Sunday, August 25, 2013

If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride

Or to paraphrase the old proverb, if wishes were dining rooms, I would like this one, please.

[source: wildflowerlinens.com]

It may not be as grand as those wished for by Beverley Nichols in Merry Hall.....

"Visions of candlelit parties


[source: stonegable.blogspot.com]

bare shoulders reflected in gesso mirrors


[source: Vogue January 1933]


Sheraton sideboards,


[source: williamreubnks.com]


Tio Pepe in Georgian decanters,


[source: coritani.com]


spinach souffles,


[stevepaleo.blogspot.com here]

Nectarines from the walled garden,


[beyondthewildgarden.wordpress.com here]


Chateau Yquem with walnuts."



Yes, Mr. Nichols, a dining room would be loverly. With a table that could be set ahead without rush. Where guests could enter at night after candles were lit, like walking onto a stage set. They would be surrounded by beautiful ornaments or paintings to talk about if conversation lagged. But, of course, it would not. The ambience would be such that conversation would sparkle. The meal would be savored, no dirty pots and pans stacked in the sink in plain view. Naturally, the table setting would be blog-worthy. How could it help but be?

I yearn for a separate dining room. Here is what I call our "small dining room," as though there were a large dining room somewhere, through a door I have yet to open.


It is at one end of a long narrow room that originally was the back porch of this old farmhouse. Here is the opposite end of it, which for 14 years contained my kitchen in a closet-sized space. My stove stood where the red door is now. It opens to the laundry room we added when we added the new kitchen. The stacked picnic baskets serve an important purpose. They hold all my cloth napkins. And if you zoom in on the ceiling here you can see the unusual pattern of half-moon trowel work that was done back when the porch was made into a kitchen and the original kitchen became a bedroom. The original owners' grandsons stopped by not long after we moved in and told us that was done in the late 1930s, when they were about ten years old. While visiting their grandmother, they slept in a room built on top of the root cellar.


The small dining room is where our grandsons' table was when they were young, and where their girlfriends were seated with them eventually. Now no one wants to sit in the children's dining room, now that they are grown up, except for little Nora, so it is merely a cozy space without much function. At one end is the old wood ice box that R.H. spent hours restoring decades ago. It holds lightbulbs mainly, and cereal boxes.




There is a narrow table holding family photographs, and over it hangs an original charcoal drawing of an old local railroad depot, Amqui Station, drawn back in the 1970s by local artist Burnard Wiley. It was my Christmas gift to R.H. one year. Afraid the depot would be demolished, Johnny Cash bought the building and moved it ten minutes away to The House of Cash. After Cash's death it was again moved and is now The Amqui Station and Visitors Center, dedicated to railroading. The Amqui Music & Arts Festival will be there on September 28, 2013.




On the opposite wall are old built-in cupboards that give me extra dish storage. The feed sack curtains hide Christmas decorations for the rear of the house. 


The first cupboard holds dishes in bright colors and punch cups hanging from hooks.



The third cupboard holds mostly odds and ends of china.


But it is the middle cupboard that is my "happy" cupboard. It contains Christmas dishes, and I open it up all year round for a little Christmas cheer.


See the old red and white enamel dinette table that the previous owners left in the smokehouse when we bought this place.....


It could serve as extra dining space for a few people but no one wants to be separated from the others eating at the big kitchen table. Behind this old table, the windows look out to the smokehouse. Why have we never shown the smokehouse interior to you? Because it is not a space you would want to pin on Pinterest.


With a ton of work it would make a beautiful garden shed, but it is also home to our big Brown Eyes. He has a big doghouse inside to sleep in when it's cold in the winter and a cool cement floor for when it's hot outside. The generator is inside here as are bins of birdseed, tools, and the empty milk jugs filled with water that R.H. thinks we'll need if there's ever a water shortage. Here is the back of the smokehouse.

And the side that faces the "small dining room."


Now, this is the point of this whole long post on dining rooms. Wouldn't it make perfect sense to knock out the wall in the "small dining room" for a long table and chairs, windows all along the side, with a garden door stepping out to a tiny enclosed terrace between the new dining room and the smokehouse? With a slanted roofline for a cozy feel? A shelf under the windows for serving dishes? Makes perfect sense to me.

Mind you, we will not be doing this. R.H. and our sons could do the work. It would just be a matter of pulling them off other jobs, jobs that actually pay instead of costing. See what I mean?

Ah, but I can dream, and in my mind I have furnished it, set the table, lit the candles, and carried in the food. I need only to call my guests. It could possibly look like this. Yes, this would about do it, I think.


"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."

Tell me, fellow beggars, what is your horse, if you had a wish?


27 comments:

  1. OH- I love your dining room. My horse would take me to the coastline in a small cottage that opened onto the ocean. Peace and serenity would be my neighbors- xo Diana

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  2. I L O V E your dream . . . dream is what we do . . . because if we have no dreams, we don't accomplish much.

    I also love your checkered floor.

    I just spent an afternoon with an old friend who HAD everything, the perfect dining room, perfect kitchen nook, the perfect home, a great husband, she traveled the world, she is talented and successful, BUT she complained about every little thing that didn't go perfect. And one day, after 41 years, the husband said, "I can't take this anymore. It is never enough". So he left. And today, she talked about a cruise she just took on the Rhone for 12 days visiting Monte Carlo and Paris and numerous other beautiful places. But was she happy? No, she complained about the cruise and that there were too many happily married people and no one wanted to sit with her.

    So, I sit in my tiny dining room and like you I dream, but I am content with what I do have and I know from your blog, that you are too.

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  3. Dewena, everytime I pick up a house beautiful magazine I dream and tell my husband I want everything... keeps me going.. LOL

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  4. It would be the perfect dining room, Dewena. This reminds me of my daughters' paternal grandparents' porch. It was extra dining space and in later years a small sleeping area was curtained off. The porch was where G'ma B set up the kid table for special gatherings. It was also where she did the laundry. The sewing machine was there, too. I have special memories about that porch in one of those small native stone cottages that just simply say Missouri Ozarks.

    I love your dream dining room!

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  5. I like your own house better than all the pictures... love the old formica topped table the best. What a homey place and one I know your kids love to come home to!

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  6. I'd also love a separate dining room, but alas, it is not to be in this house. Love the photos of your house, Dewena, and I must say I envy all those cupboards. You know I am a unrepentant dish collector and I so wish I had storage for more and more of them!

    xo
    Claudia

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  7. I'd also love a separate dining room, but alas, it is not to be in this house. Love the photos of your house, Dewena, and I must say I envy all those cupboards. You know I am a unrepentant dish collector and I so wish I had storage for more and more of them!

    xo
    Claudia

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  8. Like Claudia, my dream is another home where I can give it the total abbey style treatment. It would take renting out our summer condo and selling our Florida house to move in...
    The dining room would have a long, monastery table that I once saw in an antique store (the memory of it still haunts me...it had a drawer for each place at the table where the monks kept their place settings and writing papers.) Overhead would be a great crystal chandelier and we would dine on hand-thrown pottery dishes. Another part to that dream is a fireplace...I've always wanted one but it was never in the cards.

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  9. Your home is lovely! Thank you for opening your cabinets for us! I know what you mean about dreaming of a dining room. We had a small galley type eat in kitchen in our first twenty years little house. No room for big family gatherings!

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  10. how i dearly love catching glimpses of your valley view.
    and the first and last picture would definitely be my choice. I love rustic elegance.
    but I have to say dear one...
    on december 26 in a post called 'so fleeting'... i was browsing and re~enjoyed ... is that even a word? it is now i guess! i re~enjoyed looking at all those loving faces... wallace and defee and baby nora and grandsons alex and drake with you ... and caleb and gurn and teena and ... oh! just family. around that beautiful table in that gorgeous yellow kitchen! perfection i'd say! and your table was all about christmas in the best way. better than any old formal dining room. even one as perfect as in this lovely post!
    love and xoxoxo
    and ps... i love his big brown eyes with the soul of a person inside!!!
    a nose kiss for him.

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  11. We have a living room / dining area in our house. I sometimes wish to knock out a wall and build a separate dining room. Ah, well :) BTW, your house is very cool.

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  12. You've got some great pieces in that room! I'm now following :)
    Susan

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  13. I LOVE That dining room and have showed it on my blog before...this time I remembered to pin it. It is far more rustic than I usually go for but Wow...it's just so gorgeous. I know its the colors I like. But I think your dining space is very charming. I love that wall of cupboards! And the ceiling in the room is great.

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  14. Dewena, When it comes to entertaining..my house isn't big enough for all I want to do...when it comes to cleaning, my house is way too big for me. LOL.. I always wanted one big long farm table...big enough to seat 12 or more.. Hope you have a wonderful week. xoxo,Susie

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  15. My dining room is now my sewing room; makes it easier to keep it in the house when winters' snows arrive.

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  16. Dewena, thanks for sharing your dining room dream; I have a tiny dining area and tiny kitchen too....I sometimes wish my little cape-cod home can grow into a center-hall house...it would a tiny one but beautiful all the same. For now I live with what I have ...it's all good! :)

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  17. Don't forget the servants to dust and clean and they clear the dishes between courses.

    Dewena I was chuckling in delight as I read this and here is why!!! I just splurged on a magazine in Rite Aid called "Vintage Style" because I could not resist the beautiful variety and colorful rooms and decor and to boot, the magazine actually still felt like one...as in it had more than 10 pages. ANYWAY your first three photos ( of YOUR room ) could have been in that magazine...not kidding you!

    I rarely spend money on magazines anymore but I have a few and over and over I buy them because there are rooms with color on the walls or pops of color on furniture or collectibles and so on and your room in those pictures is the exact sort that would make me buy a magazine. I love it!

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  18. Love that old table. I left one behind similar to that that was blue.
    Brenda

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  19. I would absolutely love a beautiful dining room, of course farm style with a huge harvest table in the middle. I love feeding people even though I don't get too all that often out here. I have such little space in this house for a table at all and I would just love one... a place to entertain over long meals with wine and good friends. Love that first picture, it's gorgeous! I enjoyed these picture and now you've got me thinking! Maybe some day :)

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  20. Dewena, I love this room! All of that wonderful storage, and I love that you have the Christmas cabinet arranged so beautifully and can leave the doors open all of the time. Your enamel dinette set is wonderful, and in such great shape. is that the original upholstery on the chairs? I bet you could add on a d.r. if you sold that set! No telling what it's worth. Just looking at that stack of wonderful baskets makes me smile, and I love the colors in the room. You're not going to believe this, but my horse would probably be something like your smoke house. I'd love to have some kind of charming building outside, where I could store stuff and have a little bit of a get-away room. I don't have a dining room (what used to be a d.r. is a study, and their are so many books piled on the table, it would take days for me to clean it off for dining), but I really am ok with that. We have a dining table in the family room and one in the sunroom, and it feels less formal than going into a dining room. I'm afraid formal isn't a language we speak in our home. Good post, and I really do love your room. laurie

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  21. Oh, yes! so many pretty things, I don't know where to start - how about the Christmas cabinet? I also have my Christmas dishes out where I can sneak a peek year round. The teal-ish worn colors are dreamy!

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  22. This was such a lovely post. My dream would to have a constant stream of guests to sit at that lovely table of your dreams! I'm happy to have found your blog, since you left a comment on mine earlier. I'll be following you now!

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  23. Dewena, I loved this post! Your home is charming and I love your small dining area with the checkered floors and the vintage enamel table. It's fun to have dreams and to fantasize because sometimes dreams do become reality. My horse would take me to a nice out building in the back of my home where I could create a furniture painting studio

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  24. My sweet friend,

    As always, you spoiled us with beautiful images, both of your home, as well as that elegant blue dining room of your dreams, in addition to your detailed thinking process, which is perfected in your prose! After having studied the dream dining room and the real dining room, I have to say that I prefer your own, for its red and white charm and cozy farmhouse feel. The warm yellow on the walls, high ceiling, pretty painted furniture and classic black and white tiles, not to mention pleasant views, are pure ambiance! You ARE living the dream, my dear Dewena, so take a seat at your adorable vintage table and savour the luxury of a cozy, bright and colourful space!

    xo
    Poppy

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  25. So happy to visit with you this afternoon. What a charming home you live in filled with such delights. Your Christmas dishes are wonderful and I like that you keep them where you can enjoy them. God bless your afternoon.

    Mildred

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  26. Oh, I'm with ya on the first dining room. It is wonderful!!! Hmmmm.....I guess that my wish would definitely be either a greenhouse or a conservatory.

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  27. I do love the dining room of your dreams, but your home is so quaint and cozy. Give me quaint and cozy any time over regal. Our home is quite large, but I'd move to a farmhouse in a heartbeat if I had a chance. Just like being close to my kids. I love your cupboards and dishes! Also, that table, what a treasure. I hopped over from My Little Bungalow. Happy to be a new follower.
    hugs,
    Jann

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