Monday, July 20, 2009

The good, the bad, and the Oh so ugly

I have lived in old farmhouses most of my life. I grew up living in an old farmhouse and have spent the last several years living in them as well. The farmhouse we are about to move out of is more than 100 years old. If you have ever lived in an old house you know that it can be both challenging and rewarding. Eventually you just have to learn to accept the good, the bad, and the oh so ugly. Just let me show you.

Here is some of the bad. How about a wagon wheel chandelier. It does match the 1970s era orange and gold carpet on the sunporch. Whenever I enter this room, I feel like I have stepped into a time machine and exited onto the set of The Brady Bunch. I'm sure this was lovely in its' time, but sadly, its' time has passed.

I won't show the ancient, easily clogged plumbing, or the leaky windows, but believe me, they are there. I also won't show you the basement which floods whenever it rains, or the tiny doorways which are so small furniture won't fit through them, including important things like your bed. But I will show you something very scary. It is in the living room. It is my least favorite thing in this house. There are a set of shelves built into the living room wall, and oh yes, that really is mirrored tile with gold marbling. It is oh so ugly. At first I didn't have a clue what to do with them. Eventually I settled for camouflage. I took foam board and cut it to fit onto the shelves. Then I covered it with a starry fabric. Still tacky, but not quite as ugly. There was a matching set of shelves in the dining room. I managed to put a large piece of furniture in front of them so they would be hidden.

But there is a payoff for living in an old farmhouse. Here is some of the good.

There is beautiful wood everywhere. Each doorway is surrounded with vintage molding. The stairs up to the bedrooms are well worn and mellowed with age. The wooden railing is smooth to the touch from years of hands rubbing it on their way up and down the stairs. There are wide, painted plank floors in both bedrooms.

Every room has an old door with beautiful cracking, peeling paint and vintage hardware. I really love old door knobs. They have character and patina you just can't get with a new doorknob.

But the best reason of all to live in an old farmhouse is that you get a room with a view. There is just nothing else quite like that. Yes, old farmhouses suit me just fine.

Blessings to you.


  1. I can so relate! There are many homes like yours around my area. I don't live in the country, but our home is old and we have a window converted to shelving, too. Oh, the challenges in an old home! Love that view, btw!


  2. Wonderful post. Our old farm house is now a lilttle island of country in the city so we don't get the view but we've got great door knobs!

  3. I had to chuckle, when you mentioned the shelving with the mirror background. I lived in a rented house with a huge wall in the living room covered with that same type of mirror tile. We didn't own the we just had to deal with it.I was young at that time and didn't have a clue as to what to do with it. Now I could probably figure something out.I love old houses too.

  4. Oh, how I love your old farmhouse!

  5. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. Have a great week.

  6. It must be wonderful to live in an old farmhouse with all that beautiful wood and views. We live in an old house--not a farmhouse. We have made many updates over the years. There is always a problem with plumbing or something. Just this week, my DH had to take everything out from under the kitchen sink and drain the water out of the garbage disposal and flush out the drain lines. We also have to do this in the bathroom now and then. I guess the pipes need changing, but at our age and in our condition, we are just going to do what we have to do to keep things going.

  7. What a wonderful view you have everyday at the field full of windmills. Very nice. :)

    Well your home might have some outdated elements but it has wonderful bones to work with!!

  8. Old houses certainly do come with their pluses and minuses. Sometimes you just have to overlook the bad to enjoy the good.