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beautiful necessity: avoiding trendiness for simplicity

house blogs in the Sun

Our friends Jeanne and Aaron Olson of the Houseblogs empire are (part of) the subject of a recent Vancouver Sun article by Shelley Fralic on houseblogs. (Unfortunately, they didn't bother to link any of the sites to the article, which pretty much ignores the entire point of the Internet.):

For those who spend weekends stripping layers of paint off balustrades, or ripping up linoleum in dank bathrooms, there is an odd vocabulary that comes with restoring an old house.

It has to do with money, and energy, and having both sucked right out of you, to the point you start mumbling wistful phrases like "whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger" and "no pain, no gain."

It's the kind of experience that, as most old-house renovators know, is best when shared.

And these days, there's no better place to spread that sweet misery than through an Internet blog.

By way of definition, a blog is a contraction of the words web log. By way of popular culture, blogs are unedited stream-of-consciousness diaries, personal and very public, an on-line spillfest of emotions, opinion and subjective information.

A good blog, of course, is like a good conversation. You have to work hard to find one because, like much of the nonsense on the Net, a blog can be a slog.

Except if you're an old-house junkie.

Because then it doesn't much matter.

All that matters are the details being shared by the DIY blogger, from the diaries to the before and after photos, from the Q&As to the impossible projects, from the vendor lists to the advertising links to old-house hardware and restoration companies.

The renovation blog is the new hands-on seminar, an intimate, honest, real-time encyclopedia of the triumphs and defeats of restoring a period home.