A Surprise for The Matriarch

I kept this a secret from everyone until The Matriarch came home because I wanted it to be a surprise. (And she reads the blog every day so i could not even whisper it) So after we picked her up from the airport and dawdled home I took her into the Coupe and introduced her to her finished  (mostly)Tiny Retirement House. The Coupe.


This cabinet  is designed to divide the two rooms but provide storage.   It has two sides, this is the bedroom side.


And this is the kitchen side. It was built by Jeff Jenson of Kempton and his fellow carpenter Tate. Two very talented young men. They do this for a living.  Very, very beautiful work. The Matriarch was stunned and once she had found her voice was thrilled.

You can see how we chose knotted and gnarled timbers allowing the wood to have a voice in the work.

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Tiny but perfect.  There will be a high beautiful fall of sheer cream curtains that can be pulled across the bed if you don’t want to  make your bed. In New Zealand we call this a Granny Flat. However Granny is not ready to retire quite yet so until then it will be a guest house. If you want a writing retreat  or simply a retreat in the summer, let me know.

Earlier yesterday all the dogs and I went for a walk.

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Boo is still learning to share the stick. You hear people talk about learning to be a good loser (as in not a sore loser) but Boo needs to learn to be a good winner. He does tend to rub it in when he has won the stick.  (You know the type.)

By the time we had been up to the airport and back it was dark. And doing the chores in the dark was a bit dicey because this:


Had turned to ice. Though I think it will be warm up  again today, and the wind will do its best to mop the water up.

Have a lovely day.

Your friend on the farm


82 Comments on “A Surprise for The Matriarch

    • Hello! I love your blog. Very beautiful. I am the woman that sold you most of this wood and look forward to you creating more. Very Beautiful work!!

  1. C, the Coupe looks wonderful! A very inviting place with a lot of character.

  2. Beautiful cabinetry! Just curious – is there another corner for a wardrobe for clothes? The Coupe coming together wonderfully. 🙂 Laura

    • Also meant to say … I might like to come and play in the snow – just not in the middle of a Polar Vortex like you had last week. Laura

      • The bedroom that we tapped through to create an entrance from the house to the corridor for the Coupe is being reworked into a walk through wardrobe. We are going to call it Narnia!.. c

  3. wonderful work done by two clever lads. It has character and it is well designed but where do you sit in the evening….what a wonderful resting place…the dogs enjoyed the snow and the run you can see that from their faces

  4. What a wonderful job, looks amazing! It has come together so well, has character, warmth and charm. What more could you ask for. Also love the use of pots and baskets, and is that a weighing scale I see? It has a basket on top? Looks like it is for weighing new babies!

  5. That Coupe is just stunning. It’s filled with so much love, my God. And garden fresh tomatoes is right. That wood sings. Everything from folks songs to arias. It’s just beautiful.

  6. I has come out beautiful! She must have fallen in love with it! Wish I had a Coop to tuck my Mom safely into.

    Sharing is not one of JT’s better sides and never her Momma 🙂

    Have a wonderful week!

  7. Wow I love the room divider… specially that it is real wood, not something one sees too much of these days due to costs… if my book was not finished I might have taken you up on the offer… but to comer there just to do the editing would not work… I’d never get anything done .. I’d just want to help you with the farm work… love this post…

  8. What beautiful work! If I was the Matriarch, I would move in ASAP. Beautiful surroundings, very little to clean, and a lovely Farmy to keep me entertained. Sounds heavenly. You have designed a lovely home.

  9. What a lovely place you have made for the Matriarch ! I love it and I know she was probably speechless when she saw how lovely it is. Your vision for what you wanted came to fruition and it is simply wonderful. Stay warm.

    • Poor old Sheila is having such a time, the ice is so hard in her yard and she is determined to follow me about and she is sliding all over..so I am leaving some of the chores until it is thawed..her little short legs look so precarious sliding on the ice.. c

      • Poor Sheila…sigh…I pray that you have some nice sunny warm days and it melts it all!

      • I suppose she’s well cushioned and with a low centre of gravity, but she does lack natural fur pillows 😉

  10. Celi! I just love the new abode for the Matriarch!!!! It’s beautiful!!!! I am so glad she loved it!!!! Very comfy and lots of good light too!!! All that beautiful wood and great use of space!!! You have done well my friend!!!!!! 😀 I love sheers! I have them in all 14 windows of my sun parlor!!!! When there is a breeze I love the billowing clouds of the sheer fabric!!!! I feel so decadent and rich!!! LOL Lovely!!!! I am such a romantic!!!! 🙂 In my bedroom I have ceiling to floor silk drapes with sheers and the breezes that move them are so comforting to me! Makes me want to stay abed and daydream! LOL I am a pastel lover so our bedroom is Robin’s egg blue! Really pretty! 🙂
    Love the photos of the kids too! Boo is this true? I can hardly believe it!!! LOL It is not easy to be a teenager! I know!!!! Was a bit of a brat myself…but I turned out pretty good dearest Boo Boo! 😉
    Oh…ice…be careful!!!! Enjoy your visit with the Matriarch…something tells me she is a very cool lady!!! I adore my mother-in-law too! 🙂
    Have a great Sunday and I hope the sun shines today for you and melts all that ice! I’d rather deal with the slush and mud!
    Hi to the fellowship! Take care my friend!!! (((((Celi))))) Muah!!!

    • p.s. You never cease to amaze me!!!! Such a gift you have for making something beautful out of anything you touch! So glad I found you!!!! 🙂

  11. I feel the love of the Coupe. What a bright and cozy spot with all of the essentials of home. I’m glad you are experiencing some warmth these days… and even if there is a bit of slop and squish with the day, it’s all good, my friend. Happy day to you, Celi.

  12. The colors are perfect don’t you think ?! The bookshelf/divider is such a brilliant idea
    and handsome to boot !! Ton has the patience of a saint !

    • What a great design and that beautiful wood…I love it. Does the Coupe have a bathroom?

      • morning Pat. Yes it has a lovely little bathroom with toilet and a shower, and a terracotta floor. But it is too tiny to shoot effectively. however it is a fine wee room, with two huge windows way at the top of air. c

  13. Just so lovely. Uniquely designed and exuding such charm! Well done, Celi.
    That expression on Boo is hilarious. And yes Ton is a Saint.

  14. So beautiful it the wood in the coup, Thanks for showing us, Have you tried kitty litter or sand on your daily paths so Sheila can follow? Since you can’t put traction on her feet, it must be traction on the ground.

    • I am just staying out of her field so she does not feel compelled to follow. It is melting again, so lets hope the wind mops some of it up.. c

      • I spent a good part of the morning spreading wood ash all over the horse yard. It does a good job of providing traction, almost seems to eat into the ice and doesn’t harm their feet. Poor little pig feet.
        The coupe is gorgeous, what a wonderful place to hide when you need to!

        • We use our wood ash to melt the drive, I shall steal some next time for her doorway!, and for the cows doorways come to that! Thank you for the tip.

  15. Stunning craftsmanship Celi. And what a pleasure to use proper wood with the knots and gnarls – all adds to its character and shows you where it once came from – a living thing. Joy

  16. Beautiful cabinetry. When I was a kid I designed a floor to ceiling cabinet like that for the end of my bed – one side bed books, the other side, well, more books. But it created a lovely little wall to hide behind. Your version is all grown up and lovely.

  17. It looks lovely and the shelving is beautiful. Putting shelving in as a wall is a great idea and I’m putting that one in my back pocket.

  18. Have been waiting for these photos for quite a time! Lovely ideas beautifully executed. And from what I understand the clothes cupboards will be built in the main house thus providing continuity with your own home . . .private but together! Lovely!! Glad the weather was ‘warm’ enough for the boys’ walk . . . a chance to wear off some energy 🙂 !

    • The walk through wardrobe will also hold the linen, towels and things as well, so it really will be a lovely space to manage.. c

  19. Love the Granny Flat – looks very beautiful and that woodwork is just so creative and interesting.

    Why is it that Granny Flats, on the whole, in Australia (and perhaps NZ?) look so mass produced and boring? Older people haven’t lost their eye or love of beauty and good craftsmanship, they just need to down-size to make life easier as they age and move much slower.

    Great photos too.

  20. Absolutely gorgeous, and what a treat!! Oh how I would love have a little retreat with you and animals for a couple of weeks! I may not ever want to leave that charming guest house though. 😉

  21. Wow, the new wall/storage area is beautiful, and so practical. What a lovely place you have designed.

  22. The Coupe is stunning in its’ simplicity & the wood divider is a wonderful example of functional art. Your craftsmen did a wonderful job making your ideas some to life. It may be small, but the openness & flow of natural light make it seem just the right size for one person. Storage space is such a luxury when living in a smaller home, but you did a fantastic job of incorporating design & function into a serene & efficient living space. The Matriarch can look forward to livin’ large on the prairie when she retires. How fun that you get to test drive the coupe for your guests over the next few years. Your MIL must be absolutely thrilled with how the entire project turned out. I
    Boo is making the funniest facial expression with his eyes looking to the side that way. Would love to see a blow up of just Boo’s face so I could think of captions to go along with his cheeky grin. I hope the chicks with frostbitten combs & waddles are doing alright? I have been think about them the past few days & sending positive thoughts that they do not get infected.

    • So far the chickens are eating and drinking and not huddling or fluffed up in corners anymore.. Now that they are in the real chicken Coop they are warmer and get more feed. They ran off and joined the roosters in the barn and were uncatchable until they got the frostbite poor things.. Thank you for your kind words about the Cpupe. I spent many years in the theatre and then film and it is refreshing to design a set that gets to play for decades as opposed to weeks.. c

  23. Clever use of colour, c. Cool colours for the bedroom, and warm colours for the kitchen. That wood is to die for. Best of the day to you and the farmy!

  24. I love that the wall provides places to display. Doors & cupboards are all very good but we need to see our treasures 🙂

  25. It’s stunning. I knew it would be, but it just vibrates with peace and happy feelings – and that’s in a photo, I can only imagine how good it feels in there for real!

  26. I have been eagerly anticipating the day we would see the Coupe all finished! The Matriarch must have been speechless for sure.. it looks like something from a magazine, c! Well done.. and good luck with training Boo, we still haven’t learned to drop the toy after playing fetch:D xx

  27. Splendid, simply splendid. That’s very much what I’ve been planning to do with the end walls of our living space in the condo we have for our eventual ‘retirement’—whatever that will actually be—we rent it out for now, as-is, and will customize it to our taste if and when the time comes. Mr. Jenson should be most highly commended for his marvelous work.

  28. Oh, the glory of that writer’s retreat! I live on ten acres, but about half of it is liable to flood (if it ever rains again!) and so that doesn’t leave a huge chunk that would be available, but I’m hoping that someday I might be able to have a wee writing place built upon it. Until then…the dining table it is!

  29. The Matriarch is so lucky! The cabinet is beautiful, and the wood looks as if it is still alive. You could wake up and find it has sprouted new leaves in the night. (still catching up after my time in the wilds)

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