Sunday, November 8, 2009

More House Love

Big Brown Barn, 6 x 5.5"
For sale on Etsy

On Sundays, my daughter and I love to go look at open houses. Our town does not have the most attractive housing stock, so we were quite surprised to find three old homes full of character to explore today.

The realtors are starting to get to know us and no longer push us to give them our address and phone number. They know we are not interested in making a purchase. We're just there for fun.

We look in every closet. Inspect all basement nooks and crannies, no matter how scary looking. I'm starting to enjoy inspecting furnaces.

I mentally plant trees and shrubs. I pick a room to be my studio. I knock out walls and expand kitchens. I toss out ugly chandeliers and vinyl flooring. I lovingly retain beautiful woodwork and plaster.

Our favorite house today was in the midst of renovation. We found disused toilets in odd places -- the basement and closets. Strange. The hallways were wide. Windows were plentiful. The yard was a naked field waiting for greenery and blossoms. Each bathroom was halfway finished. One bath had the most beautiful mosaic tile floor that was original to the house. I got the impression it wasn't going to be there much longer. I debated writing a note to the new owner requesting the retention of the tiles.

I recall the house being for sale a few years ago. It sits amidst several fraternity houses. I'm sure the loud parties, vandalism, and frequent urination on the lawn by drunken party goers caused the last owners to vacate. It was a beautiful home, but it left me with the feeling that it was unloved. You can feel that in a house, I think. I definitely had that feeling when I first looked at our house. It felt cold and unloved. Sometimes it felt downright mean. I cried the first few nights we lived in our house. But it has been cared for and loved for 12 years and I think that anyone who enters can feel that.

Does your home feel loved?


Dolores said...

After 30 years, this old house has seen a lot of changes. Stripped wallpaper (there is only paint on all the walls now), old plaster with lathe, new washroom fixtures, then a whole new addition. Lots of work, and lots of love in this old house.

wiggy said...

When we came back from Germany, we were living out of a hotel room. Not easy with two kids, and the market did not have the glut that there is now. We looked and looked with out realtor, she did not seem to grasp exactly what we were looking for, but she could have been just trying to keep us in the price range we had told her. Finally it came down to a tri-level we had looked at from the outside and thought it was ugly that she convinced us to check out. Well it had somewhat of a basement, since we live in tornadoville, and I wanted a fireplace! It was built in 87 the year I got married, and we were buying from the original owners, and the kids were in a decent school district. BUT I hated it, it had old wallpaper and still has some vinyl floors, and I would drive up to it thinking it looked like the Brady Bunch house. I hated it. Now with some paint, a new roof and siding, and a lot of plants, I feel at home here. I now would hate to leave after all the things that I have done to it so far. And so I will say, "Our house is a pretty pretty fine house." Psss. I don't have two cats in the yard, but two dogs!

Kim Hambric said...

Funny, I've never had to deal with wallpaper before. Thank Heaven. It's such a personal thing -- like wearing someone else's underwear.

Another funny thing -- I was just thinking about the Brady Bunch "house" earlier today & what I would like to do with it. I always thought it was pretty cool. Minus the wallpaper, of course.

noodle and lou said...

our home does feel loved! i truly enjoy making every house we live in feel like a cozy and sweet place. xox...jenn