We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
This is near and dear to my heart. We just finished building an old-fashioned Georgia farmhouse. Our wrap-around front porch is ten feet deep. There's a central hallway, up and downstairs, to push the breezes through. All the rooms are off the hallway and are separated by pocket doors. It's the opposite of "open concept" and my family of six is loving it. We even have old pine floors with nail heads exposed. It was really interesting to build.
What would we have built if we lived in Vermont? I wonder how it would have been different but still right for its place.
I agree about open floor plans. Rooms that feel big are fine, but not only do your guests not really want to see your messy kitchen, but you probably don't want to scramble to clean your kitchen before your guests arrive.
Yes! I fought tooth and nail to have cut glass doorknobs in the house that we built a few years ago - I went so far as to buy them out of pocket and hand them myself to the builder. Vindication is mine.
Also, there is a reason so few homes built nowadays have built-in bookcases: built-ins are really, really expensive.
My place has a lot of these features, but I still don't like it. Had it built in '77, had the builder make some changes for the better (I thought), they weren't. Never hated it enough to move on, just don't much care for it.
Most of these ideas are ridiculous. They went out of style because better choices came along. Who puts their cell phone down anywhere? I'm a builder and I can just see me trying to sell this stuff to customers.
I've worked on trim crews in the past few years. We'd trim some really expensive, really ugly houses. I always wondered if people choose these designs because they like them or if they just think they like them because it's what their neighbors' houses look like. I don't understand the appeal of open floor plans or the doing away with hallways.
We live in a 1928 bungalow (1600 square feet) and I love this house so much. The wide baseboards, worn oak floors, beautiful built-ins in the bathroom and the kitchen (sweet china cabinet) and the bookcases on either side of the fireplace. I don't like the tiny closets and the single solitary bathroom!
I am a fan of screens on the windows and I do like our screen doors. I use our little telephone niche for a seasonal display and have a miniature Nativity scene in it at Christmas. It has an open-plan living and dining room with a lovely arch in-between but thankfully the pocket door hides my messy kitchen.
We have a quaint tin roof which means the attic is an oven in the summer, but it is very pretty. I wish we had a screened-in porch, that would be the icing on the cake.
I also have a built-in ironing board in the kitchen, a little door opens and the whole apparatus pops out. I hope I never have to move.
In a recent trip back to NE, I stayed in a 300 year old house. The house has several built-ins that were installed 60 years ago. They have aged very well, looking as if they have always been a part of the house.
My father constructed a number of built-ins in the house I grew up in. They were so handy, and beautiful. The only objection I have is that in some instances where he painted them over. Plain varnished wood would have been better. But then he added varnished wood panels in several rooms.
Just for the heck of it, my father installed dutch doors on one room of the old outhouse, which became a storage place for lawn mowers and the like.
My aunt told me that when they were children, she and my father slept out in the porch in the WINTER in Illinois. They had heated bricks near their feet. My grandfather thought it was healthy for children to sleep thusly. Not that he did so as an adult.
As I have slept outside in the 30s in a down sleeping bag, and slept quite well, I may not consider the above arrangement as bad as some do. I also like cold rooms and warm feet for sleeping. I got quite accustomed to sleeping in a room that was in the 50s. Just put a heating pad on my feet so I could get to sleep.
I don't understand the phobia about clotheslines. Both my brother and sister have lived in places where the HOAs prohibited clothes lines. I use a clothes drier about once every two years.
Building for the climate
Such as having few to no windows on west sides in places with hot summers. I am reminded of the builder in my hometown who added solar windows to his own house- on the north side of the house. Not exactly building for the climate!
Re hand-forged nails: If they are already there, I don't see the problem. There is certainly no point in not using mass-produced nails for any current work. I grew up in an old house with some examples of old craftsmanship , and cherished such examples.