Dang It!!

Did you ever see an idea that you just wish YOU had had…in fact that almost makes you swoon with sadness that you DIDN’T have it?  Well, occasionally I do…and usually it’s an idea so good but so unrepeatable, you can’t even steal it.  My stress relief is reading (well okay, “looking at”…) World of Interiors, a decorating magazine from England.  A guilty pleasure…all the fabrics I’ll never buy and the houses I’ll never own.  Perfect.  But in the January issue was an idea so fantastic and so close to home.  You probably won’t “get it” unless you have (or had) an old house that you rehabbed, but here it is…palimpsest at its best…Captain Kelly’s cottage on Tasmania’s Bruny Island, Melbourne architect John Wardle…

Back in the 1980’s we were doing this…

and we spent part of a summer trying to think how something of the “fabric” of this old house could be carried forward.  I read about an artist who sanded his plaster walls and kept all the dust in mason jars, we considered this and that, but in the end did the more conventional thing…

sigh.  The new banner is up…excitement builds…




  1. Good posting, Bonnie, and partly because this is something I NEVER NEVER EVER WANT TO GET INTO, or even begin to imagine. I feel devoid of that envisioning talent that can imagine how something can be other, made differemt, authentic maybe, in a home. Maybe it’s from spending many years in “cells” where everything was already decided. I don’t think so, though. It’s just something absent in me that I see present in you and all who do this sort of recreating. CHEERS! Ginny

  2. I remember when your front hall featured scraps of the old wall paper. For years. Loved it then, and love the new walls too. You’ve always got great ideas. I agree, this one does take the cake. Although, isn’t there some of the outdoor siding left inside in your addition walls? Xo

  3. bonnie, that palimpsest is a knockout! but the rehab roger and you accomplished on your home is gorgeous. enjoyed the pictures of roger at work back then. we are both excited to see this lucinda parker exhibition roger curated, especially after reading his monograph. we’ll be there for the opening, but it will take several visits to really put our roving eyeballs into the swaths and swirls of painting mastery lucinda has achieved. another major exhibit in salem!

  4. Back in the late ’80s when I lived in Munich we stripped wallpaper off our 1905 apt.’s walls and discovered remnants of Art Nouveau frescos! In a few spots where they weren’t too damaged I did trompe l’oeil painting of “missing plaster chunks” – so you could see the fresco bits underneath. Since this seemed very serious, in another spot where a chunk came off the bottom corner of a wall in the hallway, I bought tiny toy construction machinery and let it work away down there in the hole.
    Gosh. Kind of reminds me how inventive and fun my living space used to be. So adult now….

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