Entering from the large wrap-around front porch, one of the first items of interest are the double doors that originally hung in the front entry, but were badly weather damaged. After careful restoration they were rehung on the inside of the entry vestibule and a new front door was hung in their place. The front hall, with curved plaster walls and wainscoting, is presided over by a gas lamp made of stained glass and believed to be original to the home.
To the left of the front hall is the drawing room, featuring a round 5’ diameter stained glass window with beveled glass set in the center. An oak mantle and antique tile grace the unique fireplace. The walnut trim was uncovered after many hours of hand stripping when the room was remodeled in 2003. The Victorian wallpaper, fainting couch, drum-table, Oriental rug, and various other furnishings and decorations grace the room and give it a warm, inviting air.
Adjoining the sitting room is the dining room. A large antique oak dining table with eight chairs is used for guests’ meals. Also present are an antique German punch bowl and cups on top of a drop leaf walnut table purchased at the turn of the century by the Michael’s maternal grandmother as she set up housekeeping. Over the drop leaf table is a cheery stained glass window that features a number of prisms that fill the room with rainbows of color on sunny days. We remodeled the dining room in 2012 to strip the woodwork of paint and add the tin ceiling and wall paper.
Opposite the sitting room on the other side of the front hall is the library. This room features a baby grand piano that Jeanne’s dad rescued from a decaying funeral home and refinished by hand. Above the piano is a semi-circular stained glass window on top of a four-foot square window of beveled glass.
The Laura Ingalls Wilder room is located on the first floor, just behind the staircase. Named for the famous Missouri author, this room features a hand carved four poster king-sized bed, ceiling fan, decorative fire place, and large bathroom including rain head shower and a Jacuzzi tub. An antique dresser and a variety of lacy linens and antique knick-knacks complete the décor.
The downstairs hallway features oak paneling and an original steam heat radiator. Impressively massive newel posts, 10″ in diameter and made of turned oak, begin the sweeping staircase. Midway to the second floor the stair pauses on a spacious landing that features a stained glass window damaged by the same dynamite blast that toppled the turret, and subsequently rebuilt.
The stairway leads to the upstairs hallway. Opposite the top of the stair is a wash stand with a wheat pattern carved in the front. Next to the wash stand is an antique love seat upholstered in white brocade. Three guestrooms open off the hallway, with a smaller hallway leading to the back of the house.
Straight across from the top of the stairs is the Mark Twain room, named for another Missouri author of some repute. Featuring a queen-sized four-poster bed and antique dresser, this unique room has windows facing east, south, and west with a view of the pool. The E. B. White room adjoins Twain with a door between them. The two rooms may be rented as a suite, with a queen-sized bed and twin-size day bed in White.
Across the hall the Louisa May Alcott room features a floral print wall paper, private bathroom with shower, and bay-windows overlooking the brick driveway and neighbors’ gardens. The room is furnished with a serpentine front dresser sporting a large mirror of beveled glass, several chairs, and a queen-sized bed with walnut headboard.
Outside, Grand Avenue B&B features many gardens, pots, and planters.