I think I'm working on the assumption that you may be as nosey as I am about looking at houses.....maybe I'm wrong but then you don't need to read further! I like the idea of having some photos gathered here so that we have them to look back on. The house seems fresh in our minds just now but I'm sure some of the details of this very quirky old house will fade with time. I'd also like to remember what a house can look like when it is very tidy and clean, please don't think it normally looks like this. It required a great deal of effort to keep it uncluttered for the month it was on the market!
I have intentionally never shown the front of our house before - anyone who knows our local town reasonably well wouldn't have too much difficulty working out where we live from a picture of the front. Especially since I have mentioned in several posts about the lovely street that we live on - we're less than 100 metres, down the cobbled dead-end street, to this and this and this (and this and this). But since we'll only be here for another handful of days I don't think I mind if anyone manages to work out exactly which house we're in (I'm not sure if I have been silly about this but it didn't feel right before now).
Our funny old house dates back to the early 1800s, or possibly the mid 1700s - no one seems certain (I always planned to do some research, sadly I haven't managed). But it is clear that it was built as a single house and certainly long before the ones that now adjoin on either side. It would have been such a grand house too, with lovely formal rooms on the ground floor. Now, they have been split off into an office on either side, each with their own entrance. And our front door is the original one in the middle (nearly the middle, nothing is straight in this house). Our wee front hall opens up to the main entrance hall (originally there would have been doors leading to rooms either side - now the offices) with the spiral stone stairs to first floor. This is one of my favourite parts of the house - although normally it is full of dogs and pushchairs! I just love the stairs and the stable door into the courtyard garden.
As I mentioned, and you'll see from the floor plan, nothing is straight. Not many right angles! And the walls are very thick.
The sitting room is a beautiful room, especially since we removed the blue shiny wallpaper, green carpet and garish blue curtains. The cornice only extends round part of the room so it was probably at least two rooms that have been joined at some stage. What you can't see here is the kids' toy shelves and so on which are behind the photographer! We put the fire in too and we'll really miss that - obviously the huge old fireplace was already there and it was only right to have a fire roaring in it again. All the shutters on the first floor are original and working - it is lovely to use them and I like the feel of these rooms without curtains.
The dining room is probably where we have made the most difference. It had a false ceiling which lowered the height to just above the top of the door. It made such a difference to take it back up to full height and restore the damaged cornicing. I don't suppose we'll ever have two such lovely rooms as this and the sitting room again.
The kitchen is small (we have to eat in the dining room, no option for being lazy) but the window is big which really helps (for me, anyway). We replaced the cooker, sink and work surfaces and painted the units and walls. All of which gave it a bit more character without costing us too much.
The wee first floor shower room was put in just before we bought and is the only room we haven't touched other than a quick paint - I still really like it after seven years.
We have been lucky to live in a house with so much character, space and light - but it does have it's down sides......no parking, very small garden, small kitchen and funny shaped rooms. But for us, for the last seven years, it has been home. And it is us, our family, that makes it home - not the actual walls. We will take away so many memories, some rather hard but many more rather wonderful. Home, for me, is also made up of some special furniture, from my mum and dad and grandparents, which I love for sentimental reasons as much as appearance. What makes home for you?
I think this is quite probably enough rambling for now - the next house is almost ours, hopefully we'll be sure by this time next week. If all works out we'll be living in a much smaller, completely new, bungalow. It couldn't be more different - but fewer worries about maintenance, a proper sized garden (to start from scratch - so exciting) and a view. Good things to look forward to.