Behind My Red Door

Behind My Red Door

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A dream come true…

I know a lot of you are waiting to see pics and hear a lot more about my trip to SC, but I truly have just not had the time to go through my pics and sit down to write a blog post. I just had to attend to my family, home and hearth (and yard!!) a bit. So today when I should be playing catch up here on my blog and I should be writing THAT post or the one I promised with additional pics of Michelle Ferris’ gorgeous home, instead, I am over the moon with excitement to share something else with you so I hope you will forgive me. No, it’s not another grandbaby on the way, now that would be amazing for sure, but this is something fun Behind My Red Door.


Photographing so many gorgeous homes has it’s downside. I see in person and close-up so many things I like and want that I WON’T ever have ~ like a bigger house with wide pine floors, walk in fireplaces, beamed ceilings, PAINTED woodwork and cabinets, soapstone counters and rooms filled with only the best antiques.


But there is something I have photographed several times that I decided I COULD have. It is something I have thought about for many years – long before blogging or being online or connecting with other prim gals through the Internet. Something I thought about attempting myself with my mom’s help before she became ill. I put that dream aside for awhile but then when I started going into so many great homes and shops, the desire began to stir again, I decided to take the steps to see if I could make it a reality.


First of all I contacted the artist Susan Dwyer. I know that is a dead giveaway to many of you of what is coming but for others, here it is… among other things, Susan paints murals and that is what I commissioned her to do. I have seen many of hers and photographed several and I knew she was the artist I wanted in my home. I emailed then we talked by phone and I told her my thoughts about a few places where I might want the mural and then I sent her pictures of those spaces. We chatted on the phone again and then she told me what she thought about where it would have the most impact and I knew immediately she was right! Then I asked her for an estimate based on the size of the wall, it being prepped ahead of time, how far she had to travel, what I did and didn’t want and other details like the fact that she didn’t need an extra tall ladder or staging. Then I braced myself to be disappointed and when she gave me the estimate, I was pleasantly surprised and knew it was truly doable. So we set a date – for today!! In the meantime I painted over the stenciling on the wall, patched all the holes and painted them and I made a list of what I wanted and didn’t want based on what I had seen in her murals and what I could see on her website. And I waited! When Susan arrived this morning, she also had her portfolio with her and I was able to point out some other things I liked and some things that just weren’t me. We talked about placement about a few key things and then I gave her free reign to work her magic! She got to work and I was so amazed to see it truly come to life. I took many photo’s during the process but you’ll only see the finished product here. I am saving the rest for an article for the magazine.


I have to tell you right now that saying I am happy and pleased with the results is an UNDERSTATEMENT if there ever was one! Susan hit the nail on the head and captured me and everything I wanted and then some.



So are you ready?? The mural is on the longest wall in our home. It starts down at the bedroom end and goes all the way to the other end of the house where the dining room and living room meet. I’ll take you down that wall…

This is the bedroom end of the house. The master bedroom door is to the right in this picture. When I am sitting here typing, if I did a 180 and turned around, this is what I see looking out the door to the hall. The nursery school that was a part of my life for 24 + years is in this church represented here. 113



Now that cupboard that I painted pumpkin (but it came out a wee bit too orange) looks right at home now!!!131



This wall is between the master bedroom and the bathroom. I wanted mountains, black sheep and the fence you see at Old Sturbridge Village and they are here!! Mr. Red Door sees this looking out his office door. 116




This is the wall between the bathroom and the kitchen looking down towards the other end of the house…110



Different lighting!! I have already enjoyed seeing the look change as the light changes…. it is part of the fun!! 125


Here is a detail from that wall you can’t see too well from the previous angle… my tree of life and red saltbox. My dream home! 127



Here is a view looking the other way…129



This is the last section of the wall between the kitchen and dining room and at the top of the stairs coming into the house – taken before the sun set…124



and after the sun set with some help of my photo lights.150



Can you see My Red Door and the brook and stone wall behind it? And there is Momma duck out by the maple tree. Oh be still my heart!! 143


This is what you will see as you come in My Red Door and walk up the stairs! Of course I will be tweaking this wall. The thermostat cover will stay but everything else is fair game now!! 120



Did you notice anything about the colors Susan used at my request?? 148


YUP!! I get to have fall ALL YEAR ROUND in my home now. Except for one teeny pumpkin by the front steps, there really is nothing except the coloring that says fall. And that is exactly what I wanted. I am just so thrilled.


Thank you Susan for making my dream come to life right before my eyes! You are truly an artist and I am honored to have one of your murals in my very own home. I know that every single day it will bring me joy and pleasure.


In addition to colonial murals, Susan does many other types of mural, portraits and paintings too! You can get to her website ~here~ and find her on Face Book ~here~.


Thank you all for stopping by today and I will try my hardest to finish that blog post about my trip to SC this weekend. And I will save Michelle’s pics for the next post because by then we will all be decorating for Christmas and she did that so well!!


I am so thankful for this home I have been blessed to live in since 1986. As I always say, it is not my dream home but where our dreams come true! Raising our kids, hosting family and friends for food, fun and comfort when their power goes out, and now where our grand daughter is excited to come and play with Meemee 3 days a week. When I sit down with my family this Thanksgiving, the blessings I count will be many. And with God’s will, the best of those blessings will be sitting at the table with me again NEXT Thanksgiving!!


I want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.


When we count our many blessings, it isn’t hard to see that life’s most valued treasures
are the treasures that are free.
For it isn’t what we own or buy
that signifies our wealth,
It’s the special gifts that have no price —
our family, friends, and health.
My prayer for you on this Thanksgiving
is that God will grant you all the blessings
of His gentle love.


And please say a prayer for all the service men and women who can’t sit down at home with their family this week because they are working to insure our safety and freedom.


Until next time – prim blessings and hugs, Linda