More photos today…

Home Tour! 022It was foggy outside on Saturday morning, but I’m not sure how the mist got into our front hall.

Home Tour! 010The living room.  This is Elijah’s favorite chair, but when we bought it it was going to be MY favorite chair.  The print above the chair is an old photograph of Gloucester, Virginia, my husband’s home town.  I found the lamp at a garage sale for $5.  The table is an auction purchase, a 1970s/80s Thomasville Furniture piece that I painted black.

Home Tour! 011The dog’s favorite chair, with washable slipcover.  Is it any wonder I never get to sit down?!  This is one of a pair of wing chairs we inherited from my parents.  My dear friend Kim made the quilt for our wedding.  The print above this chair is by a local artist, Flora Schinkle, and it’s the church steeple and water tower in the last town we lived in, Richmond, Minnesota.  It’s part of a series of small town steeples and water towers that she’s painted.

Home Tour! 012I took many of these photos in the early morning before the Home Tour started, so they are dark.  It was a foggy start to that day.  The living room walls are “River Rock” blue/gray by Behr and do not normally look periwinkle like this.  We painted both the front and back porch ceilings the same blue.  The trunk/coffee table is an antique with the name Jules Thorner carved into it–likely it traveled from Scandinavia to America in the late 1800s.  I bought it when I was in college and already an antique lover (have been since jr. high, really).

I sewed the curtains the day before the tour, and they turned out lovely.  They are upholstery fabric I’ve had for ages, with a backing of light blue gingham sheets I’ve also had stashed.  These are so easy to make, just put the front and back wrong sides together, sew around all sides but leave a little opening so you can turn them right side out.  Turn in and sew up that little bit, then hang from clip rings.  I got many compliments on them so I’m glad I got them done and hung.

Home Tour! 013

The print above the bookshelf is by a local St. Cloud artist, Nona Huyler, and it is ice skaters on Lake George which is our neighborhood lake and is just a couple blocks from our house.  I framed both the Richmond and Lake George prints in cheap 16×20 frames and mats from Michaels.  You can see we are just using cheap tray tables from Bed, Bath and Beyond for end tables on either side of the couch.  We also use these for lunch and weekend breakfasts all the time because I grew up eating lunch in front of Sesame Street at my grandma’s, so it’s kind of nostalgic for me–bad parenting or not.

George used shoe polish on the leather couch the night before the tour, covering up the cat scratches which were bad but not horrible.  I saw him doing it and said, “that better look good in the daylight”, and it did.   A new idea!

Home Tour! 056The dining room, later in the day when the sun shone through the west piano windows.  George made the table during a weekend class several years ago at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota.  It is a family heirloom now, with a pine base and a top made from huge fir beams from an old Lutheran church in Wisconsin.  The benches were bought for half price at World Market, and at $100 each they were much cheaper than buying six chairs.  I sewed all the curtains in here the day before the tour, as well, with fabric I’d had-again-for ages.  The bookshelf in the far corner was a dumpster dive freebie; it was ugly plywood that I painted Cranberry (the paint was also free, from our county’s hazardous waste site where they give away paint that has been brought in for disposal).  It is now just a nice basic bookshelf that holds a lot of stuff.

Home Tour! 036Here I have just sewed a bottom from the calico fabric onto cheapie Target tab-top curtains that came with our house.  I was going to do something fancier, but then I came up with this idea at the last minute, saving time and actually looking better than my original idea.

Home Tour! 039And more curtains made at the last minute, inside this old cabinet/secretary desk which was a $25 auction buy.  It came with no doors so I had them made (roughly) for $65 and then painted it the same Cranberry color.  You can see we have french doors between living room and dining room, and from the living room into the hall.

Home Tour! 017The freshly white-painted back porch.  I promised a photo of a window seat with cubbies a few posts back.  Well, here’s how it went.  George had the top cut out of an old ping pong table from the neighbor’s trash pile.  He was making a frame from some oak 1x2s from another neighbor’s pile.  Sitting in bed the night before he was going to install it, I said, “Now,” (and you know how that “now” went), “the window seat will have a base, right, so it can sit up off the floor with a 1×4 as a baseboard around the bottom and then quarter-round and stuff?  Right?”

Well, somehow I had not been clear enough when I telepathically showed my husband my vision for this window seat (which I had to stop calling a bench because it was to be taller than a bench so that had been confusing him all along).  And as you can see, the window seat/bench/cubbies that were to hold these blue bins and NOT SHOES, no not shoes or boots or anything like that because that wasn’t what I wanted either.  Well, anyways…you can see I made do with a bench from the front porch to hold the bins (which I hope to replace with similarly-sized cuter baskets someday).

Home Tour! 021And the kitchen.  You’ve seen this angle, but here it is with mums and lemon balm in the pitcher, and a bowl of tomatoes on the counter so you know it’s now September.  I also added a little Tirolean wood carving/wall hanging of Mary and Jesus to the wall.  I’m not even Catholic, but I got this recently in a box at a neighbor’s auction and I think it’s so sweet and adds patina to the wall.  Also, it adds a 5th item because any grouping should have an odd number of items, correct?  Well, who cares.  I still need more old stuff in my beautiful but too-shiny kitchen, though.

Home Tour! 043And another kitchen angle, now that the windows are in and painted.  On top of the fridge I have an old crate with my cookbooks in it, something I’ve done in all our houses.  The basket is from an Amish woman’s home in Harmony, Minnesota.  The curtains are a $2 garage sale find.  The cookie jar is Goodwill.  The breadmaker is $5 garage sale.  The toaster was purchased with wedding money 14 years ago and is still going strong.  And George thought $65 for a toaster was too much!  My kids and I are huge toast people, so it was an investment.  Ha Ha.

Oh, and where it looks like there’s a hole under the sink, it actually WAS a hole because that piece of cabinet keeps falling off.  But George put a double layer of hardware wire/chicken mesh in there, spray painted the same brown as the cabinet handles.  It is dark so maybe we’ll paint it the cabinet color someday.

So there you have the main floor of our 1925 Foursquare here in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  This type of house is very common in Minnesota and we have tried to do both its history and present usage justice.  It’s fun to have it “done”.

Soon I’ll show you the second floor.

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