Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What do you have to show for it?

No shows
In New York, Sotheby's Designer
Show House is in full gear with
Kip's Bay soon to open. Yet here
in Lewistown not a day goes by
that several locals don't request a
tour of the Passion Pit. Each night
a stream of vehicles drive by and
peer into our windows. We can't
work outside without someone
sniffing around. Hence I've come
to the point of considering hanging
a sign at the front door that states
Not open to the public
Of course we're flattered. And we're proud
that our local community also seems house
proud. However this house is our home and
while I'm certainly not shy... we're frankly
not comfortable letting just anybody into
our home. So we try to politely defer most
suggested visitations. However, based on
popular demand and just for my roue' fans,
I thought I'd offer you a private VIP tour
via the professional photos we recently had
taken. SHHH... we're currently courting all
of these with magazines. So please, keep
this amongst yourselves! Step right in!

This staircase was taken apart piece by piece
and fully restored by our wunderkind
carpenter/contractor Mike Wichman.
Many people were skeptical about the "Italian Blue" hue.
However this color has become one of the highlights of our home!

Sadly, the original Rookwood fireplace mantle was removed long ago.
Fortunately Frank's father salvaged this marble
from the local circa 1916 bank when he remodeled it in the sixties.
After decades of sitting out in a field,
John Valach & Son restored it to it's former luster.
Not only beautiful, what's old can be new once more!

Over thirty years ago I first saw this painting
and fell in love.
"Barry" Baranet was truly a talented roue'
and his work has intrigued and delighted me ever since.
At a tot I doubted I could ever afford to own one.
Now whenever I walk by this magnificent painting
I know that dreams do come true!

Every window in the Passion Pit was replaced with new windows
that match those specified in the original 1917 plans.
Our general contractor - Bill Higgins of Heartland Construction
was right when he said it would be the best investment! 
This is one of our favorite rooms in the house.
We often dine at the round corner table (not shown.)

Looking from the living room through the stair hall to the dining room
you get a sense of how gracious this house truly is.
From the original plaster moldings to custom millwork and wainscoting,
no expense was spared in building this treasure.

With original wainscoting, plaster moldings, and oak floor fully restored,
this room is already more than appetizing.
However the mural created by my dearest friend,
Tina Baranet
is truly my pride and joy.
"T" masterfully captured the three local mountain ranges
that surround our home plus Montana's "Big Sky!"
Also note the original inlaid mahogany doors.
Mike and Tahan Wichman restored sixteen throughout the house.

Without Jeana Morrison-Noel of Bella Cucina West,
the heart of our home might never have made my heart beat quicker.
A transplanted Floridian and master kitchen designer,
Jeana immediately knew what we wanted. Totally "simpatico."
In the end her partnership and brilliance delivered
a vintage inspired kitchen with modern touches. 

Frank claims that the only reason we purchased this house
was so I could have room to store my china.
While our kitchen is quite large, figuring out where to store
a linear quarter of a mile worth of china and glassware was challenging.
Somehow Jeana figured it out
plus gave us a rolling ladder to easily access it all!

It's all about the details.
And while some think our home is a museum,
it's actually a historically inspired residence.
Modern touches like the stainless farm sink
and hip nickel plated faucet make sure everyone knows
this is not your great grandmother's kitchen!

Life a matter of priorities.
Nothing makes me happier than mixing it up in this chic space.
Somehow Jeana figured out how to fit a bar into the area
where a long gone back staircase once sat.

Speaking of liquids,
Jeana also found room for a new powder room.
Early on we found this antique marble sink in the basement.
Now fully restored it's the perfect place to get fresh.

More than modern in 1917 - 
the Passion Pit has always had a master suite on the first floor.

Jeana expanded the original master bath footprint to include two closets.
John Valach & Son laid the fabulous Carrera marble tiles.
Who wouldn't want to clean up their act here?

Upstairs there are two guest suites that share this massive bath.
After starting from scratch - 
Jeana designed a new bath that is artfully inspired by the past.

All photographs of the Passion Pit show here are the work of 

Two years later - 
Want to see more of the Passion Pit transformation?
Here are links to prior blog entries...