"I can believe almost anything at this Green Gables of yours.
It's the first place I've ever been in that felt like a home."
~ Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars
I was sitting with some girlfriends not too long ago talking about places of refuge---those spaces we can go to for solace and respite, our "homes away from home." There are several places where I feel completely at peace, but there always seems to be a snag that keeps me from visiting them as often as I would like. For example, I love my parents' home, but it is a long and desolate 12 hour car ride away. I would happily set up residence in the gourmet cupcake shop down the road, but I already have a hard time fitting into my jeans. And then there is the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland---my favorite corner of the "happiest place on earth." The problem is my kids tire of flying over Big Ben in a pirate ship long before I do, and I just don't have the nerve to stand in the kiddie line for Neverland by myself.
Luckily there is Maryann's house. Having Maryann as a friend is like having your own Dalai Lama. I love to sit at her feet and catch the pearls of wisdom that fall from her mouth as she speaks. Maryann is a seasoned mother and grandmother who can answer any question I pose to her, whether it be about breast milk, bedwetting, strange spots, or how many pounds of potatoes it takes to feed a Sunday crowd. You can't help but feel safe around Maryann---and not just because she knows everything. She makes it a point in her life to care for the most fragile of things, like birds, babies, antiques, and struggling mothers like me who need a dose of encouragement and perspective from time to time.
When we started our Anne of Green Gables series on Be Book Bound, I knew I had to share something from Maryann's home. Not only does her vintage style capture the turn-of-the-century charm of Lucy Maud Montgomery's books, but walking into her house gives me the same feeling I imagine Anne Shirley felt when she stepped foot into Green Gables: it simply feels like coming "home." So here is a miniature tour of Maryann's beautiful Victorian home. I hope it does your heart as much good as it does mine . . .
Gingerbread details and manicured gardens await your arrival.
This antique organ greets you as you enter the home. The organ even has the original handles on the sides that were used to carry it from place to place to entertain listeners.
The kitchen is the heart of Maryann's home---the perfect place for her antique German canisters and a bouquet of fresh-cut lilacs . . .
Each bedroom is furnished with breathtaking antique beds and accessories from all over the world.
Everyone has a special place to sit,
whether it be in a Grandfather or Grandmother chair . . .
Or on a Civil War era settee like this one . . .
She has punctuated each corner of her home with beautiful details, whether they be in the intricate wood carvings of the furniture. . .
or in the stained glass of the mantels and doors . . .
or in the thoughtful feminine accessories throughout the house . . .
Birds are a common theme throughout her home . . .
This gorgeous cage is home to the family's finches.
The birds aren't the only ones who get dreamy accommodations. The grandkids have their own built-in playhouse in the basement (complete with kitchen and slide), and the chickens will soon have the cutest coop this side of the Mississippi . . .
Maryann's house is just as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside.
Her backyard is full of blooming flowers, trickling waterfalls, fruitful vines, and gracious places to entertain guests . . .
Is it any wonder I love to visit Maryann's?
May you all have a special place to call "your home away from home" . . .