I will tell you something. I grew up in the bustle of the ‘city married to suburbs’. The idea that someone would give another human a house for free, is something that happened only in extreme circumstances (think Habitat for Humanity).
Here’s the thing. I am the kind of person when seeking to barter at a yard sale, cannot manage to get $0.50 knocked off an item I am interested in. I think I actually get sweaty just thinking about asking someone to lower the price on something. But my Husband? He goes to pick up an antique dresser and is given a house. This happens frequently. He literally ATTRACTS generosity. But then again, he is a very generous human too.
From Dresser to House
Last week, I called about a beautiful antique I saw on Facebook marketplace. It was hard to tell from the dark photo but something about it dripped with charm.
I mentioned it to my husband, but it was an hour drive away. We don’t often travel for antiques unless we plan for it. But something kept drawing us to this one and the next morning he called about it.
A lovely older lady accepted our offer and Yvan drove to pick it up.
Now, for those who know my husband personally, you may know how he gets ‘caught up’ in conversation. Nay, I dare say he pursues it. But that is something I have always cherished in him because he absolutely adores people.
As the hours were ticking by, I realized he got caught up chatting. When he called, his voice was tangibly happy.
“They gave us the whole house”, he stated brightly.
“Only YOU would arrive to pick up a dresser for your wife and be given a house!” I responded chuckling.
So what we were given exactly is a century home to tear down. Underneath its white plastic siding are gloriously ancient shingles.
Yvan thankfully has experience with tearing down old houses to repurpose.
We both share an affinity for century homes. They mean: large plank flooring, hardwood flooring, gorgeous moldings, and antique doors you could never find in a store. The repurposing of an old house can lead to many adventures. All of which we have embraced.
Now, I realize you many only see a pile of rubble to be burned down. That is what the owner was originally intending.
But it is invaluable to salvage an old house if you can. You are preserving the very intimate life of a family laid out in its framework and floors.
As we walked through the house, some of which had already been torn apart, we touched history.
We are planning where we will hinge these marvellous doors (my favourite is the wildly green one, could you guess?).
For more ideas on a ‘repurposed look’, this book, “Seasons at the Farm” is amazing!
We have a multitude of options, a plethora of plans and the tools and ‘know-how’ to do it. But for now, we will simply be removing the boards and flooring to be up-cycled in our homestead. The rest, we will share as we go along and see what the house unfolds.
And this is what we have been doing for the last six years. We have been turning our 1980’s bungalow into a full blown bohemian farmhouse equipped with antiquity. And we love that you decided to come along for the journey and witness the process along the way.
Stay tuned for updates on tearing down a house and up cycling some treasures!