Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kate's Pink Palace

Five years ago today my family lost my very special grandmother. I can’t believe it’s been 5 years already but she was such a huge influence on me and is still with me every day. 

Theresa Huntley Parkinson
My genetic predisposition to dish addiction comes directly from her (and her mother before her). She was big on creative approaches to find cost effective options for a swanky style.  She embraced "reduce, reuse, recycle" way before it was fashionable to be so - and many a day was spent "upcycling" a Salvation Army/garage sale/Goodwill find. She made her own lined Waverly fabric drapes, slipcovers & pillows. She had a homemade wreath for every season on her door and she had table linens in every color imaginable. She loved it all. 

About 3 months before her passing (she was 83 by the way) she decided more than anything she wanted my grandfather to build my then almost 3 year old niece a playhouse. Seemed like a simple enough project until we saw what she had in mind. 

The "playhouse" mid-construction
My grandfather made a custom stained glass window for the back and went to the local lumber yard and bought showroom sample Andersen windows for the front. They were "last years model" so they practically gave them away.  Because they were showroom samples they were smaller windows than really anyone would use in a real house but they were perfect for a playhouse for a 3 year old. Paneling was put in, flooring installed and even crown molding added. It was beautiful. 

Custom stained glass window and interior panelling

Painting in process

In August while my aunt & I were visiting on vacation Nanny tapped us to help her with the decorative touches. What color should we paint the outside, what color trim, how about window boxes & furniture, curtains, rugs, etc. She really wanted to do it right.

I had bought a “1970’s Brady Bunch” bedspread at a rummage sale that I thought was way cool and would be a great color palate for the house so we based the paint colors on this bedspread. 
Inspiration piece...scored this at the Miles Memorial
rummage sale in Damariscotta ME
My grandfather was the general contractor, my Aunt & I decorators & painters, my Dad furniture designer and my grandmother directed us all. It was a true Parkinson family project.
Child size picinic table...custom!
We finished it just in time! My brother picked it up and transported it to his house 2 hours away and we had a family lunch at his house shortly after to celebrate my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary later that month. Both of my grandparents so enjoyed that we built this as a family with everyone contributing something to the project. My niece has and continues to love her house (where by the way my now 16 year old nephew is NOT allowed) and there have been so many neighbors who have inquired as to “where they could get one too”.  It’s one of a kind and always will be thanks to Theresa Parkinson.

Finished Pink Palace - much adored by my niece
Kate with many hours spent in it to date.

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