Meant To Be

On our weekend in the Twin Cities, we visited a wonderful store called The Guilded Salvage. We were looking mostly for trim and mouldings to match ours, but this kitchen cabinet caught our eye:

20150816-221756.jpgWe looked at it once, twice and three times. We realized that we might have the perfect place for this cabinet, home with us in South Dakota and went home and measured. Turns out that yes, we did have the perfect place. Right inside our back door in our kitchen.

The thing about our kitchen is that it have very little storage. The original cabinets were removed to open up the kitchen. I would have never done this. However, I do really love having an open kitchen, and so some small part of me is grateful that someone else had a smaller restoration conscience than I. When they were removed, it left us with only two overhead eye-level or higher cabinets. One is over the dishwasher (see photo) and the other is behind the turquise cabinet. That one (thankfully) is an original cabinet. More on that later. IMG_1820Anyway, I was forever bending over to find pretty much everything in my kitchen. What a pain!

So, we thought on the Giant Cabinet of Providence for a few days and then called and said we’d take it. They said they would hold it for us for up to a month (Minneapolis is a 4 hours drive from us). This week, my road trip loving husband made the North East trek and brought the cabinet home.


It looked a little rougher than I remembered in our garage. We washed it, scraped off paint, added a plywood back and painted the inside with the sample can of paint I got when I was color testing. Also, please note the top of the base cabinet. Ugle 50’s contact paper. It was black with a grey smoky pattern. And chrome around the sides. Also note that the orignal hardware was traded in for some 50’s pulls.

Of course, when you aren’t planning to do anything to a particular room of your house, that is when you will find the just the perfect thing and your other projects will have to take a back seat for a spell. For us, the main thing was buying this cabinet meant we had to paint the wall thatit was to go on. I had planned on painting the kitchen this winter, and wanted to take my sweet time picking out colors. Afterall, I seriously spend 80% of my days at home in this room. I immediately dove into historical palates, and after some trial and error and a consult from my mom (who though I hate to admit it, is usually right about most things), I settled on these colors:

Walls: Frostwork, Sherwin Williams Historical Color Palate

Beadboard and trim: Spotswood Teal, Benjamin Moore’s Williamsburg Collection

Now.. this is really crazy. When I took a close look at the inside of the cabinet, I noticed that it had originally been painted teal… pretty much the same teal that I had already chosen and painted our beadboard with (so far only on the wall that the cabinet was to go on). When I put my paint up on the boards, I was completely blown away. The drips in the picture below is the original color. Below is the color that I painted it. CRAZY, RIGHT?!?!?! I think this means the cabinet was meant to be with me. We have the same taste.


That evening, Lance yelled at me to come into the garage. He had pulled off the black contact paper and underneath, we found this:


Solid wood in pretty decent shape. We immediately started sanding it and putting a fresh coat of poly.



Next came the part when we moved it in. It involved Lance, myself, my father-in-law and a dolly. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be! Then we stood back and stood in amazement.


*disclaimer: Please know that the linoleum floors are on the chopping block for Winter 2017. I felt the need to clear that up.

Then we started smiling and we haven’t stopped. We are so in love with this thing. It is just the absolute perfect piece of furniture for our kitchen. It adds so much storage, but it also adds some much needed warmth of wood tones to our painted house. Also, the height of it makes me realize that these houses were SO meant to have furniture to fit the scale of the ceilings. The rooms seems larger, warmer, more period appropriate, the whole shebang.

And I don’t know which view I like more, doors closed, or doors open:


Look at all of that storage! See my china stored at the very top? I was able to finally unpack it for our move and used it for a dinner party last night.

*disclaimer: I hate how the microwave looks here. It is the only place where it can be where there is power right now, but asap, we will move it into the butler’s pantry, or at least get a smaller, more attractive one.

That reminds me, we finally threw a dinner party this weekend with a great group of friends. I finally felt like our house was meeting its potential and it felt wonderful. I decided that we did not need to wait until the kitchen was painted, or until there was a working light in the downstairs bathroom, or until the hole in the celing was patched. Our friends absolutely do not care. Restoring a Victorian home takes TIME, and if you wait until it’s “done” to start enjoying life, you’ll find that 1) it is never done, and 2) life has passed you by while you were trying to make everything perfect. So last night, we dined with our friends in our beautiful, broken, unfinished and perfect-for-us home. Living life in our home as it was meant to be.

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A Little Room

I am celebrating having one room of the house done.  Done, done.   Many rooms of the house are almost there, but all except for this one are waiting either total rennovations, or for finishing touches.  But Claire’s room, also the smallest room of the house (except for the butler’s pantry and soon-to-be powder room, is the first to be completed.

I would love to know what it was first used for, all of those years ago in 1889 when this place was built.  I am guessing either a maid’s room or a baby’s room.

Here is a picture of some walpaper we uncovered.. making it obvious that at one time, there was certainly a baby that lived here:


Does anyone know of how old this walpaper might be? One layer of paper peeled right off, leaving this inalmost perfect condition. It is actually still under 3 out of 4 walls.

Claire was assigned the small room because we felt like Fisher and Holland needed the bigger bedrooms to house their play things (lego table, play kitchen).  Claire’s interests include mostly making lists in notebooks, drawing, keeping a diary, or doing other craft projects.  And so, it seemed that she was most suited for the little room.

It may be little, but I do love it and all  of its smallness.  The floor-to-ceiling window, the dramatically slanted wall in the corner, all have the makings of ultimate cozy-ness.  The biggest problem, no doubt, is the lack of a closet.  This has been weighing on me for a long time.  How long will it work for Claire and Holland to share a closet?  I knew if there was one store to have a solution to my problem, it would be IKEA.  On our recent trip up North, I found the perfect thing:


For $40, we got this thing- space for display, a rod for hanging clothes and pegs for scarves and belts. It’s just what we needed.

The other find in the twin cities came from Bauer Brother’s Salvage in Minneapolis.  For $35, this old little white locker was ours.  It was the perfect little thing to add to her room- space for her to store her backpack and hoodies.





Opposite of her bed sits her desk and shelves, also from IKEA.  Curtains are, you guessed it, from IKEA as well.20150904-210524.jpg

And here’s a look at her bed.  The bed itself is a craigslist find.  for $20, we got just what I was hoping to find.  I love it because it sits up really high, allowing us to keep 4 laundry baskets underneath.  One for shoes, one for pjs, one for leotards and sports equipment and one for dirty laundry.

Next to the bed is a little night table that used to belong to my mom.  On top of the bed is a quilt, hand stitched by Claire’s Great-Great Grandma out of dresses that she, my grandma and great aunts wore.  My friend’s mother, a master quilter, recently repaired and restored it for me.  I will be doing a post on this later.  It is a treasure.  The small quilt on top of it is a quilt that her Great- grandma made my husband when he was born.  Another treasure.

Even though it is small, Claire’s room is one of my favorite in the house.  It looks so warm and cozy and is bursting with personality.  I love how we have blended vintage treasures with new, modern inexpensive items.

Some day, this little space will be a wonderful office, but I don’t even want to THINK about that day right now.  Now, when I climb to the top of the stairs, the warm, cozy glow that comes from this room makes me so happy- just like the little girl that has made it her own.