Old Looking New Houses: The Charm of Yesteryear

Old Looking New Houses: The Charm of Yesteryear

So, how about an old looking new house? I know, I am still carrying on about this dilemma from yesterday. I wasn’t going to post today, really I wasn’t going to bug you all again (I try to spare you all my thoughts unless I really feel inspired by something). But, I got all excited when I saw these photos. Excitement leads to posting. And I know you all love a great Drive By.

Old Looking New Houses: The Charm of Yesteryear

So, yesterday, a few of you suggested the idea of new houses that look old — trying to get the best of both worlds. Then one of my blogging friends shared some great photos she had on her blog and I couldn’t keep them to myself. We (me and Leah of More Ways to Waste Time) had one of those weird, random parallel universe dual mind posts yesterday. Do you ever have one of those? This was a strange one.

Old Looking New Houses: The Charm of Yesteryear

I was blabbing away about my old house new house dilemma and she was posting an interesting piece about a little neighborhood that looks very old but is new! So, we are joining forces on this topic and I am sharing a few of her photos so you all can enjoy them too (with her permission). You can read about this neighborhood and see more photos here on her blog. Tell us what you think!

There are some quality homes in neighborhoods with that “old look” in our area, all at around a million dollars each, but I can’t say that they look as good as these. I love the variety of architectural styles. Somehow these seem to do a better job at capturing that new old look than most. Strange to see such lovely homes looking old but in pristinely new condition!

Old Looking New Houses: The Charm of Yesteryear

I know the sad thing for me about this solution is that homes of this quality tend to be very expensive. Ok, ridiculously expensive. But don’t burst my bubble. I’m dreaming of a tree lined family neighborhood street and a new charming home with leaded glass doors that can open without scraping the floor, wide baseboard moldings, gables and front porches, reasonably sized rooms with sweeping views of open space, pocket doors, restored vintage hardware, solid walls, wood and stone floors, large kitchen with vintage details and modern conveniences, working bathrooms with old fashioned charm, real wood window trim, iron gates, solid staircases and railings, beautiful windows that open and close without a hammer or screwdriver… old house details and exceptional quality, new house energy efficiency and condition.

Oh, but I would have to make up a faux romantic history to go along with the house. New houses are missing the allure of a long history, but I guess I could get over that.

Do I ask too much?

Photos: copyright More Ways To Waste Time, used by permission

Old Looking New Houses: The Charm of Yesteryear


  1. How beautiful these houses look but way too expensive.
    Oh well we can dream.
    Love the name of Leah’s blog.

  2. Cherrie says:

    You never bore us and the houses are soooo lovely to look at. Please keep writing! Cherrie

  3. Just a million??? Just kidding! They are lovely and I might even like a new house that looks old after seeing these!

  4. Oh be still beating heart. They may be new but… oh so gorgeous. Oh I hear you about the ‘old’ scene. Try throwing in… old homes that are only built for the summer heat and not the winter cold….no heating, no insulation and cracks in the floorboards that you can talk to the rats through!. Ah the Aussie Queenslander Home… as my Quantity Surveyor brother puts it, “sticks on stilts”.
    A-M xx

  5. The exterior of these homes are just beautiful. I would love to see the interiors to see if they are historically-inspired inside as well. Thank you for sharing these photos.

  6. I think it’s the perfect combo…new guts but old world style!

  7. So glad you shared these with us!

  8. Oh, how I would love to get to peek into one of these lovely homes!

  9. These homes are absolutley beautiful, but out of reach for us non-millionaires:>( Of course the money pits of real old houses can be expensive too, in the long run! But we can dream, Melissa, we can dream.

  10. Hold on to that dream, girl!

    Those houses (particularly the Craftsman Bungalow) are fabulous.


  11. MaryBeth says:

    I read the More Ways To Waste Time blog yesterday and enjoyed it as well. I think the idea of old look but new interior is great. I hate the way new developments look, every house exactly the same as the next, this looks like a place I would love to live. I also like how almost every house has great landscaping, something most builders forget to do. It really gives these houses a finished look. Thanks for the great post.

  12. These houses are amazing. The top one is my favorite!

  13. Oh I love those, yet the cost is why we go with fixer uppers. I do like making it my own.

    Check out today’s post on my blog – I was inspired to tell our house story after reading your post yesterday!

  14. Really nice pictures. I love old charm. It makes me very happy.

  15. It is easy to dream fairytales into these houses :-)

  16. The long wrap around porch on the last white house just melts my heart!

  17. the Farmer's Wife says:

    I say old house because they have character and charm that doesn’t seem to be present in new homes. Like you’ve demonstrated here, character can be attained, but at an incredibly high cost.

    I was raised in a home that was one of the original farmhouses just outside the Chicago city limits. It was so beautiful, with large pocket doors and leaded glass windows. I miss it alot.

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  18. Perfect solution! and with a new “old” home like those, I would be perfectly okay with being the first person to but the “history” in the home.
    How fun, thanks for sharing!

  19. But if a house doesn’t need any improvements, can you still put your stamp on it? My perspective is that if you start out with something that isn’t quite perfect, but it works, you can get it to where you absolutely love it. But perhaps after renovating your current place, you are sick of “putting your stamp” on it…lol! :)

    Gorgeous homes, but I agree with the other readers…too rich for my blood..er bank account!

  20. wonderfulllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
    baci mary

  21. Hi Melissa,
    Like you I love old homes. Don’t you like an old home as a starting place? Somethings to work off of. It is inspirational to reinvent things. HOWEVER! If you build, you will know what you are getting yourself into. The older a home, the more surprises!

    Where we are moving, there are many old homes. Some have built in the old style and you can’t tell the difference. It looks nice.

    Today, there are many contemporary home that nod to the past and look wonderful too!!

    Whichever way you go, I know it will be beautiful and exciting for you and your family since you have great taste!


  22. Yes I love these drive by’s. Can just pretend that I am there.

  23. Love, Love, Love these houses! I agree that it would be the best of both worlds to have a new house, but with all the charm and personality of an old house. Unfortunately, like you said, that is more expensive these days than I think it should be.

    They are beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed perusing them. What great inspiration!

  24. There is a subdivision near us that looks like a tiny victorian street. The yards are postage stamp sized, but the charm of the homes–inside and out–make me want to live there! The backyards/garages from one street meet those of the parallel street, forming a private drive where children can play.

    ~~Thank you for visiting my blog! Your comment made me smile :-)~~

  25. Melissa, I can’t drive by a gorgeous home and not think “Melissa would love this.” I was giggling to myself as I drove past the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island and thought this a great drive by. I want to wish you a belated Happy Birthday. Your blog is always a mini vacation and inspiration. Now tell me about this week’s blog radio, how cool is that?


  26. Oh, I love old houses. Even the run down ones. New houses just don’t have the same quality or character. And the new subdivisions always feel fake to me, even with their porches and turrets. My husband, however would prefer a new house. He hates the creaks of an old house, and neither of us are especially handy. In an ideal world, we would custom build a house that had the quality and character of an old house, but was clean and creakless for KD.

  27. I like your dream, and you can create the romantic history one day at a time.

  28. These. Are. Goregous. Another post to make my heart go pitty-pat. I want to move off the farm but The Husband doesn’t. If there was a neighborhood close by that was even half as goregous as this I’ll bet I could get him closer to packing up. The exteriors of the homes in this post are so spot-on, I can’t imagine that the interiors are anything but tastefully done.

  29. Sweet Cottage Dreams says:

    Having an older home, as you know, has its challenges and then can be a bit costly to “repair” or fix up. HOWEVER, the new homes don’t come with the charm and history that you will find in an older home. I don’t mind the sloping or imperfect wood floors, the thick plaster walls or even those wonderful 10 foot ceilings. Then there is the often found old beaded board and the chunky bright white trim that you can set small items along the edge or those fabulous “vintage” colored bathroom and kitchen tiles. My next house will be an older home – hands down. Our home has a cottage and old world feeling for being 18 years old, but it just doesn’t come with all of the old amenities of an old and seasoned gal.

    hugs to you,

  30. Neighborhoods like this make my heart flutter. We have one here in town, of course I cant afford to live in it. But it’s fabulous, very Father of the Bride.

  31. If the interiors are as lovely as the exteriors, I’m loving this trend.

  32. Beautiful homes…a new old house would do for me…LOL!
    Have a great day!

  33. I am ready to move but you didn’t mention where to. :)

    If you have a moment, stop on by my blog and enter the giveaway.

  34. Rebekah says:

    Hello Melissa!
    Congratulations! You are the winner of the giveaway on my blog!
    Little Byrd

  35. Vee~A Haven for Vee says:

    Lovely in theory or for the wealthy…often, when driving past these dreamy neighborhoods with the big, new homes so charming and all, I find myself asking, “And what do you do?” That is to say, what is the homeowner’s occupation that s/he can afford such a dwelling.

  36. we have an old looking new house and absolutely love it!

  37. My sweet BFF, Melissa,

    First off, HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY!!! I will definitely remember it next year as it happens to be the day after my birthday. I must tell you that my life would not have been as rich without having met you through our blogs. I can’t remember who found who, but I feel so blessed to have you as one of my most favorite BFFs! You ROCK, dear friend!

    I love the look of older homes and the ones that you showed here are really neat because they come with the benefit of being new. We have lived in both new and not so new, and I must say that I prefer new. Less headaches and more time to spend doing the things that we enjoy. Neither my husband or myself are really into home fix-it projects and so new is much easier for us. The home we live in now is new, but was built in the old Craftsman style that was popular in Pasadena in the 1940’s. Lots of curved doorways, darker wood finishes and interesting lay-out. We really like it a lot. Our neighborhood is known for the very different architectures which make up the different areas. A very different style from the typical tract housing that is prevalent in So Cal.

    I am glad to hear that the shower went well! Another milestone in the path towards your baby’s wedding day:( How bittersweet it must be to be packing her things as she moves towards her new phase of life. Hang on, Mom. At least your son is still a bit younger!(although somehow, I am sure that each one hurts just as much when they leave us for good)

    Please take good care! I think I am going to “twitter” on over to Twitter to see what you are up to these days.

    Love you, sweet friend,

  38. Think of the history you could create in a new house that looks old! That would be great fun! You could do a photo journal to pass along to those who follow you in the house. I love the old homes but, like you, I love the wonderful things about new homes. Who knows? You might find the best of both worlds. At a bargain.

  39. I am in love with old victorians but hate the up keep so my best solution would be to build a new one, but then you would not have all that super charm and history so its a toss up.

    I also love the porches and when I go to Martha’s Vineyard this weekend and Saratoga Springs next weekend I will sit in awe of those beautiful home that have them!

  40. Hi Melissa,

    I wanted to let you know that I’ve “Tagged” you for 5 Things I Love Most…check my blog post today for details. Have fun!


  41. Melissa,

    Your website is a true gift to the art of decorating.

    I adore your blog.

    I will be by to visit again.

    I just started my own blog. I hope you can come by and visit sometime.

    It’s called Sunbonnet Cottage and tthe address is: http://sunbonnetcottage.blogspot.com/

    Thank you.


  42. Gorgeous… I love old homes… they just have more character. I love the crazy nooks and exciting room shapes they have. Too fun. I’ll have to drive by my dream house and photograph it for you!

    Thanks for being my stranger commenter. :) Sounds like we’re kindred spirits… I always feel like my comments go too into depth and say random things… but hey… that’s how I talk… so I guess it’s normal. (Plus… I have this crazy addiction to “…”)

    Take care! I’m sure you think I’m a stalker since I link to your blog all the time… but really… I’m N.O.R.M.A.L. (Not Only Really Magnificent Also LOUD). Hehehe.

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