Tomorrow is the anniversary of America’s longest peaceful diplomatic relationship partner, Netherlands (1782). Tragedies of Branch Davidian fire in Waco, TX (1993), the explosion on the USS Iowa off the coast of Puerto Rico (1989) and the Oklahoma City bombing (1995).
This weekend I got the water feature in the Courtyard all cleaned up and filled with fresh water. After getting it all set, I turned it off for the weekend because of all the wind we’ve been having. It will be great having the sound of water again in the Courtyard. Warm weather’s close.
I was in my photo album and decided to really bore you with some before and afters. I wasn’t real good at getting a good set of before pictures. Bougainvillea was one where I never even got a picture of what turned into the bedroom. When I bought the Inn, Bougainvillea was an odd space. Two rooms in the back, over the kitchen. There is a door from the Veranda and one from the kitchen that lead to the stairs that go up to the second and third floor rooms. The stairs go up to a room with a fireplace and then there’s an old narrow curving staircase going up to the third floor room. That room had an old marble sink. There was space on the opposite side of the bedroom wall that had a shower. No toilet. There was enough room in the “shower room” to move the sink, add a toilet and make a decent sized shower. Viola, I have a guest room that’s a townhouse with a full private bath. The first picture is the living room when I bought the property. The second picture is how I first set up the living room. At the time, it was the most logical set up to me. I never liked it because the fireplace was at the opposite corner of the room from the couch. If you look in the third picture, it shows a large hutch, this fabulous piece of furniture was always on the long wall to your right, next to the fireplace. I never cared much for this guest room and it didn’t sell often. The first thing I did was I had my good friend Lisa from Fabled Table, whose also a seamstress, make those white curtains you see in the third picture. I love them. They’re a thick white cotton with pineapples in the pattern and were designed by Tommy Bahama. That certainly changed the tone of the room. But the couch was still far from the fireplace. I love light and hated the idea of giving up a window, but that’s what I finally did. I took the shears and drapes off the window behind the couch and painted the window trim to match the walls. I slid the big hutch over in front of the window. The window just “went away”. And it really didn’t affect the amount of light in the room. There’s three east facing windows that bring a lot of light in. So now I was free to move the couch where ever I wanted. My four suites all have sleep sofas in their living rooms. They are Sealy, but they are still sleep sofas and I do get complaints on their comfort level. (or lack there of). So I bit the bullet and went out and purchased a day bed. Twin bed that you sit on and a twin bed trundle underneath. The trundle is much easier to raise than opening a sleep sofa and MUCH more comfortable. The mattresses I got, as all my mattresses, from Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory. And it’s angled in front of the fireplace and television, which you can see from the fourth picture. The next picture shows the two narrow closets I spoke about in the past where I took the doors off, cleaned them up and made them into bookcases. You can see part of one of them through the living room’s door. The bathroom picture shows the sink, the toilet and shower are to your left. It’s not a large bath, but it works.
Another problem I had with this room is it had a full sized bed. I could hear it in people’s voice when it was the last room available (and it always was the last room sold), “I’ll have to call you back”. I knew they wouldn’t. It’s sort of a shame, the bed had this old Victorian frame I got in high school and have had since. So I bit the bullet here as well and took the bed out and got a queen (I could have squeezed a king, but I prefer not to have my rooms too tight). On a bright note, the bed found a very good home. My friends Myra, Phil and Alex that are opening The Stone Manse Inn outside of Harrisburg bought it. So it has a great home. Their web site was supposed to open Friday, but apparently they ran into some problems. Check the link in a few days. It is a fabulous property and they will do a great job as Innkeepers. If you notice the wall piece above and behind the bed, there’s a story there. When I opened my first Inn in South Florida, I had half the monthly income I had in bills monthly. So I worked full time at a restaurant on Palm Beach Island called Cuchina del Arte. Fairly ritzy place a man that ended up being a good friend of mine owned. Henry, if you, Susan and Austin are ever in PGH, please look me up. On the restaurant’s walls were three similar creations that came from Palm Beach Floral. They were larger than mine and had more on them than mine, but they all cost over $3,000. When I heard that, I went out into the woods where there was a bamboo stand I knew of, chopped some dead bamboo down and created my own for a lot less the $3k. A final note on the bedroom, those hanging ceramic lamps on either side of the bed came from my first property. They were in a room at The Seawulf Inn, which became The Parador of the Palm Beaches.
The National Park Service has free entrance fees through April 24. This includes Harper’s Ferry Park at the confluence of the Potomac & Shenandoah Rivers.
Did you know the Allegheny Arsenal was one of the principle arsenals for the Union Army during the Civil War? It cover 38 acres in Lawrenceville and had a terrible accident, that was never fully explained, that killed 78 people. There has been an online exhibit to the National Archives in Philadelphia. It got very little press (page three of the Pittsburgh papers) because it happened the same day as the battle of Antietam (the single bloodiest day of combat in American history.
I’ll be featuring another room soon, enjoy your day,