Monday, November 9, 2015

House and Home

My brother and I grew up in a home that was constantly under construction. I know it bothered both of us as we never really felt at ease - there was always something to get done. Astonishingly, he and I both went on to purchase older homes but more surprisingly, older homes that required a lot of work. I'm not sure if we're repeating something familiar or resolving a desire to see something complete. Either way, he and I both are 'house' people. Because although we didn't enjoy the process of having the house always torn up, I think we did enjoy the opportunity, however small, to make the home truly ours. For my husband and I, we hope that doing the most grueling projects before we move in will relieve our children of most of that burden. I know that the projects (maintenance alone) will be endless no matter, but at least we'll have a good start.

I've posted the photo above before. I think it is one of my favorite photos of the house as we found it. It says, to me, that despite the peeling paint, sticky latches, and old wiring and plumbing it has what I've always dreamed of having in a home. Room to wander, lots of sunlight, and endless amounts of chapters to write within its walls.

I came across a tiny little book of quotations in the bookstore the other day. It's called House and Home. These are some of my favorite quotes from the book.

Our house had a heart, and a soul...
we were in its confidence, and lived in its

Mark Twain 

A man builds a house in England with the
expectation of living in it and leaving it to
his children; while we shed our houses in
America as easily as a snail does his shell.

Harriet Beecher Stowe 

Old houses, I thought, do not belong to
people, ever, not really, people belong

Gladys Taber 

If I were asked to say what is at once the
most important production of Art and the
thing most longed for, I should answer a
beautiful house.

William Morris 

The fellow that owns his own home is always
just coming out of a hardware store.

Frank McKenney Hubbard 

He who loves an old house
Never loves in vain,
How can an old house
Used to sun and rain,
To lilac and larkspure,
And an elm above,
Ever fail to answer
The heart that gives it love?

Isabel Fiske Conant 

Eden is that old-fashioned House
We dwell in every day
Without suspecting our abode
Until we drive away.

Emily Dickinson 

A house can have integrity, just like a person.

Ayn Rand 

Everyone has, I think, in some quiet corner
of his mind, and ideal home waiting to become reality.

Paige Rense 

A house that does not have one worn, comfy
chair in it is soulless.

Mary Sarton 

A house is infinitely communicative, and tells
many things besides the figure of its master's
income. There are houses that confess intellectual
penury, and houses that reek of

Robert William Chapman 

To be rooted is perhaps the most important
and least recognized need of the human

Simone Weil 

If I were asked to name the chief benefit of
the house I should say: the house shelters

Gaston Bachelard 

Fare you well, old house!
you're naught that can feel or see,
But you seem like a human being -
a dear old friend to me;
And we never will have a better home,
if my opinion stands,
Until we commence a-keepin' house
in the house not made with hands.

Will Carleton 

A comfortable house is a great source of
happiness. It ranks immediately after health
and a good conscience.

Sydney Smith 

The home should be a treasure chest of living.

Le Corbusier 

The ideal of happiness has always taken
material form in the house, whether cottage
or castle; it stands for permanence and separation
from the world.

Simone de Beauvoir 

The sober comfort, all of the peace which springs
From the large aggregate of little things;
On these small cares of daughter, wife, or
The almost sacred joy of home depend.

Hannah More 

We shape our buildings; thereafter they
shape us.

Winston Churchill 

Mid pleasures and palaces
though we may roam
Be it ever so humble,
there's no place like home.

John Howard Payne, 1823


  1. I LOVE all these! Love quotes about houses. All the work and wait to get in the house is all just a wrinkle in time- y'all will be in soon! Look forward to all the chapters you write within its walls. xxoj.

  2. Beautifully written and wonderful quotes - don't think any of us are surprised that these quotes probably sum up your home and heart! Can't wait to see your home after y'all are all in and settled!

  3. Always happy to see a May Sarton quote. Hope you've read her, Plant Dreaming Deep.

    Moved into our 115 year old home weeks ago. Knew it was mine walking thru the front door, the first time. More, I knew the house chose me. A pure Howard's End moment. Placed offer less than 24 hrs later.

    Wasband's family lake house made life better, the house/garden didn't even need the lake !! Had not experienced that before. Had always thought it would be so incredible to live in such a home.

    Now, I do.

    Our home is an incredible plinth to 'life'. I am blessed to be its steward.

    Leaving an incredible garden has not been without sorrow. When it arrives I quickly pull back into my new chapter, works every time.

    Enjoying your new home's progress.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

  4. Beautiful words! We are all house people....who congregate here!

  5. I share in your being a house person. You either are or you aren't, there's no in between and if you are it's an indescribable feeling that lives within and manifests itself in every little nook and cranny of your home.

  6. I love quotes and I love houses so quotes about houses are my favorite. Thanks for sharing these and your thoughts, which are lovely as always.

  7. Old houses, I thought, do not belong to
    people, ever, not really, people belong

    Gladys Taber

    I totally relate to this. I really am just a steward here hoping to leave the house in better condition than I found it. What a great book C. !!!

  8. What a lovely collection to share. Thank you. My favorite is the last one. I love old houses and always dream of them. When I'm annoyed or upset, rather than deal with it, I type "colonial" into Zillow's search and sift through the listings in Maine and Vermont. I lack the iron will an old house requires, but I enjoy others' immensely.

  9. I love every thing about this post! I grew up in rentals and never had a bedroom painted and designed to suit me and my interests. From the time I was 20 I have owned and restored old houses to make them my home. My oldest child graduates high school in 2 years. And it dawned on me a few months ago that my kids don't know what it means to live in a completely done home. We have always sold once we finish. I have wondered how that will impact their story.
    Thank you for sharing the quotes. They all resonate with me. I would love to read this book.

    Holly L.

  10. I'm especially loving the quote from Harriet Beecher Stowe. I've always dreamed of having a home that I live in for the rest of my life and my kid's kids come to visit. I love the sentiment of passing a house down through generations.

  11. Love each and every single quote you posted! I believe that a home is a place where one should feel like they can escape the world if they want to, my husband looks at a home as a place that requires a lot of upkeep, where he showers and sleeps. He always wants to get away to a little cabin in the woods somewhere. I love old homes with character, with a history, he looks at old homes as work. So, more than likely I will never be able to get him to buy an old farm house in the country, which is my dream. Which means that I will have to visit your blog and blogs like yours to get that feeling that I long for. Thank you for sharing your home, it is beautiful! Teri

  12. I don't know how you do it! Your husband must love it. My husband has been working on our bathroom for a year, and still going to hire someone to finish it. Granted he works three
    jobs. : - ) I would love to do what you're doing though.

  13. Thanks for sharing these house quotations with us, it sounds like an interesting book. I too am a 'house' person. So it's always good to know there are others out there like myself. Even as a young girl, I loved going into old houses. Perhaps it's a genetic thing! :)

  14. My Grandmother used to say "you live with old houses, there is always something to be done and that's the way it is". This was as our old English farm was mentioned in the Domesday book, of course over the years a great deal had to "be done", modernisation, new roof, replacement windows, but always in keeping with the house. As children we never appreciated it, it was just home!

  15. Love beautiful quotes.

  16. Yes, home is a special word. I saw on another Blog the song by Christian recording artist Michael Card. Here is a link if you would like to listen to the song and see the lyrics to it...beautiful. ("Home is a comfort and home is a light, A place to leave the darkness outside, Home is a peaceful and ever full feeling, A place where a soul safely hides.")

  17. I've found your journeys through the world of restoration foreign and fascinating. I love the quotes, but my favorite is in your own words - " it has what I've always dreamed of having in a home. Room to wander, lots of sunlight, and endless amounts of chapters to write within its walls." Your words make me smile for they describe our home - built when we were newlyweds and really had no idea of the many chapters to be written here or the importance of having this room to wander and the sunlight/moonlight of country living. May you be blessed with long, happy years there.

  18. Thank you for the wonderful quotes on home. Our home bought new 44 years ago is alive and has a mind of its own. We raised four boys in it with a pond close by and hills to explore and roam in. On four occasions because of work relocation, economics and a down sizing that didn't work out, we left our home, but it has called us back to be loved and taken care of. And oh how we love her!
    I feel the beat of her heart every day and return her love by cleaning, repairing, and improving her looks. I feel so much joy declaring my love!!!!

  19. Oh, I love these quotes! I've always been a house person, and made it my job for a number of years drawing plans for a builder, but my heart was always in old houses. Last year we sold our old house after twenty-seven years (old in an American sense, not Colonial, but 1920's - I know Europeans would laugh to call it 'old'). It was a wrench to leave it, but we wanted to be in a different place - out in nature in the mountains rather than in the mid-sized city we grew up in. We were glad that our buyer was also an old house person who had been looking for a long time. Now we live in a log cabin in the woods - a new one but with enough authenticity in its materials that I can appreciate. I'm still bringing in bits of old houses, though, stained glass and leaded windows, old chandelier, etc. The primitive pioneer or country Colonial log cabin is not my look, but I do try to keep the furnishings simple and traditional, with a bit of Appalachian flavor, and reflecting my love for England and Scotland (which also has been a strong influence in this area). I've thought of making up my own story for the house - that it was a home built by a Scottish emigre couple around the turn of the century (20th) and they brought bits of their former life with them, as well as being influenced by the traditions they found in their new environs and the building trends of the time. There was a wonderful local architect originally from England, who worked on the Biltmore House but designed many houses - even log cabins - as well as institutional buildings, and really left his stamp on Asheville. I like to think how he might have influenced my imaginary couple and how I might reflect that as I continue to improve and add onto our little cabin. Meanwhile I absolutely love being able to look out my windows through the now leafless trees to the blue mountains beyond. Place is such an integral part of home. And my children (and grandchildren) love to visit here, even though it is not the home they grew up in.

  20. Love all the quotes as I am a lover of old houses myself and my husband and I have spent our lifetime rescuring forgotten ones and making them our homes. Now our daughter is doing the same thing. Must be in the genes as it was with you. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Home for our family especially this time of year has become an anchor of sorts after a global nomad life for our children's lives. I just finished setting a sample table for our family Thanksgiving here this year in our 200 year old PA house. Can't wait for everyone to be "home"! Thank you for sharing some of your story and the quotes. Linda

  22. Wonderful.

    Great reading, thank you.

    A favorite quotation of mine [that I love for its whacky syntax] [and that I can't authenticate] is "Home is the place where, when you're not there, they miss you."

    Amelia Island FL

  23. I absolutely loved the quotes and this inspiring post. We live in an old family farm house, and I feel a need to write all the quotes into my current journal. It really touched me. Thank you for sharing.

  24. I so enjoyed these quotes. This was such an inspiring post. We have lived in the same home for 30 years that we built ourselves with the help of our children, another reason this post hit home

  25. I just love this post! I couldn't agree more with, "To be rooted is perhaps the most important
    and least recognized need of the human
    soul." -Amy Meier

  26. I love this post too! I read it to my husband and daughter and before we knew it we were making up quotes for our old house. we came up with some good ones and i wrote them down.


Thank you for leaving your thoughts. Kind regards, Catherine

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