Block Island
House Tour

by Liz Dowling

The Block Island Historical Society has an annual house tour every summer.  My friend Sarah and I go every year and have probably seen over 60 houses on the island.  A favorite summer tradition.

Well, my house is on the tour this year.  It’s hard to believe they asked me, especially since our cottage is only 1,500 square feet and the tour will be over before it begins!  Thankfully there will be lemonade on the deck for all guests when they are done.

I promised myself I wouldn’t go crazy with “fixing” things around the house in anticipation of the house tour.  Easier said than done…

I did do a couple of little things around here.  Not too much, but the list could go on if I let it.  So, here are the tweaks I made in anticipation of the BI house tour:

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A new path (thank you Ned Phillips) we actually added last summer.  Perfect timing!  For 14 years we let our guest wander up and down our grass hill with no lights to guide them.  Not the safest.  Ned put in this beautiful stone path with solar lights.

A new hammock from Lilly Pulitzer at Target.

Adirondack chairs take a beating here, so I replaced our old ones with these lime green chairs and a Pier One table on sale for $39.99.

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I put up a magnetic picture board to match my red hutch in the kitchen.  A place to keep our BI memories.

On the left, some remnants found in our wall when we renovated the kitchen.  The postmark on the letter is Providence to Block Island, circa 1939.

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Target comes to the rescue again.  A $129.99 rolling bar cart I can wheel anywhere we are having a party!

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We have to maximize all of the space in our house and the upstairs landing is actually big enough for a small sitting area/place to watch movies on an ancient TV.  I made a few updates here.

A new roman shade.

New pillows to go with the new roman shade.

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I recovered an old ottoman we had with white cotton duck and piped it with leftover red chenille.  A striped Jonathan Adler placemat under a Crate and Barrel lamp ties in the blue.  I recycled an old blue couch into the upstairs hallway that folds into a double bed for spillover guests.  We have to make the most of every square inch!

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An old wooden chest that holds all of our DVD’S gets some new knobs.

The refrigerator we inherited with the house froze all of our produce, so I got this one on sale at Home Depot.  The old fashioned kind where you can still use magnets!

Robin Langsdorf

Artist: Robin Langsdorf

A painting of our house gets a new frame.

Marilyn Bogdanfey

Artist: Marilyn Bogdanffy (fish)

Forrest Rodts

Artist: Forrest Rodts

Two new pieces of art for our walls.

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My new Dunes and Duchess mirror goes up in our bedroom.  Love this shape!

Another old ottoman gets recovered in blue fabric I had at home, piped with white cotton duck.

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That’s pretty much it.

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If you are around on Tuesday, August 11th from 9:00 – 1:00, I encourage you to go on the Block Island House Tour.  There are some beautiful homes to see and it is really FUN.

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Sarah and I are primed and ready to go!

The two of us on the BI House Tour

Sarah and I on a BI House Tour

the wry home

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Anonymous July 30, 2015 - 8:11 am

house looks great, Liz!!!!!

Paula Fung July 30, 2015 - 8:30 am

Of course your house is on the tour!! It is so beautiful and unique and so YOU!

Amy Harden July 30, 2015 - 8:38 am

Looks great! Sure has come a long way since that long ago hot day when you first bought it! Not only did your old fridge freeze all your produce but I seem to recall you inherited some condiments! Well done you!

Missie July 30, 2015 - 8:54 am

Excellent Liz! Your tweaks are thoughtful and fun! I know it will be a great day! Hope you’ll blog about it! Xo

Gina hardisty July 30, 2015 - 9:03 am

Delightful, I especially love the Lily pulitzer hammock.

Joan McCormick July 30, 2015 - 11:15 am

I had my tour and loved everything you did. It is so attractive. And I now feel I have been there as I can not come.Enjoy it for many years to come! Love,Aunt Joan

Gay Truscott July 30, 2015 - 2:25 pm

I love your work, Liz! So clever and bright and fun (and not overdone). I need you to come to Annapolis and spruce up my house!!

Elizabeth Dowling July 30, 2015 - 3:34 pm

I would LOVE to do that Gay!

Cathy Reagan ( cousin) July 30, 2015 - 4:01 pm

Elizabeth, you house looks fabulous and I am more than impressed with you upholstering talents, Hoping one day to get to RI for a visit.

Elizabeth Dowling July 30, 2015 - 4:15 pm

Cathy, I would love to see you! Come stay with me on Block island xx

Kathleen Perkal July 30, 2015 - 4:57 pm

Looks terrific, Liz! How fun that you showcased some remnants from the wall.

Marg Jilek July 31, 2015 - 5:28 am

If I could get to BI from Sydney, I would be there in a flash — I love Block Island!

Jill Simpson August 3, 2015 - 3:06 pm

Looks terrific, Liz! Authentically beachy, welcoming and authentic, yet polished. Good luck with the tour! I always love house tours and am grateful to the homeowners generous enough to share their homes with me.

Maryann Cassidy August 3, 2015 - 6:29 pm

Simply beautiful!!!

Block Island Historical Society August 4, 2015 - 1:02 am

Thanks Liz for donating your home to the 44th annual Block Island House & Garden Tour benefitting the Historical Society. Your detailing of this classic Summer cottage is just what tour attendees want to see. What a great blog! Small is beautiful. Post a photo of your historic clawfoot bathtub. Tickets are still available at the Museum & the Glass Onion Shop in Old Harbor.

Elizabeth Dowling August 4, 2015 - 4:02 pm

My pleasure!

Kate Conn August 10, 2015 - 9:00 pm

Such a special place! A treat for the senses in every room. Well done Liz. Looking forward to my next visit.

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