part of the Brainerd Tour of Homes on Dec. 7. Three other homes, a brunch and an art show are included on this year's event. The home tour is a fund-raiser to benefit the Heartland Symphony Orchestra. Cost is $20. There are two separate tour times for participants.
Individuals may mail checks for the Heartland Symphony Orchestra home tour to The Dispatch and include a self-addressed, stamped envelop for the return ticket.
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