Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Around the House

I was looking at the dishes in the sink on Sunday and thought how pretty they were--and how lucky I am to be able to use them every day, and not just "for good" as my mother used to do. Dirty dishes aren't typically something we enjoy looking at, but I admit I like doing dishes now. With only two people in the house most of the time, and pretty dishes to use, what's not to like? Almost all of my dishes came from secondhand stores or yard sales and flea markets. The fun is in the finding, isn't it? And again later in the using.

The sink of dishes made me think of how much in my house is "recycled." Pretty much everything, when I think about it. I've shown some parts of the house on this blog in the past. Here's a quick tour of parts of two rooms, the kitchen and the living room:


Here is one of the two new furniture items in the house--the dining table and chairs. The other is a couch in the log room. Both are sturdy and destined for years of use. But everything on the table was bought used or gifted to me, except the little poinsettia--that was gift to myself!

In my kitchen, the jelly cupboard in the corner was obtained through a trade of an Aladdin lamp. It's chestnut wood and I used it as a pantry. The drying rack was on the trash heap when an old house was being torn down in Ripley about 30 years ago. The buffet was bought at an auction in Virginia in 1970 for $50. It's leaving soon to go to my son Derek's house--I bought another big cupboard that I sorely need for storage in my kitchen and Derek was supposed to get the buffet in my will. Why not give it to him now so he has more years to enjoy it?

Also in the kitchen, the cast iron wood cookstove we bought in 1975 for $75. It is not hooked up right now, but when we get the big storage cabinet in place, the stove will move and we'll be able to build a new chimney and put it back in use. I used it for quite a few years, but when the bank made us get fire insurance, we had to disconnect it because they didn't like the way we had the stovepipe.

By the front door, the wardrobe in the corner serves as our coat and boot closet. The oak chair is honestly just a catchall, but it's handy for putting on boots.

This cabinet came from an antique mall in Weston, WV that was going out of business. It's not in the best shape, but I love its wavy glass, and it holds a LOT of books. And other odds and ends too. The little green couch is a single-sized hide-a-bed and Hannah's favorite place to sleep when she visits. The quilt pattern pictures are made from different types of wood inlaid to make the pictures, and the red cushion covers were a surprise find in the bottom of a box of junk from an auction.

The big bookshelf was one of the first things we built in this house. I own many books on storytelling, folklore, history, poetry, gardening and so on. I am constantly buying and having to weed out books that aren't being used. They have to earn their keep--even though we've added other bookshelves, I still run out of space regularly.


The sunken section of the living room was inspired by homes built around us when we lived in Virginia. We like the way it allows the heat from the woodstove to be at floor level so the floors stay warmer than they wood if the stove was at the same level as the floors. Larry built the brick surround when Tommy was a baby to keep him from getting burned. The afghans were 25 cents at a yard sale.
The built-in couch is not my favorite--it's hard and a little too narrow. It's been in place since we built the house and I've recovered it, for my sins, many times in those 35 years. I'd like to remove all covers and padding and line it with pine shelving boards, sanded and stained and then add loose cushions so that it's more like a bench--which is what it feels like anyway. That might be a project for this winter. In the lower left corner you can see one of the three baseboard heaters we had to put in to get fire insurance--wood could not be our primary heat source. We only use them if we're going to be away overnight in winter.

That's the quick tour. Ignore the dust and dirt--I've been on the road a lot and behind on cleaning, but it will get done before Christmas, I hope. Too late to do it for Thanksgiving!

13 comments:

Country Whispers said...

Thanks for sharing. You have many goodies that you have collected over the years and I'm sure each piece has a story that comes with it. It's those things that make a home cozy!

Granny Sue said...

You're right, Jessica. Right now i'm doing some sorting out, getting rid of things that I really don't need and that are taking space we need for other things. It's hard--I love the unique, unusual, and handmade items and have been schooling myself lately to say "no" when something catches my eye. There are times, though when I have to give in!

Nessa said...

Thanks for the tour. I like your house. It's fun and cozy and colorful and it feels like it has a history.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Turkey Butt

Granny Sue said...

Thanks, Nessa. Eclectic is probably the best way to describe our house, but it is a fun place to be. Kids like it because there's lots to look at, most of it touch-able.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Janet, said...

Loved the tour, Susanne! I also have a very eclectic house, not a lot matches, but that's okay. I really like the turquoise bowl in the sink and all the old cabinets.

Granny Sue said...

Thanks, Janet! I bet you and I have several things that are identical since we both like the vintage kitchen stuff.

Debbie Couture said...

Sue, We just repainted our dining room and made it into a study/computer room. It looks like the exact color of the lower part of your living room. I wasn't sure I was going to like it but I do. We talked about a chair rail but for now it's all that color.

Granny Sue said...

I love red, Debbie, and have always wanted to use it in my house.I finally convinced my husband, and we are happy with the color too. Isn't it warm and cozy feeling?

BTW, we will be down to Leesburg on December 5th. Maybe we can find time to get together? Judy will be there too--it's our annual fruitcake bake and we're doing it at my son Jon's house.

Debbie Couture said...

I know you'll be busy with family but let me know if you have some time. It would be great to see Judy too. I didn't realize you had a son in Leesburg. That will be a fun day for the women in your family.

dianehuhn said...

Love that bookshelf. Life living in a motor home on the bayous of south Louisiana has necessitated storage of my books in an upstate New York attic. Sure do miss them, but definitely love the view from here.

Granny Sue said...

Hi Diane,

I can imagine there would be little bookspace in your current home--but a lot less housework and dusting too, I bet.

Someday I want to see the bayou country of Louisiana. My Dad grew up in NO and had so many stories to tell us about that time in his life.

Mary said...

What a sweet, warm, comfortable home! (and dust and dirt don't show in those photos -- just love ;-)

Granny Sue said...

Thank you, Mary! Thank goodness photos are kind :-)

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