Friday, June 6, 2008

Hidden Treasures

Hello, out there! Well, STILL no internet at our house, so no blogging. Once again, I’m posting from my parents’ house. The satellite service guys came out last weekend, but the dispatcher neglected to tell them to bring a new dish to replace the one that got broken in the storm way back on May 14, so we had to reschedule yet again. They’re supposed to have someone out with a new dish this weekend.

We’ll see.

Meanwhile, allow me to show you some treasures I came across last weekend! While the construction guys were going gangbusters outside the house, doing things like this:

and this:

I was inside the house working on messes like this:

and this:

I would like to point out that most of this mess was already here when I inherited the house, and only some of the mess we brought with us. It’s been pretty overwhelming, but I’m tackling it a bit at a time, when it’s not freezing like in January, or an oven, like ... well, now.

On Saturday, in the process of organizing and deciding what to toss and what to keep, what was worth trying to repair and what was just beyond all hope, I found myself in the upstairs hall contemplating this chair:

I had passed by this non-descript piece of furniture dozens of times without really looking at it, and now I was wondering to myself, do I really want to keep this? I mean, it doesn’t really float my boat or anything ... well, maybe if I re-cover it ...
And then I lifted up the edge of the ruffle to see if it had springs or what, and what kind of condition they might be in, and wait a second ... hold the bus! There was a beautiful, gracefully curved wooden leg under there! And the cover was just tied on and fastened in the back with snaps. I hurriedly took that drab old cover off, and voilà! Just take a look at this:

Needless to say, this is definitely a keeper. Just needs a new upholstery job and it will be beautiful. I was thinking maybe a nice antique rose color, or a dusty teal.

But wait, there’s more!

I suddenly remembered these other 2 rather ordinary looking chairs that had sat forever in the blue room. (Yes, that’s what we call it, “the blue room.” We also have “the pink room” and “the yellow room.” And of course no old fixer-upper plantation house down in the country would be complete without “that room at the back where the wallpaper is peeling and the ceiling plaster is falling down.”) After I excavated those 2 chairs from the mess that is the blue room I was excited to discover that they, too, had been covered over (probably in the 1970’s, judging by the colors and design).

I untied and unsnapped the cover, and peeled the cover off the cushion, and look:

... beautifully carved wooden legs and arms, with a carved wooden piece across the top of the back ... and antique rose colored! So I thought this other chair was probably the same ...

But, surprise!

Teal colored! Kind of. Well, it probably used to be blue, judging by the unfaded side of the cushion, but now because of the fading, more on the teal side. So I’m pretending it’s teal. Slightly different chair, but part of the same set, because the design in the wood carved places is the same. I was so excited about this find, I ran downstairs to tell Paul, who was slightly less excited than I was, but he thought it was pretty cool nonetheless.

But wait ... THAT’S NOT ALL!

Not only do these last 2 finds match each other, they also match this:

The sofa out in the upstairs hall, which you may or may not recognized from this painting of Henry.

It’s times like this that make all the hot, tedious work of cleaning out worthwhile. And so the pink room, which used to look like this:

now (at least temporarily) looks like this:

When we get these reupholstered, they’ll be gorgeous! And eventually they’ll go downstairs in the parlor. Yes, we have a parlor. Which is just an old-fashioned, romantic word for living room. And which currently looks like this:

and this:

But that’s for another post. Right now I’m still basking in the glow of my recent discovery of hidden treasures upstairs.


Anonymous said...

What!! Your're just now uncovering stuff like that!! Man... my curiosity would have kicked in when you moved in... but then again I am in the "big C" where we have practically perfect weather for uncovering and discovering treasures practically every day!! ( Too bad my house doesn't contain any old treasures!) Ha Ha!! But anyhew.... HOW EXCITING!!!!
-- Kathy

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

I love, love, love your house. I'm one of those people who can see beyond the mess (which is a good thing, and you don't see ME posting photos of MY house.... and there's a reason!). What charm! What caring went into constructing these rooms - and beautiful furniture 'finds', too! Lucky, lucky you! I'm going to take inspiration from you and your hard work. (Just yesterday one of my neighbors asked WHEN we were going to do reconstruction on our house!

Karen Mathison Schmidt said...

Kathy: Hey, I've been busy! I can't wait to see you guys in December ... we're planning to have a big Christmas tree set up in the bay window!

Kelley: Thanks for all your comments! (I haven't forgotten that you were the very first person to comment on my blog ever!) I'm very excited now that the work has finally started ... I can't wait til they start painting the exterior ... it's going to be beautiful!