Posted by: mrtweeds | November 10, 2008

imperfection is part of the overall desired effect: part one.

“imperfection is part of the overall desired effect”. once upon a time when i was a teenager i was babysitting for a family and they had a tag that said that,  obviously ripped off of a piece of clothing, taped to the bathroom mirror. and it struck me as brilliant because, as a teenager and a human being in general, i spent a whole lot of time glaring in the mirror looking at my many flaws. i still try to remind myself of this little happenchance mantra when i’m glaring at my 30+ year old face in the mirror. i think it’s just so…appropriate. and important. and it works in regards to pretty much anything: our looks, our life, our homes, ourselves.

now, i think it’s pretty understandable that i’m not interested in posting about all the blemishes, scars, and imperfections that are on my face or part of my general character. call me crazy, but somehow putting that up on a blog is just a tad bit too personal. but when it comes to my house…they’re not imperfections, they’re character.  right?   

living in an almost 150 year old farmhouse, i have to remind myself of that, especially when we’re working on a remodelling project (which is pretty much constantly). imperfections are OKAY (take a deep breath…let out). it’s hard when we’re bombarded with the martha stewarts (oh, martha, you know i still love you) in the world to remember that real life is not a photo shoot, and darn it, it wouldn’t be too interesting if it was. and while i do sometimes dream of living in a brand spanking new house with no imperfections, if i did i would probably lament the fact that my home didn’t have enough character to suit me.

so i’m taking the opportunity to remind myself that flaws can be fun, and that imperfections got that way because people-yes, actual people-have lived here, and do live here, and love here, and play here, (and fight here,) and when i see a scratch on the floor or a mark on the wall that just means that one more day has passed and one more life has left its mark.

and so with so many “imperfections” begging to be recorded and admired, i’ll start with this one: our mismatched banister.


if you want character, this has got it up the wazoo. the story goes (i believe) that it was originally the banister in an old, local church that was either being torn down or fixed up. either way, the banister was not long for this world and my grandfather managed to snag it for this house.  obviously it does not match the floor stain, or the white woodwork, or…well, or anything else in the entire house, colorwise. but personality-wise: it fits right in. and pretty much every time i go up and down the stairs i think about how many other people over the years (and in various locations) have slung their hand around the top turning as they headed up and down the steps just like i do.

another feature that i suspect isn’t so original to the house is our built in corner hutch. i don’t know for sure that it’s not, but it seems awfully fancy for the place with the carved moulding and curved top piece. whenever it got here, though, it’s been here for awhile. it’s kind of like the people around here: it’s not considered a “local” because it wasn’t born here. it’s probably been here for 100 years but it’s still “new”.


anyway, it resides in the corner of the back entry way, just off the kitchen. the doors stick when it’s warm out and you have to know the trick to open them without breaking the panes of glass on the top door. the interior has been painted a lovely, bright turquoise that is unexpected but is probably one of my favorite things around here. at the moment it houses some antique soup toureens and the pottery i made last year, but i have dreams of it someday showcasing a completely unstarted collection of ironstone. wouldn’t that be pretty?

and, last but not least (for today), i don’t consider this guy a flaw, but he most definitely wouldn’t be around if this was a  brand new house, either…our hitching post:


i mean, come on, could you imagine a friendlier face welcoming you home? a history buff once told us that this guy dates back to around the civil war (which is probably right since the house was built a year before it started). he also told us that if we ever moved we should take him with us, but i don’t think i could do that. he’s been welcoming people home to this house for so long it would be wrong to pull him out of the ground and put him somewhere else.

and this concludes part one of our imperfection series…stay tuned for crooked doors, worn out floors, and everything in between!


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