Home Away from Home

I love looking at pictures from last fall, when we first bought the house. The contrast is extremely satisfying, and that motivates us to keep going. I can't believe how much the place has changed already!

When I was in PA last weekend visiting my parents, I thought about how much their "guest room" has changed over the years as well. I want to dig out some old pictures and compare them to its current state, because it would be quite entertaining.

When my brother inhabited it back in the early 90s, it had black and white striped wallpaper (and bedding!), black wall-to-wall carpeting and some clunky built-in furniture, painted glossy black of course. (I really hope we have pictures of this somewhere.) Between his bedroom and the halfpipe in the barn, I think my brother was hands down the coolest kid in our town.

When he moved out, I took over his room and stripped off the dizzying wallpaper. Dad pulled up the carpet, refinished the original wood floors and painted over all of the black with creamy neutrals. I got a chenille dot quilt from the Martha Stewart collection at K-Mart and covered the walls in a collage of magazine clippings and other sentimental girlie things.

Then I moved out, and another transformation. Using his mad carpentry skills, dad took out the built-in furniture and replaced it with a beautiful old bird's eye maple bedroom suite that he refurbished. This is what the room looks like now:

Much more appropriate for an old farmhouse, I must say, though our teenage bedrooms did have some unique personality. You did a good job, parents! It's quite a comfy and inspiring room to sleep in when we visit. I always think about stealing that sun hat when I'm there, but the room just wouldn't be the same without it.


  1. Just dropping in from out here random-blog-reading-on-a-Saturday-night land to say two things:

    - My gosh I can't believe that room was ever filled with black-and-white anything! It's lovely now.

    - That last photo gave me cold chills, because that exact print has hung in my parents' house for years. I think it came from my great-uncle's house after he died (though I'm not sure on that) I always assumed it was some kind of weird framed one-off thing, but I guess not. Either way, I've always thought it was so darling (and also strange—is that a church pew in the woods?). Do you know where your parents got this one, by any chance?

  2. Hi Rachael, welcome! According to my mom, the print is from the Bluebirds series by Zula Kenyon, an American artist in the early 1900s. I think a lot of her work appeared in calendars at the time. My mom collects Kenyon prints and has several throughout their house. I never see them anywhere else, so it's crazy that you'd wander over here and recognize it!

    And funny, I think I remember my dad making a similar comment about the church pew in the woods. Random, definitely -- but how cool would it be to have your own stretch of woods with a little pew in it? If I had one, I would sit there and read and talk to bluebirds all day!

  3. AnonymousJuly 13, 2009

    The print also appears in the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.


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