Saturday, December 12, 2009

Colorful Hill Country Restoration

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.

Last but not least, upstairs, just off the master bedroom, is a precious room for the grandchildren. Called "Monkey Business" most appropriately!

Thank you, Jan and Bill, for allowing me to share your house. What a treat to have been a guest there and I can't wait to see what you do next!!


  1. Wonderful home your friends have! And I do love that area between the dining room and the kitchen!

    How kind of your friends they let you share their home with us!
    Have a nice weekend!

  2. Wow, nothing like those good old true primitive antiques...great post. I want that white beam ceiling in my house!!! Oh, yea, they don't build 'em like that here in Florida!
    Have a great weekend,

  3. I loved the feeling of this home as I read your description. Makes me feel all warm inside, I think it's the colors. Thanks for sharing this beautiful home.


  4. Your friends have an amazing home! So much to see and take in. It must have been a real treat to spend an afternoon there. I especially like the American portraits!

  5. oh my goodness from the front doors on....absolutely beautiful!!!!!!!!!!

  6. That house is so fabulous because it has authentic character. I love it all but really love the monkey room and also where she has placed all their wreaths. Thanks for the great tour!

  7. Wow, what a great site! The pictures are so evocative and inspiring to those of us who love living among antiques! Thanks!

  8. thx for sharing....i feel like i've seen this home from the road , during our many travels around Fred....
    LOVE the room divider and the Monkey Biz precious!

  9. what a precious home and so authentic! i love the multi drawer cabinet in the kitchen and the "monkey business" bedroom is adorable. what fun it must be for the grandkids!

  10. Welome to Vintage Christmas Monday. You are on the link list for the next two Mondays! You did everything on your end that is needed. I had to do my part and add you to the list!

    I knew you were from Texas as soon as I opened your blog. I will be back when I am finished with my hosting duties to look around!!! Love painted furniture, stoneware, and all that stuff! xo Joan, your hostess

  11. I am speechless, that is an amazing and very unique home, simply AMAZING! I don't even know where to start I am in such awe!

  12. You got some real good images and captured what most would not see!
    Merry Christmas Girl!

  13. Hi there...I ran onto your blog tonight and I really like it! It has such a nice feeling you don't mind, I'll add you to my list?! Come say hi if you'd like :D

  14. i love this - especially all the portraits - those are so wonderful! and the house - wow. fabulous!!!! thank you and have a wonderful Christmas!!!

  15. This place is my heart!!! Love it.. so so so "me" I love it, so glad to see that there is someone else out there with this kind of love for this look.. GORGEOUS~!!!!

  16. thank you so much for this wonderful had me at the front door....I love to stop by your blog and get my fredericksburg fix! Merry Christmas Ann !

  17. I could spend DAYS exploring all the wonderful treasures in this house! It's pulled together beautifully, and has such a warm and inviting feel to it. Great restoration work - and lovely touches in every room. Love it!!

  18. Thank you Ann, Jan and Bill for the tour of this beautiful home.
    So inspirational!
    I wish you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Ann!


  19. That divider between the living and dining room is really FABULOUS! What a find!

  20. I'm back again! I can't get enough of this blog. I think it's replacing my Cottage Living subscription that got hijacked by the bad economy. Now I'm stuck with Southern Living and it's not quite the same. Ssh! Don't tell my Southern relatives! Anyway, I LOVE this house and it's mix of cultures, traditions, antiques, and modern style (curtains in the grandkids' room)!



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