You Have to See Inside This Quirky Old Idaho Home Full of Beautiful Murals
Judging by its unique and bright exterior paint job, you know there’s nothing ordinary about this 107-year-old cottage home.
While the home itself might be old, it's been restored and well cared for over the years. The home is currently on the market for $1,300,000. While the listing agent sells its extensive patios, garden walkways, tall ceilings and french doors, the listing itself downplays the most unique part of this quirky home by simply saying it has “beautiful tilework” in the kitchen.
And that’s true, but we’re not just talking about some backsplash. The gorgeous yellow, green, red and brown tile is part of a large sky mural that covers the bright kitchen’s walls. It’s one of at least four large murals you’ll find painted throughout the home. They pop up everywhere: in bathrooms, in bedrooms and in hallways.
What’s unclear is which owner is responsible for adding them to the walls. The home has belonged to several prominent Idahoans. For many years, it was the family home of Frank and Bernice Behling. Behling grew up in Wausau, Wisconsin and served in the Army Air Corps from 1942-1945. After his discharge, the Behlings relocated to Moscow where he opened Moscow Office Supply in the 1970s. The couple moved Clarkston, WA a few months before Bernice passed away in 1985.
That’s when George and Gabriella Ball moved in. The Balls were silent partners in Moscow’s beloved, but now defunct “The Micro Moviehouse.” According to an article from the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, the 138-seat theater showed mainly foreign and art-house movies (similar to what you’d expect to see at Boise’s “The Flicks”.) With extremely low ticket prices and limited seats, the small theater couldn’t compete with the Reel-operated Eastside Cinemas, which came into town with five screens in May 1998. The Micro closed a few months later in November 1998.
Public records show that the Ball family sold the home three years later. When the current owner and seller bought the home, she inherited a reputation with it. Another Daily News article explains that 1020 E F Street in Moscow was nicknamed the “Christmas Light House” by neighbors. The Balls were infamous for their over-the-top Christmas lights display that they left up year-round. The new owner tried to keep the reputation alive with decorations she’s bought at yard sales or has been gifted over the years. She also replaced the Balls decorations with LED lights.
Unlike the former owners, the current owner only had her lights on from Black Friday through the first week of January. As Christmas enthusiasts ourselves, we hope whoever purchases this home will keep the “Christmas Light House” legacy alive.
Ready to look around the house with a big reputation? Go ahead and peek inside!