Here at The Old House Attic we advocate old fashioned living within a contemporary lifestyle. By incorporating the ways of our ancestors into our daily lives we enhance our way of life and build a connection to those who have gone before. It also honors their contributions to our society while building more memories and sense of history for our children.
We believe renovating a house with a restoration mindset preserves the past and its beauty while creating a living space necessary for modern living. While historic preservation is extremely important, living in a museum is not living at all. Adding touches of traditional furnishings and other accoutrements to your space links you to the past and creates a history that enhances comfort and embodies the feeling of home. By looking to old crafting techniques and nature for inspiration we can inspire our creativity to add yet more beauty to our homes. Maybe even create new cherished items that are passed down to our children and their children. One day perhaps they can say, “My grandfather made that,” just as we may be able to say that about a wood carving or even a crocheted blanket.
In “the old days” the kitchen was the work center of the house. Today, it is the epicenter – the heart – of all living in a home. Cooking a favorite old family recipe or creating a lighter and healthier interpretation of those homey comfort foods creates a connection to your heritage and builds on it for future generations, just as your grandmother may have done with her mother’s recipes and hers before that.
Think back to your grandparents and great-grandparents and their parents and beyond. They gardened, not necessarily for beauty or pleasure, but to grow food to feed their families or cultivate herbs to cure their ills. They canned and preserved the produce they grew, stored vegetables in root cellars and dried herbs in the attic. They didn’t rely on boxes of plastic diapers. They used cloth diapers and washed them by hand, not relying on machines or electricity. Milk cartons or jugs did not get tossed into the trash. The bottles were rinsed and left outside the door for the milkman to refill the next morning. There was little waste or little scrap – for everything a use was found. They practiced green living without even thinking about it. It was their way of life. Green living in many ways is a modern term, but its practices are far from modern, they were only forgotten.
Our ancestors worked with the rhythm of the earth and cycle of the seasons. By tending the land on which we live, we create an even deeper connection with the planet, with the past and with each other. Just as you feel a sense of accomplishment when transforming your house into a home, the same can be said for your garden. The garden, in fact the outside as a whole, is merely an extension of your home. There has never been more demand or attention paid to outside living spaces. It is a deeply ingrained call from our ancestry to return to the land. To know you’ve grown a delicious fruit or a beautiful flower and that you’ve nurtured and cared for a space that not only sustains you and your family, but all manner of wildlife, creates a sense of balance and completeness.
The Old House Attic is now in its 16th year! We welcome you to join us as we blog and experience the magic of balancing our contemporary and hectic lifestyles with caring for our homes and gardens, celebrating special times with family and friends, sparking creativity and bringing awareness to the buildings, plants and animals that thrive all around us. Just as an attic holds the memories and keepsakes of a house, its family and times gone by, we hope you find something within this virtual attic to inspire and enhance your living in the universal house we call Earth.