Instead of highlighting a single house in this post, I’m going to show you my favorite ideas from Heritage Days in Spring City (catch up by clicking here). Most of these homes were small but packed with great ideas and can-do attitude. Here are some of the most practical, yet beautiful things I saw:
1. No flagpole, no problem—just hang your flag vertically from the porch.
2. Take cues from what’s already there. One homeowner found a little bit of green on a cabinet when she bought her house; instead of tearing it out, she had other cabinets built and painted to match. And you can’t even tell which one is the old one.
3. If you don’t have an adorable piece of furniture on the wall below your staircase, go buy something stat.
4. Long live linoleum floors!
5. Make your space work. This bedroom with angled ceilings made it tricky for fitting a brass bed. No problem—just turn the bed around. Not feng shui, but hey, it’s a novel idea and cute in a room full of beds like this one was.
6. Think you don’t have room for a dining table? Think again. This one was squeezed between the sofa and the wall and looked beautiful (also, the blue trim in this room is to die for).
7. Fill in spaces with pea gravel. Aren’t flagstone paths lovely? This one was planted with ground cover that hadn’t entirely filled in. To make the path seem more established, pea gravel was scattered in the empty patches. I loved this idea so much I’m doing it at my own house this weekend.
8. Mix eras at will. This dining room has an Art Deco table, turn-of-the-century chairs, and a midcentury bench. It’s darling.
9. Hang something different on the wall, like this vintage apron in a laundry room.
10. Barn doors aren’t just for farmhouses. I love this multi-light door painted yellow and mounted on bard-door hardware. It’s a great space saver.
11. Skirted sinks always look quaint (though I’m not sure about that wallpaper…).
12. Hang utilitarian objects, like a broom, where you’ll use them, like in this dining room.
13. Don’t want huge panes of glass in your shower? Hang an angled rod instead and use two shower curtains.
14. And lastly, this tip is for all the young folks buying historic homes with wood shakes on the roof. My sister has one, and hers is deteriorating by the day. What to do? We asked the man who owns the two-room house below, and he recommended this concoction:
Combine five pounds of graphite with one gallon of paint thinner. Mix until graphite is completely mixed in and breaking down.
Add five gallons of linseed oil.
Brush unto the roof edges with a wide paint brush; spray the rest of the roof with the mixture in a garden weed sprayer. Do NOT apply on a windy day, and cover all nearby cars (or move them, and tell your neighbors to do the same).
Increase the ratios above as needed to cover entire roof. Repeat every five to seven years.
Whew! That’s a lot of good takeaways! Have you ever picked up a great tip on a home tour? If so, what was it?
I sure loved this trip to Spring City, and I hope I’ve inspired you to make the trip someday too. •