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Undertones

Undertones

At the end of a twisted and pitted driveway, we arrive at the old manor. It rests on the crest of an overgrown meadow, staring outward toward the shallow valley beneath it. Though long-vacant, it was hardly alone out here by the edge of the forest. Birds came and went from the eves, chirping and darting into the high grasses in hunt of food, or perhaps fodder for nesting. Squirrels run across the aging rock walls, and tiny handprints dot the windowpanes and doors, telltale callings of inquisitive raccoons testing for entry into the old home. Life resonates all around the mansion, yet it sits at the heart of it all in morose silence.

Walking up to the front entrance we found it slightly ajar. Though stiff, it moved slowly inward when forced upon. After some moments of struggling the door abruptly gave in, letting out a piercing creak as it burst open. The sound rushed through the old estate, echoing off the walls and floors, then, as suddenly as it happened, all was silent once again. There was no response from within, no recognition of our presence, just a dense air of indifference radiated by a house that had long since been a home.

Within the manor, things were far brighter than foreseen, not only due to the abundant windows that filled every wall but because of the vibrant and unusual hues which coated the walls in almost every room. The house appeared to have been painted with as many colors as possible, seemingly without concern for how each room would fit into the home as a whole. The result of these efforts created a deeply disjointed experience, where a guest may walk from an oak trimmed and paneled study, complete with a remarkably detailed landscape mural, to a bright mustard and green living-room, directly to a pastel pink dining-room with white and red striped guest bath. The walls of which not unlike the pattern of an old fashioned big-top circus tent. Upstairs things were no less unusual, and no less colorful.

Though it was amusing in a sense to see a house painted and decorated as curiously as the one before us, as we spent some time with it, the scenes grew increasingly sad to observe. It was clear that those who once lived here wished to create an environment for themselves which they truly enjoyed, a design wholly unbound by any care for how others may feel for it. The enthusiasm which must have driven this work is captivating, not only by way of the effort involved, but because the house presented itself with an unfiltered pureness not often encountered. It made us wonder - How many people forgo making their homes truly their own, kept back by some abstract concern for resale value or the thoughts of others? Those who once dwelled here had no such care, what we were watching peel and flake apart all around us was certainly a work of emotion that spanned many years. A scheme that sought to cover every wall and hall in a house that was cherished, cared for, and welcoming in its own way. A house that was once a home.






 
 



 
An old real estate photograph, which we turned black and white to help separate it from our own imagery. You will see a few of these throughout this entry.



 Heading from the living room toward the dining room through an arched corridor of pink.
 
 



 One of the few things left behind in the home was this small floral arrangement.
 





The study contained one of the most beautiful murals we have ever seen in a private residence.
 

 
 

 





 





The story behind this room must have been a great one.
 
 


 

A matador fights a bull, hidden away in the back of a closet.