Sunday, August 25, 2019

The beadboard

This photo tells a story that means the world to me, and I hope the words I have chosen can express that.


My story started here, over 100 years ago, in this house my great grandfather bought for his summer home, and the house my daddy grew up in.


This house was sadly torn down in 1960, and a new house built in its place. The house was moved forward off the foundation, then dismantled piece by piece. 


Many of those pieces were bundled and stored in a smaller Victorian cottage on the property where they stayed undisturbed for more than 50 years - until I moved back home and discovered what seemed to me like buried treasure. 


If you've followed here very long, you'll know how we have been using everything we can in our home, also on the same property.

I wrote a post on my dream house that details my love and obsession with this piece of my family's past. For now though, I'll take you through this project that I just cannot wait to share.

For years, I have obsessed over my lack of a backsplash, and I've never found the right thing. I'm actually really happy about that because I would have wasted money on something I was not satisfied with, and I would never have ended up with the perfect thing. 

Most recently, it looked like this...


It was fine, but something was always missing. So I kept thinking about these stacks of beadboard buried underneath all the other wood in the little house, and somehow I realized this was the solution to my backsplash problem. 


I shared the process on my instagram stories, and I'm sure there were a few who thought I'd totally lost it. I mean, who sees this pile of old, dirty wood and thinks, "Oh that will be just beautiful in my kitchen." 
I'm probably the only one.

And I have to admit there were times I thought I had lost it as well.
Each piece had to be pulled out, carried to my parents' driveway, washed with a solution of bleach and water, scrubbed on both sides with a brush, then rinsed and dried. Every. Single. Piece. 


But wow, what a labor of love and worth all the hard work.

Though the old house mostly had plaster walls with wormy chestnut trim, the third-floor bedroom was covered with this wormy chestnut tongue and groove on the walls and ceilings. 

This beadboard, that had not seen the light of day since it was taken out of the old house in 1960, has breathed new life into my kitchen and completed something that just never felt right.










I can't tell you how many times I just stop and look at this wall and take it all in. I love it *that* much.






We also made the countertops with wormy chestnut from the little house, eight or so years ago, so it's like everything has finally come home where it should be.








My grandfather made this frame for the print, and wrote on the back, "1932," so it only seemed appropriate to have it here.




I continued the wood on the entire wall and trimmed this window in the same antique fluted trim with rosettes I used on the laundry room door, also from the old house. 


I could not bring myself to cover it with curtains. 


Every single piece of this wood, I restored, cut and installed while my husband was at work.


And as a recording engineer, he works late hours, so I would send him photos of my progress during the day.


After the shock wore off, he was so proud of me, and I was so happy to have learned most of my woodworking skills from working alongside him.


I also texted my daddy photos while he was at work, and he too was so proud of what I'd done.


But the one thing that made all the hard work, and I really mean *hard* work, worth it, was when my daddy told me my granddaddy would be proud of me.


And that is exactly why I am so passionate about taking something old and forgotten and breathing new life into it. Those forgotten pieces of history, and in this case, my own family's past, help give meaning to my home and let it tell our unique story.
No one else's.

And that is one of the many things that make our house a home.


I'll be joining:







36 comments:

  1. Anita,
    Your story has touched my heart...First of all, I LOVE how your Kitchen looks. You are right in saying that It is perfect now and you found what was missing!! It truly is beautiful and what is also beautiful is the story behind it. I am a carpenter's daughter and even though my Dad has been gone for over 30 years, whenever I do a project, I can still hear him saying "That a Girl". I am sure that your Grand Daddy would be saying the same thing....
    Hugs,
    Deb

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    1. Oh Deb, thank you so much for those kind and inspiring words:-)

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  2. Your home never fails to make me smile--it's much, much more than a simple house.

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  3. Oh how beautiful it looks dear Anita!... it brought tears to my eyes... but happy tears... filled with the love you have for honoring and preserving your heritage and this wonderful wood in your home... you are amazing to have done it all yourself!... and I love that your daddy told you your granddaddy would be proud... I'm sure he is... I've told you before, your home is so warm and welcoming... one of a kind... as I believe my own home is as well... it's our family heirlooms and love and respect for the past and our loved ones who are no longer with us, yet forever close by, always in our heart... that truly makes a house a home... thank you for sharing this... I'm going to pour myself another cup of coffee and look at it all again... xoxo Julie Marie (I am sweetwildviolets on instagram... Idyllhours was the name of my blog I told you about)...

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  4. It is truly beautiful. I too am so proud of you as I watched you work so hard day by day all by yourself. WOW! I've seen the finished product and it is awesome.

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  5. It really looks beautiful! What a wonderful post! I loved your kitchen before. But the bead board is amazing. And I love that it was from your great grandfather.

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    1. Thank you so much Arell!! And thanks so much for always coming by and taking the time to comment! It means so much to me:-)

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  6. Truly this is the crowning touch and so meaningful that it breathes your family history. You are truly blessed to have the family you have, the actual "pieces" of history and the warmth and love all tied together.

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    1. Thank you so much Michele!! I am so thankful I have these things, and thankful someone who would have just thrown them out didn't get them:-)

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  7. Through the tears in my eyes I just have to say what a beautiful touching story you have shared with so many of us. Now your kitchen (and the rest of your home) is like a big hug from all the generations of your family. You did a really great job.

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    1. Oh Monica thank you so very much for that!! It means so much to me, an I'm so happy that comes through to others:-)

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  8. It truly was a labor of love. It looks so beautiful.

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  9. You've done an amazing job - and doing it all by yourself makes it doubly amazing. The wood is beautiful - as only old, loved and cherished wood can look. The look of it just screams history and I envy you knowing that that history is your family's alone - and that you will pass all of this love and history down to your children and grandchildren. It's obvious that you don't have just a house, you truly have a home.

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    1. Thanks Pat!! It's kind of crazy because I would never have thought I could do something like this a year ago, but it was so worth the effort!! I'm so thankful to fill my home with these things that mean so much:-)

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  10. Anita,
    So wonderful to have something in your home that has so much sentimental value and that you really love. You really did a great job
    and it shows....what a labor of love that you can enjoy for years to come.
    Blessings, Nellie

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  11. In this world of the hard, white, grey and black, industrial interiors that are taking over everything, it is so refreshing to read your blog and see that not everyone is embracing it! I am so tired of the lack of personality that surrounds me in homes, restaurants, hotels and almost everywhere that I go lately. I applaud you for your love of old, handhewn,carved wooden pieces and the appreciation of those that created it! You have created a cozy( a rare thing these days) warm and interesting home and deserve every compliment you receive.God bless you in your future endeavors and may you continue to inspire more to do the same!!

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    1. Oh my goodness thank you so much for that!! You have no idea how much it means -- especially as I really have to compete with all that. But I have to be true to myself and also offer people something different. Thank you so much for encouraging and inspiring me to keep on!!

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  12. It looks stunning! Great job!

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  13. Wow Anita a work of true Love. I can relate on many levels. Been wondering your choice of the name far above rubies? Thank you for all you do in keeping life real...Shirley Roberts

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    1. Thanks so much Shirley! I think you saw my reply to that question on facebook as well:-)

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  14. Thanks Anita for this wonderful story!! The vintage materials and fabrics make the home have much more character and charm, as well as deep meaning, and heritage. You inspired me to use some things I could not part with, and re- purpose them, in my farmhouse kitchen ! Even a similar, red English garden pattern I have, can become a sink skirt, for Fall/ Winter. An antique firewood box with Boston Chocolates, etched into the wood, can be utilized for storage. The wheels of creativity are moving again. Thanks to you ! As they say in New England, " Bless Ya Sista !

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    1. Oh how wonderful - that is exactly why I share, in hopes someone will do that, so that makes me so happy!! Sounds wonderful Deborah!!

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  15. I love your beautiful house! I was reading your post on your dream home, and I can relate to raising 3 kids in a small home. My two girls had to share a room and they were ten yrs. apart in age, and my son had a tiny 8x10' room, but they are all grown up now and it worked out fine. Perhaps some day you can build on a bonus room, a big garage with storage galore, but your house is very special with lots of memories!

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    1. You are so right, and it's funny looking back on it how fast it goes. My oldest just started sophomore year in college and my next one starts college next year. Then we only have the baby, and he's 13, so you are very right - it works out:-) Funny enough, my daddy told me they would stay in one of the smaller cottages on the property during the winters when he was a little boy, and those are his favorite memories of all:-)

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  16. I love it! So totally worth the effort!

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    1. Thanks so much Jennifer!! It was definitely a labor of love:-)

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  17. I love it "that" much too!!!!! So wonderful to have original pieces of the house incorporated into the new.....

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    1. Thank you so much Shirley!! I'm so thankful to have these things to bring back to life:-)

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  18. I totally get all of it. I live on my grandparent's century farm in the old farmhouse that my mother was born in 103 years ago. Sometimes I want a "bigger, better" house but honestly I am so tied to this house I'll never leave it.

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  19. Thanks for sharing your story about your grand daddy! I can only think of the time, energy and labor he took to do this monumental job. It truly was a labor of love on his part. I have always loved old bead board and old houses. You stated he did this in 1960 and that was the year I married (18) and just celebrated 59 years of marriage. I enjoy viewing your home and I really love the old native american prints that you have, as well as, everything else. I was able to live my dream in an old house (1861) for 17 years but had to give it up due to husband's health issues. I love to hear old stories connected to old houses and all antiques or old pieces that one can find and "wonder" about the life that it held. You are truly lucky to be able to live in your home and I know how much work was involved just getting the bead board ready to use. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

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