Monday, February 2, 2015
Dreams and Drywall
I love architecture. I love good bones on a house, and lots of moulding. I love history and personality in a property. When I was six years old, my mother and step-father bought a really cool over-sized Cape Cod that was built in the the late 30's to early 40's. They took this gem and shined it up. They painted, remodeled, and decorated top to bottom. It was gorgeous.
When my husband was a kid, his parents' first house was an older house a block or so from Long Island Sound, in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. They did the same thing to their house that my parents did to theirs. Both Mr. Clean and I grew up with a love of all things construction. We could discuss plum lines, window glazing, and drywall tape. I can walk into almost any building and find the original lines vs. the remodeled ones. Quite often I can even peg the decade the building was constructed. The sight of a purple chalk line just makes me happy. We both wanted all that for our future first home.
When the time came to house hunt, Mr. Clean decided that ease of living while building up his career was a tad more crucial than being coated in drywall dust. Any house with oil heat was out. I was heartbroken. I wanted radiators and picture moulding. Squeaky hardwood floors, and hand carved newel posts were the top of my list. Easy to maintain became his desire. I saw his logic, but my heart still wanted a house with a story. We bought our first home in 2000; it was a great little townhouse with nice hardwood floors, but not much more personality (unless you count our original, off-white, 80's style fridge and dishwasher).
Fast forward nineteen years and we are living in a cookie cutter, traditional, builder grade home, in a really great neighborhood. My house is a mere fourteen years old, with carpet covered plywood subflooring and standard, big box store issued, round newel posts. I am extremely grateful for my house, and loved imagining our future when we first looked at it, but my childhood love of architecture is still alive and kicking. I have a laundry list of what I want to change in this house. And each project requires serious power tools and lots of drywall and moulding. Oh, and cash.
Tonight I left the home of a friend. I adore the friend, and her seriously killer log cabin home that was probably frequented by Daniel Boone, back in the day. That house has some major personality. I drove home in the bitter cold, pulled into my garage, and walked into my family room with the builder grade, fourteen year old carpeting and oddly placed soffits (I hate soffits).
There, sitting on the couch were all five of my kids, next to Mr. Clean in the recliner. There, were my babies, kept cozy and warm by the modern upgraded heating system in my house. There, were the six pieces of my heart that make my house a phenomenal home. I sat down on the couch cuddled between two of my offspring and found my happy place. And it had nothing to do with newel posts and moulding.