BEAUTIFUL DECAY: THE ART OF RESTORATION

beautiful decay - the art of restoration

If you read ‘house restoration – kitchen inspiration’, you will know that we are beginning to restore our Victorian family home.

We are learning that there is a bit of an art to restoration; knowing what to leave untouched, and what to update and renew, is a balance that you want to spend some time getting right.

One of the best things about restoring this house of ours, is the beautiful decay we get to uncover. To lift up ancient carpet, and reveal old wooden boards, to peel off wall paper, with the anticipation of what may be underneath…

Sure it’s messy and hard work, and sometimes it feels like it will be never ending. However it also feels really special to strip this house back to its bare bones and reveal its raw and natural beauty; the unfinished floor, the texture of a 100 year old wall – the distress and beautiful decay that is here simply because the building is 130 years old.

I feel honoured to be able to see our home in this way. To know our choices and decisions could impact this building for the next 130 years is a privileged responsibility, and all the more reason to ‘get it right’.

Although we still have all the hard work to do, it’s also so inspiring to see an empty space full of promise, in need of a bit of love. To me it’s exciting that the true potential of the space is just waiting to be revealed.

beautiful decay - the art of restoration

We are lucky that there are a lot of the original features in this house, and over the last year I have realised just how much of a crush I have on wood. There is something about wood that just ages so beautifully. I would choose an old piece of wood over a new piece of wood any day of the week. I love the way it weathers and cracks, the way the colour changes and softens. The years of use only enrich it’s quality, and you can almost sense all the layers and history that are present in its grain.

I have a whole board dedicated to beautiful decay over on Pinterest (plus some other interior and house boards) should you fancy following along. It’s full of lovely textures, peeling paint, unfinished aged walls, and of course some wood.
Would love to hear what you think. Are you a fan of beautiful decay, or maybe you prefer things shiny and new? Are you in the middle of restoring something (or perhaps you’ve reached the end of your project), any words of wisdom welcomed…
Image source

1. left to right : styling – Emma Persson Lagerberg, photography – Petra Bindel, photograph from fleurage.exblog.jp

2. clockwise from top left: photograph Olivia Rae James on Flickr, photograph Eric Wustenhagen on Flickr, photograph Jelga on Flickr

 

  • We live in an old house that still has many original features. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you decide to keep.

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thanks Kizzy. It’s going to be a slow process, but one that I am looking forward to 🙂

  • We’re in the middle of a very slow ten year DIY renovation project of our Victorian house in Manchester. We’ve lovingly repaired, sanded and oiled the original floorboards, and they just glow. A couple of years ago I spent the summer patiently scraping lead paint from three flights of stairs! Currently we have the builders in doing a long-awaited kitchen-diner extension. Owning a Victorian house is such a beautiful privilege. I’ll look forward to following your renovation.

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thank you Alice 🙂 Your renovation sounds wonderful. How satisfying to do something so mindfully. I think you can sense when someone has poured that much love into a home, it just feels different. Good luck with the rest of your renovation.