Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Farmhouse Hearts and Darts, Part 2

Tonight I bring you two shots from what will eventually be my son's bedroom. When I think of a cottage getaway kids' room, I imagine a light and airy white room, with a bed and dresser and shelves with artistically arranged shells. I suspect that romantic notion will be dispelled as soon as we've been in there a while and the usual clutter of clothes and books is strewn over the floor, but the child should have at least a decent base to build on, shouldn't he?

So, here's a "before" picture, taken on the day we picked up the keys. Start with a dozen or two layers of wallpaper that have been partially stripped off. Add some mysterious squares of plaster that have been removed, perhaps to blow insulation into the wall, and replaced with squares of drywall that don't fit and aren't flush with the wall around them. Add stomach-turning green paint on the trim and a baseboard heater. You can't really see the flaking paint and plaster on the ceiling in this shot, or the hundreds of dead cluster flies between the window and the storm window, or the "closet" that consists of a piece of wood with nails sticking out of it. (I'm sure you'll take my word for it).

I do believe the bones are good here. The room is small - something like 9.5 feet square - but fortunately the knee wall is over 5 feet tall. There won't be any room left over after a bed, combo armoire/dresser and bookcase go in, but it will be a cosy retreat for him eventually.

Today the "good" picture is harder than the "bad", because I don't know if everyone else will see it the same way that I do. I love the charm of the old painted chair, the faded flowers on the wallpaper, and especially the linoleum rug.

I had only recently read about these linoleum rugs that were popular at the turn of the century. They came in various sized squares that were appropriate for a room, and they could be just laid out and used the way they came. They were generally printed with a border, and usually faked to look like a real woven wool rug.

This has no border, so it may have just been cut from a square of sheet linoleum. The floor boards (which you can't see in this shot) were originally painted to match the background of the pattern. The pattern features an acanthus leaf pattern, very similar to what you see in William Morris designs. The edges and center are pretty worn, but I should be able to salvage a good-sized rectangle of it to use as a bedside rug in my own bedroom later.

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