Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Come On In...

 "Jack fumed when he saw it, and declared we could not take it all, as it exceeded our allowance of weight. I declared we must take it, or we could not exist." Martha Summerhayes, Army wife, 1874
I adore this quote and wouldn't you know, nearly 134 years later,  Army wives are still saying the same thing! Seriously, though, don't we all dread moving out, moving in...what's going to fit, what should have been tossed years ago and why did I throw out those things I really need now?!
Welcome to 9,000 square feet of design dilemma!  I have photos of all of my furniture and artwork so that I can place everything either with a floor plan or during a quick walk through before the movers get there. I agonize over this for weeks, it's just in my DNA. But I recommend making a plan and sticking to it. I had a floor plan of Quarters One and a few photos before we moved in, but the night before we got our key that was me peeking in the windows with a flashlight!
Here are some photos of Quarters One on moving day...eek! The historical photo above is Quarters One circa 1900.
This is the grand hall. Really, I don't know what to say about it, it's just big! There are double french doors to the front porch and transom windows all original to the house.  The chandelier is one of 2 Maria Theresa chandeliers that belong to the house, added in the past few years. The fire place is one of 5...4 of which share the same chimney.  Those 4 are non-working. Originally the house was heated with radiators, some of which they left for historical reasons...there's one here in the hall.

The bench on the staircase gives a good respite for the long walk up to the sleeping floor, just kidding, it's not that far! It is an interesting feature and it looks onto Forsyth Avenue and the Cavalry Parade Field.

Our daughter calls this the Harry Potter closet, it's storage under the stairs. The closet to the left was turned into a WC in the 1930's. Quarters One has 6 original bathrooms and this is the 7th. (Yes, 7 bathrooms...who needs that many?!)

 So what did I do with all of this? It was indeed overwhelming and I needed some where to start (you always need a starting point). There was a large mirror donated by a previous occupant hanging in the dining room that we moved over the fire place, that gave me a direction to go with. Here are the photos...

I gathered some artwork that matched the mirror and to hang in the hall. The photograph was taken of a church in New England by my husband's aunt.  I love this simple montage! 

I love layering...even lighting. We always have candles lit when we have guests and even when we don't! Be sure to check and double check your candles when going to bed though, I've been known to leave one or two on by accident but don't tell housing that!!

This buffet is one of the few pieces that belong to Quarters One.   A humidor and our guest book find a home here. We always have guests sign the book, no matter the event. It is so much fun to look back over the years and remember happy times. I know we'll be glad we have this book when our lease is up!

The grand staircase..these are the only military themed pieces of artwork we have in Quarters One. For me, I believe that type of artwork belongs in an office. We have a long tradition of West Pointers and military in our family and this wall reflects that history. The sign on the top right reads 

The bench on the stairs has become a lovely place to reflect on the beauty of the house and it's intriguing past.

The front hall looking into the living room.

Vintage photos that came with the quarters I added the capitol to give the grouping detail.

This historical plaque also came with the house and is maintained by the Historical and Archeological Society of Fort Riley. It lists all of the occupants of Quarters One for the past 123 years. It's quite an honor to have our family name here!

The Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard often stops here on their tours.

Bill and I always greet our guests at the front door together. We offer drinks, take coats, do all those things that make our guests feel welcome in our home.  Another tip, when we entertain in the evening, I always like to turn on all of the lights in the house all the way up to the fourth floor. Because Quarters One is so imposing I think it makes the house seem warm and welcoming. That's a good tip for anyone having guests over, you just want the whole house to seem happy to see you when you walk up. 
Thanks for visiting! The house is big and the tour may take a while but I hope you enjoy it. Next time I will tell you about my trip to the set of Army Wives and how Quarters One helped inspire some of the sets for season 6!
Til next time...Duty First!

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  1. Shand, the house is amazing! They have the perfect decorator living there. Enjoy!

  2. What a beautiful home! I found you via Tracy C, our mutual friend. My husband, Nick, enjoyed meeting you the other night and had great stories to tell of the haunted lodging he had.
    --Paula Katers

  3. I hope he had a good night's sleep and wasn't bothered by any pesky footsteps!!! It was very nice to meet Nick!

  4. I enjoyed the "tour". Your house is beautiful. Some of us are creatively challenged...me!...and I "borrow" ideas from all my Army sisters along the way.

    BTW, found you through a FB link :)