In 2020 our backyard was our savior. It gave us sanity, and a place to socially distance safely with small groups of friends. With travel budgets not required we poured our cash into our garden, like many people. We spent the money on finally making the pool garden connect to the original garden and house. You see, our pool is on a separate lot. Dr. Frost purchased the land so he didn’t have to have a traditional home go up next to his modernist master piece. It sat empty all these years. The minute we realized it came with the house – we yelled ‘POOL’. The pool planning started immediately, we purchased the house in May 2016 and had found someone to install the pool a few months later come Spring the following year. By the following May 2017 we had a pool in the ground and were swimming. We worked with Julie DeLeon of Ground Work – Designs to pull the garden plan and pool placement together. Our budget was drained with all the fencing and landscaping that was required. We never went ahead with the original plans to have stairs to the pool added. The house garden abruptly ended, and it required you to walk across a sloping lawn to the pool deck. Well, we finally got the stairs installed in 2020, and the garden around the house finally connects to the pool. We can walk from the bedroom to the pool with no shoes on. Our mission is accomplished and we are please with how it turned out.
The plans were hotly debated on concrete, wood or stone. It took us forever to agree on the final materials. We really like how they turned out and can’t wait to see it next year once the trees, shrubs and ground cover have grown in. They were worth the wait. It has quickly become a favorite spot to cocktail or read in peace and quiet, with a seating spot for one.
A quick look back at the garden when we had no stairs. A big improvement don’t you think? Oh and yes – we keep adding to our Schultz outdoor furniture collection. We are thinking we might add a dining table under the maple and maybe a fire-pit? We will see what that unused area of lawn turns into. Stay tuned.
The daughter of the Frost family (Patty) reached out to us and shared a few family photos recently. They are some snap shots from her wedding that took place at the Frost House. Apparently the ceremony was held in the living room, and it was followed by a reception at the local country club. We love that they not only show some history of the original occupants of the house, but they give a glimpse into the garden. We had heard, and we can see some remnants, that a Dogwood existed by the front door. These photos provide proof of the tree, and show what it looked like growing up through the black steel beams along the front walkway. Oh, and look – there is a peek at some yew hedges that are no longer there along the side of the house.
A friend recently gifted us some flowers from Farm Girl Flowers. She sent us were some beautiful white ranunculus, that shipped in a box with an optional vase. The instructions were clear as to how to prepare and care for the flowers and they lasted almost 2 weeks. We would recommended using their services, especially when sending to friends that are limited in floral options beyond the standard funeral flowers.
We always forget to document and date our photographs. Actually we are just really pathetic at keeping a neat and tidy digital filing systems of all the photos that are taken. So we are making an effort to do a better job of keeping living records of the changes in the house and the garden. We just updated the ‘tour’ section of our website showing a timeline of photos of the rooms as they have changed over the years since we have been in the house.
So here we go, we are going to start with our Christmas tree for 2020, and our Christmas Day table. It was a small celebration for 3 adults and one dog. Despite the micro-celebration it was actually a really lovely relaxed couple off days of cooking meals together and watching movies.
Of course, the gift of giving this years was the ‘Resident Dog’ book that features Banksy and the Frost House.
Who doesn’t love setting the table for special occasions? It is a favorite thing to do, and we collect vintage dish-ware and glasses so we can dress the table up. We have some metal shelves and large plastic bins in the basement to store all the goodies. The collection is forever growing, we might have a small problem.
Our favorite linens for the dining table come from Huddleson. The only company that I am aware of that makes table linens especially for Saarinen Tulip dining table. The dinner set was found in a resale store in Benton Harbor, likely a wedding gift that was hardly used, it came with all the serving pieces and a place setting for 12. The glassware was purchased from Etsy and Ebay they are a smoked grey/green vintage glasses by Gorham.
We finally made the pilgrimage to the modern mecca of design in Columbus Indiana to see the Miller House. It has long been on the ‘visit’ list, and we finally got around to a quick overnight road trip. We wanted to get some design inspiration for updating the living room, injecting some color without making it too much of a modern mid-century maximalism [ahem Jonathan Adler-esque). We thought the Miller House was the perfect home to help us out.
For the Miller House Tour, we booked well in advance to get tickets, as the tour is popular and limited in availability. The bonus of going during COVID there were 50% fewer people on the tour than normal, so there was plenty of room to socially distance, and less people you needed to dodge in your photos. MCM Daily by DC Hillier has a great write up and photos that you should check out, along with Leslie Williamson via Dwell.
The Miller House – it has to be seen to really grasp this beautiful property – the gardens were much larger than expected.
And then there was more garden to admire ….. we missed the pool – it was already closed for the winter.
We also booked an overnight stay at ‘The Inn at Irwin Gardens’, it was easy to book online, and came with breakfast in the morning included with the room rate. This private home and gardens was converted into an Inn in 2009, and much of the charm has been preserved and maintained to the original 1910 remodel, with some furniture pre-dated to the original build in 1864. It gained a lot of screen time in the movie ‘Columbus’ (2017).
The overnight trip was a little too quick, and because it was a weekend and during a global pandemic – many locations were not available for interior tours. None-the-less we enjoyed our visit.