Moving toward civilization.

Today was my house blessing of Theophany. I was glad it had been delayed a few weeks after the feast on January 6th, because I wanted to put the house in order beforehand, especially the construction/storage areas that were still in process until a few weeks ago.

So as I was getting things spiffed up for today’s event, I thought, this is the time to share a few carefully chosen images, for those — maybe only a very few? — of my readers who are interested in the indoor physical landscape of my days.

My total remodeling project is not done, but nothing stops me now from living fully in my three new rooms — that is, once I unpack and figure out how to arrange things. I’ve bought a few pieces of furniture and have taken a carload of stuff to the thrift stores, but there is still a lot of processing and figuring out to do. I ordered a cozy armchair that won’t be here until about Pascha (May), and I can’t finalize the arrangement of the morning/sewing room until I get that.

Above is a photo of the morning room from a year ago, and there are lots of Before and In-Process pictures in a post aptly named: Hodgepodge. I don’t intend to show any of the remaining hodgepodge or mess. Instead, I picked out a few tidier scenes or items to focus on.

Above, you can see through the doorway at left into my bedroom. My goddaughter Mary’s father A. made the cabinet doors for me and trimmed out everything. It was so heartening to have someone who was enthusiastic about doing the work and even communicated with me about it! Not to mention the beauty of the result. He had no part in the work that I complain about farther down.

I’m sure I’ll be rearranging sewing things again and again, but for now, I have all my fabric and projects in the cabinets in the proper room. I did remove five boxes full of fabric from my stash, which I will give away, but I kept all of my Waldorf doll supplies. And all of the luscious fabric I brought home from India.

The cluttered environment has disturbed me inwardly, I always knew that, but when I managed to open up floor space and dresser tops, and whittle down the mass of unpacked boxes to take up less and less space in corners… why, I felt like a new person, becoming civilized! It was very calming.

At right is an unfinished area of my bedroom, which had to get repaired after pulling out an old built-in cabinet. There was a nail still sticking out so I put up this hanging I found in a box, that I made eons ago. I still have a lot of painting to do (I should say, for someone to do) in my room, and a few other rooms of the house.

The new bathroom is pleasantly boring in beiges and white, tile and granite. I wanted it that way so I could have colorful towels and shower curtain. That storage cabinet at left I found at Home Depot and bought another one for the master bath.

I have so many interesting little tables that I am fond of for various reasons. This one is a hundred years old at least, and used to live at my husband’s family’s summer cabin. I have never known it as the patio table it was obviously designed to be; it always sits along a wall as a shelf, and its known to be wobbly on its own. But I will probably keep on keeping it, at least while I am in a big house.

My closet got refurbished, and I added a little dressing table to replace what got lost when the two rooms were linked by a door in that spot. It was so long between the time I made decisions and the completion of those shelves, I don’t remember how I ended up with melamine, which is really cheap. So I bought a piece of plastic to put on the dressing table top, to protect it from getting wrecked. The next picture shows the view from the bathroom.

On the dressing table right now I have a Valentine’s Day card I gave to my husband a really long time ago; and an icon of St. Porphyrios.

This is the one bank of drawers I have in the closet. Because it has nice drawer pulls it looks upscale and makes the closet feel fancy — until I want to open the bottom drawer, which as you can see sits right on the floor. So that doesn’t work very well. The shelving units didn’t fit nicely in the crooked old closet space and there are shims and gaps everywhere. Like a 1-2″ space at the ceiling, big enough to collect dust and spiders, but too small to store anything — except for our entire vinyl collection! Maybe I will find some other belongings that are conveniently short and flat, that need storing.

I have oh so many paintings, pictures and other beloved items that eventually I will find new places for, on the walls of several rooms, after the painting and furniture arranging are complete. I’ll leave you with one that I had forgotten about, a little Peruvian farm scene made in Peru, a style of tapestry that was sold in a local shop in a past era. One more thing I am looking forward to incorporating in my newly civilized, homey decor.

“It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.”

-G.K. Chesterton

10 thoughts on “Moving toward civilization.

  1. What a difference it must make to have your makeover done and the space in which to rearrange your precious things. Enjoy moving them around to your satisfaction.


  2. Congratulations, Gretchen. That is a tremendously big accomplishment and it looks absolutely beautiful. I love that cabinet and it’s all the more special, given the personal nature that it was made just for you by someone you know. It’s really beautiful. Your “shelf table” is lovely as well. I love tables like that. What a special day. Blessings to you and your home.


  3. I love it all– so pretty and happy! But that Peruvian wall hanging really captured me. I think there’s nothing I love more than scenes of everyday life in different places (whether in art or in books). We are all more alike than we are different, really. The sameness unites, and the differences enchant.


  4. I am glad for the happy ending to the long saga of what was to be a simple remodeling job; yikes, the conspiring circumstances were many. How fun to see your fabric now peeking out from a cupboard, beckoning to you to come and sit and be and do in this part of your house. May the blessings continue in every nook and cranny and the family for which you did this remodeling, be once again able to visit freely and fill your house with the ever growing love you brought forth with your dear Valentine.


  5. Thank you for the little tour! I’m always interested in what other people do with the insides of their homes. Those are some very lovely sewing cupboards.


  6. I enjoyed seeing the way you’re organizing all your things. All the new closet spaces just waiting to be filled with various bins and boxes (no doubt neatly labeled).
    I didn’t realize you had Home Depot stores in California. They are great places to find all manner of useful things.
    This weekend my DH helped our oldest GD Kate make shelves in her storage room ( in her townhouse). Today is a holiday so she had all day to organize her ‘stuff’. A girl after my own heart.


  7. LOVE the Chesterton quote! 🙂 So glad you’re getting things organized so you feel less stressed and can enjoy your pretty house. That shower curtain is just my style, lol. And the Peruvian hanging is so fun! Thanks for sharing your house! 🙂


  8. I really like the Chesterton quotation. Home is such an important place, especially these days. I always enjoy seeing how people organize their belongings and make their homes reflect their personal taste. The Peruvian wall hanging looks just like one I have from Ecuador. Since they are neighbouring countries, both with Andean culture, that’s not so surprising.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful! I love that custom closet! We didn’t have our house blessing this year because of Covid, but our aging priest just got his vaccine, so maybe he can come and do something around Eastertime.


  10. Oh so many marvelous spaces to be filled as your imagination wills. The dressing table is dressed up oh so fine and no doubt fills you with pleasant thoughts.


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