Saturday, February 22, 2014

Loving Old Houses

When I saw the post on this blog, it brought back a lot of memories.

A long time ago, and far away, before digital cameras, I lived in a little old house out in the country. It was probably a slapped-together old farm house, and probably not exceptional from many little old farm houses built in the Victorian era and added to in every decade since. But it was a new experience to me, who had only lived in modern city houses, and I relished every antique detail of the place.

I remember very fondly the paneled doors-- each one was different from the other, the doorknobs, the old-fashioned key that locked them, the chimney-hole cover with the field of wheat painted on it, the pantry with the floor boards made out of old fruit boxes with the labels still on them, the old screen door with the rusty spring that had such a satisfying slam (not for my parents, I'm sure!). I loved every bit of that old house. I thought it was so neat that the weighted windows had real panes (that were loose and popped out sometimes!), that the floor boards were warped under the 70's carpet (I was sure there was a beautiful wood floor under there), that all the doors had trim inside and out (even in the closets), and that the outlet plates (probably from the '50s?) had embossed wreaths around them. The glassed-in back porch had an old rusty sink for washing garden produce in it, the old white porcelain sink in the kitchen had molded-in drainboards on each side.

There was an old brick well out front, with a board on top of it so no one would fall in. There was a brick walkway with "1900" stamped on the bricks. I unearthed another walkway around the side of the house when I was trying to plant a garden. The old gate to the pond had a post leaning over, and the gate was all gray and crooked, but it was charming.

Ah, me. If I had only had a decent camera in those days! I'm not sure it would have occurred to me to take pictures of the door knobs and bricks and details, though, since back then you had to buy film and pay to have it developed. With only 36 blurry or grainy photo opportunities in a cheap kiddie camera, usually I did not think of taking pictures of hardware. A blog sure changes the subjects of your photos!

In the above link, please pay attention to the inside of the hinges. I toured an old Victorian house a few years ago, and noticed that the inside of the hinges were intricately etched (even more than the ones in the link). Can you imagine a time, when someone would care about what the inside of a hinge looked like? Does that not go along with William Morris' oft-quoted "golden rule?"

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Why not have both?

[the house below is not my old house, but it sure is similar]

Rural Home with a Screened Porch
Rural Home with a...

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Monday, February 3, 2014