I like antiques and things that look like they have been loved intensely. I don’t trade in old things for new things unless it is absolutely necessary. In the decoration world, this could be identified as shabby chic, country style or just plain old and decrepitated. Just because something isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean that it isn’t of value.
I recently went to look at a house. When I pulled up, I fell in love. As a good friend of mine said, “The bones of this house are good. You can make something of this.” The gutters were looking rather worn. The paint was so old that you’d probably get lead poisoning just from thinking about repainting it. The outer facade had also seen better days. One could only imagine what color the house used to be underneath all the dirt and grime.
I entered the house. It had beautiful high ceilings and the original old doors from 1930-something. It looked as though the plumbing had been upgraded at least within the last 50 years. The floors squeaked from the original old floorboards. The staircase was the original and was made of thick, dark, heavy wood. The kitchen was big enough to cook for a small army. Sounding perfect? Well, not really.
The bath was the size of a closet. For a house of the immensity, one would expect… no require a larger bath. And perhaps even more than one bath. The floors needed to be rebuffed. The dirty, earthy smell that hit your nose the moment you entered the basement let you know that the cellar was not dry. Many a washing machine had rusted away in the dank, darkness. But still, I knew that I loved that house. It was old and it had been loved, then neglected, then probably loved again, and then neglected. It needed someone to love it again. At the end of the day, the house would have been too expensive, but I envy the people who can afford to give it the love it needs again.
It is so much easier to go for the new and perfect. You don’t have to do anything. You think that nothing could be better. Everything is shiny. But one day, you also begin to notice that the luster is fading. What was once new, perfect and exciting will also start to change. Dirt starts to settle in the corners and no matter how hard you scrub, it doesn’t seem to want to go away. Paint starts to chip. Either you can repaint or just let it rot away to the point where it needs to be replaced. Even perfect new things require work to keep them looking nice. So if you already have something, why not refurbish it and mold it and shape it. Sand it down and make it smooth. Paint it a different color. Don’t just throw it away and go for the new. Love it intensely.
If you think this post is just about an old house think again…