During house-hunting, my father-in-law would sometimes tell me he’d found me a “crappy little house” I might like. Once we had established I like crappy little houses, it was much easier for him to help me find one.
I like a house that feels lived in. I prefer imperfect homes. They’re warm, comfy, cozy — and they make people feel welcome. Those are the homes I like to visit. A “crappy little house” that lends itself to my lifestyle was really important to me.
Where towels and quilts are all meant to be used. Where shoes lie stranded by the back door. Where cats sleep in windowsills, kids sprawl across the floor, and something is always cooking.
A house that says, “Put your feet up on the coffee table and relax.”
Our house is a 1920’s bungalow. It has arched doorways and well-defined public and private spaces. It’s been updated structurally as the decades passed, so there’s no more lathe and plaster and no knob and tube wiring left. Our house has wood cabinets, wood closets, wood doors, wood shelving and built-ins. It also has slightly sloping wood floors that creak and moan in places.
I love all that. Yes, even the slightly sloping floors. Okay, perhaps especially the slightly sloping floors.
Sure, we had to install new plumbing, and before we moved in, the electrical boxes were updated by the seller. Uh, it’s an OLD house!
But, the furnace is new, the windows have been replaced, the walls are well-insulated, and the whole lot is shaded, which makes it so energy-efficient, I kiss the light bill and whisper sweet nothings to it.
I’ve got space for all the things that please me and all the things I need. A place for everything and everything in its place.
I don’t collect things. I don’t do clutter. I’m a purger. Out with everything that doesn’t serve me. It’s good Feng Shui and it’s easier to keep clean.
But I love a closet that has collected decades of games and puzzles, don’t you?
And don’t you love a lifetime of hats and mittens ready for guests?
And don’t you love to be a guest in homes where shelves of books are at your disposal?
This “crappy little house” is full of charm, but more importantly, it’s perfectly imperfect. It’s quirky.