Lately I’ve been spending some time perusing Ugly House Photos.

Also, there’s a horse in this kitchen.


Brief history lesson:

Places in the world (and, in related ways due to immigrant clusters, places in the US) would not think it uncommon in the 19th century and earlier to build houses attached to barns. Usually the living quarters—bedrooms and the like—would have been more separated (generally but not always upstairs), but functional parts like kitchens would have been connected.

It meant only one building to construct, to insulate, and more bodies to generate and share warmth, in addition to being able to do chores without going out into colder temperatures.

Also, for large working farms and smaller plantations, kitchens weren’t attached to the house at all most of the time, for the opposite reason—they generate too much heat. So if you were trying to consolidate buildings, your prep kitchen might have been off your barn instead. Even my old house in rural Illinois had a “summer kitchen” separate from the main house.

Either option is perfectly possible for this particular building. Kitchens were a work space, not a dining area.

Yup yup. I went to school with a girl who lived on a working farm, and their kitchen was connected to the stables still.

Yes to what both haguenite and lemdi said. But also, I really, really dislike the blog “Ugly House Photos”. The “HA HA look at these brutish, tasteless people” shtick is classist and offensive. The post at the top right now depicts a bedroom with a white tiger bed spread and a collection of Jesus and religious portraits. Without knowing anything else about the house where the photo is taken, I would be strongly inclined to believe it belongs to a Catholic family/ person (the Jesus is a sort of give away). It looks impeccable, clean, taken care of, like whoever lives there put great effort in creating a pleasant living environment. And then some hipster on the internet posts a photo making fun because it is oh, so tasteless.

Just looking at the posts in the front page I cannot find one single reason to make fun of these houses. Not one. Sure, they are neither modern nor do they abide by the design cannon currently en vogue. But they are all living spaces that people seem to care about (in the sense that these are not messes covered in dirt and disgust). HA HA HA, let’s make fun of poor people and their mismatched decor. That is so entertaining.

For the past decade and a half I have been making all my content available for free (and never behind a paywall) as an ongoing practice of ephemeral publishing. This site is no exception. If you wish to help offset my labor costs, you can donate on Paypal or you can subscribe to Patreon where I will not be putting my posts behind a lock but you'd be helping me continue making this work available for everyone. Thank you.  Follow me on Twitter for new post updates.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top