I like old buildings. My home is in a building that is about 115 years old. I just watched Homes by the Sea, a UK show on Netflix about, well, living by the sea – those buildings make my 115-year old look like a “new build”. I invariably enjoy the (rather limited) offerings on HGTV more when the renovation or purchase involves an older house. Sometimes there is an updated, but not gutted, old home in another country, which is fun. I just find older buildings to be more interesting.
I like the notion of being a part of history. I live above a bar that was a speakeasy during Prohibition and that hosted a long list of famous people. Anyone living in Baltimore for any length of time has probably attended a party/wedding reception/graduation celebration in this building. It is distinctive … unique. It is a part of Baltimore’s history and a happy memory for many people. I love that I can be a part of that.
I also like actual rooms rather than the current trend of ripping out walls to create an “open concept”. I like cozy. I like privacy and alone time. I like being able to hide the dirty dishes in the kitchen so I don’t see them when I’m eating. I like low-level lighting … unless we are talking about sunlight! I can understand that some people want the openness, (though when it is put in terms of a family not being able to function in a home where generations of families have lived, I am somewhat amused). Different strokes.
What I liked about Homes by the Sea was that the homes reflected their owner’s personality and style. It wasn’t about having granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, nor was it about impressing people. It was about showcasing what they loved and what the house needed in order to work. Some houses were large, but several were moderately sized or even small. One had (unintentionally) slanted floors – the tables were adjusted to be level so that the glasses didn’t slide off. The houses themselves had personality. They were not perfect. That’s what I want for my home – something that speaks to me and for me.
In my bedroom, I have a wall of pictures. They are all different shapes and sizes and styles. Some are from trips taken over the years. Some are prints that I liked for one reason or another. There are even a few that I created or that my mother created. No one else will really understand these pictures, but they mean something to me. They remind me of who I am, where I have been and what drew me in at different times in my life. It’s probably not the most sophisticated or elegant wall, but it is very personal. This is my space. This is me.