The Cross House

Dinner Update

Barb asked for an image facing the china cabinet.


At the last minute I realized I should have placemats and a runner. These would not only protect the tablecloth but would make my guests more comfortable (by being less worried about spills). The placements are a woven material and look like bronze. I was quite happy with them. Less happy with the trivets.


The table was set for eight but I had no idea of how many would show up for the board meeting. When seven arrived, I breathed a sigh of relief.

I had worried, quite a bit, that I had overdone things, and that some board members would find it all too froufrou. Yet, everybody basically squealed with delight! Whew!

“I love it! It’s all so Downton Abbey!”

I replied, waving a hand toward the bomb-damaged room: “Well, Downton Abbey crossed with Salvador Dali!”

For me, it was a thrill to take a moment with no sawing and no painting and no dust and to sit back in wonderment at the house being used by people and enjoyed. This is what the house was built for.

As the group departed, I had everybody walk over to the north sidewalk so they could see the beauty of the stained-glass lighted up at night. There was a lot of ooohs and aaahs and a wow or two.

I will continue to collect pieces of Stardust china and Sophisticate crystal and Dirilyte flatware, and look forward to the next dinner amidst the ruins.



14 Responses to Dinner Update

  1. Comfortable, elegant, & overall inviting – a perfectly wonderful reflection of the host.

    Personally, I find the naked & bandaged plaster walls surrounding the chandelier & elegant table setting to be completely charming. I wanna call it Boho-Glam. ☺

  2. Just Lovely!!- the first picture makes me swoon- the elegance of the house is captivating- the china cabinet, fireplace in the dining room itself with the grandness of the staircase and the glass cabinet in the butlers pantry in the background. Well done!

  3. It’s beautiful! Even with the damaged plaster. It’s great to get different views of the rooms so we have an idea of how each room is laid out and the relationships between the different rooms that you’ve shown us so far. Could you make a video tour of each level? That would be awesome!

  4. Thank you so much for the photo showing the china cabinet with the lovely dishes in it! Really kind of you to do that. It’s such a beautiful feature of the room and elegantly balances the fireplace.

    There’s so much sparkle in that photo — the mirror above the fireplace, the mirror below the china cabinet doors, the stemware, even the glass reflection from the butler’s pantry. I’d be surprised if your guests weren’t bowled over by it all.

    I’m so happy to see the house moving from a restoration project into a home. It will be so beautiful when you get it finished. But it’s beautiful now, like it’s been waiting under all the dust and wreckage to come alive again. So happy you’re making this happen, and that you’re sharing it with us.

  5. Thank you for the pictures & how your dinner party unfolded… I agree w the others & especially Barb Sanford … Cross Houss now a beautiful home! Oh the night views of W & North are mesmerizing … take ones breath away .. so very beautiful … thanks so much !!!

  6. The golden glow from the chandelier is just captivating. 😍

    It’s touching that you were worried about having overdone things, I’m so glad people’s delighted reactions showed you you hadn’t. 🙂

  7. I agree. Just a beautiful setting, but most importantly, the company and fun that was had is what really counts.
    Great job Ross!

  8. Hi Ross,
    _ I am researching various ways of removing paint from my windows, doors and trim in my early 1800’s townhouse. I have just commissioned a company to make a set of router bits that match the profile on the earliest window sash in the house so I can replicate that detailing. My problem is that I remember that someone posted some sort of non heat gun, (perhaps infrared?), on your site let year as an alternative, and I wanted to research it. I wanted to know if there is a way to search your blog for such details that are not even in your entries, but are in comments that others have made. I am actually pretty convinced that I should make one or multiple steam boxes for removing the paint from my sashes. Since the house is brick, even a heat gun would only potentially endanger the window frame that I would be working on, yet I don’t want to risk even one.
    -Can one search your site’s comments for details such as the paint removing gun that I mentioned? If not, maybe the one who posted the info may read this and repost the details.
    -Thanks so much for the amazing patience that you show in the way you handle this blog as such a helpful forum.

    • While I cant say what’s been said on this blog I have looked around…from my own research, I’ve read and seen that infrared is very similar to heat guns, its just a pricier bigger version that might be less powerful and somehow “safer”(Ross has said multiple times in this blog that Cross house almost burnt down at one point due to a heat gun) I have seen a lot of good things about steam boxes, but other than that I cant say much about them, If I had the time and money I would definitely try them.

      My friend has a 1890’s “cottage style” turned “ranch” I too wish to strip paint…my issue isn’t the stripping process though as of right now, it’s the removal process with the metal weather stripping on the windows..I’ve no idea what to replace it with or how to safely and quickly remove/reinstall them without bending I did with my test window.

  9. You might be thinking about the Speed Heater or the Speed Heater Cobra, which is a small version. They are both infrared heaters that can be used to strip paint. They heat the paint below the level where lead is released. However, they are still very hot, so you need to be careful not to scorch the wood

  10. How elegant! I appreciate seeing the room from this view, showing all the special Victorian features as Barb mentioned. I can just see a Victorian party taking place in this room a century ago. I’m glad your gathering went well.

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