DE MESA HOUSE
-he Project: The quantity and quality of hard factual
restoration work that has been done here is evident.
The house is very pleasant, however, it seems cold and
does not "come to life". The project was to make some
viable recommendations to remedy this situation.
The Problems: When the house was completely restored to
an historically accurate dwelling, most of the human touches
evidencing continuous habitation and personal style were
:neteaesvlyly wiped away. At this time, most of the funds
for major pieces have been disbursed and there is actually
quite a lot of furniture in the house. The problem is to
pinpoint detailing that will flesh out the house and lend
it an aire, while at the same time remembering the current
use of the house and it's everyday life now.
Plooring: All wodden flooring should be stained dark
and sealed. The traffic is too heavy to make bleached
or natural tones practical. Additionally, it will take
years for the wood to age naturally to an acceptably
Grass Mats: A very good alternative to rugs or floor
canvases and very practical for heavy use. However
the mats in use are of inferior quality and design.
(Grass Lats: cont'd) Upgrade to best possible under
gtllin s: All beamed ceilings should have white
painted joists with dark stained beams.
Tris" All trim should be painted in varying degrees
of contrast to the walls never flat white.
R :; om-b y-rs, om s.Irvev:
1) The Kitchen: The introductory slide show is given here
and is enjoyed by the tour groups. The only disadvantage
to thJ.s set u"- is that it might be more effective to show
a working kitchen of the period, especially since kitchens
automatically add warmth and life to any house. The obvious
?roblem i.tmhasnr, where to put the slide show and are there
funds for kitchen decor. At any rate, this is a larger
aspect of the stated project, which can be worked out later
without affecting the other improvements to the house.
2) Dining Room: The furniture is bunched in one corner of the
room, giving the tourer the impression of viewing a dining set,
rather than being in a dining room. The grouping can be moved
several feet out into the room without hindering traffic
patterns. The floor canvas contributes to this postage sz`amp
grcri ?,-. To unify the room, the canvas should cover the entire
floor -- wall to wall (as in the Game/Card Room). This could
be accomplished by adding a wide border to the existingg canvas
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if ca ic.pte"ly new canvas is not feasible at this time.
Theoe la a olanrlr. area opposite the door entering from the
t "h.3 is accentuated because it s the balance
WV,- fk~: th.e dining set. To anchor the room, move the
;.ann.P prw side board and mirror from the upstairs landing
to t.nis spot.
) lnt.ingti Porch: The use of this room should be delineated
., and decorated as such. It is a natural adjunct to the entry
S.11 and ,lose enough to the backyard and kitchen with easy
ac.e ,l to upstairs bedrooms to be the heart of the house --
here the lady would receive her lady friends, sew, talk,
ta tea, watch the children and from time to time supervise
S" 'he kitchen. Additions: 2 small side chairs; a tea tray for
,jie of the table/chest tops; perhaps an umbrella stand. There
&i'r saosme dishes in a barrel in the storage room which woiul
be better displayed in plate hangers in this roor1.
4) Gimae/Card Room: This room is
bt ;4tre visually pleasing if the
f"'raing is painted dark, to pick
theme established in the floor.
pillows(if historically correct)
fairly complete, but would
wood trim, base and window
up the light/dark contrast
Also, another shawl or throw
should be added to the couch.
5) 'inry: OK for now. (See E10jLnt&)
6) Office: OK for now. (See Flooring)
7) Storage Room: OK for now.
8) Upstairs Parlor: Wait for area rug, on order, to be installed
before firttie recommendat ons.
9) Master Bedroom: Replace the 2 straw mats with one large
mat of better quality and design. Angle it across the room
to Inify the three pieces there. A large quality mirror
needs to be acquired for this room.
10) Children's Room: Nothing stands out here in a bad light
however, some items from the bedroom in the
(first house, upstairs) can be used here.
11) Exhibit Rooms: This is the last house of the tour and
these rooms, the last of the house, By the time the tourists
reach this point, they are tired and have assimilated so much
information, that most just pass through not stopping to read
this exhibit. Moving this information to the first hou3e as
an introduction to the tour rather than as a summary would be