Christmas Tour of the Farm Grove Barn


Welcome to our restored 1900 dairy barn in the village of Groveland, Illinois.  The barn is now our residence but began life as a building for hay and machinery storage in the main level and a stable in the lower level for horses and milking cows.  We then converted it to a tearoom restaurant and gift shops in 1983.  The main level was converted to three floors using salvaged wood and pegged beams from three older barns in Central Illinois.  The interior wood is weathered barn board or salvaged wood from other out buildings.  We converted the shops to a home in 1997.  The first floor contains a great room, kitchen, dining area, separate sun room and full bath.  The second level contains three bedrooms including a master suite with full bath, a sitting room, large walk-in storage closet and full bath.  The top level loft contains my husband’s office, my computer desk and office, and seating.  The former stable is now storage and a 1910 summer kitchen/mud room/garden tool area.  My craft room, storage and Butch’s workshop are located in the rest of the stable area.  The 1910 kitchen has an entrance leading to the outside lower porch and courtyard patio and garden.

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Kitchen Cupboard and window.  The Kitchen Flows Into the Great Room With a Pantry and Laundry Room located through doors on either side of the kitchen.  We also saved a large double stainless steel sink from our restaurant which is also located outside the laundry room wing and out-of-sight.

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First Floor Great Room Tree – a 10-foot Fresh Frasier Fir

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Entry-way Bench and Library Table Decked with Miniature Christmas Scene and Arrangement.

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Vintage Toys Under the Great Room Tree:  Boyd’s Bear on Tri-cycle, Vintage Wagon Filled with Collectable Department Store Boxes, Melissa & Doug Reindeer.  Arrangement on the Top of the Pot-bellied Stove Between the Great Room and Open Kitchen.  Note the antique dry sink behind the pot-bellied stove.  It is ideal for holding tubs of ice for cold beverages as it has a vintage porcelain basin.

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Dining Room Table Set for Friends’ Soup & Salad Supper.  Crystal Light Setting on Top of Dining Room Buffet.  Decorations on China Cupboards.  Primitive Stable on Sofa Table Dividing the Seating Area from the Dining Area.  Animals are needle-felted reindeer and sheep I hand-crafted from raw wool.

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Doll in Child’s Rocker from My Childhood.  Jointed Vintage Bear.  Barn-board Shelves Behind the Seating Area Filled with Books, Pictures and Collectables.

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A Second Shot of the Shelves with a Ladder from the Original Barn Playing Library Ladder.  One of My Father’s Wood Carvings Hangs Above the Wreath.  My Maternal Grand-parents’ 1950’s Cardboard Nativity is Lit with LED Seed Lights on Another Library Table at the Base of the Stairs.

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Christmas Music Waits Carolers at the Piano.  A Crockery Bowl Holds Christmas Notions and Ribbon Trims.

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Another View of the Dining Room Looking into the Kitchen.  Hubby Butch Relaxing in the Sun Room as We Wait for Company to Arrive.

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View of the Sunroom Decorations and Sunroom Mantle.

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This Wreath on the French Door in the Dining Room Leading to the Second Floor Deck is Trimmed with Another Wreath I crafted.  The Old Packing Slip Wishes “A Vintage Merry Christmas.”  A close-up of the Silver and Crystal Decorating the Buffet.  The Silver-plate Tea Set is Used at Seasonal Christmas Teas for Bible Study Sisters.

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Transitions to Carry the Season–The First Picture is the Stairwell to the Stable/basement Level of the Barn Done in Cabin Style; Note Feed Sack and Sugar Sack Pillows.  A Shot of the Stairs Leading to the Second Floor.  Thick Garland Is Intertwined With Door County Cherry Garlands and Grapevine.

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A Third of the Lower Level has been Transformed Into A 1910 Kitchen to Display Family Primitives and For Storage.  The Original Farmstead was Built in 1862.  Our Barn was the Second on the Property; the First was Blown Down in a Midwest Storm.

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The Christmas Tree in the 1910 Kitchen is a Potted Wild Cedar Tree in a Galvanized Bucket.

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I Used Only Natural Elements in the Primitive Kitchen.  The Wreath Is Decorated With Bay Laurel Leaves, Cones and Cinnamon Sticks on a Vine Wreath.  A Vintage Bear and Santa Sit In the Cubby Holes of a Vintage Pepsi Crate With Cones and Bird Nests.  Vintage Paper was Used to Make the Paper Chain. Red Candles in Holders are for Color and Authenticity.

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The Wood Burning Stove in the 1910 Kitchen.  It is Decorative but Cannot be Vented for Use.  The Seating Area of the Great Room with a Candle Centerpiece.

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A Second-Floor Sitting Room Divides the Master Suite From Two Guest Rooms.  My Novels and Published Books Fill The Center Table with a Large Christmas Arrangement in the Center and a Small Door County, Wisconsin, Schooner.  [See the Blog Page for Listing of Titles]  The Hanging Wreath is Actually a Chandelier Converted to a Candle-chandelier and Holds Tea Lights in Glass Tea Cups.  Also in the Sitting Room are Two Vintage Dolls in Christening Gowns with a Picture of My Infant Mother in Her Christening Gown.

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The Red Guest Room is Decorated in Pink and Scarlet in a Winter Wedding Theme.  A Wool Bear Carrying a Ring Bearer’s Pillow from Our Wedding Sits on the Bed With Our Lace Flower Girl’s Basket.  Silk Roses Echo the Painting.

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My Mother’s Reproduction Shirley Temple Doll Perches on the Bookcase in the Red Room.  Beautiful Garlands and a Wreath Enhance the Window Dressed in Crocheted Lace.

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Three Wedding Gowns are On Display:  The One From 1972 Is My Own.

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A Beautiful 1900 Lace Gown is On Display On a Mannequin.  The Second Shot is Next Door in the Blue Bedroom Decorated for a Cabin Christmas.  Original Primitive Oil Paintings from Auction and My Husband’s Parents’ Trips to the Ozarks Add to the Natural-looking Theme of Woods, Snow, Water and Trees.  Two Small Wild Cedar Trees Make The Window Sill Look Like a Miniature Forest.  A Small Deer is Echoed by the Needle-Felted Deer Pillow.

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Fresh Greens and Holly Fill A Blue Staffordshire Vase; Natural Wool Socks Now Sport Vintage Lace Cuffs and Act as Christmas Stockings.  “Mutton,” the Lamb, Sits on an Ice Cream Parlor Table Set in the Top Floor Loft.  He Was My February Winter Project.

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The Loft Has a Comfortable and Casual Wicker Seating Area; the Centerpiece is of Natural Greens, Birch and Holly in a Vintage Red Wire Basket.  The Loft Tree is Done in Silver and Celedon Green.

Kitchen Counter Set Up for Hot Beverages

Kitchen Counter Set Up for Hot Beverages

Thank you for taking our 2015 Christmas Home Tour.  We delight in sharing it with friends and family at this very special and blessed time of year in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and look forward to His soon return.




About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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