Friday, 16 July 2010

Something special about an old house ..

Although a 110 year old house is not really considered "old" in the United Kingdom (my in laws live in a 600 year old house and the "new wing" was built 400 years ago!) There is still something special about being able to live in an older property. My husband dragged me round to view several 1990s builds and gave up after seeing me utterly fail to get in the least bit excited about any of them! And then we found "Fairlea" and after a long and arduous struggle with trying to buy it (discounts for the new damp course, discounts for the lack of a proper loft conversion etc etc!) we finally moved in about 6 weeks ago!

Now it begins ... Renovation and research and all the time pondering who might have lived here over the past 110 years, what the house was like when it was built, and if we might find something interesting under the floorboards, or under the wallpaper as we start to make it the stunning house it deserves to be ...

It's a fairly plain and solid "old beast of a house". We asked our solicitors if the previous owners had handed over any of the old papers and we were delighted when she sent us what she had, in the post. We discovered more about the reason for it's plain and solid exterior and why it has been largely unloved. It was built by the landlord of this block of land to accommodate tenants and until the late 1970s was only ever occupied by tenants.

It had also had it's ground floor converted into a flat in the early 1970s and was then knocked back into one house sometime later ... and we're cursing that the original Victorian spindles and yule posts for the entire house weren't kept as now we have a mixture of old and new .. testament to it's splitting and rejoining!

Anyway, the dining room is the first to be sorted out ... As this used to be the old kitchen, it's a mish-mash of tiles and wallpaper and even a wall, that has been tiled and then wallpapered! Stay tuned for my post on a century of wallpaper design! Or "what I found" under the first layer ..

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