We all need our 'happy places' don't we? That place we can visit when life stresses us out. To some, their happy place is a book, a long country drive, a cabin up north, or even a favorite movie.
Mine, as many of you already know, is the open-air museum Greenfield Village. But, unfortunately, I can't always travel the half hour car ride through car-congested downtown Detroit to get there. The Village is also closed from January through mid-April, which is really a shame.
However, during the open season of spring, summer, and autumn, stepping inside the homes in the Village really gives me a sense of (I hope I don't sound too corny or new-age-y here) inner peace. When I enter the parlor of the Adams House, I feel like I'm home. When I enter any room in the Firestone Farmhouse, again, I feel like that's where I belong.
So, what can one who lives in a 1944 bungalow in a place far removed from the 19th century do to rectify the situation during the off season of the historical village, or when one just can't take it anymore??
Well, you do what any normally crazy person would do - - - you create your own!
Well, kinda sorta...
In the late '90's we remortgaged our home to add a rather large room on the back. The design was roughly based on a room from the Eagle Tavern at the Village: the Gathering Room (or Ladies Parlor). We knew what we wanted and what it was for and our vision was taking the first step toward reality. You see, over the years, Patty and I have collected a number of antiques (and a couple of replicas) to add to the authenticity of whatever home (or apartment) we may live in. Nothing rare or highly collectible, just your everyday items found in the homes of the mid-to-late 19th century; a sofa, sette', spinning wheel, oil lamps, whatnot shelf, etc.
And we were building a room that we hoped would become 'home' to these pieces.
Now, I realize that this room is not 100% period accurate. I simply cannot afford that. But, it's the best I can do until I can actually move into a real period house in a real period neighborhood ( do you hear me Romeo? Romeo, Michigan that is!).
So, to create my own Greenfield Village room (as friends refer to it) I cooked up a batch of my favorite scenes in the homes of the Village: we created the main 'crust' - the gathering room (or ladies parlor) at the Eagle Tavern, as I stated above, next we threw in a touch of Firestone Farm, mixed that with the parlors of the Adams house, and finished it off with a smidgen of Daggett Farmhouse.
The outcome? Our back room!
One side of our "Greenfield Village room" (as our friends call it)
The other side