Thursday, November 11, 2010

Movin' on Up

I've always dreamed of living in a historic house. I grew up in a log cabin that my parents built (no, really--it's the stuff of family folklore. They had contractors put up the big beams, then invited friends to camp out in their backyard (!) and help them finish building it (!) which is how we have incredible custom cabinets designedby a gunsmith (!) and stone animals hidden in the foundation and chimney (!) from the stone mason). So my childhood home was akin to a historic home, but without the drafts or bad plumbing.

Fast forward a few years. There's a particular house in our town that my husband and I have always loved. We passed by it a few weeks ago and saw a For Rent sign in the front yard. Aside from the sacrilege of such a unique place being a rental and not owned by some nice family that takes extravagantly good care of it, the thought of living there made me get a little giddy.

"Can't be in our budget," I said.

"Call and find out," he said.

And it was gloriously affordable. I finalized the paperwork to rent it today.

So, introducing our new abode:

Build in 1835, it may be the oldest house in our town. As a potential restoration, it would need a lot of work to restore it to its former state. For one, and this is a plea: Cease and desist on the carpeting, people! Some idgit carpeted half this place, which is sacrilege; wood floors are beauty incarnate in an old house. Still, for us living there for a year and a half, it has enough history and charm to more than please me. Original floorboards and woodwork. Fireplaces galore. Curtain rods built into the window frames that have been there since...a long time. Even the light fixtures are antiques, probably dating from the first round of putting electricity in the place.

The kooky folks who lived there many moons ago not only did some interesting painting, but carved a face in one of the exposed ceiling beams. And left the weird harem-esque lamp in the corner of the dining room.

Ok, we aren't moving in until after Christmas, but can't you just see that mantle draped in greenery for the holidays?

There's a fireplace in the bedroom. Sigh. We aren't allowed to use it as we're renting but still...swoon.

I had to share--and we can't wait to move in! I'll probably be doing some more research on the house, too, to satiate my curiosity about who lived here, when changes were made to it, and how the town build up around it.


dolleygurl said...

Oh that is so wonderful! Congrats. I'm sure it will be just awesome. That sucks about the fireplace not being usable. We have an apartment but we can use our fireplace (although we haven't, we are a little apprehensive, since neither of us really have any experience with builing a fire). I wish you all the best.

Sharmon said...

How awesome! I was blessed to live in several old historic houses growing up (also rentals) and you somehow never get it out of your system. When we got the opportunity to buy land and build, I put as many old features in the cottage-style house as we could budget. I love it, but always sigh when I pass those fabulous old houses that need loved.
So glad you get to love this one for short time.
We don't have a working fireplace, either. Too expensive. I have a mantle and I light candles for the opening.

Jillian said...

Oh, how pretty! Congrats, Rowenna!!

mesmered said...

I can see a very beautiful if small re-enactment approaching, folks in costume, drinks, housewarming!

We lived in a historic home in our first years of marriage. A double-storey Georgian home by the side of a river in a quiet, leafy lane 30 minutes from the city. It was the best house we ever lived in. Loved it.

Carrie C said...

Congratulations, Rowenna, that's beautiful! Enjoy your lovely home! I'm sure you'll get lots of good stories out of it - maybe even some ghost stories? :)

Rowenna said...

Dolley--thanks! I do love a fire on the hearth on a blustery day--it's not too tricky :)

Sharmon--I love the idea of building a new house with elements of old houses! And candles by the fireplace is a great idea!

Jillian--Hello! Thanks :)

Mesmered--you are exactly right--I'm already plotting a midwinter fete complete with authentic gowns and punch :)

Carrie-Thanks! Eep, I hope no ghost stories. Or, at least, no scary ghost stories (I don't mind benign ghosts :) )

Ax said...

It's so cute! And right up your alley for sure.