I am a firm believer that “The House wants what The House wants.” If a farm-house could talk, would it tell you its kitchen longs for a mid-century cabinetry? Maybe shag carpeting throughout the bedrooms? I’m not convinced it would but I have seen it in person. In a more dramatic moment I might describe these unfortunate choices as an assault on the house itself. At the very least the exterior and interior are incongruent.
As far as the Ashland House is concerned I have always felt strongly that the changes we make need to be respectful to the original structure. It has “good bones” but what should stay? What should go? When do we cut our losses and remove original features?
I certainly had romantic notions of restoring the trim, the floors, the soapstone sink, the hardware, the windows, etc. I have had to relinquish the romance and embrace the reality. Let’s start with the soapstone sink…
It is glorious, isn’t it? Well don’t get too attached. What is difficult to discern from the picture is that it is bolted down to the concrete. That issue by itself wouldn’t be that big of a problem. It also has a HUGE crack that runs vertically down the entire front of the sink. The reality was/is that it couldn’t be relocated without incurring more damage. After our GC broke the news to me I said to him, “Whatever happens, don’t let me see it.”
Lesson learned: Sometimes The House wants what The House wants but you won’t always be able give it.