When we bought our house it was a disaster. Completely unlivable – no bathroom or toilet and part of the house had been chainsawed clean off to allow suitable space for developers to subdivide the block. Despite all of this (and maybe in part because of it) we fell in love with it the first time we walked in. I’m sure our families thought we were mad. In the weeks when we started renovating, neighbours would wander past and tell stories of Ann, the lady who had lived in this house her whole life, and how their now-grown kids would often play in her backyard. They told of the developers who bought the house with plans to knock it down and build a new one. But the neighbours rallied to save it. And we were crazy enough to buy it.
As we cleaned, destroyed and rebuilt what we needed to, we would find bits and pieces from the past. Buttons, coins, spoons, medicine bottles, newspaper clippings – remnants of the lives that had already been lived inside these walls. I saved these little pieces, framed them and hung them in our entrance as a subtle reminder of the history of our home.