The Cross House
THE GOOD NEWS
The living room of the Cross House is — it seems hard to believe — sorta kinda somewhat ready to decorate. Not this minute, mind you, but (crossing my fingers) in April.
I have been so preoccupied with structural, electrical, restoration, and other non-decor issues that the idea of being able to, at last, make one room pretty seems like a dream.
One room pretty!
THE WORRISOME NEWS
It seems that the majority of people who buy a historic house really really really like to decorate according to the era when the house was built.
The Cross House was built in 1894, the high Victorian-era. Well, you all know what that means: a lot and lot and lot and lot of…stuff. I mean heavy curtains (dripping in trim) and carpets with bold patterns and wallpaper (walls and ceiling) with bold patterns and chairs everywhere and sofas and lots-o-side chairs and potted palms and nick-knacks galore and lions and tigers and bears, oh my.
I get dizzy just trying to take all this in.
So, does my 1894 house TRAP me into a Victorian-era decor in 2015?
If I deviate from what-most-people-do-with-old-houses I fear that I will be tar & feathered by legions of Old House Devotes. I imagine scathing comments on this blog and sneering looks at cocktail parties and invitations not sent to parties. In short, I will be a pariah.
IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE?
I cannot explain fully the WHY but I have no desire for the decor of the Cross House to recreate 1894. Why not? Well…because it is…2015. And I rather like that 121 years have ensued. And I would like the house to reflect this.
So, is there an alternative to The One And Only Way, an alternative to a Ye Olde Look?
A DANGEROUS PLAN
Make no mistake: I am highly committed to restoring the structure of the Cross House to its original appearance.
But the decor?
I feel like I have many options.
What excites me is NOT having the decor be a museum recreation of 1894 but rather something which instantly makes clear that 121-years have ensued since the house was built and that it is, oh baby, 2015. 2015! An age with cars and computers and smart devices and wireless speakers and flat-panel TV screens and all the cool stuff, and aesthetic, reflective of the age we live in T O D A Y.
But all in a house built in 1894.
A PROVOCATIVE QUESTION
Can 1894 and 2015 co-exist aesthetically?
I look forward, with great anticipation, to finding out.
1) Again, I am NOT going to paint any of the interior trim/doors.
2) I am not going to punch can lights into the ceilings.
3) No rooms will be disfigured (soffits, bumped-out corners) to install AC.