When I was growing up, we lived in a traditional two-story house built in the 1920s, where you walked right into the living room with no foyer. The living room and separate dining room were large, but they were the only public areas of the house. When I was a teenager we moved from Oklahoma to Kansas and my parents built a new home. My mother was obsessed with having a foyer and a “formal living room” that she could keep nice for special occasions. She used to joke that she wanted to put a red velvet rope across the entrance to the new living room. My mother really loved that room.
For the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking about our own house situation. Since both of our children have been living on their own for some time, we only use about half of our available space on a regular basis. Two of the bedrooms are used for storage of kid stuff they didn’t want to take with them (a not uncommon occurrence, I’m sure), plus all the wedding related items. The living room and dining room are used only when we have company.
This vintage booklet from 1935, with its adorable illustrations of model homes all beginning with the letter “T,” contains lots of homes that are my idea of a good retirement home — a house just right for two people. All of the homes have 4 or 5 main rooms, many have basements, and a few have an additional utility room or dinette. When I was young, most of the older couples on our block lived in houses similar to these.
Until I can build my Petite Home, I have decided to at least put the rest of the rooms in our house to good use. I spent the past two days reorganizing my sewing room and one of the storage bedrooms. I moved the computer, printers and all the tech stuff to the bedroom, which freed up lots of space in the sewing room for my collection of old fabric and quilts. Now I just need to talk Gordon into turning the 4th bedroom into a proper guest room, spending weekend mornings in the living room, and eating dinner in the dining room. The first is feasible, the second is doubtful, and the third is just crazy.
This is just a small selection of houses (the Titus is my favorite). Click twice on the gallery thumbnails to see the original image.