My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

The difference a day makes

Or in this case...3.

This weekend was one of those....
Wow! Look what we did type of weekends!
I managed to get a few Fall things out... Nothing really major...just a few touches here and there like this spring wreath I bought last year from TOT. I simply added some scrabble cards and book page leaves!

But in our new dining room...

We finished removing the 100 year old linoleum and tar paper back...

Bucket by bucket...inch by inch

Until it looked like this! Yay!

Once we complete the kitchen floor...we will rent the refinishing equipment and be done with the wood floors.
I am so glad we decided to reclaim the original floor! A lot of work but so cool!
Don't you think?

We hung the last of the dining room drywall and mudded it.
Then, cut a channel in the ceiling.The electrical  wire was then embedded over to where my chandelier will hang. This was the only way to get power in the middle of this room without tearing out the ceiling.My grandparents had drywall hung over the existing lathe and plaster and we didn't really want to take it down if we could help it.

We then turned our attention to the staircase. Made some foam board mock ups of a few banister designs.
My hubby calls these "Visual aides"

I wanted something cottagey with a touch of Swedish or Nordic fretwork.

What do you think?
I still have a few of the foam mockups to try out before we make the final decision...but I like this look.

This is the terribly narrow and steep staircase that we opened up.  (It was always closed in.)
It now feels wider even though it's not!

Years in 12 years ago...I handpainted this rug on the steps to lighten it up a bit.
I am repainting one but using a vintage feedsack as inspiration. More details on this project soon.

We are also turning the staircase into the dining room by changing the last 3 steps. More pie shaped and easier to navigate.

Well, that was our weekend... I am spending today cleaning up the drywall dust that has once again  permeated the entire house. Oh so much fun!
Have a wonderful week!
Until next time....


  1. Oh I had to do that once~scrape tar paper off an old wood floor. Blood and guts it took I tell ya! Your space is going to look fantastic~the best part is the staircase!! How fun is that, it really will be a cottage look! Love it!

  2. How exciting to see how things are coming along. I just love wood floors and think it should be considered a felony to cover them up unless they are unsafe or irrepairable.

    I love the banister design for your stairs. It's so unique! And I can't wait to see your feedsack idea come to life on those stairs. You have the best decorating ideas!

  3. My jaw has dropped and is hanging open...AGAIN! The amount of work you guys are accomplishing is enormous and it will be a magical home when completed. Hats off to you both and close my mouth lol.

  4. It;s so fun to watch your cute little place come together.

  5. Cute bed spring wreath and my what a lot of work ya'll have done!

  6. Donna dearest, what a great idea it is to do the mockups to give you a chance to live with the idea first. You really are a genius in my book sweetie. I am so glad you reclaimed the old floor. So glad! Everything is going to be so beautiful...I just know it!
    enjoy your day my friend. I will be getting mucked up in the garden.
    sending love...

  7. Donna,
    You are amazing! The stair mock up is brilliant! I must show this to my hubby. We have the wraught iron railing off of our stairs at the moment. At this point, I'm not sure that we should re- install it! A little millwork could be nice.

    Your photographs are so inspiring.
    Thank you for sharing.

  8. Keep the updates coming....I love watching progress!

  9. Oh wow! You can really see it taking shape now. The floors are going to be gorgeous, and i love the staircase and the railing mock up. The channel for the chandy is such a clever idea!
    I feel like i can almost visualize how cute this room is going to be now ...


  10. Donna- It is looking great- I know how much work it is...and will be ...but soooo worth it. I like the stair posts. They do look very Swedish-we have a whole Swedish settlement just North of us here in WI. People come from all over the US to visit.

    I can' wait to see the finished project there- and I'll bet YOU can't either- xo Diana

  11. Great mock up idea! great look..


  12. It is looking great Donna. I love that you went for it with the floors. Great decision! Looking forward to seeing more.

  13. Love the visual aid mock up staircase railing. Very smart idea. All of the labor of love you are putting into your home will be so rewarding. You and your hubby really make a great team to get so much done in so short a time.

  14. Donna~
    Wow!! What a weekend of work & accomplishments! I am so impressed!! When you get your home done, I'm thinking a book would be a great next project. You would have enough material from your posts & pictures. It could be informational & inspirational. I will continue to enjoy your progress.

  15. What a gorgeous space, I love that you are saving the floors! Can't wait to see the rest :)

  16. Donna, That floor is going to be abslutely beautiful... SO much work!
    I think that is brilliant to do the "visual aids".
    I can not wait to see more!
    Have a pretty day!

  17. I love to watch the progress on your house and can't wait to see it in all it's glory.

    I'd love to see the Cinderella pumpkin in "white"...oh my! I've never seen one, but the grayish green ones have always been my favorite.


  18. I think reclaiming the old floor is so worth it. Love the railing. It will look beautiful.


  19. Love that you are keeping the original floors! Tons of work but so worth it!

  20. Hello Donna, It's all shaping up. So happy for you,.Susie

  21. Oh Ya honey nothing like good old hardwood floors to shine up.

    now I have area rugs on my old hardwood and thinking off taking them up?

    it will be soooooooo nice when your done


Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment!
I love reading them~they truly make my day!
~Donna Reyné