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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Monday, 10 February 2014
We have started working on our little schoolhouse in the woods.
It will become our home this spring, but for now we are picking away at projects when there is a little time to do so.
{and with work, homeschooling, our newly launched Kickstarter campaign, business and shovelling snow at two places time is in short supply!}
Beneath the Rowan Tree is known for rich, brilliant colours.
Yet my inspiration for this house is much more subtle.
The palette above really speaks to me, and I have no doubt it has a lot to do with the peace the little house brings to me -- you know, when you have found the "place just right".
But also the age of the home, 90 years, and the sheer amount of wood it boasts (original hardwood and wainscoting) which brings it's own richness and texture.

The mud room / porch is a little entry measuring roughly 6 x 8', with 9' ceiling.
It is enclosed and sided, but not heated.
It has the main front door, a door into the dungeon... er... cellar.
(I have lived in a lot of old houses and this cellar is immaculate, but it still has that deep dark dungeon-y feeling and twisty, worn, concrete steps.).
There is also a door into the main house which I hope to replace with something that will block the cold in winter but give sight lines to the front door (currently it is a solid interior door).

I wanted to start a project that was both affordable and simple, able to be completed during the snowy winter weather which limits many projects. Almost there ( and thank goodness for ceramic heaters!).

This is the porch:

And the original colour + a heavy coating of soot:
Thankfully, I have a little minion who thought that painting was fun.  Her enthusiasm lasted through the wall washing with TSP and into the priming, but she soon learned the truth about  'painting' -- that it is mostly cleaning, sanding, filling, sanding, fussing with trim and cutting in ---and very little painting.  There was also a window to frame.
Aware of this truth, I was enthusiastic until it came time to prime and paint the wainscoting... And get both in between each and every board. Endless. And I did mention the amount of wainscoting throughout the house?!
Finally, after a number of trips out to the house, it was time to paint!
I chose 'Pastel Sage' for the upper walls and ceilings.  The wainscoting is done in a warm white 'Fuzzy Mitten' and the floor will be a rich yellow green 'Crown of Laurels'.  It was tricky to choose two greens that didn't give a jungle camo effect! And, as an aside, I totally want to be a paint-colour-namer when I grow up!
The floor is waiting to be done now that Andy has fixed the interior step.  

And the challenge of creating storage solutions for this small space remains -- I have an old dresser to be refinished for storing as much as possible, a bench waiting to be built and some coat hooks to install.  Given that our weather in Northern Ontario often requires layers or gear from several seasons in play at once I am also figuring out how to store more items close at hand (perhaps in the basement stairwell as there is dead space behind the door).

Although I shouldn't say 'dead space' as Rowan and I, with our ridiculous imaginations, managed to scare ourselves silly out at the house at dusk... hearing the unfamiliar sounds of it settling, Rowan was sure we were surrounded by zombie ghosts (really? A zombie ghost? Impossible!) and I was sure it was a visitation by a cranky old schoolteacher's ghost (much more likely!). Oh boy <3.


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