Thursday, April 20, 2017


Stately old manor homes, who doesn’t love them!!  They speak of a time gone by when craftsmanship meant oak floors, spacious foyers with grand staircases, multiple fireplaces, high ceilings, solid wood trim, and, best of all,  deep-set windows with sills - a spot to sit, sip hot coffee, and ponder a snow-laden morning.   Visitors who come to Wilson House will often remark, “They don’t make houses like this anymore.”    During the renovation of a guest room this winter, I pondered this sentiment, noting the charm and the challenges of this 19th century manor home. 

In January 2016, we remodeled Wilson House's living and dining rooms. In January 2017, our major project was to dress up Her Room.  Her’s former look was one partly inherited from the previous owner and partly ours:  Victorian style flowered wallpaper, a medium brown woodwork, wine colored curtains, gold bed linens, and an oriental style rug:

 Her was to have a complete makeover, floor to ceiling.  First she was stripped naked and plastered. 

Quite unlike modern drywall, plaster is solid and provides better soundproofing, but it does present its own challenges, the first of which was finding a craftsman who knows how to do the job.  We found one, Bud Whisler, whose fine workmanship left a smooth palette for the next task.

With Her’s wounds healed, make-up was lovingly applied to walls, ceiling, and woodwork by local painter, Ron Yorks.  The gorgeous antique dresser with mirror, a piece original to the house, remained to welcome the warm peach of the walls outlined by white woodwork and trim.  

Come in and have a peak:

A vintage, crystal ceiling light added a touch of elegance:

Windows were dressed anew in soft, billowy, drapes:

When opened the room is filled with light and warmth!


When the ladies came to hang around, a second plaster challenge ensued.  Plaster tends to crumble when confronted by picture hanging tools and implements.  Using nail and hammer is impossible.  Inserting a screw and turning it with a slight pressure is a more compatible method.  However, one must treat the plastered wall with gentleness, a little tape to bind the screw, and a lot of respect.  

The challenge overcome, the charming ladies return to their place of honor:
Lastly the comfortable sleigh bed was prettied up a bit:

By February, when we re-opened Wilson House for our annual Valentine’s dinner with wine pairing, the challenges were overcome and the charm renewed. Her is now more attractive for Her guests and never tires of showing off Her engaging view:




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