What Makes a House a Home

Have you come to this blog in search of inspiration? Do you have dreams of reclaimed or old growth flooring and accent pieces for your house or business, but aren’t sure where to start? Are visions of shiplap dancing like sugar plums in your head? 

I have good news.

I’m here to help! There’s more good news: we are going to learn together. I’m not an expert by any definition of the word. Brand new to the Historic Flooring team, I’ve been so bombarded with words like “micro-bevel” and “live-edge” that my eyes are crossing. It’s a fascinating world full of artistic woodworking and unique techniques that bring your ideas to life, but it can be overwhelming at the beginning for anyone. We can learn together, though. First, I’d like to share a bit about my background.

I grew up in East Tennessee in a cabin that my father designed and built himself. While I may not know very much about woodworking just yet, I do have a special appreciation for the work, consideration, and love that goes into making a house a home. I have clear memories of my dad fitting the wormy chestnut cabinets detailed with chicken wire instead of glass panes into their spaces in our kitchen. I remember the smell of the freshly hewn logs as they were stacked up to dry, and the sounds the house made as it settled onto its foundation. 

I haven’t seen the inside of that cabin in over a decade, but I can remember every nook and cranny. I used to make up stories out of the wood knots in the tongue-and-groove walls and ceilings of my bedroom. I remember one group of knots that looked like a puppy’s face, and one that resembled a hummingbird (at least to my wild imagination). I could probably still walk down the hallway without stepping on a creaky floorboard. My dad put so much intention into our home, and that was evident to everyone who stepped inside. From the open beams to the custom barrel sink, to our names written into the side of the chinking outside… every bit of that home told a story. Your home stays with you. As you age, even if it’s sold, a home built with love will always stay with you. 

But what all does go into building a house into your home? Any house can become your home in my opinion; it is all about cultivating your space to meet your style, your needs, and your vision. Your home should be a beacon to you that guides you to your place of serenity. It should recharge you when you come in from a long day. Simply, your home should be your happy place.

How can we get there? How can we take our living spaces to the next level? I believe it has much to do with what you fill your space with, and what you adorn it’s bones with. A coat of paint can change the tone of a room, sure, but there is something about the warmth of old wood that ties a space together and makes you want to sink into a sofa and stay awhile. 

I’m eager to learn about the ins and outs of old growth and reclaimed wood and custom woodworking; I’m most curious to learn more about the process behind all of this beautiful work. Where is the wood sourced? How do they find it? Once procured, how does it go from a dusty pile of lumber to your pristinely crafted flooring? Art? Science? I’d wager a guess that it’s a mixture of the two with a lot of experience thrown in. 

Then I’d like to learn about the different types of wood. What characteristics go into wood selection? I imagine that there are many considerations all the way from appearance to end-use requirements like pliability or sturdiness. I am curious to know if there are certain woods that are ideal for certain uses. Also on my list of things to learn is how one should take care of these unique woods and their features. 

What would you most like to learn? If you have any burning questions, I would love to hear from you. Then, next time I talk to Steve and his crew, I will relay your questions and return here with answers.