1114 S Noland Rd Independence, MO 64050


Bed and Breakfast

Beach Cottage Memories

The Beach Cottage is one of our most popular accomodations.  It is a separate one-bedroom house with full kitchen and laundry.  Decorated in a nautical theme, our guests have found it to be a wonderful getaway, perfect for those who desire additional privacy, or for first-time B&B visitors.

I have older memories of the house, years before it was the Beach Cottage.

A Little History

The lot where the Cottage is now located originally contained a much larger house, the front wing of the original Napolian Bonaparte Stone house.  (The main house that today the makes up the B&B was the rear wing of the original house.)  The house was moved onto the lot about 1926.  As the couple that lived in the house grew older, the house fell into disrepair and was demolished about 1961.

Stone-Gamble Split

The small one-bedroom house that we know as the Beach Cottage was erected about 1964 on the back of the lot where the old house had been.  It was built for caretakers of the main house (now the Silver Heart Inn), and was occupied intermittently throughout the years.

Beach Cottage Front

This is where I come into the story.  In junior high school, I met classmate Evan, who lived in the main house with his grandparents.  We became fast friends, and I often rode my bike about a mile to visit during the summer.  In high school, we spent Saturday evenings with other classmates and friends and played Risk in the main house.

Risk Box 1980

Up All Night

I well remember a sleepover one night in the “Little House,” as it was known then.  It must have been about the summer of 1977.  Evan and I watched the huge wooden console television all night: Johnny Carson, then the Late Show, then the Late, Late Show.  After the sun came up, we got about an hour of sleep.

Moving On

Evan and I graduated from high school and went our separate ways.  The Little House became a rental property, and was used for a time as the office of Shirley’s interior decorating business.  It must have been a large concern, because when we purchased the home, we noticed that two phone lines had been run to the cottage.

The Beach Cottage at the B&B

Melanie and I bought the main house in the spring of 2012.  The property included the Little House, so it became part of our B&B.  We decided to decorate it as a beach cottage, as a tribute to Melanie’s childhood summer visits to the New Jersey shore and Virginia beaches, and to my years in the Navy in exotic places close to a beach.

The ancient wood-cabinet television in the living room was long gone, and where it stood we put in an electric fireplace with an LED television above.  The bathroom and kitchen got beautiful tile on the walls, and new counters and sinks.  The kitchen cabinets were refinished and the fixtures were modernized.  We refurbished a ceiling fan in the living room and installed a new one in the bedroom.  The bedroom featured a seaside mural along the top of the wall, hand painted by Melanie and daughter Amy.  The sand and shell bedside lamps were assembled by daughter Emily.

Beach Cottage Bathroom
Beach Cottage Kitchen
Beach Cottage Bedroom
Beach Cottage Mural

We spent a couple of months during the sweltering summer of 2012 remodeling the house.  By September, everything took on a new sense of urgency.  Melanie secretly arranged with Evan and my high school friends to come for a Risk Reunion.  One of my friends booked the Beach Cottage to stay in, though at the time I didn’t know it was him.  All I knew was that we had our first customer in a week and a half!

The Final Push

If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done!  I took off work the week before arrival to finish all the improvements in time.  I repaired the bathtub, then sanded and painted to finish.  All the rooms had bead board paneling mounted and topped with decorative crown molding, then the walls were painted.  We planted sea grass in front of the porch and rigged a soaker hose to keep it from withering in the heat.  We finished in the nick of time and our first guest (my old Risk friend) had a delightful time.

More Improvements

Since our first visitor, we have continued to improve the Beach Cottage.  The next summer, we added a rock beach and boardwalk to improve the experience and make the path easier.  In the last year, we have added a separate WiFi access point and replaced the roof.  This year, we installed a new fireplace, upgraded the TV to 43-inch, and we have plans for even more improvements over the summer.

This way to the Beach Cottage
Beach Cottage Exterior looking SSW

The Perfect Stay

Many people have enjoyed staying at the Beach Cottage.  We often get compliments for the comfortable bed.  A kitchen with microwave and full-sized stove mean that our visitors can prepare meals, if they desire.  For guests with reduced mobility, the cottage is on one level with one step and one threshhold between the parking lot and the living room.

The Beach Cottage is isolated from the main house and the street, so you can enjoy secluded privacy.  It is the perfect getaway for your first visit to a B&B.  And, as with all our guests, you get a gourmet breakfast served each morning in the main house!

Won’t you consider staying with us in the Beach Cottage?

The Cabbage Rose Carpeting in the Parlor: Armenian Persecution, Persian Poetry and Bruce Springsteen

  Over two days, Melanie and crew removed the cabbage rose carpeting from the main parlor. The wool carpeting had stood up for ages, but it finally succumbed to wear and tear. Originally installed in the 1950s, it is fair to say that it was one of the first wall-to-wall carpets in Independence.

An Historical Reminder

  When we bought the house in 2012, there was identical wool carpet on the floor of the dining room. Because it was stained and water damaged beyond repair, we immediately took it up. But the carpet in the parlor was in better condition than the dining room, though it had definite wear patterns in high-traffic areas. We left the carpet in place there as a vivid reminder of the house’s historical past. In corners where the traffic was minimal, it was possible to see the colors nearly as bright as when the carpet was new.

Original Carpeting

The Carpet

  The Gamble family told the tale of how Avanell had the wool carpet installed when Roy was out of town. Roy reportedly did not like the carpet at first, but it grew on him. The carpeting featured a pattern of pink cabbage roses (Rosa centifolia) with green stems and foilage. The installation included premium horsehair padding and carpeting stretched to wooden tack strips. The manufacturer name, Karagheusian, was stamped on the backing of the carpeting along with the carpet line, Gulistan.

Karagheusian Rugs

  Two Armenian brothers, Arshag and Mihran Karagheusian, belonging to a family that had been weaving rugs in Turkey since 1818, emigrated to America in 1896 to flee persecution by the Ottoman Turks. In 1904 they opened a carpet mill in Freehold, New Jersey and soon became a major employer in the area. In the 1930s, they wove the carpet for the Radio City Music Hall and the United States Supreme Court Building. The Karagheusian Gulistan label represented the top of the line.

Karagheusian Carpeting Label

Time Marches On

By the 1950s, the Karagheusians had added tufted carpeting to their line of woven rugs, continuing under the Gulistan name. During these prosperous times, many Americans installed wall-to-wall carpeting in their homes. The Gambles were one of the first families to do so in Independence.

Arshag Karagheusian, the last surviving brother, passed away in 1963. The company was sold and the carpet mill in Freehold was closed the next year. Bruce Springsteen sang about the carpet mill in the song, “My Hometown,”

They’re closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain’t coming back


  The Gulistan was the title of an influential book of stories and poems written in 1258 by the Persian poet Sa’di. Gulistan means “rose garden,” a collection of roses as a metaphor for the collection of stories and poems. The book was (and is) widely quoted in the East for its wisdom. “I was sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet,” is from The Gulistan.

Now and the Future

  Our parlor now has a hardwood floor covered by two large woven rugs. It is quite elegant, yet we miss the original wool carpeting with the roses. We hope one day to possibly have the carpet reproduced, so that the Karagheusian Gulistan design might one day return to the Silver Heart Inn.

Before and After Photos

  In October 2015, a photographer took pictures of the inn, including the parlor.  To compare, I recently (February 2019) took some pictures with my phone to match those shots. Please excuse my lousy photography. We currently have two rugs covering the wood floor.  And over the years, we’ve moved the furniture around.

Parlor, Sep 2015 looking East
Parlor, Feb 2019 looking East
Parlor, Sep 2015 looking West
Parlor, Feb 2019 looking West
Parlor, Sep 2015 looking South
Parlor, Feb 2019 looking South

The Secret Garden Apothecary is now located at Silver Heart Inn

The house that became the Silver Heart Inn was originally built about 1856. At that time, medical science was very primitive, and many people relied on home remedies to relieve pain and restore health. For fever, apply hyssop. To purify the air of illness, eucalyptus is called for. Doctors have since confirmed that many of these remedies are effective, and they form the basis of modern pharmaceutical products.

Business Card
The Secret Garden Apothecary

For quite awhile, our daughter Emily has had an interest in herbal remedies, tonics, perfumes and soaps.  For about a year, she has operated The Secret Garden Apothecary out of her home. A longtime Civil War reenactor, she wanted to create remedies and beauty aids authentic to the period that can be purchased by other reenactors.


We found a wonderful way to honor the history of our community and support a family endeavor at the same time. We believed that Emily’s business would be a great tie-in with our Inn and its history, so we asked her to move in! The Secret Garden Apothecary can now be found at Silver Heart Inn, in the Library on our ground floor.

Featuring specially formulated remedies, teas, tonics, creams, rubs, essential oils, soaps and other herbal preparations, Emily’s products are natural, vegetable-based and are not tested on animals. She has an extensive herbal reference library that you can peruse free of charge, with some books available for purchase. Emily also conducts classes at the Inn, where you can learn how to use essential oils for your health and beauty.

For more information about The Secret Garden Apothecary, contact Emily at 816-391-8464 or Facebook: @thesecretgardenapothecary.

Body Butter

Ladies-Only Murder Mystery – Killer Apprehended!

Another murder mystery was concluded on Friday, August 8th, 2014. The ladies-only investigation began at 6:30 and ended three hours later with the arrest of the murderer. Justice prevails once again!

Murder among the nouveau richeIt was the quarterly meeting of the Gazillionaire Girls Group, an exclusive club whose membership is comprised of successful women who made it big without relying upon the other gender. The hostess for this unique gathering was entertainment guru Bertha Brothert. Her upscale line of products appeals to the nouveau riche.

Brothert’s yacht, ‘The Perfection’ was the scene of the meeting. A special guest was present to entertain the Group’s members and to predict their futures. Famed fortuneteller Madame Magda pulled out her crystal ball and told the assembled clique of distinguished daughters of destiny that many good things await them.

Yacht - scene of the ladies-only murder investigation
Suddenly, a shocked expression crossed the mystic’s face as she shuddered in horror. The crystal ball, she proclaimed, was emphatic in predicting that someone would soon die.

The next morning, true to her words, a body was found floating nearby the yacht. It was Madame Magda herself who was the victim!

A large group of distinguished and well-dressed women arrived to assist in the murder investigation. With ten suspects and five other characters to question, they had their work cut out for them. But first, to fortify the ladies for their daunting task, they first dined on Cordon Bleu, bacon wrapped green beans, salad, and for dessert, peaches and blueberry crisp.

After dinner, interrogations began in earnest. Everyone tried their best to extract the most information from each suspect, hoping for a slip-up that might reveal the killer. Additional information was provided by the Crime Lab and the Coroner.

After intense questioning, each of the suspects was considered. Motive, Means and Opportunity were examined. Some suspects were identified as very likely to have committed the murder. Others were eliminated by their alibis, or being ‘too obvious’ a suspect.

At last, the murderer was revealed, handcuffed and presented with a ‘Bad Kitty’ scented soap. The investigators also voted on the Best Dressed Lady of the evening, and she was presented with a gaudy bauble, a genuine diamondoid of over 200 carats.

Melanie and Perry thoroughly enjoyed hosting this special ladies-only murder mystery. Watch this page for details on future Murder Mysteries at Silver Heart Inn. You can conveniently purchase tickets online, or by phone. If you’ve never been to one of our Murder Mysteries, here’s what to expect.

Ladies-Only Murder Mystery

Food and Exercise – What Matters to You

A big emphasis in the lodging industry nowadays is on food and exercise options.  I completely understand their importance to the chronic traveler.  After all, it’s a lot of eating out on the road, in airports, and it makes it very difficult to eat and rest well.  Simply stated, it’s hard on the body.

We have had pleasure travelers inquire about the same kinds of food and exercise needs.  They want a healthier menu option, smaller portions, and directions to the local gyms.  They aren’t just the younger generation, either.  It seems that we are all getting smarter about our health and fitness.  I think that is really great.  After all, we only get one body and one life, and we do want to live it to the fullest.

So, what does that mean for Silver Heart Inn?  How are we meeting the needs of those guests?  What can we do for you if you are watching your diet or would like to have exercise options?

I have given quite a lot of intentional thought to this.  How can I provide an extraordinary experience for my guests?  First of all, let’s take a look at the menu.


Delicious Crepes

Bed and Breakfasts usually have a signature dish.  That is wonderful!  It sets them apart from the others.  But I have taken it just a step higher.  We have a seasonal menu offering.  This is a great deal of fun, changing it up, and trying new things!  What does that mean?  I choose to cook what is fresh, in season, and try to attend our local farmers’ market weekly to purchase locally produced food.  I look for organic foods if they are available.  Because I ran an organic egg, chicken, and dairy farm for seven years, I have a lot of knowledge in this area.  We sold our fresh products to a local market right here in the Independence / Kansas City area for over three years.  Fresher ingredients mean better nutrition, superb flavor, and that equals a better you!

Garden Frittata

Did you know that you could stay here for a whole week and never eat the same thing twice?  (We certainly do honor requests for seconds!)  I vary the menu while you are here from carb to protein days.  What?  You have food allergies, diabetes, need gluten free, or you are vegetarian.  No problem, I have options for you as well.  I can serve healthful teas that are caffeine free.  We are glad to accommodate.


Now, about that exercise!  If you prefer your morning yoga, we have mats, blocks and straps on hand right here at the Inn.  Check out a DVD to watch in the privacy of your room.  Prefer to have a live class? Just down the street, we have a Yoga and Pilates studio.  We would be glad to give you a class schedule or make arrangements to use this gorgeous facility.  Also, down the road is a gym with equipment in the Sermon Center.  You could even run there to warm up.  We have a great location for all your fitness needs.

Maybe you are a runner,  just needing that morning jog to “get your game on”  for the day.  We are in a great running area.  Not only is the neighborhood easy to navigate, the historic cemetery just down the road has some varied slopes for a better workout.  (Make sure you stop by to say hello to Napolian B. Stone, original builder of our home.)  We have beautiful parks in Independence and also the Little Blue Trace trail for a longer run.

Cyclists have really enjoyed the trails here in Independence as well as easy access to many in the Kansas City area.  Our location puts you at the heart of all the wonderful attractions.  I am even networking with a local bike shop for rentals.  Give me some feedback on that.  I would like to hear your thoughts.

Perhaps you just need to have a rest for your body.  Treat yourself to a little indulgence and pampering.  You deserve it.  Licensed massage therapists for both therapeutic and Swedish message are available to come to you at the Inn or you can go out to the studio (also located on Noland Road), if you prefer.  We are happy to reserve an appointment for you.

I hope you can see that we take our guests’ food and exercise seriously at Silver Heart Inn. Until we see you for your next visit, stay fit and be well!

Second Murderer Apprehended!

Our second murder mystery took place on Saturday, January 25th.  Held entirely within the Silver Heart Inn, the murderer was apprehended in three hours.


It was 1937, a time of great achievement, great danger, and great uncertainty.  Industrialist Peter Petulant was mudered aboard his streamlined train, the Petulant Express, underway somewhere outside of Akron, OH.  The Inspector brought together the sleuths for assistance in solving the crime.

After dinner in the club car (including a birthday celebration), sleuthing teams questioned the suspects for clues.  Was it the obnoxious German brewer, the demure English mystery writer, the blustry southern senator, young Norwegian figure skater, the brash Aussie croc hunter, mysterious Italian opera singer, rotund baseball star or the flamboyant fashion designer??  Everyone had secrets, and some of those secrets, once revealed, could help solve the murder.

At the final gathering, the Inspector revealed the murderer.  One sleuth had deduced ‘who done it’ and was rewarded with a gift certificate.  The suspect with the best costume was similarly rewarded.  All guests left with a Silver Heart Inn keepsake wine glass.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in this wonderful event, and to Debra for making mystery magic once again.  Watch this blog and Facebook for information on the next adventure.

The Murderer has been Caught!

From our first Murder Mystery Weekend,

October 11-12, 2013

What excitement, what fun! A fabulous weekend event on the most perfect fall weekend.  The weather was gorgeous and we were ready to deduce the murderer in our first ever Murder Mystery.

Friday Night – Meet the Suspects

The guests and suspects arrived as arranged by the Inspector to recount their testimonies for the sleuths on Friday night at the Cork and Barrel.  While we sipped on the celebrated vintage of the Melee Winery, each in turn recalled their memories of the party the evening before the body was found.  All emotions ran high, some seemingly disturbed by the news of the body found at the bottom of the winery basement stairs, other callous comments seemed incriminating.  Could it have been an accident?  The Inspector thought not!  Who did it if it was foul play?  A solemn tone had been set as we all left with the Inspector’s warning lingering in our ears, “You won’t get away with this.  One of you is guilty!”

Saturday Morning – Interrogations

All were once again gathered at the request of the Inspector on Saturday morning.  Information had been discovered overnight.  We could tell she had her own suspicions by the way that she eyed each suspect.  She asked for our help, and told us where to find the suspects in their regular haunts on a Saturday.  But this would not be just any ordinary Saturday, they would be questioned.  Maybe a little slip or perhaps an unintended comment about another suspect would prove helpful in flushing out the guilty party.  Someone was hiding something.  The plot thickened after each suspect was located on the Square or in the Englewood Arts District.  Little insidious connections became evident.

Saturday Afternoon – Snacks & More Questions

Food Spread
By noon we agreed to meet at the Silver Heart Inn B&B for a bit of hard earned refreshment and some time to share our clues with others.  This was no simple murder mystery.  The coroners report held a few clues.  It was more challenging than we thought!  As we sipped on our mulled cider, nibbled cinnamon doughnuts and caramel apple bites, each testimony revealed more twists, turns and conflicting information.  Questions came rapid fire, we were deep into the excitement of solving the crime.  Sleuths headed back out for a few more hours attempting to catch the murderer unawares.

Saturday Night – The Murderer Revealed

We met at Vivalore where we gathered in the 3rd floor art gallery. A “last chance” to confess was issued by the Inspector at the dinner table.  There would be no easy escape for the guilty one once revealed.  An arrest was about to be made.  No one confessed.  All around the table glances were passed, the knowing looks of those who shared secrets they believed no one else knew.  Oh, but we did, and now it was time to tell.  Tongues were plied with a bit more wine.  The Inspector stood….

You didn’t really think that I was going to reveal the murderer, did you?  You will just have to reserve your spot for the next Murder Mystery at Silver Heart Inn.  Check this blog for details on future Murder Mysteries. You can conveniently purchase tickets online, or by phone. If you’ve never been to one of our Murder Mysteries, here’s more about what to expect.

Murder Mystery Poster

Patterns and Textures – Other Times

Shirley Gamble lovingly decorated the Stone-Gamble Mansion in the 80s.  Here are a few patterns and textures in the house that her decorating complemented.

Patterns and Textures: Marble Entryway


This is the marble floor in the entryway at the front door.  I like to stare at it often and find familiar shapes.  I can make out a yellow Illinois, a red-brown sort-of Oregon and a green marbled Nevada.  (Not to scale, of course)



Stair Post


Here is the bottom post of the staircase.  By its rough-hewn look, it could be from the 1850s, when the house was built.  Curiously curved the way it is, it widens the bannister and opens the staircase.



Patterns and Textures: Cabbage Rose Carpet


The cabbage Rose (Rosa centifolia) is the primary element in the wool carpet found on most of the ground floor and the stairway.  The carpeting was installed in the mid-1950s and predates Shirley’s decorating.  Severely worn in some places after decades of service, this patch hints at the carpet’s original beauty.


Patterns and Textures: Gardening Scene


This gardening scene from colonial times is from the couch in the main parlor.  The couch has been in the house since at least the 1970s, but it fit in perfectly with Shirley’s decorating.


Patterns and Textures: Fire Dog


This is the fire dog in the downstairs fireplace. Newspaper articles about the house opine that these may have been original from when the house was built in the 1850s.  Does the head represent a fire sprite?  An angel?  A Greek god?




Patterns and Textures: Fireplace Mural

This is an addition we have made to the home, a mural over the fireplace.  It was painted in May, 2012 by Melanie’s mother during a visit from Virginia.  The mural represents the courtship of Margery Stone, the youngest daughter of Napolian B. Stone, builder of the house.  A protective and skeptical Stone looks over Margery, who is admiring a ring on her finger.  To the right, three suitors are present.  Which of them won her heart?  Was it Red, Pork Chop, or Top Hat?

Patterns and Textures: Gaslight

The light fixture in the kitchen appears to be converted from gas.  The gas valves are evident.  The fixture is in the newest addition of the home, from the 1940s or 50s, so if it was in the house before, it was moved from somewhere else.


I like to use many of these pictures as personalized wallpapers for my phone.  They are a constant reminder of the rich heritage of the house.  We welcome you to visit us and discover many more unique patterns and textures on your own.

Risk Reunion Weekend, 28-29 September 2012

On a recent weekend, my wonderful wife Melanie presented me with a surprise that was nearly a year in the making: a Risk Reunion!

Risk Reunion: Vintage box

First, I need to explain how Risk, the board game of world domination, played an important part in the history of the Silver Heart Inn.

Since seventh grade, I was close friends with Evan, who lived in this beautiful house with his grandparents.  I visited him here often, and got a glimpse of the many rooms.  I recall one occassion when we stayed overnight in the Little House, the cottage in the back.  With no adult supervision, we stayed up the whole night.  On the huge console TV, we watched Johnnie Carson on the Tonight Show, then scary movie after cheesy movie on the Late Show.

Starting in our Junior year of High School (1978, Go Bears!), Evan hosted a game of Risk on Saturday nights in the Dining Room.  Anywhere from five to fifteen people showed up each week to play.  Most of the time, we played multi-board games, split into two alliances and rolled the dice with a special program that Evan wrote in BASIC on his TRS-80.  I always played green, Evan was blue, and several of the other regulars had their colors: Barton was black, Scott was red.  We had T-shirts made in our colors with the words, “I take risks” and a special pocket on the sleeve for our Risk card sets.

I know what you’re thinking, “Musta been pencil-neck geek Central in there!”  I will only say in our defense that we were perfectly NORMAL high school students of our time.  We all had cars, and most of us had girlfriends.  My letter jacket was adorned with medals and pins from my triumphs in Math relays, but the gold C I wore came from JV track I ran sophomore year.  Like I said, normal.

After high school, our lives all followed their own separate ways:

– I spent time in the Navy and Navy Reserve and became an IT weenie (“Could you reboot one more time, ma’am?”).

– Evan became a serial matriculator, attending several prestigious universities.

– Scott was a part-time corrections officer and become a successful marketer of food products.

– Barton was a software developer team lead at Garmin (my own dream company to work for), and became an accomplished Contra dancer in his spare time.

– Sadly, after creating several award-winning screenplays, Bob succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2007.

Zoom ahead to 2010.  Evan came to town and called a few of us to meet at Arthur Bryant’s, his favorite barbecue place.  We learned that the beautiful house was going on the market.  Melanie has dreamed of running a Bed & Breakfast for a long time, and was convinced that this wonderful house I knew from childhood, would be perfect to welcome guests in.  It took us a year and a half to get our finances in order to make an offer, but soon the house was ours!

The summer was a scorcher, and it was very difficult to make improvements on the Little House in the hot weather.  Melanie told me we had a booking for the weekend, so I took off work the week prior to make the enormous upgrades that still needed to be done.  Fortunately, everything progressed well, and by the end of the week, we had reimagined the Little House into a fabulous Beach Cottage.

Meanwhile, since before we even moved in, Melanie was contacting as many of my Risk buddies as she could locate to arrange this Risk Reunion.  A few weeks out, I happened to look on her phone and saw Scott’s name.  Melanie played it cool, and said that he was in town to visit family and had heard about our Bed & Breakfast plans from Evan.

Well, Friday night came, the time for Scott to arrive.  As soon as he did, I showed him around the place.  As I was doing that (surprise, surprise), Evan showed up.  I was still in the dark, and thought that maybe Evan stopped by because he knew that Scott was here.  Then Barton arrived, and I still didn’t put the pieces together.  Finally, Melanie presented us with our new, improved Risk shirts, and explained about this wonderful surprise.  We enjoyed wine and cheese that evening, and got caught up on each others’ lives.

On Saturday, after a breakfast of pumpkin pancakes, the Risk tournament began.  We used three boards, connected in a line from Kamchatka to Alaska.  After some jockeying for position, we soon formed into alliances: Barton and myself against Evan and Scott, black and green versus blue and red.  Missing Evan’s old TRS-80, we used an iPhone app to roll the dice.

After many hours of enjoyable banter and intense conflict, black and green finally succumbed to the onslaught.  Not to worry, however, we are planning a rematch next September.

Patterns and Textures – Shirley

The Stone-Gamble Mansion was expertly decorated by Shirley Odneal Gamble from 1983 to 1985.  She took special care, because not only was the house a showcase for her interior decorating talents, it was also her home.  The house was featured in local newspaper articles of the times.

Shirley Gamble

Shirley Odneal Gamble

Shirley decorated the home in Georgian Style, a flamboyant style that is characterized by elaborately carved furniture legs, ball-and-claw feet, ornate carvings and gilding.  The style borrowed from many influences, architecturally from Greek and Roman styles, but Chinese and Eastern styles were common interior elements, such as oriental rugs, Chinese prints and lacquer ware.

Allow me to share some rich patterns and textures that were lovingly placed throughout the house by Shirley.

Chinese Wallpaper

This wallpaper print, found the southeast bedroom, is a perfect example of Chinese elements used in the Georgian Style.  There is so much subtle variety in the pattern of birds and dainty dancers, that it is hard to discern three repeating vertical bands.

Bluebird Wallpaper


This is the wallpaper design in the northeast bedroom.  It is light, bright and airy.


Bird of Paradise Wallpaper

This wallpaper was Shirley’s crowning achievement.  It is a pattern featuring a Bird of Paradise and adorns the front entryway, all the way to the top of the stairs.  Straight from the factory, the print is very, well, BLAH!–not very colorful at all.  Shirley punched it up by commissioning local artist Dortha Wingate to hand paint highlights to the flowers and feathers in burgundy, pinks and teal blues.  It was a stroke of genius, because it coordinated perfectly with the deep burgundy moire below the dado.

Dortha Wingate

An artist always signs her work!







Blue Drops

Shirley went a little 80s in the north bathroom.  This small chandelier and the light fixtures in the wall feature light blue drop-glass beads.  The rest of the room is done in baby blue and gold, with brass faucet and tub fittings.  Following the Georgian style, the large mirror is surrounded by an ornate, gilded carved frame.




Signatures in Elavator Shaft

In 1984, Roy Gamble suffered a stroke that confined him to a wheelchair.  At the same time that Shirley was redecorating, the house was remodeled for wheelchair access, including a small elevator.  But Roy wasn’t the only passenger.  On the wall inside the elevator shaft, visitors have made their mark, echoes of happy times.

Shirley and Roy

This is one of the first signatures on the wall, Shirley and Roy welcoming us all to their home.




These are some of the decorating elements that Shirley added to the house. In my next blog, I’ll feature patterns and textures found in the house from other times. Many of them are elements that Shirley’s contributions complemented and harmonized with.

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