Tuesday, July 26, 2011

city mouse, country mouse

Rachel and Paul sold their home in Toronto and moved to the country with their two young children, chihuahua, and cat.  They purchased a total fixer-upper and got to work renovating and reviving.  In Paul's words, "It looked like a house that had been abandoned and had squatters living in it for 4 years.  It was the house that teenagers used to party in.  It was a piece of history that was going to become a parking lot for the bank."  He wasn't exaggerating:

Rachel describes the pre-transformation house as looking, "sad. Like it had once been something special but it was sagging under too many years of neglect.  Under all that rubble and dust there was a glimmer of promise, of what it could be again given the chance."

I love the thought of fixing up an old house that would otherwise be destroyed.  It feels like you're saving a piece of history.  Seeing, learning, and guessing how people used to live in houses years and years ago has always filled me with a sense of awe and contentment. There is just something so romantic, so intimate about walking those same floors, touching those same walls.  It makes me feel comforted in a way, to know that other people lived and loved and lost in the same exact space.

I am glad that Rachel and Paul honored the character and history of the house in their renovation.  They didn't try to make it all shiny and modern, but the decor is still quirky and fresh.  The home looks happy to be loved again.

For more of the interview with Rachel and Paul and more pictures of their amazing home visit The Marion House Book, a blog written by Emma who was so nice to share this with her readers.  The pre-renovation photos were taken by the homeowners.  All other photos were taken by Kristin Sjaarda for The Marion Book.

P.S.  Can you believe that these after photos were taken just 6 months after the couple moved in and began renovations?  Talk about some serious reno-skill envy.  Wow.