Once-Beautiful Abandoned Homes That Have Been Reclaimed By Nature

Whether or not they house them, abandoned homes and time-worn structures sometimes feel a little like ghosts. The vestiges of the people who once lived there — a chair, a left-behind vanity, a forgotten stack of books — occasionally remain while nature, ever-present, begins to unravel the work of builders and designers with dust, decay, foliage, wildlife, and water damage. The bones of the home, no matter how beautiful and well-loved, begin to bend with the ravages of time. 

Amid the peeling paint, the creep of vines, and the steady decay of the built environment back into the natural one, there is great beauty to be found, not only in the ghosts of what the structure once was but in the creature it becomes. According to CNN, what many call "ruin porn" speaks to our desire to explore the past and decay, as well as the eventual breakdown of all things into nature. Photographers and urban explorers seek out abandoned homes, shopping malls, and amusement parks, creating both disturbing and beautiful portraits of these structural ghosts and glimpses of the past. 

In fact, many of today's popular design styles revel in the look of worn down and well-loved interiors that echo the charm of abandoned spaces, including French provincial, farmhouse style, and shabby chic. The look of charmingly worn furniture, old mirrors, and lime-washed walls creates a similar feeling of lived-in and timeless grandeur.

1. Lots of light

This abandoned 18th-century room with its French doors and silver fireplace mantle no doubt once dazzled with its pale blue painted walls and striking white trim.

2. Greenery-filled grotto

Bushes, foliage, and young trees now reach up toward the sunlight in what looks to have once been a beautiful grotto with stone columns and niches.

3. Abandoned greenhouse

This abandoned greenhouse, once used to house greenery, has now been covered on every surface with leaves and vines creeping through its beautiful copper framework and broken panes of glass.

4. Have a seat

Often, abandoned places look as if you could walk in, sit down, and start a conversation. This once-gorgeous room with high wainscotting and dramatic drapes houses two antique chairs still waiting for visitors.

5. View of the sky

A barreled ceiling has long since collapsed above this Italianate structure, flooding the room with the shadows of sun-dappled greenery while moss slowly creeps along the stone walls.

6. Forgotten swimming pool

This abandoned pool, once filled with swimmers, now holds only dirt and rotting leaves in what was once a beautiful, welcoming backyard and home with wide windows looking out on it.

7. Welcoming blue door

Beautiful sky-blue shutters and doors once welcomed visitors to this pale blue residence, which has been grown over and ravaged by time, encroaching branches, and peeling paint.

8. Forest cottage

This home in the woods resembles a witch's cottage in the forest, taking on the camouflage of the landscape around it with only the two eyes of its windows giving it away.

9. Farmhouse on the hill

This farmhouse on a hill is only a shell of the large structure it once was, offering panoramic views of the countryside, which are now even more visible through its decayed walls and windows. 

10. Collapsed charm

This adorable green-painted house looks to have collapsed in on itself, its color blending in with the surrounding woods, which in another few decades, will have swallowed it completely.

11. Reading room

This leather chair and newspaper looks to have been occupied only moments before.  At it's back, the room's windows are shut against the forest that creeps ever closer.

12. Wide porch

This large farmhouse once sported a large porch and wide, welcoming facade. With its paint and roof now worn away, its large frame slowly falls victim to gravity and collapses.

13. Mirrored room

With beautiful ceiling molding, a grand fireplace, and an abundance of mirrors, this room was once a beautiful and light-filled haven whose wood and mirrors have now been warped by weather and time.

14. Uninhabited manor house

This large countryside manor still holds its shape against the landscape with its decidedly French-inspired mansard roofs and gabled windows peering out on the surrounding fields.

15. Time-worn beauty

This rounded room no doubt was once a ballroom or dining room with beautiful arched French windows and doors and a herringbone floor. Now, its ceiling gives way to the planking of the floor above while rubble piles on the floor.