Public Rooms of an 1880s Lodge: Dining Room

The dining room is centered in the lodge: the bowed windows just left of the small covered terrace.

 The lodge in the photo above has many interesting rooms which can be seen with links in this earlier post. The dining room, like the other public rooms, has a rustic flavor befitting a hunting lodge with certain more elegant details befitting a great house.  Much of the decoration in the dining room centers around fish and fishing. Notice the taxidermy specimens on the wall.  Exposed wood beams support the ceiling and a former gaslight ceiling fixture has been electrified.

Dining room at the lodge runs the full width of the house.

 The dining room is fairly symmetrical, centered on the fireplace.  Matching window seats are built into the bowed windows at either end.

On the right is the passage into the front hall.

 This room may be entered through a swinging door from the kitchen hall, through the breakfast room or from the centrally located entrace hall to the house. Notice the grand scale of the carpet.

Dinner seating in this large room is accomplished by rearranging 3 tables to accomodate various numbers of guest.  The main table comfortably seats 6.

Drop leaf extension tables are kept in front of the window seats at each end of the room.

  Add one more table and you have 10 seats total. If you need more than that add the other drop leaf table with or without raising the leaf. They are usually configured into one long table for dinner or may be used individually for a buffet party to keep the traffic flowing.

This room is used daily for dining. Do you have a room designated as the “dining room”?  Do you use it for dining? Or some other purpose?


Parisian Flowered Windows

On the left bank of the Seine, in the Latin Quarter of Paris, at the corner of Rue Cujas and Rue Victor Cousin is the Grand Hotel Saint Michel. While we were in Paris walking near La Sorbonne (in October) we didn’t know what this building was, we only knew that the window boxes were well-tended and elegant.

Flowers on the building from 2 blocks away caught our attention

 As we got closer the effect of uniform plants at every window was stunning. The softness of the green vines against the solid architecture and the pop of red was not too exuberant just charming and welcoming. 

Uniformity and repetition make a simple idea appear abundant

 In Paris as well as the outlying areas we never noticed that anyone had succumbed to using faux posies.  While I don’t think I have the tenacity to tend window boxes at The Glade, I’m sure these lovely windows will inspire something. Maybe bridesmaid bouquets at a wedding.

Maybe some French-inspired color at the Cottage

 Oooooooooo, how about a planting at the Cottage? Oh, yes, I can (almost) see it now.

What inspires you? How do you manage your inspirational ideas: in a shoe box, in a file cabinet, on a computer, in a journal, in an album?  On a pile on the floor in the bedroom? Yikes!

Sidebar:  I refuse to succumb to fake flowers and greenery myself.  (This is not a pledge just a passing fancy.)

The Lodge: Changes Over 100 Years

This hunting lodge was built in the 1800s. This facade faces a lake.
The Lodge in 1893

 Notice that it had a wrap-around porch and awnings which have since been removed. The driveway originally ran between the house and the lake, now the driveway runs on the other side of the house.

The Lodge today

 The outer walls are mostly log construction which were originally left their natural color but are now painted white.

The driveway was rerouted to the back side of the house

 This side of the house still has its original double decker porch.

Being rustic, the porch has no railing

 The French doors are rarely used for entrance into the living room. The blue trim in the above picture is the most true to color of all the photos.

The stone terrace on the lake side is often used for afternoon reading or to take the air.

 The kitchen wing is used as the primary entrance since parking is on this side of the house.

Kitchen wing with covered entrance

 This old lodge looks different from when it was first built but really hasn’t changed much over the past 100 years. At The Glade things are constantly changing.

Do you hold onto the past? Or is change your thing? I’m a blend of the two.


Inspiration: Normandie Jardin Potager

Since the garden was pretty much destroyed by Hurricane Irene, now would be a great opportunity to make a few design tweaks.

The garden went from this .  .  .

The garden in June, fifteen 4 by 4 squares, before the hurricane.

  to this .  .  .

From the same angle, the garden was demolished, after the hurricane.

 And then we visited France. Now I’m determined that we’ll not only have a kitchen garden but a French jardin potager, potager for short. A potager combines practicality with ornamentation.

Jennifer Bartley has designed some scrumptious potagers in her book Designing the New Kitchen Garden: American Potager Handbook and on her website.

Jennifer Bartley's plan for a potager.

 So what’s the difference? Charlie gets his vegetables and I get some herbs and flowers, too.

Here’s a list of elements we’d like to incorporate in the potager:

  1. More room for vegetables (16 instead of 15 squares)
    Groundplan of projected 2012 potager


  2. Lilac bush
  3. Iron gate
    The porch railing can be used as the garden gate and fence.


  4. Mirror
  5. Formal entrance
  6. More planned use of space (The present garden just haphazardly happened and expanded.)
  7. Hedge

Driving through La Normandie (in France) we happened upon a potager which even in October was still producing and looking lovely and well-kept.

A well-designed potager with the ubiquitous box hedge.

 Some parts were idle but the form and function remain.

The precision is captivating

 A  fruit tree is not out of place in a potager.

An apple tree laden with fall fruit

 Switches, perhaps used as pea vine supports in the spring, are neatly bundled near the steps to the house.

The steps are ready for a makeover but the garden itself is perfect.

 Here’s a preliminary plan for the 2012 Garden at The Glade.

2012 Plan for Charlie's Potager

 This is what it looks like now from the same angle as the drawing.

This is the site for the new and improved potager.
  1.  Keep the lamb’s ear in the front but thin it. (It protects an underground wire from digger’s shovel.)
  2. Move the lilac (on the far left of the picture) to a more prominent position. 
  3. Remove the front row of squares directly behind the lamb’s ear to make room for a gate, fence, planters and herbs.
  4. Rechip all paths.

Since I’m the planner and Charlie is the implementer, the ultimate decision is his.

Are you planning next year’s planting? When will you start? What are your crops? Keep us posted.

I’m linked to



In the Trench

I went to Paris with the intention of buying a trench coat but the weather was unseasonably warm and so I forgot about it until the final few days we were there. At that point, with Charlie’s help, the search was on: we looked in department stores, in an underground mall, in specialty stores, in “the passages”, and in neighborhood boutiques.  No success. So while 90 per cent of the women in Paris were wearing trench coats of different colors, lengths and cuts, I couldn’t find one.

How many trench coats do you see?

 The standard of all trench coats is Burberry: leather buckles, bound buttonholes, engraved pearl buttons, silk lining. Aaaaah.

The Burberry trench has beautiful detailing throughout.

   The back is equally elegant.

This model is cashmere and wool and sells for a mere $5995.00. What's not to love?

   Now that I’m back in the good old US I’m determined to have a trench coat.  My parameters are:

  • a light color in the greige family
  • seam detailing that tapers the bodice
  • knee length
  • belt with a buckle
  • traditional lapel
  • less than $100.

And so the search began on the internet and I knew immediately (after trying to locate one in France) that without a specific brand and model, this search would be haphazard and fruitless .

I looked in our brand new, well-stocked TJ Maxx and a second TJ Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, Jones of New York, Ann Taylor,  Marshalls, Ross, and Banana Republic. Fruitless. I found trench coats, even trench coats in a good color.  The one problem that united them:  they’re too short. I want the coat to at least come to my knees.  Every one I tried on was at least 4 inches above my knees.  I’m 5 feet 5 inches which in my family is NOT TALL.

In the 2nd round off shopping (really the 5th round if you count before Paris, Paris and internet.) I tried L.L. Bean, Nordstrom, Lord and Taylor, Macy’s, and Talbots .

L.L. Bean had a nice coat on sale for $99 but only had large and extra large in stock in the store. I would need to order it from the website. When I went to the website the coat was $129. Hmmm.

L L Bean Trench Coat

 Macy carried lots of choices.  I tried Jones New York (too short). Calvin Klein had a nice shoulder detail but back had a split rather than a pleat (the pleat would keep me dryer in the rain).

Calvin Klein Trench at Macy's was about $99

  London Fog at Macy’s had a nice back pleat but no shoulder flap detail.

I finally ordered a London Fog Trench coat from (details below).

London Fog Tench Coat that I ordered.

 This has a similar back shoulder detail to the Calvin Klein above, a button down flap and the back vent is pleated. I like the buckles at the wrist.

Order Summary

London Fog Women’s Double-breasted Trench Coat
Item#: 13574216
Quantity: 1
Option: Toffee S
Subtotal: $88.99
Shipping: FREE
Total: $88.99

It seems to be a classic coat at a nice price. It won’t be long before I’m in the trench.

Do you look all over the place for one item? Are you relieved to finally make a decision?


Turn the Clock

I received this clock and 2 frames as a parting gift from a paint seminar at Budeke’s Paint store.

Brown and green clock about 12 inches diameter

 As you may know, green and brown are not in my palette.  Green is but certainly not brown and probably not polka dots.  I took the clock apart so I could paint the background.

Unscrew the nut from the clock face and pop out the mechanism.

 Then I saw this project on Pinterest and was inspiredby Erica Domesek’s blog.

from the blog P.S. I Made This . . .

This might be a great place to use souvenirs from our trip to France. I had two maps which are pictured below. The bottom one looked a little too much like blodshot eyes so I chose the top one.

Select a map which need NOT be in perfect shape.

 Cut the map of France into a circle a bit larger than the clock face.

I centered Paris which ultimately will be covered by the clock mechanism.

 Mark where the numbers go on the side of the the clock face making special note of the 12.

Mark the edge so you can glue your backround right side up.

 Iron the map by laying down a piece of cloth on your ironing board (just in case anything transfers), then the map and then a piece of cotton cloth.  Iron the map just until it lies flat.  If you iron too long it will become brittle.

Iron the map

 Scuff up the clock by sanding it lightly

Scuff up the surface of the clock to give the glue better holding power.

 and put down a thin layer of spray adhesive on both the clock and the back of the map.

Spray adhesive in a light but complete coat to the front of the clock and the back of the map with special attention to the edges.

 Stick the map to the clock and let it set up for about 5 minutes before trimming the edges with a razor blade.

Using a rag rub the face of the map to assure no air bubbles especially around the edges.

 Lay the edge of the razor blade at a 45 degree angle to the surface and slide around the edge. 

Use a sharp blade!
I found some number stencils to help with the time telling and transferred them to the surface with a stencil brush and latex paint filling in the spaces with a detail brush. There are any number of alternatives for numbering: stick-on numbers, draw them, use marks instead of actual numbers, Roman numerals, etc. I only placed numbers at the cardinal points (12, 3, 6, and 9). Perhaps I should have used N, W, S, E instead. Wish I’d have thought of it.
Stencil, draw, apply numbers to the surface.

 Cover the whole thing with 2 layers of Modge Podge, one before numbering and one after.

Modge Podge over the entire surface

 Replace the hands and time mechanism.

Reassembled and ready to hang.

 Have you got things you don’t want to throw away but aren’t quite right for your decor?  Can you modify them?

Head over to Young House Love for the entire Fall Pinterest Challenge.



After we Charlie and son cleaned up the back yard of the foliage that Hurricane Irene blew to the ground, bare patches abounded in the once green lawn.

Yard after the foliage and limbs were chipped

 Although Charlie was of a mind to just let it grow back on its own,  I knew that weeds would overtake most of the area. And earlier in the year we had used some Scott’s Patchmaster to plant some grass in place of the brick planter we removed.

Scott's Patch Master

 So with most of the bag of still remaining from the first project, I found it in the shed and suggested Charlie scratch the brown areas with the garden rake and lay down some PatchMaster.

Seeding the bald spots

 And like the great guy he is, my wish was his command.

Just waiting for the grass to grow.

 It’s supposed to rain for the next 2 days which should really settle this seed into place. Maybe in the spring the lawn will be miraculously green and weedfree.

Have you got something that needs a little patch? How’s your patching coming along?