As with most things, it got me thinking about what it is I love about them. Firstly, I grew up in one. A standard turn of the century long beaut' with the front door in the Living Room, a poky kitchen and that awkward third bedroom off the second. When my husband and I were looking for a house to buy last year we ended up viewing a LOT of terraces, seeings as these were for the most part on the lower end of the price scale, which suited us just fine! It was very interesting to be able to see this standard format in so many different ways. No two were the same. Whether it was a remoulded archway, a bathroom in a different place or a door where you didn't expect it, you could always see how a 100 years of little changes had made a unique difference to the feeling of each house.
Terraces, I have come to find, are outrageously charming. Steeped in history and having been 'home sweet home' to many different people and families, over a hundred years. You can almost feel the massive buzz of activity which would have filled each house in it's lifetime. And you know when older people always talk about the sense of community which existed long long long ago? Imagine 60 houses on one street...60 familes...possibly 240 or so people living on one street. Maybe even more in Victorian times when people tended to have larger families. So I think that the way terraces were designed to be tightly packed, and also on the smaller side, would have almost certainly encouraged communication between neighbours. And with these houses being typically full of younger families I doubt as a kid you'd be short of a play friend or two. And I'm sure that even now, it's that little bit easier for even the most shy of us to talk to our neighbours on a terraced street than a row full of far apart, high hedged detached houses.
If you like terraces and old photos as much as me, then you should have a little look at the beautifil collection of images by lovedaylemon, which I was directed to by the lovely ToniRica a few months ago - Click Here :) And if you live in a Victorian Terrace you can sit back and imagine the kind of people that might have been standing proudly outside what was once their home to have a photograph taken with it. I LOVE those photos. They are quite amazing!
So, now I've talked (a lot...sorry) about terraces and probably uttered the word itself, oh I don't know, about fifty times; I'm not going to show you a drawing of one! Because this time I got to draw something completely different. Which was VERY exciting and also a little bit scary (I don't mind admitting it), but overall an amazing opportunity. So without giving away too much detail it was a commission outside the UK of a 170 year old farmhouse which sits proudly on 3.5 acres of land and scattered with five ponds and a barn (of course!) I literally gasped when I saw the photos of the house. It's so completely beautiful. Lots of lovely lines, wonderful details, pattern and plenty of plants to draw. And although the house itself was stunningly cohesive as a whole, it was certainly not dull or un-interesting to look at. Because although each element looked like it was meant to be there, each section was fundamentally very different. For example the conservatory. It's an addition but it's the perfect shape to offset the squareness of some of the other elements of the house.
It took me a very long time, over a handful of weekends and it was a very euphoric feeling to finish and get to see it finished. And off I sent it in the post to it's lovely new owner. I'm going to really enjoy thinking about it hanging up in that beautiful home.
I can't finish this post without a nod to the fact that I haven't been posting weekly for the last few months but trust me...I have a very good reason for it! I'll tell you soon. In the meantime I have two more house commissions to be getting on with and a very interesting map of Norwich...