When people stop in for a visit the first time, the room that almost always brings the most comments is the Living Room. Comments like these are typical, "Look at all this woodwork!" or, "You sure don't see many houses like this anymore," and "This is truly a craftsman house." Even though this old house went through several remodels over the years, I'm so thankful that the woodwork and the windows were left in tact.
My mother in law loved to tell the story that originally one end of the long living room was raised up a step to another level. As she and my father in law were updating the house before they moved in, she had the floor lowered so it was all the same level...and my father in law never even noticed! The floor was covered in a deep red carpet which they both loved. In fact, my father in law said that was one of the reasons he agreed to buy the house!
Well, they loved that carpet so much that they left it in place the whole time they lived here...about 36 years. They had it cleaned and stretched many times but it was worn out by the time we moved in. One of the first things my husband did was to start ripping it up and....surprise, surprise....underneath the carpet were the original fir floors. Though some areas of the floor were somewhat distressed, we decided we could live with it and that the old floors fit the character of the house. My cousin, Trygve, who is a second generation hardwood floor installer and finisher, came in to take a look and he agreed that we could salvage them...with a little help from him. He did a beautiful job and we could not believe the transformation when he was finished.
The living room is long so it works best to create two conversation areas...one around the fireplace at one end, and one around the armoire with the TV at the other. The middle of the room is intersected by a long staircase upstairs and the front door that leads to the sun porch.I love this room, especially at Christmas time. But the rest of the year, we try to keep it light and open.
Perhaps part of the reason why I love this old house is the sense that it has stood the test of time...for 100 years now. I'm thankful for the blessing of living here...being able to make a home for my family and sharing it with others. I love these words from J.R. Miller about the meaning of home:
“A true home is one of the most sacred of places. It is a sanctuary into which men flee from the world’s perils and alarms. It is a resting-place to which at close of day the weary retire to gather new strength for the battle and toils of tomorrow. It is the place where love learns its lessons, where life is schooled into discipline and strength, where character is molded.
Few things we can do in this world are so well worth doing as the making of a beautiful and happy home. He who does this builds a sanctuary for God and opens a fountain of blessing for men."
I'm going to retire to the living room now...and watch an old movie. Warmly, Gracia