Monday, September 29, 2014

A New, But Old House....

Are you an "old house" kinda person?
I totally am.
I just don't like "old house" problems. Like, old plumbing and old electrical wires with old insulation that crumbles when you touch it. NOT fun OR safe for DIYer's like us.
When I was in my 20's and we looked at old houses and my Dad would be all "Now, Kellie, those old houses are hard to work on...they give you too many problems and they are all expensive problems" And I would be all "OHHHHH Dad. You just don't want to do're old and you want to watch football all day. We're young. We don't watch football...we can totally deal with an old house...gah!"

Aren't I the sweetest??
I'm kinda glad that we didn't buy an old house when we were in our 20's.
We surely didn't know then what we know now.
We have dealt with a few renovations since then...

....some pretty scary ones too!
If we were to buy an old house today, after a few years of remodels and renovations, we MIGHT be ok.

BUT once you go through an old house renovation with a client or two and you experience through them what it's like, you aren't exactly super excited to jump into a similar situation.
Like once you experience pregnancy and child can't really un-experience it.
If you're like me, you experience that and you're like, "oh. hell. no.
I am NOT doing THAT again!"
And that, my dear readers, is why we are not buying an old house.
At least not until I suddenly become a more patient person like my husband.
Since that could very well be NEVER, we are going to build a new house that has an old house "feel".

How do I plan on making a new house feel old?

Here is my plan;
First, I will fill the new house with as much old, musty, and crusty furniture as possible to begin the "smell old" phase.

Then, I will have the floors and stairs installed so that they creak and that will take care of the "sound old" phase.

Lastly, I will install cracked and banged up trim with 900 coats of white paint on it so as to complete the "look old" phase.

I kid. I wouldn't do all that to a new house!! Sillies.

I do kinda want creaky stairs though.

I will achieve the "old house" look by using similar materials and finishes that were used a hundred years ago...I am currently a bit obsessed with that classic 1900's look.

Like pedestal sinks...

....those legs though!

and cool, hexagon tile designs....

....I WILL learn how to do this!
and claw foot tubs.....


 And classic architectural elements...

like BIG, tall, door headers!

I want really tall ones, like obnoxious, and "what was she thinking" kind of tall.

This past weekend we went on a Historical Homes tour and I saw my fair share of 'what were they thinking" tall headers. so I know i am not that crazy for wanting them to be so tall.

If our budget was just a tad bigger we would have transoms above each door...

 Who doesn't love transoms?
Like dumb waiters and laundry shoots, I have no idea why we stopped putting these into homes.
I'm thoroughly confused by this.

Another classic element is wooden floors.
Some of the homes we toured even had glorious floors like these...

I can't get enough of wood flooring and honestly when I tour historical homes that have carpet everywhere, usually placed right on top of hardwood floors, I get a little irritated. I know.... to each their own, but I only allow 'each their own' when they don't own freaking historical homes! Is that so unreasonable??

I digress.

Another way to get that old house feel is to use interesting moldings and details like they did in the Victorian days. I for one, am completely addicted to ceiling tiles and medallions. You don't have to be rich to have them either. You can pick up a medallion for as little as $10.

I wish that more people were that interested in such detail and were willing to invest in it.

I mean, who looks up at something like that and is like, "nah. I would rather see some drywall up there."

No one. 
At least no one I can be friends with.

This simple and elegant ceiling medallion cost $20....

no big deal to buy or install and it makes a big difference.

So, my latest home building tip, whether you like old homes or more modern homes,  if you can't afford the details to make your new home interesting on the inside, maybe consider building a smaller home. A smaller home could allow for more "wow" in the budget for the interior. I know that sounds snobby, and I guess you can always plan to do stuff later, but if you think about it, if you aren't trying to wow yourself on the inside of your new home, where you typically spend a great deal of YOUR time, then WHO are you building this huge house for? The neighbors, your co-workers, your mortgage company?? 

I have seen my fair share of GINORMOUS houses in 'rich' neighborhoods that were so boring that they nearly put me to sleep. I leave wondering if they forgot the fact that they live INSIDE their house, not outside. So, for the love of Nancy, if you're gonna build a mansion, do SOMETHING with the interior that is interesting! I don't care if you smear hot pink lipstick all over your walls and throw glitter everywhere...just do owe it to yourself and the creepy people that are going to drive by at night just to snoop. 

I may or may not be one of those creepy people. :-/

I shall leave you with this quote:

“Dream your dreams with open eyes and make them come 


– T.E. Lawrence, British soldier and author (1888-1935)

1 comment:

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