My parent’s house was built in 1973. Only recently has it dawned on me what this means.
Our house is ugly. Everything is wallpapered and carpeted (my bathroom is carpeted) mostly in beige and tan. The non-beige-y wallpapers are multicoloured clusters of tacky pastel patterns. The patterns don’t even match a colour scheme from room to room. Oh, and my room is painted seafoam green which I’m sure was a lovely shade forty years ago but has faded somewhat and now it’s more of a Dead Sea-foam green. It’s a pretty easy colour to ignore though- you can just pretend it’s beige and get on with life.
The pastel wallpapers are pretty easy to ignore too until you hang anything on the wall or look too closely at the patterns. Move in too close to plug something into an outlet and -bam- your eyes are assaulted by the patterns, now up-close-and-personal and within prime eye-burning distance. Pastels are usually pretty calming, until they start getting together and looking like the milk left behind after a bowl of Froot Loops, which is then splattered all over your house about a million times until everything is covered in it. It’s “abstract”. It’s “vintage”. It’s ugly.
Now I have to be thankful that at least nothing is that nasty yellow, orange and brown combo that the designers of the 70’s seemed to love so much. Then again, this wallpaper may have been re-done in the 80’s when the people we bought it from moved in. Even back in the 80’s the couple would have been in their late 50s, so maybe they redid everything in calming colours (might also explain why everything except the kitchen and the garage is carpeted). If that’s the case, I’m afraid of what it might have looked like before they redid it.
They did do a few nice things with the place though. The sunroom we now have was, I believe, originally a screened porch and is now a fully indoor room with lots of windows and skylights. It’s probably the most open room in the house and serves mostly as a foyer since we use the side door as our main door (the “front” door is hard to open). I can’t remember anything else they did that didn’t eventually break…but I’m sure they did something. Nice folks.
If I had to give the house a style I’d call it country cottage with an 80’s renovation. All of the appliances (save the fridge we just replaced) are late 80’s era stuff. We have things like an intercom system, which doesn’t work and is no longer supported by whatever company makes them, which is also our doorbell/fire alarm/security system. There’s a gasfire place (converted from wood at some point) which we can’t use because it’s collapsing on the inside and a nice porch which has fallen into a state of disrepair due to a bunch of thistle trying to break into our house.
But I’m falling into the negative again. There are many features of the house that thankfully work just fine. The windows have screens, the screen door (and attached cat door) work, and during the winter we have replacement double-paned glass for the screen door. The heat and air work almost 99% of the time and we rarely lose power, even in the worst of weather conditions. It’s a big house, so there’s plenty of room for the cats to stalk around and be cats, but it’s not so big that a weekly cleaning is a huge chore. Most of it is vacuuming and dusting high shelves where cats don’t dust for us. My father insists that my mother and I don’t vacuum efficiently enough, so that chore is his alone. Most of the time I dust so my allergy-prone mother doesn’t have to.
All of this being said, the house is old and ugly and I hate it but I do appreciate having a roof to live under and a family to live with. Living here makes me feel tired, but at least I can sleep safely.