We hear about the death of reading, and how the internet will kill off paper publication someday. But I am not buying it. There is simply no replacement for the joy I get at opening the mailbox, and finding an old house magazine, instead of the expected bills (or perhaps to soften the blow of the bills that got shoved INTO the magazine by the carrier). Such was my reaction today. While I am supposed to be working, this newly minted issue of Victorian Homes arrived, tempting me in its glossy glory to brew a pot of Berry Berry Tea (imported regularly to the Ward abode from Victoria BC’s Empress Tea Shop) curl up with my kitten, and start the weekend early. Alas, such a luxury is not to be had today, but I will stop to share the editor’s thoughts from inside the world of gingerbread I would prefer to cyberspace.
Here for your reading pleasure, are Victorian Homes editor Merrie Destafano’s Top 10 reasons for loving an old house.
1. Windows that stretch-catlike-floor to ceiling, that capture sunlight and pull it through the prism of rippled century-old glass.
2. Glowing hardwood floors that require you to walk barefoot, that tell ghost stories when they creak in the middle of the night.
3. Sky-high and majestic ceilings, decorated with a wallpaper mosaic, that transforms a home into a cathedral.
4. Woodwork that dresses a room like a woman attending a ball, with the diamond-bright jewelry of crown molding, deep windowsills, and bull’s eye trim.
5. Finely crafted fireplaces brought to life when winter winds blow, that crackle with blazing embers and remind us of our primal need to tame the wild beast called Fire.
6. A foyer that hints of marvelous things to come, like the prelude to a Bach fugue; that causes excitement to pulse through your veins as you anticipate what will come next.
7. A parlor that resurrects the lost art of entertaining, that hearkens us back to an age when we drew pleasure from the confidence of a true friend come to call.
8. A stairway with curved banister and landing that leads upwards to down-filled comforters and four-poster beds, to a mythic land of rest for the weary traveler.
9. A wraparound porch, the bridge between home and the outside world, where the family can visit with friends and neighbors without taking a journey.
10. An entire street lined with historic homes-a well-tended, renovated historic district-that creates portal to the past, that triggers memories and reminds us of a Paradise almost lost in the quest for everything shiny and new.