Bloggers beautiful abodes....Yvonne of StoneGable!

Good morning. Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. Ours was so relaxing, and the day of rest we all needed. Before I begin with this fabulous home, I want to announce the winner of the Madhouse setting for eight! Congrats goes to.....

charmed by the twig cutlery!

what a lovely collection of blossoms, tina. you are blooming lovely over as usual. and we love it!


(Please contact me Michele so I can get your shipping info)

Moving along.......I am so excited to be here today with another fabulous blogger and her stunning home for my "Beautiful bloggers abodes" series. I am having so much fun getting a peek into these exquisite homes and learning from those in the know. Say hello to the ridiculously talented..........

Yvonne, to me is the absolute QUEEN not princess of tablescapes. I have never seen anyone with the talents that she has in creating the most scrumptious presentations....seriously droolworthy. And lets not even get started on her recipes. Get your pen and paper ready....this has more inspiration and knowledge than many books! When she has a new post, I know its a "do not miss". I am always telling her she must put out a book, I would be the first in line. Her talents extend to her entertaining,her decorating and of course creating a beautiful home. She drives home one heck of a beautiful argument for refined country living. I think the pictures will do all the talking and by all means if you do not follow Stone are missing out! Click here to visit her. The inspiration is just over the top. Enough of me, lets hear from talented Yvonne......


1.How long have you been in your present home? Is this it for the long haul? Anything you would change if you could?

I had the idea of StoneGable in my mind 5 years before we ever started to built it. It is nothing too grand or elaborate... but it is comfortable and roomy and perfect for transforming itself from a home to a hotel at a moments notice! People gravitate to StoneGable... and it is at it's best bursting at the seams and full of loudness and laughter and antics! This is a home that wraps it's arms around your heart!

StoneGable, circa 2009... lots of changes since then!

front porch sitting

back door

 StoneGable is a farmhouse inspired home with a big wrap around porch which compliments the beautiful bucolic farmland of Lancaster Pa. We have no close neighbors and are surrounded on all sides by farms and lots of rolling farmland. It is peaceful and private and is my favorite place to be.

looking out the back door

corn surrounding StoneGable in the summer

summer sunset looking across the field

 I think of living here as rural life at it's best! Lancaster County is a strange-bird-of-a place. It is really a through back in many ways to a softer, simpler, less rushed way of life. There is just something wonderful about living here! I am not a native Lancasterian, but have lived in this area for over 30 years.

Family croquet game on the side lawn

 We live eight miles south of the county seat which is steeped in culture and history. Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC are all within a couple of hours from us.

Lancaster Central Market, the countries oldest farm market

StoneGable is our third family home and I would have a hard time leaving it... but eventually it will be too big for us and then StoneGable will need another family to fill it. I hope that is a long long time from now!

I have lists of things to change about StoneGable! Don't we all? We are literally taking one room at a time and remodeling and freshening them up. We have lived hard and large at StoneGable for 18 years!

Right now we are working on the living room, dining room, foyer and front stairs at StoneGable. We do almost all of the work ourselves... so it is a very slow process... and very satisfying!

A weekend project... laying new floors in the dining room

Bobby starting to paint the dinning room trim
Aren't I a brave one for holding a bridal shower when the dining room was not yet done?

If I could change 3 things right now I would add more light to our family room by knocking out a wall and adding a few french doors...I would build a bigger patio and put in an outdoor fireplace... and I would remodel our master bathroom now, and not next year!

2. If you could live in two rooms in your house what would they be?

My favorite place at StoneGable is my kitchen... no surprise to most. Our kitchen was built in our garage out of boards. Our builder's father was an old fashioned cabinet maker and he fashioned our kitchen to reflect a farmhouse style... and then kicked it up a notch!

Cabinets made in my garage

Again, it is roomy and not too fancy, but has lots of charm.  Two years ago it went through a face lift... we were very careful not to ruin the integrity of the cabinetry or it's overall look.

My other favorite place is the swing on our back porch. I have never photographed it before! Maybe because it is a little part of my life I keep to myself! You can find me out there on many mornings with coffee and a bible in hand... or swinging in the dark marveling at the fireflies!

3. How do you describe your decorating style?

Oh my goodness!!! Is classic, farmhouse, casually elegant a style? If left to my natural inclinations I would be pretty formal. I love beauty and the stateliness of formality... but I also love comfort. Being able to flop down and not worry that I will ruin something! So there is a tension there, for sure!

The J&J guest room

Aprons on hooks

Gable Room, lots of antiques in here

 It just might be design hierarchy to admit that I am not all that enthralled with the current popularity of french decor. I guess it just does not suite where I live and I am a little too saturated with it.

4. Do you have a favorite color scheme? 
Always... but it changes and evolves like my tastes. Right now I am in love with neutrals and the play of texture. But my all time favorite is blue and white...just like you Tina!

Fabrics and colors for the living room and dining room

new living room sofa with neutral pillows

My love for blue and white is reflected in many tables I set

5. Favorite room in my house?
Kitchen, it really is the heart of my home! And reflect our lifestyle the best.

6. Best two tips you can give anyone looking to decorating their home? Best two things not to do?
This question is tailor-made for me!!! As I said earlier, Bobby and I do almost everything ourselves.

I think the first tip when looking to redecorate is to have an overall vision. Spend time dreaming and looking through magazines and blogs and books. Have pictures of what you love... make lists of what needs to be done. DON'T  go into any project without spending a lot of time planning it out. I guess that is the first don't!

The second thing to do is to take your time and do it right! I am repainting and reupholstering eight eighteenth century mahogany chairs. What a job! But in the end it will  be so worth it!

Here is the before... You can see we are also painting the living room in the background!

It was a saga getting the old fabric off!

And here is a peak at the new finish on the chairs. Come back later this week for the reveal of two chairs completed!

Another what not to do tips is... don't be overly influenced by trends. So many trends are here today and gone in a year or two, so don't sink a lot of money... time ... or labor into things that you will get tired of. That is why I am so drawn to classic styles. I can add less expensive trendy accents and replace them when they look tired or out of style.

7. What do you think are the most important features for a kitchen?
Well... some I don't have! When we remodeled our kitchen I desperately wanted a double oven and warming tray because I LOVE to cook! But, we could not fit it in without disturbing the integrity of the existing cabinetry. So I chose the cabinets that are such a treasure in StoneGable's kitchen over the convenience of a double oven. I'm surviving just fine!

no double oven... only a cook top and one oven

One of the first things I baked in my new oven

I also am a huge fan of gas cooktops. I have never cared for electric.

Another must for me is a big pantry... and lots of room for dishes!


Lots of room for dishes!

But I think the most important thing to me is lots of counter space and lots of room for people to join me in the kitchen. Really, every gathering in my home begins and ends in my kitchen!

a favorite place to sit in the kitchen!

8. How do you like to dress up a cocktail table or console in the living room.
I'll let you know... we gave away or sold ALL the furniture in the formal living room and right now only our new sofa is in it... actually tomorrow the chairs and the end tables are coming.

I have two gorgeous tall oriental brass lamps that my father brought back from Japan in the early 60's( when I was just a wee girl)... and my mother has given them to me, so they will be a special part of my table decor.
I'm still working the rest of the details out... I'll keep you posted!

here's an old buffet I just painted for the dining room that is still a work in progress. It is ready for Spring!

here's my family room coffee table decked out for summer

9. Any advice on the subject of lighting?
YES! NO overhead lighting!!!! Most people use far too little lighting in their homes... or the lighting is all on the same level. Lots of light and lots of levels. If you MUST have overhead lighting make sure it is on a dimmer and keep it LOW!

And I crave natural lighting! I would love to have more windows... and far less window treatments.

10. Have a favorite paint color, do tell?
We have just painted our living room and dining room Sonnet by Benjamin Moore. It is a very soft, light reflective white with taupe undertones. We have lots of white wainscoting and trim in those rooms and it looks marvelous with Benjamin Moore Atrium White.

looking at different colors 

I have the hardest time with picking out wall color... but I got Sonnet right!

Sonnet on the walls

11. What are a couple of really inexpensive things you can do in your home to make it feel "homey" and inviting?

Pillows!  Pillows are like the love language of the house! They say, "let's cuddle"!

 Pillows don't have to be expensive. I get down inserts and make my own. I just change out the covers and keep using the inserts!

I just made these pillows this spring

fall pillows in the family room

gable room pillows

I think there is nothing more homey than a great smelling house!!! I love food scented candles and homemade simmering potpourri. Our very first home sold after being on the market for a very short time because the buyer loved it's smell! I would simmer cinnamon sticks and cloves before each showing! How easy is that?

And it's important to have a welcoming front door... clean, painted... a nice wreath. Your front door sets the mood for your home!

12. Fill in the blank... if money were no object the very first thing I would buy for my home is...
I am going to answer this question a little differently than it was asked.

I have a list in my head of home projects and things I would love to have that will take the next 10 years to complete. My home is really never done... and that's as it should be!

 I think it is an important thing to cultivate contentment and gratitude for what I have. I try not to overlook all the work we have already put into StoneGable and the joy it brings us on a daily basis. There are so many homes that are more beautiful and better made and have more... but StoneGable is OUR haven... our gift from God. I feel very very blessed!

My front door is always open to friends old... and new!

Tina, thank you so much for asking me to share with you and your wonderful readers today! I am by no means a decorator or have your eye and talent for design... so this is a very big thrill for me to come by and visit at the ..........



Bravo Yvonne! I am so impressed with how beautiful yet warm and cozy of a home you have created for you and your family.  Those family pictures are incredible! And the country has always beckoned  to me and your home could be a single reason for someone to take the idyllic!
You can almost smell the wonderful scent of homecooked goodness and feel the love and warmth! I love all your touches, your excellent advice from someone who knows and so agree about the power of pillows, gas ranges, taking your time with decor and making sure a home smells good.

Thank you so much for opening up your wonderful home to me and all my readers and to everyone for stopping in. Now....Yvonne is not getting off the hook so easily, she was way too modest about her insane talent in tablescapes and entertaining so I am going to just have to boast a little for her! Take a look at what this dynamo has done........

And I remember when I found was with this post of this most beautiful tea party for two!

OK, now do you see what all the fuss is about? And why I just had to do a little bragging on her behalf? Yes, she really is that good. I bet Marthas shaking in her boots:) Yvonne, you continue to inspire and amaze....all at the same time! I could go on and on but you will have to visit Yvonne to check out more of her wonders over at her blog. Click here to visit her and sign up and be a part of her beautiful world. Thanks again everyone! Wishing everyone a wonderful Monday and a good start to your week.


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