3/24/2006

House envy

Looking at other people's houses over at HouseBlogs.net makes me alternately jealous and thankful. Jealous because so many folk's homes have wonderful original detailing, beautiful built-ins, and lots of old house quirks. Our house doesn't really have that. We do have the original floors, trim, doors, and hardware, but any real "charm" our house had was remuddled away back in the '50s (And '80s. And '90s.). I wanted it because of its potential, not really because of what it is now.

But I'm also thankful for the people who previously owned our house, because they kept it in excellent repair. Yes, they did some strange and half-assed things to our house, but they didn't butcher it. It is in excellent condition structurally (which is amazing, since we're about 150 yards from 3 sets of busy railroad tracks), and there are no leaks, termite damage, water damage, or other unthinkable horrors. The HVAC is in decent condition, and we're warm in the winter and not-too-hot in the summer.

Because of the remuddling, I sometimes have a hard time envisioning where I'm going and what the house wants to be. That it is Craftsman style, I have no doubt. But, being a rural home, it probably wasn't all that ornately detailed to begin with. It probably started life as something very like a farmhouse, and it doesn't seem to have had many of the "traditional" Craftsman details. I haven't found any evidence of built-ins, either. I suppose some patience is in order here, since I haven't had the time to do any real research on the house. I doubt I'll turn up much more than names, but who knows...?

4 comments:

Maria said...

I can relate. While the house across the street is stately and oozes charm and character, I feel like I may have gotten the farm hands' house! Like you, we have the original floors in tact, original woodwork (which is turning out to be more of a headache, it's badly worn), and not much else. It, too, lacks charm...but we're adding it as we go along. Our previous owner was an engineer, which gave us great mechanicals, but lousy decor...2500 SF of ugly. Still not sure why we bought the place...must've been the potential we saw! Like you!

Great post!

Becky said...

Our house is just an old farm house too. There was a much more stately house just 1/2 a mile up the road. But it was too far gone for us to tackle. It was the question of do we buy something extravegant and not have the money to do a decent remodel or do we buy something a little more common and have the money to do a few little extras here an there to make it a little more uncommon.

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

This may sound strange, but there's something to be said for a house that's less than completely original. You can redesign and change things without guilt. Replacement fixtures need not match. And you don't have to spend forever trying to find, say, matching tile.

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