Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our Home & Business Tour, Circa 2005

So much has changed in the four years since I moved into the B&B. I look back at these pictures and can pick out changes in every one of them! I don't always realize how significant the changes have been until I look at some of the older photographs of the house that were taken when I first moved there. It was fun today to look through some of these and note all those changes!

I am posting some of these older photographs below. As you can see, we inherited some very offensive wallpaper and carpet! We are slowly replacing it or restoring the hardwood floors, doing some painting, acquiring "new" antiques and letting go of others. We pick a major project to do each year, sometimes two depending on our budget. Most of those projects to date have been those that are "unseen but necessary" - a new roof, floor jacks, foundation stabilization, wood replacement on the outside of the house, plumbing, ceilings, etc. Needless to say, our home and business has been a work in progress!! We love looking back and seeing the changes we've made. I DO admit that I often get very impatient and want to rid my home of all the hideous wallpaper NOW, and want my new custom made window treatments NOW, and want the kitchen remodeled NOW. But in reality, I'm not sure I could handle all that change so quickly. Well...maybe I could.

So...I am working with my DH to lovingly restore this wonderful old house to its former glory. Sometimes it is a pain but most of the time it is a pleasure. We see ourselves as "keepers of the past" and take that role very seriously. We live in a piece of history. The man who built this house was a veteran of the Civil War and an escort to Nathan Bedford Forest. In CW circles, that is fairly significant! He raised his family in this house. The house was inherited by one of his children who then raised her family in the house, and her child raised his family in the house, and, finally, his child sold the house to us! We are the first people outside of the original family to own the home, and we truly feel a strong connection to the family who sold it to us.

Anyway, here is how the house looked in 2005 after DH and I were first married. I will post updated photos soon so that you may see our progress!

Before any significant landscaping was added to the front of the house. We still have a lot of work to do on the yard and gardens!

Here, you can see our B&B sign. Sorry about the wires. I need to learn how to use Photoshop!

Another view of the front of the house. At one time, the porch wrapped around the left corner of the house but was later enclosed and made into bathrooms, both upstairs and down.

A view of the back of our house. The back section was originally a cottage built in the 1820's. It now houses our kitchen. Check out that beautiful, huge, old Oak Tree to the left of the photograph. He has to be hundreds of years old.

The original back porch railing. Isn't it lovely?

A tiny view of our side screened-in porch. The house has a total of four porches.

Looking out into our backyard.
Another view of our yard.
In the garden.The door to our 100 year old garage and home to so many spiders I that I try to avoid going in there whenever possible.

Standing among the flowers, keeping guard over the birds, squirrels, racoons, chipmunks and other visitors and residents of our property.
A view of our side yard. The house is located in a historic district.
Ready for a view inside? This is the living room, and here you can view a sampling of the hideous wallpaper I mentioned. Now, the art on the wall is completely different, and we have different chairs and things on the tables. This room is an upcoming project. We will be changing the colors in here and reupholstering furniture, painting, adding crown moulding, and pulling up the carpet and refinishing the hardwood floors that are underneath. See the small painting on the right wall? My husband's great-grandfather painted that piece in 1904. You can also get a little peak at our antique, 13 pane secretary in the right corner of the picture.
Here's another view of the room and the fireplace. This fireplace is one reason we'll be changing the colors of the room. The yellow tile is original to the house, so we'll be incorporating that color into the room in other areas. I'll also add bronze colors (the fireplace cover is bronze), brown and a small touch of blue. We'll see how it comes out. Any suggestions would be so welcome!
And another view of the room and our antique piano (for which we are currently looking for a new home) and one of my favorite pieces in the house, the antique Duncan Phyfe sofa, which will soon be given a makeover to match the new color scheme in the room. We now have new lamp shades, you'll be relieved to know. I know I was relieved! :-)

This room was originally a "receiving room" when the house was first built; however, the location of the front door was changed at some point to open into the living room, and this became a little parlor off the main living room. Since we have used this room to house our many bookshelves, we have been referring to it as the library. This is one of my favorite rooms in the house, and I often sit in here and read.
And here is one reason I love this room so much...look at the beautiful original tile on the fireplace! By the way, we have seven fireplaces in the house...isn't that remarkable?! At some point, someone replaced one of the tiles and didn't do such a great job grouting, but I have plans to blend that in and will show you the results of that project soon. Can you see the detail in the tile?
Here's another picture of the fireplace from farther back. Can you see the beautiful fireplace cover details? Another view of the room...and my favorite reading chair.
This is our formal dining room where we serve our guests breakfast.
A view of the sideboard. It now is home to a teapot collection.
The portrait of the woman came with the house. She was a relative of the original owner. Many of our guests have said that they believe she is our resident ghost. Yes, the house is rumored to be the home of a ghost who has become known over the last century as "The Gray Lady." Many guests and former owners of the house have claimed to have seen her, especially in the upstairs hallway. DH and I have never seen her, so we can't say for certain if the rumors are true!
The entryway from one of the house's four porches.
Our registration table in the main stairwell of the house.
And now we go upstairs. This is a photo of the hallway upstairs. This beautiful antique sofa is now in one of our guest rooms and an antique library couch is now in its former place. Bad Wallpaper Alert! This stripy paper is the most hideous of all the wallpaper in the entire house! We HATE it! And soon it will be gone, gone, gone.

This is the upstairs entertainment room, or what my husband likes to refer to as "The Man Room." Another Wallpaper Alert! Soon, the Man Room will relocate to the first floor into a much larger space, and this cozy little room will undergo a makeover. It will soon be decorated with roses and floral patterns and become MY room...a place for reading, sewing and doing craft projects.Another view of the Man Room.This is one of our guest rooms, circa 2005. More of that wallpaper we can't seem to get rid of fast enough! But the shape of this room is gorgeous with a bay window area. We have added new bedding since this photo was taken and removed the canopy railings - it's now just a four post bed. One of my favorite beds ever.
Since this photo was taken, we have since said goodbye to these old chairs. I love the old mantle scarf on this fireplace.
The bedside table in the master bedroom.

Here's another guest room. I actually kind of like the wallpaper in this room, as I think it looks rather authentic. We have since changed the bedding to blend more with the design of the wallpaper. The bed is antique, circa 1872, and looks almost exactly like the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House. We have a matching washstand/dresser with a marble top.
The doll once belonged to my great grandmother.
I love this old lamp that sits bedside in one of the guest rooms. It is lovely when all lit!
This old house has a total of 23 rooms and 30 windows. It is drafty, to say the least, but we love it and are working to restore it to the grand painted lady she once was. I'll post pictures of our updates soon, so please come back and visit!


BecauseImTheMommy said...

For the past 20 minutes I have read, re read, scrolled up and down to see the various pictures one more time, awe struck in the grandeur of this masterpiece you are blessed to call home. What a beauty she is.

The Blogland Diaries said...

What a beautiful B&B. Your home is gorgeous and you certainly have decorated it with love and style.

Paula said...

"Mommy" and Karen,

Thank you so much for your sweet comments. It is definitely a labor of love. We do love this old girl, every little creak, uneven floor board, crooked room...she has so much character! We feel so fortunate to be living out our dreams here. She is very patient with us as we progress on our journey. I'll do more posts about some of our projects soon. Please come back for a visit again!!


The Victorian Parlor said...

Your house is gorgeous! How we would love to live in an old historic home but in our area that brings a price tag in the millions. I cannot wait to see all of your changes and updates! I love the fact that you have a ghost (I am a tour guide for the annual ghost tours in our town so I enjoy ghost stories:). What is the name of your B&B and do you have a website? Whenever we travel we always stay at a B&B-it would be fun to see yours in person!

Anonymous said...

Oh Paula, those porches. I "heart" porches. In fact, a porch, raised up above the ground with steps and a rail are the reason I want to sell my house and build a cottage. Strictly for the porch!! :)

I liked those yellow vintage chairs in the guest.

Your house is beautiful. I'm sure your guests have a wonderful stay.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Thanks so much for your visit today, and for your sweet comments. It has been a treat for me to peruse through your lovely blog. I have such admiration for the creative spirit and enthusiasm it takes to run a B and B! And you have such a beautiful one. I am sure I shall visit you often. And Edward and I welcome you over at our place anytime!
Best to you.

Miss Jen said...


Your home is GORGEOUS!!!

What a blessing to live in such a beautiful place!! I greatly enjoyed all of the pictures and mini tour!!!
Many Blessings,
Miss Jen

Janet said...

Such a beautiful old place! And a benevolent resident ghost as well!
And 4 porches - I'm not just green, I'm bordering on chartreuse.

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Oh, Paula! Your B&B is just gorgeous! Your decorating is perfection! Every detail is a work of art! Thank you for sharing your wonderful home!

Karen said...

I've so enjoyed seeing your house! It's so beautiful, the fireplaces, the porches and those wonderful, big old beds. I'm sure your guests must love it there. I can't wait to see the progress on your projects. How blessed you are to be the keepers of such a beautiful lady, and how lucky the house is to have you.