I have always preferred older houses to new ones. I love the character of the architecture, the warmth of the wood, and the way older homes seem to become individuals. Sometimes I wonder what stories they could tell if the walls really could talk.
Our house was built in 1914, making it 97 years old. We have lived in it for 22 years, almost a quarter of its life. I know next to nothing about the people who sold it to us, and nothing at all of the ones who lived here before that. Their lives are part of the history here though, and the house knows it all.
Right now the house is revealing some of its secrets. We are updating the kitchen and this is what we found beneath the cabinets. Layers of floors from years ago, and years before that. I love that it looks like a map. This whole process feels archaeological as we uncover original lath and plaster and old knob-and-tube wiring. It’s all still there, under the surface.
Because houses change. They have to. Frankly, I’ll be thrilled to have drawers that don’t screech every time I pull them open, and cabinets that allow access to the corner spaces that have been black holes. I don’t think the house minds the changes we are making. We’re doing our best to honor the original.
And it feels nice to connect with a past that has been hidden away all these years. This is a good house. A good place to hold our stories.