Mimi’s Guest House
Our first guests stayed at Mimi’s Guest House over the weekend. We have been working hard with this deadline date looming. There are a few items to add to the walls – a sign or two – but we have completed the task before us. Let me give you a tour.
When you approach the house, it appears as though it is a very traditional home with the brick fissod and large white columns. Split foyers were common in the 70’s and makeovers for them are hard to find. I think I broke the mold and thought “outside the box” on most aspects of this house. But – from the outside – it does have presence with the rose bushes, the manicured landscape, and even the rocking chairs.
Entering the house, my hope is that it feels like a home. The stair tread color jumps at you right off the bat and invites you in. First you will notice my unconventional “wallpaper.” When my parents first bought the farm, we found old newspaper used as wallpaper in the basement stairwell area. We always thought it was a cool feature because the newspaper was from the 30’s so the ads and articles were such a hoot to read. That was my inspiration but with a twist. I infused dated paper from many sources mostly with a farm theme but I also incorporated many personal tidbits and photos that most will not realize is indeed personal. I consider it a memory wall of sorts. Many pictures of my mom in various stages of her life along with family memorabilia.
Opening up some walls – but not all – created the open concept which lends itself to several groups of people lounging in their own areas yet with a connection with everybody. By opening up the walls – creating faux windows in the middle wall – it really allows the light to transfer from one side to the other. Decor style is something like rustic chic. I love turquoise but wove the old barn wood and repurposed floors and boards with an array of family heirlooms, antiques, and purposeful decor items. I wanted my mother represented and honored so somehow this renovated refurbished home is a bit of us both – as a daughter usually is….so it is the same with this home.
My mother was an artist – not acclaimed but everybody who knew her knew she was. Her artistic flair was in everything from photography in the 50’s, tole painting in the 60’s, oils in the 70’s, china painting and watercolors throughout the last 35 years. I swear she must’ve given away hundreds of china plates to friends or as wedding gifts. I know she painted personal watercolor greeting cards to another hundred or so. It was her way of artistic expression and to show love – plain and simple. I have displayed some of her work on the walls and some of her heirlooms on shelves, on walls, and in old turquoise mason jars.
My parents bought the farm in 1976 at an absolute auction. There is a wonderful story about it all which I won’t include here but will include in the book version (another pipe dream is to indeed write a book about the farm). I found the flier of the auction in my mom’s stash of pictures and stored treasures. We also have a aerial photo of the farm during the construction of this house. These bits of memorabilia add a touch of the past to the updated conversion.
The upstairs touts the master suite with an eclectic king sized inviting bed. Large windows with great views plus plenty of space – a great vanity area and private – all on the main level. Powder bath has been updated in a garden theme as my mother was also known for her flowers and the way she generously gave plants and seeds to countless visitors.
Downstairs are three more beds – all queen size. These rooms are also filled with family antiques, old mirrors, and many repurposed items. I used quite a few of my mother’s furniture pieces but many were altered or painted. I love turquoise – did I already say that?….of course I did. I made sure I added a bit of that downstairs as well. A large bathroom downstairs accommodates quite nicely those guests.
The views from all windows and even the front door showcase the beauty of the farm and of our special valley. The back porch has been redecorated to be a very inviting peaceful place to sit and take in the beauty of the barn, the gardens, and the landscape. I am pretty sure that my mom built her bottle tree before they became so chic. For a lady who never drank wine – she was so tickled when we donated empty wine bottles leftover from some of the weddings. Often these furniture pieces and decor that are dotted here and there – inside and out – tells a story – revives a memory for me – but helps to create the ambiance of a home-place. We work hard to keep all of her flower beds in bloom which certainly adds color and beauty to the landscape. My daughter Jill has inherited the “love of flowers” from me and my mom. She has done a wonderful job in continuing the legacy of managing the seed inventory, planting the flowers all over the farm, as well as the sweat in keeping them tidy.
We have turned the corner and began an additional journey. We have welcomed guests to the farm for now our fifth year and we have enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. Adding this home option for day of usage as well as potential overnight lodging will hopefully be an asset to our brides and her family or guests. We plan on allowing some mid-week rentals through AirBNB so no telling who we will meet as we welcome people to experience a bit of our family farm. ~ Margie
P.S. Special thanks to Rachael at RaeVen Photography for capturing the heart and soul of our home.