Friday, October 16, 2009

The Heart and Soul of a Covenant Home

"I'm more accustomed to the revisions of interiors, a large topic among the women of my family, any one of whom might say something like, "I never should have papered that dining room, especially with those Chinese cranes coming in to land. I always feel like one will plop down into my soup. I should have lacquered the walls brilliant yellow and a mirror should go over that sideboard, not those puny sconces..."I wonder if they, when insomnia strikes, have practices like mine."--Frances Mayes

Some of the lines out of Frances Mayes "Bella Tuscany" could be a line straight from my own playbook!  Like her, I carry scraps and tattered pieces of fabric, paint swatches and the like in most of my purses.  And why not?  You never know when you'll need them to match a potential find to your interior. 

I not only have those bits hanging around my handbags, but I have a huge notebook entitled "The Hostetter Home Portfolio" which houses every picture, article or thought I ever had when building my home. It's a compilation of years of stuff which, for the most part, got translated into this home. On the inside front cover is a list of "notable quotes" I collected over the years and wanted to share with you.
-"In attempting to define the enduring appeal of cottages, words like comfort, coziness, charm, simplicity, intimacy, and romance readily spring to mind, suggesting that the idea of "cottage" is as much a state of mind as it is a tangible presence."

Stone fireplace lovingly built by the dsil
-"In our childhood, we found or created spaces to fulfill an essential, unspoken need to feel safe and secure from an overstimulating and dangerous-feeling outside world."

-"The appeal here is a house that's easy to live in and easy to maintain, a house that encourages informal living while offering unpretentious comfort, a house that's small enough to allow you to spend more on fine details, quality materials and craftsmanshp, a house that's expressive about who you are and how you like to live your life."

-"Architect Robert Gerloff of Minneapolis reminds his clients that it is the details that hold our interest, that can make the cottage "as unforgettable as a villa."

Master bedroom detail
-"For it was Wright who pushed the American house away from segmented rooms that physically and visually cut themselves off from one another and from the surrounding exterior landscape...Wright's long low "Prairie" style houses (and, later, the small "Usonian" house, exalted in ther sense of openness and in their enthusiastic embracing of ther space immediately surrounding the house."

-"The stable was usually included as part of the house."

In the stable

-"If timelessness can be considered one of the major qualities of good ranch house design, the second major trait is adaptability to changing conditions."

-"...They [early Californians] felt that the house should provide a closer relationship between outdoors and in, a more intiate association with the garden, an informal, relaxed way of living, and feeling for the environment in which they built." 

-"You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."  I am the way. the truth and the life." 
-"In Him is light."
A big part of covenant life (to my way of thinking) is all wrapped up in making a cozy nest for the ones you love.  The greatest compliment I get (almost daily) is from my dear husband (dh) who says, as he calls in at the end of the day, "I can hardly wait to get back home. There's no other place I'd rather be." 
When people walk into my home they invariably comment on how warm and comfortable it feels.  It was built a little over a year ago by my dear son-in-law (dsil) but looks and feels old--in the sense of permanence, I suppose.  That was no accident.  It was my great fortune to work with a group of men who put the E into excellence and effort and every detail in our home was lovingly thought out and executed painstakingly by them. 
Aside from the dsil, I was blessed to have my relative and artist Matt Barley on the job. Matt found another quote, which summed up our desires in building this home.

Matt at work
When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone, Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our father did for us."--John Ruskin
Most of those quotes were translated--in one way or another--into this place called home. I hope you enjoyed the tour. My greatest desire is that this virtual look into my home will also provide you with a glimpse into my heart and soul. I'm hopeful too that someday soon you will turn the virtual into the reality. The door's always open!

Many thanks to Tim Hagen for this shot!


  1. love your home. I carry around paint chips and fabric swatches in my purse whenever I go shopping - I'm always on the lookout for something to go with my "clean and cheerful" theme.

  2. Somehow the first part of my post got deleted...the part where I said this was my favorite post ever! :)

  3. Lindsey, dear, it was your favorite post because you are a true designer! I love your "eye" and your clear bright colors.

  4. Be right over! MUST. SIT. ON. COMFY. CHAIRS.

  5. Tea's brewing..what time will you be here?!


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