Vacant farm house now a retail shop

MARYSVILLE — “We didn’t realize that is …” begins Wayne Christianson.

  • Thursday, August 28, 2008 7:01pm
  • Business

Husband and wife team Wayne and Louise Christianson remodeled a former farmhouse into a new location for their Details gift shop.

MARYSVILLE — “We didn’t realize that is …” begins Wayne Christianson.

“… quite the project that it is,” finishes wife Louise Christianson.

Still, while they had their share of setbacks, with possibly the biggest being either a burst waterline or a break-in, the pair has opened for business their Details Home Décor and Gifts in what started out as an early 19th century farmhouse.

Sitting at the corner of 61st Street NE and 47th Avenue NE, Louise said the home-turned-business was built in about 1915 by the Quast family, known in Marysville history as the developers of the Cedarcrest Golf Course.

After running a pharmacy in their hometown of Lake Stevens, the couple operated Details in Marysville’s Allen Creek Shopping Center for 10 years. When their lease came up for renewal last year, they decided to scout around for a new spot to set up shop.

“It was an opportunity, the time to get away from leasing,” Wayne said.

“We looked at a couple of spots, but found this place a natural,” Louise added.

The couple first had to approach the city about rezoning the property from residential to retail. They admitted the process took longer than they expected, but apparently resulted in no hard feelings on either side. Though Details was operating in its new home a couple of weeks earlier, Mayor Dennis Kendall cut a ribbon to mark the opening of the shop July 29.

Besides the rezoning, what also took longer than the Christiansons expected was the needed renovations to the home. The work started in November and, expect for the first floor, continues.

“Everything was more than what we thought,” Louise said.

In particular, plumbing and electrical work turned out to be a bigger challenge than they had anticipated. The above mentioned water line break didn’t help, pouring water from the home’s second floor all the way to the basement. The break-in happened while the renovations were ongoing. Thieves made off with plumbing fixtures and tools.

While they used professional contractors for some work, both Wayne and Louise said they got lots of help from friends, family and members of the Marysville Rotary.

“We had a small army of unpaid laborers working in here,” Wayne said. “We’d invited people up from Seattle and end up putting them to work.”

Besides renovating the first floor of the home, the Christiansons did plenty of work to the exterior as well. Louise shows off pictures on the Details web site that show the front of the home nearly invisible behind unkempt trees and bushes. Now, raised landscaping sits off to the side of the home, next to a small, but brand new parking lot. (Which, because of drainage issues, also was more expensive than anticipated.)

Inside, the final result of the couple’s efforts is a bright, inviting store with a wide variety of items, ranging from bird feeders to custom furniture. While they had to knock out a few walls to create display space, the couple left in tact as much of the original home as possible. Kitchenwares are displayed –where else? – in the home’s first floor kitchen which still is complete with a working antique sink.

Wayne seems to enjoy talking about the virtues of the former farmhouse, pointing out the heavy wooden beams still visible on an upper floor.

“It’s got good bones,” Louise said of the house.

Up on that second floor, renovations are still underway. While it is closed to the public, the second floor of the home, with bare wood floors and old, fading paint shows just how much work was done on the first floor. For now the upper floor is being used for storage, needed especially for holiday items. For various reasons, the upper floors can’t be used for retail, but eventually may be redone into office space.

“Our intuition was this would be a great location,” Wayne said.

“And it will be,” Louise said, once more finishing her husband’s thought.

More in Business

Settlement proposed over compost odor in Marysville

MARYSVILLE — An Everett composting company has agreed to pay more than… Continue reading

Arlington housing development with $1 million views

How the view? Arlington is growing, and one development southeast of town… Continue reading

Kuhnle’s has Mardi Gras type party to celebrate its 100th (slide show)

MARYSVILLE – Most 100-year-old birthday parties are pretty tame. Not this one.… Continue reading

Apprenticeship program helps high schoolers learn vital skills for high-paying jobs (slide show)

MARYSVILLE – Schools are finally listening to what local employers have been… Continue reading

3 tips on selling home in heat of summer

By Todd Fahlman There may be no better time to sell your… Continue reading

Arlington Farmers Market continues

ARLINGTON – Colorful canopies and a variety of food and other items… Continue reading

Marysville business scoring big with lacrosse

MARYSVILLE – You probably can’t guess what the top-selling sports equipment at… Continue reading

Huge flag flies over new Marysville business

MARYSVILLE – With the Fourth of July so close, it seemed appropriate… Continue reading

Tulalip chairwoman shares State of the Tribes address

MARYSVILLE – Tulalip chairwoman Marie Zackuse talked about everything from the history… Continue reading

Chinese delegation shows interest in Arlington Airport

ARLINGTON – A delegation from China visited the Arlington Airport recently, looking… Continue reading

Don’t be afraid to change to grow your business

MARYSVILLE – I’ve always wanted to run my own business. But I’ve… Continue reading