Friday, August 29, 2008


The last part of this old house I have to show you is the if you'd like to follow me through here...

This is the kitchen. In the 6 years we've been here, we've never really finished it. This is the only area of the house that actually had to be gutted...except for the built in cabinets.

I love this wall of cupboards! I can't tell you how many hours I sat in front of these, stripping layer upon layer of paint and 100 year old varnish! I thought I'd never get them done. I actually still haven't really finished them, remnants of paint can be found in some of the grooves and on the hardware. Lucky for me I'm not a perfectionist!

One of the things I love about these cupboards is that they hold my Fiesta ware perfectly!

This is the bathroom off the kitchen.

I'd like to thank everyone for joining me on this tour. I hope you enjoyed it. I believe somewhere in the last two posts I promised a special treat today. I wish you were all here to share these with me...

...possibly my favorite food! Chili Rellenos! What I can share is my recipe. For those interested you'll find it posted in my sidebar.

Tomorrow I leave for my last Allegan and Burley Park shows of the season...if you're in the neighborhood please stop by and say hi!

I leave you with my shadow shot...

You can visit all the other Shadow Shooters on Australian Sunday at Hey Harriet. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and Happy Labor Day to all in the U.S.!

Happy Treasure Hunting!
Lisa B.
Lisa's RetroStyle™

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


...Alrighty then, shall we head upstairs?

I'd like to point out the rug keepers...I can't believe all these little wooden keepers have survived right along with the house! I love their little brass end caps.

This is the upstairs hall. Originally this would have served as a sitting area. At one time it had its own wood burning stove and would have been a wonderfully warm place to sit on winter evenings and work on your needlepoint. The bookcase is not original to the house. It, as well as the shelves by the mantel downstairs, were built by my husband Kevin. I think he did a wonderful job, as most people assume they are both original. If you notice the ceiling up to the left of these shelves...that would have been the access to the tower room that you see in the photo of the house circa 1910.

Speaking of needlepoint...the little footstool in front of the Mission rocker was done by Kevin's maternal grandmother. I've been told that this was the one and only piece of needlepoint she ever did. I think she did a very beautiful job! The rocker belonged to his paternal grandmother.
If you notice the floors, you'll see that they are not as formal as the floors in the main "public" areas of the house. I call these patchwork pine floors...because it didn't seem to matter how short a board was...everything got used...resulting in a very patchy effect. They have been repainted and were originally brown. I refer to this part of the house and the kitchen as being private areas of the house because you can see where the majority of the money was spent...which was the four main rooms downstairs. Those rooms were obviously meant to impress guests. The remaining areas...not so much...mainly just functional and comfortable.

At whatever time the electric lighting was put in however...they continued with beautiful fixtures up here as well. Although much more understated.

If you'd like to go into the bedroom to your right...this is our main guestroom. The old cast iron bed came with the house and the pink cabinet was my grandmothers...I always remember it being in one of the bedrooms of her house.

Everyone asks about the antler hanging from the window is a caribou antler found while camping in Alaska. 

I've always had a thing for hats:)

I would love to have the time to strip all the hinges in this house. You can see how lovely they are even thru all that paint.

Another lovely shade in this room.

A little painting I adore...that's how I would prefer to spend my days! haha.

This is my actual "dream home". As you can see it's perched in a dune. It is just across old highway 2 from Lake Michigan. I've loved this house since I was a mother photographed it and sent it to me when I lived in Colorado...I wonder why? haha;) Ahhh...someday.

Ok...right across the hall we have another bedroom. This room really isn't fit for viewing. I can't seem to get even one good shot of it's a mess. This is another "guest" bedroom...but really my crafting/sewing/general mess making room.

Look, I've already buried my old metal table. I knew it wouldn't take long! Ok, quick...lets get out of here.

There is a third bedroom on this side...but it's my husbands office and off limits! So we'll just go over on the other side of the stairs into that little sitting area. That's one of my great grandmothers kitchen chairs sitting in the corner. My great grandmother made the best wool socks, always had Thin Mints for me and made homemade bread that was to die for!

That of course would be the bathroom. We did a lot of work in there. Yes, I've killed some more house plants! Guess I should have gotten new ones before I offered a tour to the world! Oh well.

More kitsch! How could I not use grandma's mermaids?! She made those in ceramics class and was very proud of them back in the day! I love them...and her.

Thru here is the master bedroom. I collect Christine Custom Bags and you can see a few of them sitting on top of the window ledge.

The two quilts on the foot board are ones from each of my grandmothers. The diamond patterned one was handmade by my maternal grandmother. She started it when I was 13 for a wedding gift and lucky for her I didn't get married til I was 33...because she just got it finished the winter before my wedding. She had it hand quilted by a group of Amish women here in Michigan. The other one is from my paternal grandmother. It is one of two quilts she bought for me, hand done by women near her hometown in Missouri.

The rug in this room is a garage sale find! I love it!! I stripped the floors in this room. I really like them and would love to strip all the floors upstairs. But no way! That was a miserable job!!

I also love to collect pottery vases, planters and flower pots.

Let's head back downstairs....

We'll finish up our tour in the kitchen on Friday....

Happy Treasure Hunting!
Lisa B.
Lisa's RetroStyle™

Click here for Part III of the tour.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Hi! Welcome...come on in...

Let me give you a little background. We believe the house was built in 1885 and is Italianate in style. How do we know? Well, as for the age, we do have the original abstract which shows the first recorded date on the property to be 1880.

That was the year in which the property had been sub-divided from the farmstead of Nathaniel G. Phillips and made available for purchase to the public as 3 lots within the village of Bancroft.
The next entry dated 1887 is the Will Codicil in which the property is left to Mr. Phillips widow Lois.

It is unclear as to whether or not a house was on the property at that time. And although there are many more entries into the abstract...we are left with more questions than answers.

The most interesting clue we found as to the year that the house was built was on the wall of an upstairs bedroom. When removing a good 1/4 inch of wallpaper we found some "graffiti" on the plaster. Among other things it included a signature and date of 1885. So we're going with that:D It does correlate well with the style of the house and fits in well with the history of the village and dates of other homes here.

As for the style...there have been changes over the years...none since prior to the 1940's. We do have a picture of the house circa 1910. Ray Martin grew up in this house in the 1940's and has come back to visit a number of times. He gave us this picture of the well as a note with his recollections of what he knew about it.

The original tower room is a very classic Italianate feature, long ago "chopped" off...shame. The "winged" roof line, you may have noticed coming into the house is another Italianate feature. You can also see in comparing the pictures that much of the front entrance as been reconfigured. The sun porch was an addition and a new front entry was created. The new front entrance was done in a more Greek Revival style with its pedimented roof and columns with Ionic Greek volute capitals. Our house has become an interesting reflection of ever changing architectural fashions.

Enough of that lets get the tour started...

So this is the front entryway.

Yes, that chair is yet another project waiting for my attention. I'm a little afraid of reupholstering...I've tried it before and was less than thrilled with the results. I set it there thinking it would force me to be brave and give it another try...that was 6 months ago. It seems I've grown used to the fabric falling off it...I didn't even notice it til I posted this picture.

I love the light fixtures that came with the house. I'm thinking they may have been put in in the 1920's...but I really have no idea. You'll see that the fixtures in the four main areas of the first floor are all coordinated.

Even the Bannister lamp fits in very nicely.

If you'd all like to just step into the room to your right...this is the sun porch.

Mr. Martin remembers the rug from his childhood here (it used to be in the dining room)but is unsure if it was here when they moved in...or if it is one his parents purchased. So the rug is from the 1940's or earlier. It is wool and in wonderful condition. This is one of my favorite rooms because of all the windows. It is almost like being outside.

If you'd like to step back across the hall...I'll show you the living room.

Hey there's my tacky lamp...

Over here we have the dining room...

In the dining room even the curtain rods were coordinated with the lighting.

These three rooms and the entryway make up the formal public areas of the house. I am going to pause our tour here and will move on to the "private" areas of the house in my next post.

Happy Treasure Hunting!
Lisa B.
Lisa's RetroStyle™

Click here for Part II of the tour.


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