The “Artist’s Retreat”

Today, I will simply tell you the story of how I furnished my crooked little guest bedroom and about its first guest.

The bedroom at the rear of the house is really very nice, albeit a tad sloped! And, it’s bright!

I initially just used the room to put stuff in. Boxes and everything I didn’t know what to do with yet.

But then I bought some good light-blocking curtains:

2017-08-24 17.22.00

And felt I could also replace the blinds (I really am not fond of those ubiquitous mini-blinds) with sheers:2017-08-25 14.19.26

And slowly began carrying furniture upstairs. My blue chair:2017-10-05 17.03.25

The “secretary,” which I polished up a little:2017-10-05 17.03.35

And I set up my sewing corner there since the curtains all needed hemming.2017-10-05 17.03.56

I got a lamp or two and a rug at Ikea, my neighbor gave me the wicker nightstand, it was all coming together:2017-11-02 13.48.20

2017-11-02 13.48.32

Then in late September or early October, friends from Edinburgh visited New York. She is a documentary filmmaker/producer and her son a budding screenwriter, as far as I knew and to use a another cliché. (Turns out he’s also a sculptor.) They visited us, we visited them in their fantastic air bnb on the East River. I asked Silas what his next plans were and he said was heading around the country…to Chicago and California, etc. for a few months. I told him once, then told him again very sincerely that if he needed a place to stay I had a house in Philadelphia and he was more than welcome.

And, my word, he sent me an email a few days later from Chicago and took me up on my offer. Said he could really use the last two weeks before he flew back to Scotland to write and would love to stay in the house!

So, although it was a few weeks away, I decided to finish furnishing it and not wait for more furniture to land on street corners for me to pick up. By December 1, I had it ready AND the curtains hemmed!

2017-12-01 10.17.382017-12-01 10.17.45

The paintings on the walls below are all by my great-grandfather, Clarence E. Kendrick, who spent part of his childhood on Arch Street and studied architecture in Philadelphia. The blue and white afghan on the table was crocheted for me by his daughter, my grandmother.2017-12-01 10.17.56

The artwork below is by Matisse and is not an original. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯2017-12-01 10.18.08

2017-12-01 10.18.19

Silas was a great guest, got his work done, used the kitchen to cook himself and me (I wasn’t there the entire time) nice vegetarian meals and I cooked him one or two. When I came back to see him off, he had bought me a lovely vintage tureen as a thank you gift.

Thanks, Silas!2017-12-14 09.24.20

2017-12-13 14.41.55If you’re an artist and want a quiet place to work, if you’re not an artist and want a bright and quiet place to stay while you’re in Philadelphia, please let me know. I love company! The local train station that takes you to center city is a few blocks away. Germantown Avenue is also a few blocks away and quite a lovely avenue, indeed, with shops and restaurants to explore.

*  *  *

Congratulations, me! I have – in less than a week — now caught up on this blog, which I should have begun writing last year.

If you, dear reader, have followed me closely, you know a little about how I found the little crooked house, some of its “issues,” how I painted the front door, recycled some chairs and wallpaper, you’ll be an expert in replacing a kitchen sink basket strainer, have seen Luigi build me a new driveway, visited the guest bedroom and will wonder, as I do, how well my garden will grow.

But don’t despair! The work is never-ending!

A lot of time has been put in on the basement transformation and I’m almost finished with it. That will provide me with food for thought and photos for at least three posts.

I may not be able to finish my kitchen until the house gets its butt-lift, but I’m going to make it the best it can be in a few weeks: I will be using a “Cabinet Restorations” kit and also plan to build (well, shape and finish) my own new upper cabinet doors!

I’m collecting material so I can build a TV stand to replace the board-plus-file-boxes I am currently using for my “entertainment centre.”

Oh, dear, I also need to do so much work on the porch!

You will hear all about my feisty friends at Retro Renovation and get a sneak peak of what I plan to do with my bathroom, too.

Thanks for reading; you make it so worthwhile!


  1. Hey! I’m Eleanore, the knitter you met at 30th Street Station a couple of weeks ago! Really enjoyiong your blog – I know exactly what you’re talking about fixing! Carry on!


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