Tag Archive | cozy

Full Circle Farm

My grandmother is one interesting lady. If that has peaked your interest, go read her recently published memoir: Tempered With Fire, by Barbara Knox. At first I was worried that writing a blog would be too public, but then I read Grandma’s book and realized, there are no secrets left in this family. My little blog was nothing compared to her tell-all life and times growing up in Oklahoma, being married to a powerful doctor, surviving a horrible car accident, her twelve-year relationship with a woman, and toward the end of his life, re-kindling the relationship with my grandfather. This memoir is not for the faint of heart. Grandma is 88 and still full of life and spitfire, and I have always admired her.

Tempered With Fire by Barbara Knox.

In 1990 Grandma purchased a 150-acre farm, in south-central Pennsylvania, by herself. Her plan was to re-do the old farmhouse, have a big vegetable garden, and preserve some acreage for woods, walking, and a little peace and quiet. Of course this was a weekend farm, as she still worked during the week. The amazing thing is, she did it.

Sugar Maple at Full Circle Farm.

The beautiful sugar maple tree in front of the farm is a sight to behold and makes me feel glad for the coming fall. It evokes images of the wood-stove, apple pie, shelves lined up with canned goodies from the garden, and days and days of stripping wallpaper from the old plaster walls.

Vegetable garden.

Canned goodies from the garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my teenage years, I probably ingested my fair share of dust, grime and lead from that farm, helping Grandma whenever I could get up there for a visit. We spent many holidays there and this time of year brings all that nostalgia for the old farmhouse right back.

Do Not Enter: The Parlor.

Grandma decorated the farmhouse with comfort in mind. It was warm and cozy, and we were allowed in every room except the parlor. The rugs are braided or rag and the country style was perfectly suited to life on the farm.

Wood-stove.

Stenciled Stairs.

Dining room.

Dining room.

Even now, if I get the itch, I can go up to that farm, sweep out the dust and air out the house. It is pretty much the same even though Grandma does not live there full-time anymore. And this old farmhouse will always have a special place in my heart, particularly in the fall.

© copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.

“itty bitty living space”

The living room in this house is a challenge. It was one of the reasons I hesitated about buying the house. It has an awesome amount of character packed into a room that only measures 13 x 13. To quote Genie from Disney’s Aladdin, “PHENOMINAL COSMIC POWERS! …itty bitty living space”. That pretty much sums up how I feel about this living room.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfTfXLLJlzM

Living Room: before.

Living Room: Before.

However, there are advantages. Think cozy and cottage and curled up with a book by the fire. Considering I grew up in a house with about 900 square feet in all, I can hardly complain. There is plenty of room for chatting and coffee and I have a few tricks up my sleeve as well. Maybe not cosmic powers like Genie, but still pretty good.

Living Room: After.

Living Room: After.

I painted the fireplace wall and bricks white for a punch of contrast and to help unify that wall. I also painted the brass around the fireplace surround black, to make it look less busy. The color on the walls is in the cool family, a trick to help them recede and not seem too close.

The coffee table is glass. This is important. It does not occupy any visual space, which helps the room seem less cluttered. I played around with some other options, but the glass table was perfect.

Living Room.

Living Room.

My crazy sis came and helped me unpack and when I realized she had reorganized the books by color, I suggested that perhaps subject might be a better way to organize the books. But she was right. The colors looked great. We had only minimal grumbling and eye-rolling from Stuart over this one and a suggested debate: Form or Function?

Stuart and I are too tired chasing the baby and unpacking to debate at all, so I win.

Extra seating tucked away.

Extra seating tucked away.

I have two ottomans tucked away next to the sofa for emergency extra seating. Very handy!

I hung my black and white photographs going up the stairwell to accent the farthest wall in the room. This helps create the illusion that the stairwell is just inside my living room, and helps it seem bigger. It also draws attention to the beauty of the staircase, which is a nice feature.

Staircase.

Staircase.

Staircase Wall with Black and White Photographs.

Staircase Wall with Black and White Photographs.

The room is not entirely done yet. I still need to hang curtains or wooden shutters over the windows that face the street. I want to install a runner going up the stairs and I am sure that the room will continue to evolve over time. But right now, it seems perfect. Mostly because it isn’t full of boxes.

 © copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.