Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The great debate – new vs old

New houses are not my thing.

I grew up in a Cape Code built in the ‘50s, and it was love ever since. When Brent and I started our home search last year, and he suggested looking at new houses, I may have looked at him as if he suggested barbequing a kitten.

I’m not morally opposed to new houses, and I don’t judge those who buy them. But I do judge those who buy new houses when they brag about the fact that it’s new, like that somehow makes it better.

There are pros and cons to both new and old houses. Newer is not always better. I think kitchen appliances are the perfect example of that. My oven is more than 40 years old, and I’m rather positive it will outlast any “new” oven in a new house today. Also, newer constructions don’t automatically have hardwood floors underneath their carpet. And I haven’t even gotten to that thing called character.

Granted, I definitely make sacrifices living in an older home. My master bathroom is tiny, and there definitely isn’t a huge Whirlpool tub waiting for me at the end of the day. The thing I’m the most jealous of though are the kitchen pantries – just a tiny difference of who people lived then and now.

Brent and I love to go to Costco, but we always have to watch the amount we buy because of space. But, I’m excited to say for $37.99 we added a lot more room for food. When I was working on my cleaning-closet makeover, I mentioned wanting to get something for the back door. Well, I finally did, and I love it.

I bought this ClosetMaid masterpiece at Home Depot. I am so excited to go to Costco again, so this shelve can be put to even better use.

Ugh, I realize that was a terrible transition into what I bought. It all sounded way better in my head. Promise.


  1. I do love the character in our old home..., but there are things I would totally appreciate in a new construction. The windows for one things, insulation and a mice resistant foundation. I've always lived in older homes, so I don't know how it would actually feel to live in a new house. Only one way to find out, ha!

  2. I love that you have 935 boxes of pasta! yum!

  3. Maya – So true. I know I will always be jealous of my friends' newer houses huge walk-in closets. But, it's worth it to me.

    Mandee – What can I say. Brent and I like pasta. And we like buying it in bulk. :)

  4. I'm with you on the character of older homes.My husband and I have been renovating a ranch style home that is about 45 years old for the past year.My pantry( which just happens to be in a smallish butler's pantry) is about the same as yours and I used the same system on the inside of the closet door too.......Now if you could just help us figure out ways to disguise those ugly but necessary thermostats that they seemed to love to plant in the middle of walls!
    PS...I noticed all the mac and cheese boxes as well!

  5. You're better than me, I DO judge people who buy new houses ;)

    And I'm still amazed that we somehow lucked out with TWO walk in closets. I thought I'd never even have one living in an older house.

  6. Julie – And I'm still insanely jealous of your 2 walk-in closets. I know some older house have them...but mine definitely does not.

  7. Susan – Ugh, I totally hear you on the thermostat. It's chilling in my living room in the middle of the side wall. What I am thinking about doing at some point is adding floating shelves to the other side of the wall to match my other ones. Then leaning a large frame on one of them, which would cover the lovely thermostat.

    Would something like that work for you possibly?

  8. Ashley, yes it would work and I have done this but being one who is cold during the day but hot at night, I am constantly having to move things just to readjust the thermostat(you'll understand better as you get older ;p) so it becomes a real pita in the middle of the night..so I was hoping for other suggestions!


  9. Susan – What about getting a programmable thermostat? This way you can have different settings programmed in automatically and if you need to change it, you can always do it online if that's easier for you.

    Brent and I got one for the old house and absolutely loved it. If our new house didn't already have one, we would have definitely gotten another one. Our largest gas bill went down by $50. We have 3 settings on ours: home, work and night. During our work and night hours the thermostat drops itself 5 degrees.

    I don't know where you live, but Kansas City's P&L actually offers these thermostats to residents for free. Maybe your P&L company offers a similar program?

    If this isn't an option, I'm sure I can come up with something else. :)

  10. I just found your blog and have really enjoyed going back and browsing your entries. Love the book lists!! I read all the time and plan to go back through yours and get some ideas. Also, how do you like having hardwood floors all over? I am getting ready to have hardwoods put in my kitchen and dining room and am conflicted about putting them in the family room as well. It seems like it would be cold. If I'm going to do it, I want to do it at the same time but can't make up my mind!

  11. Traci – I'm so glad you like the book lists! I have to admit, I always feel weird posting them because they are rather random is a design-based blog. As you'll be able to see from my posts, I've been on a YA kick lately. The Hunger Games series and The Vampire Academy series I could seriously talk about all day. :)

    As for hardwood floors – I absolutely love them. I am a fan of fuzzy socks or slippers, so the cold aspect never really bothered me.

  12. we have been living in our 50's cape cod for three years, and it is perfectly sized for my boyfriend, myself, and our cat. i have had a hard time finding decorating sites or blogs with capes. i would love to see more work done in small spaces, or working with the eaves in the bedrooms. thankfully we have a larger closet in the hall which i use as a pantry, but why didn't i ever think of one of these holders?? by the way, is that mac and cheese? rock on!

  13. I love how excited everyone is over my mac & cheese collection. :)

    Raysongrrl – I can't think of any blogs I look at where Cape Codes are involved, and that makes me sad. I love the second floors of Cape Codes – the ceiling details are amazing.

    I know "Wasted Spaces" on DIY has worked with Cape Codes and smaller houses before. It's a great show, and makes me wish I was more crafty with a hammer.


    As for blogs that deal with smaller spaces, you might want to check out Apartment Therapy, that's a good one.