Hidden treasures we have found during demolition #1

When you buy an old house everybody warns you because “you never know what you’re gonna get”.

And who can blame them? Everyone knows a story where the foundation just wasn’t good enough or where the ceiling collapsed after the first shower in the new bathroom.

But there can be some nice surprises as well.

So today I will share some of the hidden treasures we’ve found in our house.

Behind layers of wallpaper

While we were wrestling layers and layers of wallpaper and other various wall covering (apparently laminate floors were proper wall decoration at some point in time…) we found something fun.

Why you would use old newspapers behind the wallpaper is beyond me, but that is exaclty what we found.

Old newspaper from 1979
Old newspaper from 1979, if you look closely you can see it’s from December 24th.

Large pieces of newspaper from 1979!

Most of the sheets were not salvageble, but we did manage to save a few large pieces. They peeled right of the wall without effort.

By now we’ve sorted the useless from the fun. We kept the best texts and ads and I plan to use these at a later stage. Maybe put them in a nice frame?

One of my favorite parts is this ad:

Old General Motors ad from 1979.

At the top of the page you can see an ad for dancing lessons with two dancing pigs haha.

But my favorite part is the big car advertisement. It roughly translates to “Is a GM-American of 26 grand* still a true American?” And at the bottom it says ” profit now before the next tax raise.”

*26.000 Gulden (we had no Euro back then 🙂 )

Personal items

In multiple places we have found old pictures/images. There was an old small poster of a dog (didn’t peel of the wall nicely unfortunately) and in the most random places we found stickers on walls and window sills.

Some of the things we’ve kept:

A lovely illustration

A gnome conducting an orchestra of birds in lovely watercolors.
A gnome conducting an orchestra of birds in lovely watercolors.

A holiday postcard from Tenerife

Vintage holiday postcard from Tenerife
The dress of the girl is woven with colorful yarn.

Cat picture

a vintage cat picture
Is any house ever complete without a cat picture?

Vintage drawing

Drawing of a child
You can tell from the lines around it was cut from a magazine.


Between the top floor and the downstairs ceiling we have found a stunning portrait picture as well.

This pictures has found it’s way to the former resident. It turned out to be a photo of a deceased loved one, so it was a pleasure to return it.

What shall we do with these treasures?

I plan to give these items a nice place in our house. They represent the time past, a lot of history and I hope it will give a intage feel to an otherwise very new interior.

Maybe I will put htes in a frame on the wall, but if you have a nice alternative I’m happy to hear!

4 Replies to “Hidden treasures we have found during demolition #1”

  1. We also found several news papers in our walls! From 1936, with lots of pre-war stories.

    1. Have you kept them? I really like old stuff like this!

  2. Hi Dorien and Patrick, I live in Australia and I have enjoyed discovering your reno blog recently! I too like old stuff like this because it connects with the people who lived in your house in past years. I’d love if you did some posts along the way on the history of your house (as you discover it) and your neighborhood too. I think u said your house was built in 1920 yes? Thanks! E. 🙂
    PS I think framing is a great idea to reveal the treasures you have found so far.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, how super awesome you found us all the way from Australia! Welcome 🙂 When it comes to the history of our house I plan to go to city hall to see if there is more specific info about our house available. There is some discussion about the precise year it was built, we believe it to be around 1920-1925. I will definitely write an update on this if I have new info. Good idea to write a piece on our neighborhood as well. It is very different from our previous living area so that might be interesting.

Comments are closed.