We purchased the property that would become Mezzacello in late October 2013. We had a strategy in place that we thought was genius at the time. We would continue to rent our apartment three blocks away for two more months while we “fixed up” the 160+ year old house. That is the ESSENCE of naivety. We purchased these two lovely cordovan leather wing chairs in the arts district here in Columbus, OH. We brought them to Mezzacello while the original wooden floors were being refinished.

Our plan at the time was to use them to sit in while we rested from redoing the plaster, building crown moldings, refinishing the floors. We soon realized that the house at Mezzacello was going to need much more than two months’ labor. This house needed much more love. But we loved her. and we fell in love with those chairs as well. We all of us decided to stay for the long haul.

Wing Chairs we bought on a whim when we bought our house; note the right front leg of the right chair. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello
The house as it exists today. Building out the house has been as much work as the gardens! Jim Bruner | Mezzacello

Eventually we finished the reception rooms of the house. We kept the arm chairs because we loved them. I even replaced the front legs with matching ball and claw legs I had manufactured for the purpose. The house needs much more work. She’s sinking in the middle, her foundation needs shored up, and the back part of the house needs removed and replaced. She needs a bra, a facelift, and a new backside. She’ll get it. Like these chairs we will grow into this house. Every season we grow a little more, and become a bit more tolerant of her eccentricities. One day, we’ll fit into this house like those broken chairs did. And then it will be time for a new generation to love her like we’ve done.

I dedicate this blog post to Lonnie Keels. He reminded us that life is series of gracious little stories, challenges, and victories. Long live Mezzacello. The furnace has gone out and will need to be replaced along with the entire 1990 era electrical system of the house. Those chairs, the fireplaces, the entire essence of this house survives. and we love her.

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