5 things I’ve noticed since owning a 300-year-old + cottage

Purchasing an old property at 25 years old, overall we received love, support, and some wonderful advice.

Although, in the weeds of that with a majority of good comments, the bad and the ugly snuck their way in. “You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into”… “It’s listed?! Well, I wouldn’t.” In the true nature of my fiance and I, we purchased anyway. Here are my honest thoughts behind the first few months of owning a 300-year-old + cottage.

Number one.

We’re always a part of a bigger story.

The house will outage all of us and all of our thoughts and ideas. As we pulled down wallpaper in a downstairs bathroom in our few first weeks, we uncovered around 3 eras and families spin on the property. I would have loved to have met the person behind the electric green cameo print in the bathroom, we are complete opposites in taste but it would have been fantasizing to hear your concept on why bright green (assuming 70s) bathroom complimented your bathtub.

Number two.

The most beautiful things have signs to show that they have been loved and treasured. They are not perfect.

Here came the pack between Ryan and I, we wouldn’t purchase new for the cottage. A house with stories deserves furniture with stories. Accompanied by the odd dent, scratch, or scribble.

Number three.

Wildflower gardens are high maintenance.

My first thoughts on a wild-looking flower garden as we arrived in Spring. Yes, low maintenance, I’ll let it grow naturally, wild and free while looking rather charming in the front yard…Turns out, you can’t leave it to do it’s a thing. Definitely not trusted. In fact, it’ll cover the front of your house if you let it.

The photo below includes an easy hydrangea, the lowest of maintenance so earned it’s rightful place on this journal.

Number four.

Nothing is straight or leveled so any job is never straightforward.

In an old house, you begin on a simple job, that turns into five very quickly. Even unloading our removals van on the first day and putting wardrobes into position. Everything. Falls. Forward. Wedges have become our best friends until we can even out our middle floor. This leads nicely onto number five…

Number Five.

Avoid trends like the plague, timeless always suits. When adding in furniture, * straight or not * trends seem to be out of place. As we move through each room, we’ve tried to embrace the era of features that are left uncovered.

For example our cellar is believed to be the oldest in the house… this would be here before listing in 1720 but the flint is the same as the church on our road. The church was featured in the doomsday book of 1086. While it would be nice to modernize this space for games, we will preserve and protect old features like the staircase.

In another six months’ time, I will be back here reading this and seeing how far my thoughts have changed after a winter in the house. So far would I go back to a newer house? No. An older house definitely takes a lot more care, but I feel like it’s unique and special to have a little part of history as home.

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