Sunday, May 9, 2010

Finishing the floors, North Bedroom

You'll remember we just finished repairing the walls and ceiling in the North Bedroom.  The color is a dark steel blue to match fabric found to make matching drapes. 

Last weekend, we pulled everything out of the North Bedroom in order to paint the floors two coats of a dark expresso color, "Coal" by Valspar.  I like the contrast between the painted floor and 10" off-white baseboards.  

Here are some photos taken this afternoon, while putting the furniture back into the room.  We changed the orientation of the bed, moving it to the long wall (17').   I'm more confident of this arrangement. 
Gone is the butterscotch color of the floors. 

The round table $15 thrift shop find.  Blue/white vase purchased at auction for one dollar.  The yellow- gold channel back chair--a gift from a friend. 

Salvaged ceiling fixture from the house.  Cleaned, re-wired, re-purposed two identical fixtures for the north and west bedrooms.  Free stuff is the best, isn't it?  Especially when you find yourself just wild about it, right? 

We have to remove everything from the rooms upstairs, (one more time, aghhhhhh) in order to install crown molding to all the rooms upstairs.  Unfortunately, that project is nearly at the bottom of our "winter" work list.

Tell me, have you given names to the bedrooms at your historical old house?  Did you use first names, or last names?  I've thought about naming rooms after previous owners. 

For the summer, I removed the shears from the windows.  Although they are very pretty shears, the view of the large front yard is much more fun.  And, with the shears out of the way, makes it easier to open the windows and enjoy the breeze. 

The household items left behind included a folder of papers . . . inside was the bill of sale for the standing steel roof (1955), and a letter from the 1950s congratulating previous owner on accepting the job as of president of our township.


  1. With everything coming together, I really love the soothing color scheme you've chosen for this bedroom. I could surely get a good night sleep in here! And I really love the way your molding stands out, showing the true age of the house, even without all the great furniture and touches you've so tastefully added. Great job!

    As for naming rooms, we don't really have many to begin with! But we've insisted on calling the future library "The Library" even though we've lived here 15 years and there's not a single book in there yet!


  2. Mrs. D.,

    I have been reading your blog for the last few months and enjoying the process of seeing your visions of the bedrooms come to life. I live in an old 1860 victorian house. We have been here 5 years now. Our bedrooms are named after the original owners and have brass plated nameplates on the doors.

    I was glad to hear that you are putting up crown moulding in the bedrooms. I wasn't sure if it was my computer screen or my eyesight going on me when I would see the top of the walls. The paint looked wavy to me. Now I know why. :) We have just finished wallpapering our master bedroom and I am painting and staining all the crown moulding to be installed. It is alot of work, as you well know, but oh so worth it. Victorian homes are the best places to live in my book!

    Keep up the fantastic work!!!


  3. Dear Anonymous Kathy,

    I would love to see photos of your 1860 Victorian house! Do you have a blog site? Re: brass nameplates, did you use last names or first names, or both?

    Mrs. D

  4. I don't have a blog, sorry. But I can send you pictures via email if thats possible?

    On our nameplates, the first and last names are used. I can take a picture of them and send that also.


  5. Hi Kathy,

    Yes, I would like to see photos of your 1860 Victorian! Send to Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Mrs. D

  6. Hi Linda, Seems there's always too little time for me to write with all the things I want to say and send. But, with the north bedroom being the room my mother and aunt spent their childhood years, I had to send you this quick note. All of your hard work is really showing, and it is a great pleasure to know that the house went to you and Jon. Thank you, Jeff Fossum

  7. Hello Jeff,

    Dear Jeff: We love this home (your family home) and are honored to work on it. I'm so flattered by your words. Happy, happy.

    The last room upstairs to finish is the hallway, and when I finish repairing the walls this fall, I'd like to hang your family photos there. The hallway length is 28ft. long. Will you send me more photograph scans that I can reproduce and hang in the hallway? I do have 5-6 scans you emailed me already.

    Tell me, do you have any photos of your Grandma Ruth? The 5-6 scans you sent me do not indicate names of people, but for the most part I figured out who they are. One photo image you sent, there is a lady standing by your great grandmoter Maren and I can't decide if she is an older Bessie, or if she is your grandmother Ruth??

    By the way, there is a historian in Scandinavia who has an audio interview he made with your grandfather Peter, done right here in this house in the summer kitchen. How exciting, eh? Trouble is, he can't find the tapes, but is still looking for them in his house. When the audio interview surfaces, I'll make copies for all of you.

    Jeff--you gave me a fabulous clue, saying your Mother and Aunt's childhood room was the North Bedroom. Which Aunt? Bessie? Gusta? or Ragnhild? Another question: the other bedrooms . . . who slept in those rooms?

    I hope you kids will come visit (please, please). Maybe you could orchestrate a family reunion in the house. I'd love to host that event for sure. As you can see we have plenty of bedrooms and you should plan to stay here of course. I have a zillion questions.

    It is so exciting to hear from you. I hope you will send me more photos to make the upstairs hallway "smile" with faces of the people who lived here. Afterall, it will always be your family home. Jon and I are just custodians. I want to do all I can to celebrate its history.

    Linda (Mrs. D)

  8. Hi Linda (Mrs. D),

    Thank you very much for your kind words.

    Your idea of decorating the hall with photos from our family heritage is a very generous tribute for us who have so many memories and have heard so many stories about the place that is now your home. It may take some time to round up photos from family members who live all over, but I would be happy to help with that task. One of the biggest challenges might be the “smiles” as mentioned in your message. Haven’t seen much smiling in that era of photography!

    Your offer of our having a reunion there is incredibly generous. Nevertheless, even if we are not able to arrange that in the foreseeable future, ask any time if you have a "zillion" questions. If I don’t know, I can put an all-points-bulletin out to the family members for our collective memories.

    As for who was in which room – in the times when my mother was growing up there, the north bedroom was hers and my aunt’s. The west bedroom was Gusta’s and the east bedroom was Randi’s. The south bedroom was Bessie’s until she married and moved to Ohio, after which, I believe it was for Aunt Minnie (Maren’s sister, Tomine Gurholt). The front (north) bedroom downstairs was for my great-grandparents, and my grandparents were in the other bedroom. When Bessie and Leon moved back from Ohio in their retirement, they were in the front bedroom for a while until they moved down to the other house.

    Hope this helps.

    All the best,


    PS -- If you locate the audio tape of my grandfather, a copy would be a treasure to me.

  9. Hi Jeff:

    Dear Jeff:

    Thanks for the cool information about who slept where. I've been wondering about that for a long time.

    I told Jon your news about who slept where and he said I should make brass plates for the upstairs doors: Donna & Mary Jane's Room, Gusta's Room, Ragnhild's Room, Bessie's Room.

    My Mother Lorraine asks if there was ever a backstairs to the house. I don't see evidence to that, but I promised her I'd ask you.


  10. Hi Linda, Although a back stair would have been convenient for taking wood up to the heater stoves, I don't think there ever was one. Best, Jeff

  11. Linda, I imagine you have already seen the website There are a couple of stories written by my aunt about Maren and Minnie. In the one about Maren, there is a photo included that I think may be the image you were asking about earlier. The spelling of names does not look correct to me, but it might help answer your question. Have a great day, Jeff

  12. Dear Jeff:

    My oh my. My Mom and I sure enjoyed reading the article written by your Aunt Donna at the Voie website. This is the first time I've seen (known about) the website. Wow, it blew me away!!

    At the Voie website there are two articles written by Donna, each article has a different photograph. Very nice. Wish I could get a nice scan of those photos!

    Could I have permission to copy the articles on my website? I started a Quien genealogy on I'd like to post it there too.

    Would you consider writing to me at my email address?