The Cross House

…and More!

Today, the final drapery was installed (right), and the white floor lamps were put in place.


The floor lamps, a new design, are the ideal complement to the 1957 Eero Saarinen-designed marble-topped center table by Knoll. Most modern floor lamps are not very tall (they are designed for rooms with eight-foot ceilings) so it took a while before I found floor lamps scaled to the 10-foot-height of my parlor. The lamps are about 12-inches taller than most other floor lamps.


Looking to the SW corner.


Looking to the NW corner. The picture frame is, I think, period-correct to the Cross House. I kinda enjoy seeing it empty but it will soon be infilled with artwork.




After. Several readers thought all the rich colors and patterns overwhelmed the stained-glass. I feel just the opposite. The stained-glass now REALLY pops. Particularly in person. The picture on the wall, as previously noted, is of Hillary Clinton.


Numerous readers expressed alarm about the striped floor but with the room furnished the stripes are a subtle, but delicious, accent.


There are still things to do (like installing electric outlets), and a few more pictures to hang. But the parlor is now about 95% complete.

And I am thrilled ecstatic joyful but…I am also exhausted. The work took WAY longer than I ever expected and, rather than take advantage of the nice spring weather to finish painting the Great North Wall, I have squirreled away inside the house to endlessly obsess over the parlor these past few months. It is not just the work which proved so draining but the intense creative demand. I feel like the life has been sucked out of me.

Next week though, with the heat now on high (sigh), I will return to painting the exterior. While this is hard work it requires no creative energy! It will feel like I am…


…on vacation!





22 Responses to …and More!

  1. Maybe it is just me, but I would move the curved window curtains to the opposite side then swag them. It doesn’t feel right to me when I look at them, but everything else is fantastic!

    • Hi! I’ve been reading and commenting for awhile and have never noticed before that there was someone else with the same name and even spelled the same way! I never see my name spelled the same!

    • I did that originally!

      It looked funny! My eye wanted the curved curtains and the big window curtains to “kiss”.

      • I like that the bay windows and how the drapes are hung between the bay windows–looks ensemble!!

        Everything after the floor lamps looks a bit scrunched. Have you thought about bringing the carpet & sofa a bit deeper from the bay & moving floor lamps a bit off to the sides? Nevertheless love everything & love you & your energy & creativity!! Quite intense.

        • Hi Sandra Lee!

          The floor lamps do not looked scrunched in person. There is plenty of room around them. I can even walk around them to get to the windows!

          • Oh ok– the images don’t do justice t the immense size of the space. If we have not been there in person it is hard to appreciate that point. You have done a fantastic job regarding placing larger items to accommodate the space & especially the art. My move is in 2 weeks & I have a MN address & offically on the schedule of team Mayo. I have to come back at the end of July and I am thinking of swinging down to Emporia on Saturday. Will you be around Cross House that last weekend in July?? Please please please say yes!!!!

  2. I gleefully gasped, smiled and said TAAA DAAA OUTLOUD! (and I’m alone!). How splendid!

    And you deserve a vacation!

  3. The “C” in “Cross House” is growing fainter…it is looking more and more like “Ross House”, and it looks great.

  4. I agree with Mike. Your DNA is now fully embedded in this house-it should be called the ROSS HOUSE.

    Love the floor lamps and Hillary never looked better!

    I am mystified how you pulled this room together so fast. I would still be fussing over which stencil to use. You are totally in-sinc with the universe or you’ve got those poor little elves working overtime again…

    It looks over-the-top stunning and this comes from a monochromatic viewer

  5. While I was one of the skeptics on the bold colors, once it is all together, it looks great. I especially like how you were able to capture the spirit of the Victorian design elements with very modern interpretation. And it does look great with the windows!

    Enjoy your outdoor painting vacation! I just finished our house (at after 5 years), and I will actually miss the rewarding progress of restoring siding.

    • Hi Seth!

      You wrote: “I will actually miss the rewarding progress of restoring siding.”

      Come to Kansas! I know of a house which could use your help!

  6. Ross, this room looks spectacular. All that is missing is a good book, a nice cocktail to enjoy as the sun sets, and you can sit back enjoying the fruits of your labours! Kudos, you made it all come together. The colours are great and the furniture fits perfectly.

  7. Amazing transformation! You used the colors from the stained glass and elevated their beauty in the doing. I especially love the upper medallions, shimmering like subtle little stars, and that fantastic chandelier. The period-contrasting pieces you’ve thoughtfully assembled juxtapose and pull together excitingly. The room is rich, inviting and alive again. I wish I could see it in person. Please show us an image of it all lit up by those gorgeous lights, now. Fabulous and surprising result! Totally worth it to obsess creatively now and again, I think. Pour yourself a drink and sit and enjoy awhile the great job you’ve done reviving this once-vibrant parlor! You’ve done it justice by throwing your heart into it. So proud of you!

    • I echo Celeste!!! It made me sick to my stomach the potential for serious injury/disability ????when you moved the 1st– please please please get a helper elf!!!!!! ????️Or warn ahead do I can step up the prayers???? for you for protection from harm & health!!!!!!????????????

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