Road Trip!

Yesterday, I took a road trip!


My friend, Dr. Doug, lives in a George Barber-designed HUGE house in Osawatomie.


To join me on the road trip, I invited Brad, who owns the HUGE Gufler Mansion in Emporia with his fiancé, Susan.


And this, of course, is my HUGE pile, which actually looks kinda petite as compared to the other two!


In short, the road trip involved a select gathering of insane-people-who-own crazy-big-old-houses. I was in heaven. Squee!!!!!!!!

The reason for the trip was for me to help Doug with the process of installing period-correct lighting in his 1902 house. Doug, and his wife Diana, purchased the house in 1983, when it was threatened with demolition. They have brought the house back to life but….almost all the lighting was, well, ahhh, mmmmmm, less than fabulous, as I mercilessly tease Doug about. Mercilessly.

A few months ago, Doug suggested that he could supply cabinets and woodworking for my big pile if I helped him with lighting for his big pile.

Hence, a road trip was required.


One of the few good fixtures in the house was in the parlor. But it was too small, and WAY too short. Brad is left; Doug right.


The parlor is graced with lovely relief patterns (which I am quite envious about). Note the beaded detail.


The fixture I selected for the parlor also had a beaded detail, as do….


…the shades.


So, the fixture seems ideal for the room, even though I had not remembered the beaded detailing on the ceiling. A wonderful example of synchronicity!




AFTER. Much better, right?


The parlor looking into the stairhall, 1902. Yes, FABULOUS! And note the light fixture. It is gas, with a bare bulb hanging on a long wire alongside the gas pipe. Bizarre! The fixture is wholly at odds with the architecture, and is long gone. I am on the search for a suitable fixture.


In the Music Room was another fixture at odds with the architecture. Note, again, the dangling bare bulb. I have an incredible fixture planned for the Music Room. Doug will be quite agog when he sees it.


I aso removed some sconces in a hallway and installed a pair of brass gas/electric sconces. The sconces I removed? I told Doug: “In your next yard sale? Include these and with a tag that says: I will pay anybody $5 to take these.” Yes, they were that terrible.

Doug had a 1980s reproduction gas fixture in the dining room. It is…OK…but was WAY too short so I removed it to add length. My second trip will be in a few weeks, and the fixture will be re-installed.

The not-bad parlor electric fixture I removed? I am again adding length, and it will be installed in a bedroom.




  1. Dan Goodall-Williams on January 19, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    That is a beautiful house too! You guys are so lucky. And the fixture you used is perfect! Well done. Love to see more pictures. Sigh.

  2. Cindy Belanger on January 19, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    The beaded light fixture you installed in the parlor is just right. The longer length looks much better. The plaster work on the ceiling is SOOO gorgeous, as is the fretwork dividing the parlor and the stairhall. I too would love to see more pictures.

  3. Debbie Desmond on January 20, 2019 at 8:57 am

    WOW – I’m so jealous! Simply beautiful

    I am really not so liking my 1965 plain Jane ranch, thank y’all for helping me with my Victorian fix.

  4. Derek Walvoord on January 21, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Looking forward to the next installment!

  5. Dawn Rocco on January 21, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    I am just awe struck. So lovely! Your light is much much better, nice choice Ross. Can’t wait to see what happens with the next trip.

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