Monday, March 9, 2009

For the Love of Something With Soul

OK, when it comes down to it, I'm probably a bit more down to earth than Madonna. But I would kill for those arms! And as much as I like my labels, I love sitting in the dirt with my boys. So, it is no wonder that I feel a heart string pull to older homes. I can't help it. I read articles about historical restorations and I get all sentimental. I am in the business. I am fully in tune with the meaning of restoration or renovation of an historical style, and still I get all romantic about it!

I blame my mother. My mother and This Old House. I was drawn to watch This Old House on PBS with Bob Vila, then Steve and Norm when it was the closest thing to an interior design show there was. And then being who I am, I watched New Yankee Workshop and The Victory Garden afterwards. It was entertaining to go back to school after a success stint in interactive and traditional marketing, to hear that fellows students favorite show was "Trading Spaces". No offense to the show or the talent. There are definitely ideas and talent there. But as I told my husband - "Do not put me on any show that redecorates in 24 or 48 hours!" I'd be afraid of what fell apart in the next 24 or 48 hours after everyone left.

Good design just takes time. And unfortunately, what most people don't see in the show is the time that it takes to put it together. It's not just a's more than you think.

So as I ponder and research details for our little kitchen and how to bring in the right modern touches, I wax over the "good ol'days" when homes where built to last. I romanticize what it is like to live in a much older home and design my new kitchen to live.

I hope you are able to find your sunshine among the news of rainy days!


  1. Thanks for saying what all interior designers know - and wish their clients knew! - Good design takes time. you really can't pull it off in one day, or for under $1000 to do a whole room. The glut of design shows just gives people an unrealistic idea of redoing a space.
    Renovating an older home is a great way to be green, but it is not always the easiest way to go. It takes determination to stick with it but ther results are usually worth it!

  2. i am the owner for 10 years of the quintessential money pit. Being a designer and growing up with Bob Vila as well, I thought i knew it all. A little paint, refinish the floors, we could live for years and fix it one room at a time. How naive was I? We have replaced nearly every joist, valve, sill plate, plumbing fixture and if you ask me i would do it again in a heartbeat ( in different order perhaps) but I LOVE MY OLD HOUSE, because of its flaws and imperfections and its 87 degree corners. It is the center of my universe.

  3. I love the fact that you know the corners are 87 degrees! Your comment made the smile - thanks!