I belong to an antique study group of women who are so knowledgeable about antiques and so talented in their design aesthetic, that I am always humbled after one of our gatherings. Some of them are purists about their antiques - they only buy and live with early, early American antiques - I'm talking 17th, 18th century, and sometimes, into the mid 19th century gets too new for them! Some love early American, but mix it up a bit with 19th and 20th century items.
Then.... there is me - boy, do I mix it up! I love very old antiques, and am excited when I get to see the really good, early antique pieces, but give me a great piece of old Mexican or Italian pottery, an old tramp art box, an African American quilt from the 1970s (maybe from Gee's Bend! ) with great graphic design, or a fresh new contemporary painting, and I am equally as delighted.
I had the pleasure of having lunch with this group the other day. We take turns hosting and this time we got to see the fruits of much labor!
My friends, Jan and Bill, are two of the most talented people when it comes to old home restoration. Bill can build just about anything, is very erudite about antiques, old buildings and materials. Jan has an amazing, intuitive eye for color, be it paint or textiles, antique or new, as well as being very well informed about antiques.
Here are the wonderful old front doors on their current home. They have been working on this property for a number of years, gradually adding their special touch to each room and building.
The two story part of the house is original. They added the one story addition, which is very historically typical in our part of the country.
The property is classic old German hill country with random buildings and barns scattered here and there............the restored home is in the distance.
Indigenous stone and standing seam metal roofs are classic.
Upon entering the main house, I walked straight through the entry to the back of the kitchen - mesmerized by the incredible wall of shelves, drawers, and folky cut out cubbyholes, filling the entire space.
Jan and Bill have a wonderful collection of pewter, among many other intriguing collections.
Everywhere I turned there was another another unique piece of furniture, built in to meet it's function. This multi drawer piece is tucked in a back corner of the kitchen.
This is a favorite feature of mine. An opening above the built in refrigerator , it showcases a wonderful basket, flanked on both sides by old seltzer bottles in netting, and the spot of light makes it a wonderful focal.
Here she is - sweet Jan, the best hostess!
We were seated in the kitchen and in the dining room, shown in my last post.
Here is a view of the dining room looking towards the front door. You can also see the old windows and a bit of the front entry.
Jan told me she knew she didn't want a wall between the dining room and the living room, but she didn't want it to be open either. Isn't this the most creative solution to her dilemma? The old paint finish on this architectural piece is so right, too - it has been scraped, but all of the layers of paint look to be a gorgeous original putty color.
Jan's love of fine American antiques is probably most evident in the living room. Her portraits, stacked potato stamped baskets, and corner cupboard are examples of the treasures she and Bill have acquired over the years.
We all love antique German feather trees, and they are even better chock full of old ornaments. Our topic of study this time was antique ornaments, and as usual, this group did not disappoint.
The colors used in this room are wonderful! This old apothecary is the best shade of salmon. Love it!
I love the blue paint inside the cabinet and the collection of old bottles - and hanging the wreath full of vintage ornaments just completes it for this holiday season!
If you have read this far, and have not grown tired of my narration, you will understand why only a house nut would sit back on the sofa and take a picture of it while everyone else is busy chatting! Don't you love the beamed ceiling? The walls and ceiling have this yummy plaster texture and creamy finish.
The fireplace is not finished yet, but the mantel and side panels are the best of old, original paint. There is one of a pair of stunning needlepoint chairs!
One more view of this beautiful combination of color and texture.
Turning back into the dining room, notice more great paint on this old step back cupboard.
Glancing from the dining table, a wonderful area just off the kitchen and the dining room, I saw yet another example of great original paint on the old dry sink - of course, chock full of antique pantry boxes and antique molds, with lots of holiday greenery. Of course, I am crazy about the old hooked rug, too. Love that cherry color.
Closer view - don't you love the lamb?
I loved this window peeking into the kitchen from this spot.