Old House Love Letters #1: To My Granny

Old House Love Letters

I’m so excited to be writing my first post in the series I’m calling Old House Love Letters! If you don’t know much about our story, we completely re-built our family’s 1800’s farmhouse here in Eastern NC. You can view the before photos and take a tour of “The Old House” by clicking the link here. I am launching this series to share a deeper, and more personal perspective on our farmhouse, and to show just how much it means to us to be able to call the farmhouse home! Re-building “The Old House” was a labor of love, and I truly loved “The Old House”! The title Old House Love Letters just seemed to fit this series perfectly. So without further ado, I dedicate this first post to my Granny!

family photos from White and Woodgrain's Old House Love Letters series
old family photo from the 1950's of children lined up on the front porch steps
Grandmother smiling proudly with yield of homegrown homemade mason jars full of pickles
grandmother feeding baby in an early 1990's family photo

When you re-build an old farmhouse like ours, there’s a lot of pressure to get it right. Every board, every beam, every piece of the house that is too far gone to be saved breaks your heart. You’re left wishing you could have done it sooner, but terrified to start for fear you’ll ruin what’s still good. And so by the time you begin, every piece of wood, every window, every plate from the kitchen cupboard that you are able to salvage means that much more to you.

white farmhouse exterior from the Old House Love Letters series
exterior of 1800's NC farmhouse with wood siding and red brick chimney

When I was a little girl, probably no older than 10, I had a dream where we renovated “The Old House”. The kitchen had yellow walls with black and white checkered floors. Not exactly my current taste… but hey, ya girl had a vision ok?! I told you all about it back then. I told you how in the dream you moved out of the trailer and back into the old house after we fixed it all up. You told me that it sounded like a good dream. You said wouldn’t that be nice one day if we could really do that.

2 story farmhouse with white board and batten siding and red brick chimney
Old House Love Letters and the farmhouse that started it all
white farmhouse exterior with tin roof, board and batten siding, and a large front porch
historic NC farmhouse built in the 1800's

Well Granny, you weren’t here to see that dream unfold, and I doubt you’d believe it without seeing it for yourself. But we did re-build “The Old House”! There are no yellow walls in the kitchen, but it’s beautiful just the same. It’s such a bittersweet feeling though because you’re not here! And the way I cherish all the things we were able to salvage from the old house, is the way I cherish your sister being here in your place. She watched the old house be taken apart in pieces, and she watched this farmhouse go right back up in it’s place. She watched the old wood be joined together with the new as we put all the pieces back together. And she tells me she’s proud and that she knows you would be too. That has meant the world to me, and I cherish those moments with her.

great aunt and great niece on the old farmhouse porch steps
great aunt watching the farmhouse construction
Old House Love Letters

You see, when you re-build an old farmhouse like ours, it’s not just about you or me. It’s about the all people who walked here, lived here, gathered here, raised families here, and died here… and honoring the history of it all. It’s about the people who will come back here one day to visit and see where the old boards meet up with the new. And it’s the inevitable way that things never stop changing, but yet some things will always remain the same. It’s the comforting feeling of coming home. And it’s the essence of “The Old House” that you try to capture when deciding where the windows should go, how to orient the staircase, or which board would make the perfect shelf in the pantry. It’s all these things and so much more! And I just wanted to say that I love you and I hope we have made you proud!

Until we meet again…

Love, Brittany

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  1. This was a beautiful letter to your Granny ❤️ no doubt she is looking down in you with pride! I honestly don’t read many blogs but yours is different and has a beautiful story behind it. I’m truly enjoying it.

    1. Well thank you Brittany! That is so sweet of you to say and I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and let me know!! 🙂

  2. What a lovely post! Looking forward to following along as you write the next chapter in the story of the Old House.

  3. I am sitting here bawling as I read your letter to your Granny. I think not only are you a talented designer, you’re also a very talented writer. You write from the heart and your childhood. So much of that has been lost these days. I think it would be amazing if you kept writing to your Granny about special things you remember about being with her in her house and what it looks like now and why. You could hand those letters down to your children someday or even have it published into a book. I’m really glad to get to follow you.

    1. Wow, thank you so much Kristina!! I do love to write, and I’m so glad it resonated with you! Sorry for the tears!! And also that is just the sweetest idea about handing down these letters to my littles!! 🙂 Thank you for leaving such a sweet comment… Hope you have a great day!!

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