We got a bit of a head start on our bathroom renovation over the weekend, but I'm taking a break from that today to write a post that's been nagging at the back of my head for awhile.
Old house lovers can be a touchy group. "Original", "restoration", "preservation" - those are happy words to old house lovers. "Renovated", "remodeled", "updated" - those words make many cringe.
The ultimate old house sin is replacing windows. Or ripping down plaster. Or replacing original hardwood floors. Or making a floor "open concept". Or...you get the idea. Almost anything that messes with the way a house was built in the first place is bad news bears. Some old house lovers make their opinions well known, and berate anyone who feels differently. Some are more realistic and while they may have those standards for themselves, don't look down on those who choose to do some of these things to their houses. Others love old houses and their character, don't mind doing a little updating, and don't view it as ruining a piece of history.
Can you guess what camp I fall into? You might be surprised based on what you've seen around here so far.
I love antiques, old hardware, bulky baseboards and fancy Victorian casings. And at the risk of losing some readers...
I hate lumpy horsehair plaster and restoring drafty wood windows and the flies that get stuck between the storm windows and actual windows and die there. And believe me, I've heard all of the arguments for keeping both. I hate sloping floors and crappy patch jobs that can't really be explained away as "character". I also hate how easily the soft pine floor in our living room is impossible to keep scratches out of. Sure 113 year old pine is harder than pine now, but it's still not oak! Or maple. Or some other hardwood.
We are making this house our home. We intend to be here for as long as forever. We will "restore", "renovate", and "update" what we want, keeping the "original" elements that we enjoy.
I'm not saying we're replacing all of our windows. But we might. We are most definitely replacing some (and what we remove will be stored safely in the basement for as long as we live here). The only floor we plan on replacing is the living room floor, and when we get to overhauling that room I'm sure you'll see why (and I'm sure we'll come up with a use for the random width pine boards). But the horse (cow) hair plaster? It's all coming down. It's gross. Something about really old dead animal bits in my walls is a little disconcerting.
Anyway, I know I have some readers that are big-time into old houses, and I want to be totally honest here on the blog about what we're doing. I don't want to just show "after" pictures and have people reading think "wait a minute, that window isn't what was there before!" without me making a single mention of it.
So that's that. I hope you'll stick around and see what happens!