freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Hey Everyone!

Happy Father’s Day and also Juneteenth Day, if you celebrate this federal holiday.

Today, I’m republishing a beautiful post from two years ago, when my son Cale took me to historic Deerfield, MA. This of course, was the height of the pandemic; gone were the usual throngs of tourists. Therefore, I got a lot of great shots of this incredibly charming and historic village in Western Massachusetts.

 

In addition, today (as I’m writing), June 18th, is also Cale’s birthday.

 

You probably read that if you received the HOT SALES and opened the email.

Why am I republishing this post only two years later?

Well, it’s a beautiful post that isn’t getting read. And, this morning, Cale sent me a link to the oldest buildings still in existence in Massachusetts. Most of them are in coastal Massachusetts on the north shore. This post will explain the difference between the north and south shore.

However, I have to admit that I’m extra super tired today. I’ve been working hard on renovation plans. Yes, I know. Plus, I’m also working on a website refresh. I was supposed to have done it five years ago. haha.

 

Why don’t you outsource that, Laurel?

 

Yes, that does make sense. And believe me, I have help with the technical part. However, for the artistic aspect, I know that I will drive the help bonkers. I mean, I drive myself crazy as it is. The blog is getting a facelift, but it will not be dramatic. What’s changing is the theme. Ahhh… boring stuff. It’s all good.

Anyway, please enjoy the post!

Two years ago, my darling professional musician-son, Cale Israel, treated me to a trip to Historic Deerfield Village.

 

The HDVillage website is here.

 

Before we feast our eyes on what we saw in Historic Deerfield, let’s go over some geography to give you a sense of place.

 

Please note that all photos are mine unless noted. Please feel to help yourself to a couple linking back to this post. And, as always, please pin to your Pinterest boards for reference.

 

Northampton, MA - Historic Deerfield, MA

Above is a map of Massachusetts. It also includes all of Connecticut and Rhode Island. And, in the bottom left-hand corner, you can see New York City. Boston is to the far right.

 

(haha. Little did I know I’d be living here two years ago!)

 

Please notice, route 2 is just above historic Deerfield. Cale, my country boy, recently stopped traveling and now lives about 20 miles west of historic Deerfield, and on route 2. But, the funny part is that Commonwealth Ave is the beginning of route 2. Therefore, Cale and I live on the same street!

 

About 16 miles below Historic Deerfield is the town of Northampton, MA, where I lived two years ago for several weeks.

 

map of inhabited pars of New England 1776 via historic-deerfield

I also found a map of inhabited parts of New England in 1776 via the HDVillage website.

I love these charming old distorted maps. Actually, I love all maps.

 

Historic Deerfield

Historic Deerfield is in the northern area of the town of Deerfield, MA, and is nestled between the Deerfield and Connecticut Rivers.

 

Originally, it was a vibrant agricultural region known to be devoid of rocks and, thus, highly prized for farming.

 

The English wanted the land, but so did the French and the Native American Indians. Hence, a lot of fighting.

And, now for a map of our self-tour.

LBInteriors - route historic deerfield old main st. _deerfield academy

Our tour was mainly on the north/south Old Main Street. The path on the right covers more homes as well as a gorgeous private prep school, Deerfield Academy. We went there too.

 

I let Cale drive Quattro (Quatti), my 17.5-year-old Audi A-4.* We rounded the bend from Main St. to Old Main Street. (if you look at the top of the map) And, Cale parked on the road.

 

(* Sadly, Quatti died only eight months later from natural causes.)

There were very few other cars. Of course, aside from the residents, everything is closed.

And, that’s just the way I like it. Oh, it’s not that I don’t want to see what’s inside, but I usually lack patience for guided tours unless the inside is AMAZING. We’ll get to that in a sec.

 

Main St. Historic Deerfield

Our first home is welcoming us to Historic Deerfield.

I think I’m gonna like it here!

 

The rest of the homes, museums and buildings of interest will not be in the order we saw them.

 

Some buildings have one or two images, and some have more.

 

Please enjoy the exquisite beauty, history, and magnificence of this slice of heaven in north-western Massachusetts.

 

Old Main Street - Historic Deerfield June 1, 2020 - photo: LBInteriors

Cale and I began our self-tour down Old Main Street, where most of the buildings are located. Historic Deerfield owns about 50 of the houses. The rest are private residences. And, of course, there are churches, a US post office, a hotel, and a community center.

 

There is also one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country, which we’ll see later on.

 

photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St. orange rhododendronThat Monday was THE day to go to Historic Deerfield. Both the rhododendrons and lilacs were in peak bloom. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rhododendron this persimmon color. And yes, it is this vibrant.

 

The sky was perfect, mostly cloudy, but a few breaks of weak sunshine for interest.

 

Old Deerfield started in the mid-1600s when it was strictly a farming community. Agriculture is still big throughout the entire Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts. But, most of these homes were built in the mid to late 1700s in the Federal or Colonial style. Many are in the saltbox style.

Salt boxes are characterized by a symmetrical and unadorned front, for the most part. And, then a distinctive, deeply sloping roof in the back.

I stayed in this beautiful old saltbox in historic Northampton, about 20 miles south of Old Deerfield Village.

 

You will see how closely these styles mirror their English cousin’s Georgian style.

 

After all, the people building these homes were from England. And, you’ll see why they call it “New England.”

 

photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St - with Cale Israel

Mostly, Cale. He was as patient as possible while I snapped some 180 photos.

The Historic Deerfield Village has a designated website with much more information than I can provide here. If interested, you can check it out here.

If you miss it now, there are more links to it.

 

Moors House - c. 1848 - Gothic Revival - Historic Deerfield-photo:LBInteriors

We came across this gem early on our tour, and both Cale and I loved it. It is known as the Moors House. And, it was built c. 1848 in the Gothic Revival Style.

 

Twelve houses are used as museums of various kinds that hold tours.

 

It is interesting to note that not all of the homes were first built on their current land. I’ll be pointing some of that out as we go along.

 

Most of the homes are clapboard and are painted in authentic colors and stains of the day.

 

While I expected a lot of painted homes, not all of them are. About a dozen homes are stained a deep brown or gray-brown. And many of the houses are quite weathered. Apparently, that is appreciated in this historic designation.

 

Sheldon House - built 1754-57 - photo - unknown-Moors House - c. 1848 - Gothic Revival - Historic Deerfield

The Sheldon House, built 1754-57, is an excellent example of one of the stained brown homes. This is not my photo, and I don’t know who took it.

 

photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St. Sheldon House - front doorHowever, the close-up of the front door is my image. Some of these photos almost look like paintings. As you can see, this house shows extreme weathering. It is a far newer photo than the one above it.

 

Sheldon House - 1754-57 - side view - photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St.

This is also my image of the Sheldon House taken from a side view.

By the way, Old Main Street is about a mile long. Therefore, Cale and I walked well over three miles.

 

Dwight House - photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - built c 1754

The Dwight House built c 1754. This is one of the homes that was moved. Can you imagine what a job that was?

It was originally built in Springfield, MA, but when they threatened to demolish it in 1950, it was moved piece by piece to Historic Deerfield.

Thank God!

 

Dwight House - photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - built c 1754 - front door - house moved from Springfield to Deerfield in 1950

Beautiful colors and a rich pediment are striking over the entrance door.

 

Joseph Stebbins House- built c. 1772 - Historic Deerfield - photo: LBInteriors

The Joseph Stebbins House built circa 1772

 

Joseph Stebbins House- built c. 1772 front door Historic Deerfield - photo: LBInteriors

 

A close-up view of the gorgeous front door area.

 

An excellent source for all kinds of lighting of this period that’s also in Laurel’s Rolodex is Authentic Designs.

I’ve ordered from them dozens of times since 1999. Their hand-made lights are gorgeous and reasonably priced. Plus, the folks that own Authentic Designs are super nice.

 

But, look at this gem I unearthed.

 

photo Joseph Stebbins Home taken 1888 - Old Main Street - historic Deerfield - photo public domain

A photo of Joseph Stebbins Home taken in 1888 – on old Main Street with a dirt road!

This photo is in the public domain.

 

Ashley House Front Door - Historic Deerfield-photo-LB Interiors

The Ashley House Front Door – is another one of the Historic Deerfield houses.

 

The Allen House in Historic Deerfield, Massachusetts. Built in 1734, and renovated in 1945, the Allen House served as the residence of Historic Deerfield’s founders, Henry and Helen Flynt. They purchased numerous houses along The Street between 1942 and 1962. The interiors of this house have been left as they were when the Flynts lived here with their outstanding collections of American antiques.

Above is the Allen House in Historic Deerfield.

It was built in 1734 and renovated in 1945. The Allen House was the residence of Historic Deerfield’s founders, Henry and Helen Flynt. The Flynts purchased numerous houses along The Street between 1942 and 1962. The interiors of this house have been left as they were when the Flynts lived here. That includes their outstanding collections of American antiques.

This image was taken from the Historic Deerfield website, and here’s why. (you can see the houses here.)

 

photo: LBInteriors - Allen House - Old Main St - Historic Deerfield

This is my photo. The Allen House is going through a little reno. And, probably put on hold due to the pandemic.

 

colonial:Federal home late 18th century - photo: LBInteriors

At 99, Old Main Street is a classic Federal home. I’m unsure of the exact dates because I could not find any information on this house.

 

99 Main St.Front Door- Historic Deerfield - photo: LBInteriors

99 Main St.Front Door- Historic Deerfield – photo: LBInteriors

 

Next up is the Historic Deerfield Inn.

 

Deerfield Inn -double porch - Historic Deerfield - photo: LBInteriorsI took many photos of this iconic hotel.

 

Deerfield Inn - pink lilacs -photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St

Couldn’t resist a close-up of the pink lilacs.

 

Me, down on my knees - Historic Deerfield - June 1, 2020 - photo: Cale Israel

And, Cale couldn’t resist taking a pic of his Mama taking a pic of the lilacs. And, yes, I’m still carrying my England Michael Kors bag everywhere!

 

I did not go inside the Inn.

 

I imagine that it’s closed, anyway. But, I did find an image on Trip Advisor of the lobby.

 

deerfield-inn - ersatz 18th c lobby

So, what do I think?

You guys know me well enough by now to know what I think. These are supposed to be Georgian-style furnishings. However, it missed the mark in numerous ways. In my opinion, this is a prime example of American poor-imitation Georgian styling, AKA: FUDDYDUDDY.

For the real deal, please check out this post featuring some of my favorite classical architects in the US who do get it right.

 

It’s not that it’s hideous.

 

It’s just not right.

First of all, no way in hell should there be wall-to-wall carpeting. There should be a wide-plank reclaimed (if not original) chestnut, walnut, or pine hardwood floor with a waxed finish. Pick one. And one or two beautiful Oriental rugs in rich reds, blues, gold, cream. The Heriz style will do.

Remember the exquisite Heckman Place hotel I was drooling all over?

 

No, it does not have to be like that. Although if it were, I’d be staying there the next time I visit the area. haha.

This next part is pretty long, and if it doesn’t interest you, please go here.*

But, please no matchy, matchy, ditsy brocades.

 

And, blimey, what are those giant office-chair-type casters and trite damask fabric?

The window treatments were NEVER done like that in the 17th-19th century. NEVER. We went over that in great detail in this post.

There are many wonderful examples in the US where they have gotten it right. Monticello is a fantastic example.

 

The wallpaper is okay, but it wouldn’t be my first or 100th choice.

 

I would paint all of the trim, including the crown, moulding, and wainscoting. And, please do not wallpaper the pilasters! One is, and one isn’t. And, please do the wainscoting in a creamy white.

I would add sconces with mirrored backs.

 

Those types of sconces (with candles, back then, of course) were typical for this period.

 

The other lamps need to go.

I would put up some gorgeous blue and white Chinoiserie table lamps.

Below is a mini widget with some ideas.


And a Chinoiserie coffee table in black. It could have a faint gold design or not.

 

We need to remove the hideous office casters.

 

Then I would slipcover EVERYTHING in white cotton duck ala JK Place Capri. Yes, it could also be a performance fabric cotton-looking fabric.

Yank those just plain wrong valances down. I know that some of you will like them. That’s fine. You can like them, but they don’t belong in this historic hotel.

I would probably do nothing. There’s a porch, and light control shouldn’t be an issue.

 

*Okay. We need to move on with more of Historic Deerfield.

 

Post office - photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St.

Shortly after that, we happened on the Historic Deerfield Village post office. It looks more like a small chapel to me with those lovely leaded glass windows. Maybe it once was!

 

Then, I saw IT. What was IT? Well, sorry, you’re going to have to wait. That’s because we had to take a side road to the Deerfield Academy, as mentioned earlier.

 

Deerfield Academy Entrance

Can I go here?

 

photo: LBInteriors - Dorm - Deerfield Academy - Historic Deerfield - trim siding all one color

Please?

We passed a young gentleman pushing his young child in a cart. He pointed out that this was one of the dorms. And, above is a wonderful example of the period of a building and trim painted the same color. We talked about that in this post about exterior paint colors.

 

Williams House - Historic Deerfield-photo:LBInteriors

One of the many gorgeous buildings that make up Deerfield Academy, the elite prep school located in Historic Deerfield. It was founded in 1797. At that time, it was only a local school. But now it’s both a local and a boarding school.

 

photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Deerfield Academy campus

At the end of the road is this lovely area. This reminded me of England. Below are the playing fields, and to the left is a cemetery. I believe that’s purely coincidental. ;]

 

You must be getting tired by now.

 

Trees - Adirondack chairs

Here, let’s take a rest, okay?

 

No worries. I’ve saved some of the most beautiful properties for the end.

 

Williams House - Historic Deerfield-photo:LBInteriors

Williams House – Historic Deerfield

Originally constructed in 1730, the Hinsdale and Anna Williams House was extensively renovated to its present appearance in 1816.

 

photo: LB Interiors - Old Main St. rhododendronMore Beauty.

 

Visitor

Visitor’s Center – Hall Tavern – It was built in 1760 in Charlemont, Massachusetts, and moved here (I don’t know when), it is classic Federal Architecture. I think this one is my favorite. I adore the purity of form and color.

 

photo:LBInteriors - 64 Old Main St. Historic Deerfield

Here’s another one. I LOVED this home AND property and took many photos of it.

 

photo:LBInteriors - 64 Old Main St. Historic Deerfield - historic treeIt’s THAT tree. I guess that someone has spent a fortune keeping that impressive specimen alive. Who cares that it’s perilously close to the house?

 

Historic Deerfield old treeBut all of it. The other trees, landscaping. That fence.

 

photo:LBInteriors - 64 Old Main St. - Love them old trees

I wasn’t looking at the house at 64 Old Main Street this time, just the magnificent colors. And, THAT tree!!!

 

beautiful late spring colors - photo:LBInteriors - 64 Old Main St.

 

House - historic Deerfield - photo: LBInteriors

Above is another beautiful, classic Georgian (Colonial) at 72 Old Main Street. I don’t have any further information about this beauty. So, it must be a private home.

 

But, here’s the IT I was referring to earlier when we turned off to see Deerfield Academy.

 

I was captivated from about 400 feet away by this extraordinary shade of blue in another of the designated Historic Deerfield houses, the Wells-Thorn House.

 

photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St. Wells-Thorn House

 

 Old Main St. Wells-Thorn House - family walking

When we came upon it, a young family was strolling, and I just had to take a discreet pic. There were so few people. Social distancing was not a problem in the slightest.

 

photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St. Wells-Thorn House Front Door

Yes, everything is crooked. It looks like it’s time for a new paint job. Or, maybe not.

 

photo: LB Interiors - Old Main St. Wells-Thorn House-side view-cellar door

Interesting. I think that’s the exterior cellar door? I should know that. But, it’s not anything I’ve ever seen in person.

 

Wells photo - Historic Deerfield website - Old Main St

One of the parlors in the Thorn-Wells house. I’ve no doubt the color is historically accurate. It’s not my favorite. But, again, notice how everything is painted ONE color. Easy. However, also please note the perfect classical architectural proportions.

And the equally fabulous fireplace mantel surround.

 

Historic Deerfield vista - two bicycles

At some point, we saw this view with the bikes, and I thought it made a great photo.

 

photo: LBInteriors - Gorgeous property old main Street

This is the property from the last house before we turned around. I know, I know!

 

Dwight House - photo: LB Interiors - Old Main Street - 6

This was about the time that Cale had, had enough. But, we still found things we both loved.

Plus, he was happy that I was happy. How lucky am I!

And don’t you love his bright blue sweater against the sea of green?

 

When I look at this photo above, I see God.

 

Old Deerfield 1630 - Historic district - Cale Israel

Here’s what I wrote two years ago.

Cale’s been such a doll. We’ve spent more time together than ever, and it’s been a rare and memorable experience. We go grocery shopping and on walks. Plus, he’s cooked for me many times. Oh my. How lucky was I!

 

#covidsilverlining.

 

photo: LBInteriors - yellow house - Federal period - Historic Deerfield

How lovely is this, in Historic Deerfield? I hope the cones are because they just seeded the grass.

 

As you can imagine, in the warm months and when the kids are in school, this place is teeming with PEOPLE.

 

Residents must be okay with living in a virtual fishbowl.

 

photo: LBInteriors - white house - bay windows

This place is in such good condition that I wonder if they just rebuilt most of it?

 

White House - Grillwork - Federal style home
Cale noticed the gorgeous grillwork high up. I guess those are vents? Does anyone know?

It was about this time that, so steeped in history, I fully expected Paul Revere himself to come galloping by on his horse.

 

nypl.digitalcollections- midnight ride of Paul Revere

nypl.digitalcollections

Paul Revere’s Ride on April 19, 1775 – Charles G. Bus

 

But instead…

 

photo: LB Interiors - Dude on Tractor eating apple

I got a dude on a tractor with an apple in his mouth. ;]

 

Main St. Historic Deerfield

This house is actually near the house with the gorgeous property we saw without seeing the house. I know that because of the sign. Dangerous intersection. It made me laugh because I think I saw a dozen cars on the road the entire time we were there. But, I love how this image turned out. The house is reverberating on my laptop!

 

Or, maybe my eyes are going? Hang in there.

 

photo: LBInteriors - 108 Old Main St. Historic Deerfield, MA

108 Old Main St. Historic Deerfield – I looked up this quintessential old saltbox and found a real estate listing that appears to be current!

 

Well, I see some remuddling with the kitchen and bathrooms. And the heating system is not correct. But most of the home is blessedly intact. Oh, haha! They say that the average price in the area is $234,900. What??? Sure.

 

photo: LBInteriors - 108 Old Main St.- rhododendron

 

What you see here is $234,900. haha

 

I know that because the historic Deerfield museum paid $2 million to acquire this house and land from the Creelman family, which had owned it from 1984 until Monday back in December 2018. They say that there’s an apartment in the back. I wonder if it’s still available?

 

mystery flowers

Cale wanted to know what these flowers were. I told him that if I put it on the blog, at least five people would chime in with the answer.

 

photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - built 1827 - blue addition - c

Shortly before we parked, we saw this home built in 1827

 

photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - built 1827 - Asa Stebbins

The Wright House. Can you read the sign? There’s more information there.

And folks. We’ve finally reached the end.

 

I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of historic Deerfield, MA, and feel as transformed as I do again, two years later.

 

It wasn’t all bad. It was fun to retake this tour with y’all and relive a time during the pandemic that only happened because of it. And I’m grateful to have gotten the bug after they come up with the antiviral Paxlovid. Fortunately, I haven’t had any residual symptoms after getting sick.

xo,

 

Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES.