I love houses, but not brand-new, sterile, paint-still-drying, no-personality houses. I love old houses, and usually, the older the better, with years of stories and memories wrapped up in the scratches on the wood floor, handprints on the faded walls, worn treads on the steps.
This is one way (one of the very few ways) in which I am very traditional: I love building a comfy, attractive, neat home, a refuge at the end of the day, a sanctuary from the outer world. Even when I had absolutely nothing, my first apartment was immaculate and creatively put together, and I was surprised when I got a lot of compliments on my tiny studio apartment with cast-off furniture mixed with plants (LOTS of plants) and items I customized or fixed up myself to fit into the space.
I am drawn to houses that nature has slowly begun reclaiming, blurring the lines, ivy scrambling up the walls, gardens sprawling unchecked, a home waiting in the greenery to be discovered and lovingly coaxed back into its glory. I used to live near a run-down shack of a house with a stubborn glint of beauty in its eye, and I’m happy someone else saw it too. It was slowly restored to a gorgeous home, and I loved watching it unfold, transform, one nail and one board and one hammer strike at a time.
I am happiest when I am playing in the dirt and talking to my plants in a garden, rearranging a room, planning ideas in my head for the kids’ rooms, taking something mainstay and making it my own, ours, the family’s. I want our home to reflect our crazy blend of personalities and quirks, and so far I think it does (after some broken furniture and revisiting the drawing board!) Batman mixed with Sponge Bob, bass fishing, yellow ducks, Power Rangers, leopard print (guess whose leopard print?), and a teething ring in the fridge…you won’t see a mix like that gloriously displayed in a slick, glitzy interior decorating magazine, but it wraps all of us up into a home, a family, and I love that.
*Photo courtesy of A Different View*