Welcome to Wonderland

This is my aunt Jacquie’s house–the sun room, to be exact. You probably got a good taste of her decorating sense from this post about the Couch Debate of 2011 . . . or this post about the beauty of her garden.

There are lovely little treasures peppering the house.

But it doesn’t give off a feel of overbearing clutter (at least not while her daughter-in-law Kristen is around to extend her Long Arm of Organization and force frequent purgings)–just one of mystery and enchantment.

Of a family history, told in the things hanging on the walls.

Aunt Jacquie has been hard at work re-making her house ever since she bought it a number of years ago. One of the inspirations for her redesign has been a certain group of little tykes.

Go hug that tree!

They are at a very impressionable age, as you can see. In fact, her grandkids are just old enough to start really enjoying everything she’s done.

And I don’t just mean the big yard that they can run in . . .

. . . though they certainly love to run!

You’ll soon see what I mean. In fact, let’s go up the staircase to the second floor . . .

. . . and up to this seemingly blank and innocent wall. With a very innocent tapestry hanging on it.

Or not so innocent.

What’s that? A hidden door behind the tapestry? Yes! I’ll take a step back so that you can see the hidden door in context:

Let’s go in!

Whoa! We’re climbing up into a castle!

Complete with a dragon and a princess!

I think we’ve just wandered into Wonderland.

There are comfy chairs for the adults to sit in . . .

. . . and a whole room full of things to play with!

Like this airplane.

But, being a girl, the most exciting part of the attic is the area solely dedicated to doll things. Because who cares about riding around in little airplanes and fire trucks when there are doll-sized trees? Doll-sized benches? Doll-sized bureaus and desks and chairs?

Here’s their sitting room . . .

. . . their dining room . . .

(would you just look at those miniature golden goblets! and miniature picture on the wall! and miniature rug! and tiny tablecloth! Oh oh oh!)

. . . the General Store where they stock up on their flour and sugar . . .

. . . and their schoolroom, complete with an iron-bellied stove for those cold winter days.

I want to play here for 5 hours, please.

In fact, make that 5 days.

I think if this attic had been in existence when I was a child, I might have had a heart attack at the age of 7. I would have gone completely ga-ga.

And it’s not just the toys–it’s the little doors. The secret rooms.

The perfect size for little people at play!

Or big people who don’t mind getting stiff knees and a crick in their back.

Plus, you can spy on the adults’ goings-on from up here!

Whether they’re in the garden or in this sitting room below, there’s a wonderful bird’s eye view.

It’s all very child-safe–the spiral staircase is guarded by this metal gate so that no children accidentally zoom down in the metal airplane or other contraption on wheels.

This attic brings joy to a lot of children–and also to the children still lurking within us adults.

Aunt Jacquie, you’ve created a magical world!

And now to get some air conditioning up there . . .

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20 Responses to Welcome to Wonderland

  1. That attic is about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen! I’d feel like Nancy Drew, opening that door and climbing the twisty staircase!

  2. Ah, that is so awesome! Sounds like the perfect secret place to make lots of memories :-)

  3. Layla says:

    This is the neatest house EVER! I never expected the staircase to lead up to such a cool room, and if that wasn’t enough, the room has that adorable tiny door to that secret room.
    I’m almost 29 and I would have a blast playing in there with the kids. How nice of her to have it set up with things for the kids, instead of just storage of things getting dusty and old, LOL.

  4. skippymom says:

    5 Days ? Oh, no, no, no – can I please MOVE in? That is truly the neatest thing I have ever seen. What a wonderful Grandma and very, very, very blessed grandchildren. Just amazing.

    The sunroom is gorgeous too – I think you hit it spot on about being comfortable without cluttered. Couldn’t you just spend all day curled up with a book?

    YAY Aunt Jacqui :)

  5. Jacquie Erwin says:

    If any of you are within driving distance, come on by with or without the kids! I really mean this! Just ask Jenna!

  6. Twinky says:

    Lovely tribute to an amazing sister who has great creativitiy and the ability to carry out such inspiration!

    You forgot to mention the Rabbit Hole under the evening gowns, and the Narnia Nook…. perhaps another post!

  7. Stacy Decker says:

    Thanks for posting this Jenna! I was looking at some of the pictures you had posted a while back and I’m the kind of person that looks at the background in pictures. I noticed the little doll house in the background and went through all the pictures trying to get a better look and to see what it was. So thank you for posting so I could see (so we could all see) the amazing room. What a wonderful house.

    • Jenna says:

      Wow! You are certainly uber observant! It is certainly an amazing room and a wonderful house–Aunt Jacquie’s creativity (and the discipline to see projects through to completion!) is unbounded.

  8. giselle says:

    I LOVE the staircase with the castle walls! omg i would die

  9. What an amazing home! I love everything about it.

  10. Tracy says:

    Oh my goodness, what an adorable space for children (and adults) to play! So beautiful! And I am just loving that sunroom. I could sit in there for hours with a cup of coffee and a good book!

  11. Veronica says:

    No. Way. No way no way no way! That is just soooooooooo cool. She is like the coolest grandma in the whole world!

  12. Judy says:

    Wow. We’ll be moving soon. I’m inspired to think more about future grandchildren in the search. Thanks for sharing.

  13. June says:

    Jenna, you’ve captured the magic of Mum’s space up there. The “secret room” (as the kidlets like to call it) is always the highlight of the trips to Indiana. We are lucky to have such a wonderful grandmother with such an imagination and ability to realize her dreams!

  14. Sarah says:

    how fun! my grandma had a super cool dollhouse that she decorated & furnished over the years. we weren’t allowed to play with it though- looking only. when my grandparents moved out of their home a few years ago no one wanted it so i got it! i am SO excited. it’s currently in my parents’ storage room until we have a house…i can’t wait to have it home again. :)

  15. kate says:

    Oh Aunt Jacquie! What an inspiration you are! This is just the house I want. I don’t know that I have the skills to pull it off but I’m downloading some of the pictures to my inspiration file. If she’s ever on a home tour or anything, count me in. I’m in Chicago.

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