loving the old

This year our house will be 98 years old. It's a 1200 sq foot two storey, typical prairie house. Did you know that these kinds of houses were purchased from a catalogue, and all the pieces came in a kit by train that you would assemble. Kind of crazy - it seems so complicated. But, somehow they got it right and it's stood the test of time.

Ever since i was small i wanted to live in an old house with big windows and a big old stair case. I grew up in a split level house built the same year I was born , 1979. Well, to tell the truth, I wanted a turret too - but I would have had to get a house 20 years older than this one for that.

The thing about an old house is you have to love it all. The beautiful details like wide plank floors, thick mouldings, wide sills, lead glass that make prisms in the sunlight, door plates with keyholes and ornate banisters. The bad, like damp buggy basements with stone foundations, creaking floors, cracked plaster and splintery floors.

We've lived here for 10 years, and in that time we've fixed a lot of the bad. We've renovated the basement, the kitchen, the flooring on the main floor, and a lot more. It's a beautiful house, and we're lucky to have it. Now, we're tackling a room we've used for storage since we bought the house and turning it into a nursery for our baby girl.

We've patched, sanded, painted, and today we tore up some strange linoleum to reveal orange painted planks. I kind of wish we could just re-paint them and keep the look - but the boards are a rough, splintery, nailed mess and some of them totally need replacing. Let me tell you, those design mags are full of lies, they'd have you believe I could just sand and slap a few coats of floor paint and we'd be good to go. I've painted two wood floors in the past, and both took less than a year to peel and scuff - shabby chic - no thanks.

But, since the combination of the walls, mouldings and old painted floor matched so nicely with a vintage 60's smock dress I picked up for $2 this week - we'll enjoy this moment of prettiness and I'll have to keep brainstorming a flooring solution that won't break the bank, be safe and pretty much ... perfect. Ideas?