Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Choosing An Entrance Light

The side entrance to this farmhouse is the main entrance since it directly leads to the driveway. I have recently found a distinctive antique style light for this spot which is similar to the zinc plated ones we have needed to install earlier. It was the last fixture to find and came new from a private owner. I feel the finish, unique glass patterns and style will go nicely with the nearby greenhouse metal planters besides work well with a single LED Edison-like bulb.

Here are the lights which replaced missing or broken ones when the farm was bought. The front porch light, the barn (vintage French farmhouse) and side garage/barn lights.

Below is the light installed. It is larger than usual since we wanted to emphasize this door and light much of slates in front of it and path to it.    

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Custom Rope Rail

Now that the stairway at Old Farm is completely finished, our custom rope rail from StairRopes.com UK looks lovely and works great. Our choice of rope is hemp and cotton with a sailors knot, and I also ordered similar Monkey Fist rope tie-backs for the linen closet curtain at the top of the stairs (from their Stonk Knots products).

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Outdoor Clay Garden Seats

Bill's new earthy; textured garden seats will blend easily into the landscape I think. The top textured ones are a result of recycling older clay and it is good to see this clay can still produce lovely work.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Painting The Foyer II

This space began with five holes in the upper plaster ceiling and wall to patch, an electrical box to be moved and a textured first floor ceiling removed. Once repaired, the plaster surfaces were beautiful again and insulation was added where possible. After much spackling and sanding, the paint has made them appear perfect.

The foyer light is an English Bell Jar Lantern type which was popular when this house was built, in English and American Colonies. Most of these eighteenth century homes were lit by open fires or candlelight, but candles were expensive and used sparingly even by the wealthy. Bell jar lanterns were hung in entrance halls of Georgian Manors, and lit only when guests were expected. The glass bell jar kept the candles from blowing out when the door opened. Ours was found in the bedroom closet when we bought this antique farmhouse.

These lights were to provide a warm welcome and now that this space has been mostly refinished, it will serve the same purpose.  

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Painting The Foyer I

The foyer and staircase in this rural farmhouse are especially wide and gracious for the period that it was built.  A lovely curve at the top of the handrail and thick, early chair rail add to it's charm along with an original window of old, wavy glass at the top level.

Although this house was built in 1780, there is a 1787 coin in the newel post usually dating when the mortgage was paid. A Nantucket tradition which spread to New England, mortgage papers were placed inside the hollow newel post and an ivory cap sealed its' top. When paid off, the mortgage papers were burned, the ashes sometimes placed inside the post and a coin of that year replaced the piece of ivory.

This is a New Jersey copper penny, produced in 1786 to 1790 before the country had a mint. NOVA CAESAREA is Latin for New (land of) Ceasar which was the Isle of Jersey; an island off the coast of France in the English channel and part of England. Over the years it was anglicized to become Jersey and the "ey" came from the Vikings which meant island. Sir George Carteret was Governor of the Isle of Jersey and awarded "New Jersey" (along with John Lord Berkeley) for providing King Charles II and his family a safe haven during the English Civil War.

The front has a horse head and plow with the United States shield and E PLURIBUS UNUM (one of many) on the back. They are worth $35.00 to several thousand dollars based on their condition. In it's day, this penny could buy one a ferry ride from Morrisville PA to Trenton NJ.

We are now repairing walls, stripping peeling paint, and replacing missing cove or shoe moldings. Next the textured surface from the foyer ceiling will be removed by spraying it first with hot soapy water before scraping it off, broken window panes replaced with similar antique panes and walls or wood prepared for paint. The paint colors will be Benjamin Moore "white" for the trim and "linen white" for the walls.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Round Ceramic Garden Tables

Although it was very cold this holiday season, Bill continued to create ceramic garden seats and tables in his basement studio at home. This is his most recent work and shows a series of round ceramic garden tables.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Painting The Library

We inherited a historic palette of paint colors in the library of this farmhouse which includes the living room and dining room. Most of the same colors will be used in these rooms after the repairs are done. The library was stripped of peeling paint, sanded, primed and had new shoe moldings installed before painting.

The light green paint is called "seedling", the off white walls and trim are "white dove", and the windows as well as exit door are "northhampton puddy". All are by Benjamin Moore and the first is part of the "Affinity" historic collection while the third is a lighter shade of one. A darker green called "boreal forest" is also an Affinity paint and on the dining room fireplace surround. The green living room walls are "pine brook". All are lovely names and colors while in the eighteenth century, green pigment was expensive and a status symbol. 

The window seat wall had a hole repaired with new sheet rock. The fix allowed us to discover that this part of the house was also very old and originally brick insulated, although conventionally insulated in the 70's. Two original; wavy window panes were broken and Christian removed several from a matching old window found in the garage to replace them.

Here is a picture of the Royal Govenor's Palace bedroom in Williamsburg, VA. A beautiful green and white room via Pinterest.