Each month we try to feature a home tour on our blog. We love being able to hear about what "home" means to different people and we treasure the relational aspect of being invited into someones house. This month we offer you something a little different. If you have never attended the Old North Knoxville Home Tour, we highly recommend it. We attended this past weekend and have pictures and ideas to share with you. Although each of these homes was built around the same time period, in the same Victorian style, it was neat to see how each homeowner's personal taste and style came out in the decor.
We asked each home owner two questions, "What do you love about your home?" and "What makes your home unique?". We got a wide variety of answers and loved hearing about the many renovation experiences and processes of restoring historic homes. Below are a few of our favorite responses. Enjoy!
"What we love most about our home is that we were able to take something neglected and dirty that most people would turn away from and rehab it into the gorgeous home it was intended to be. " (Leslie M.)
"Our home is unique because it has a distinct juxtaposition of modern and traditional features. We kept the rooms in our house segmented (vs. an hgtv-esque open concept) because each room in our house serves a specific purpose. All of our doorways are very tall and wide, so our rooms still feel open without sacrificing purpose. We believe that old homes should be maintained to serve their original purpose, and at the time of construction, our home would have been very modern and featured the best of the best. We tried to echo this in our renovations and do a modern interpretation of a Victorian home- we put new light fixtures where original light fixtures were placed, moved walls and doorways to original locations, and designed the home so that the purpose of each room was consistent with the original design. Maintaining historical features was very important to us, and we kept this in mind as we gave modern interpretations and new life to our home." (Leslie M.)
"We rarely ever turn a light on during the day. The huge windows let natural light abound and breathe such life into these old walls and hardwoods. That's what I love most." (Jenna V.)
"The thing we love most about our home is the neighborhood! Old North, with its gracious front porches and proximity to Happy Holler businesses means that you are always meeting a friend or neighbor as you walk down the street. Everyone here is so friendly and we love having impromptu dinner and drinks on our front porch with friends. (Cat S.)
"Our house is filled with art and antiques, made by and gifted by family and friends. We also have many souvenirs of our travels together as a family. We think that these personal touches bring warmth to the space, and remind us of our favorite people and places every day. Our house is unique in that it hasn't been "remuddled" like some Victorians--we enjoy the original fireplaces and woodwork of the home and all of its original bones. We are also lucky to have an unusually wide front porch, which means that it can function as an extra room in our home--we have a "living room" with a sectional and a dining area out there that we use all the time when the weather is nice!" (Cat S.)
We loved seeing how creative people were able to get with their space. Some of our favorite ideas were using old mantels to create faux fireplaces, making great use out of porches and outdoor areas to extend living spaces, using a ladder as vertical (and pretty) storage to hang blankets, and utilizing architectural salvage as art and decor.