Interiors, Vintage

Small, Vintage Charm: Embracing the Quirks of a 1930’s Cottage

We live in a “charming” 1930’s cottage on a good sized, overgrown and kind-of-crazy lot very close to Downtown Littleton.  It has the kind of backyard that if a neighbor’s kids ball goes sailing over the fence, they might shrug and say “Oh well”.  We are working on this and it has gotten better, but it’s a beast of a yard.

Charming is in quotes and the word cottage is always thrown in because, as any of you know if you live in an older home, especially an older home that was left untended for a while, or was added on to or updated during certain decades with no regard for the style of the original home, you enjoy saying Charming Cottage instead of small, old home.

There is a feeling inside an older home that you won’t find in a newer home that appeals to me.  They aren’t perfect, they’ve been touched (usually) by many generations, they’ve endured 80’s wallpaper, they’ve had it painted over in the 90’s, they’ve had post-war kitchen upgrades, weird additions added to them, poorly heated porches that have been converted to family rooms, walls knocked out and wood trim painted but there’s something there that I find incredibly interesting and utterly human.  I like seeing the flaws, the reclaimed material and the age.  Renovations that eradicate this imperfect feeling entirely aren’t as interesting to me.

1930s cottage kitchen
This is a renovated 1930’s cottage kitchen in Texas. The owner used sailcloth to cover the lower cabinets as a cost saving device and ended up keeping it. (Photo Source)
vintage 30s kitchen
A restoration true to the spirit of the original 1930’s kitchen. Before tearing out your vintage cabinets, talk to someone and see if they’re worth rehabilitating. The vintage Hotpoint stove was re-wired – another great option if you’re looking for a cool look. I also love the hex tile on the floor.  (Photo Source)
library ladder kitchen
This is in a very small cottage in Austin, Texas. The couple used every available space they could in the kitchen. I love the unusual color choice (Land of Liberty by Benjamin Moore) and the rolling ladder. (Photo Source)
reclaimed wood ceiling
If you have to tear out a wall in an older home – save the wood planks and reuse them – I love the look of this reclaimed ceiling. (Photo Source)
1930s cottage dining room
A 1930’s cottage in Laurel Canyon, California. I like the Shabby Chic furnishings and the tilt-out windows. (Photo Source)
1930s cottage porch
This gorgeous porch is from a beautifully renovated 1930’s cottage in Charleston, South Carolina. Note the traditional, pale blue porch ceiling.  (Photo Source)
stained glass porch
An original stained glass window in a restored 1930’s cottage in Australia. I love the colorful, mosaic floor too that must have been added at a later date. (Photo Source)
1930s tiny house
This is a modernized 1930’s cottage in Sweden – I am a sucker for natural wood and I like the mix of the natural wood ceiling with the whitewashed walls.  This is also an under 600 sq. ft. home that is off the grid – interesting, right? (Photo Source)
1930s cottage fireplace
A renovated 1930’s cottage in Suffolk, England. I love the ceiling, floor and fireplace here. They stand out beautifully against the simple, clean renovation. (Photo Source)

“It was a mistake to think of houses, old houses, as being empty. They were filled with memories, with the faded echoes of voices. Drops of tears, drops of blood, the ring of laughter, the edge of tempers that had ebbed and flowed between the walls, into the walls, over the years.
Wasn’t it, after all, a kind of life?
And there were houses, he knew it, that breathed. They carried in their wood and stone, their brick and mortar a kind of ego that was nearly, very nearly, human.”
Nora Roberts, Key of Knowledge



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