When Jesse and I moved to our quirky old farmhouse six years ago, it was mostly out of sentimentality.
It was the house that I grew up in and has been in my family for five generations.
I’ve talked about our never-ending to-do list and finding some gems that have been buried for years. But there are so many strange things about the house that you don’t notice right away, but make doing updates to the house harder. Or at least require a fair amount of creative thinking.
Here are just a handful of those quirks:
- Many of the walls are plaster and lath with a weird texture and cracks thrown in for good measure. I have been assured that the cracks are not showing a structural problem; it is just because of the age of the house.
- Because of some remodeling that was done when I was a kid, there is no working heating ductwork that goes to the second floor.
- Nothing is straight. This makes it hard to hang art. If you measure down from the ceiling, the piece will look crooked; but if you hang it using a level, it seems lopsided.
- The basement is a combo of stone and concrete, and when the weather is damp, the walls leak with water. It looks like the house is crying. We added gutters to the house this year, which helped. But we regularly have to use a sub-pump and hose to empty the water of basement.
There are so many beautiful things about our house too. We have tall ceilings and large windows that let in so much light. Our home is in the country, and we have fantastic neighbors.
Most importantly, living in a quirky old house has helped me let go of most of my perfectionist tendencies. I would love smooth walls and an airy open floor plan. What I have are textured plaster walls and creaky floors, but I love it anyhow.
I am forced to love things just the way they are. And lean into the imperfection. That has been good for me.