Summer 2021 at the B & B on Broadway

In the Spotlight

Summer 2021 at the B & B on Broadway

B&B Buzz

B & B on Broadway Featured in Wander With Wonder!

Travel writer Tracy Ellen Beard details her trip to the Driftless area, complete with a stay at the B&B on Broadway and recommendations for outdoor activities, eateries, eclectic shops, and more! Read more >

Clean Indoor Air

We installed an air purification system in the B & B’s HVAC that reduces pathogens and other airborne particles, including viruses, to help guests and us sleep more safely. We are following COVID-19 protocols. See our website for details. Call 563-382-1420 or email if you have questions.

Around the House

Paint, repair, paint, repair. Repeat. That could be a Victorian home owner’s mantra. The B & B on Broadway is a 1910 Queen Anne Victorian that needed a bit of a facelift when we bought it.

In 2018, we restored all first-floor windows and tore off the dry-rot-ridden back porch and rebuilt it. Now our guests in Room 4, the Wilder Room, can enjoy a large, quiet deck with a view of our backyard and carriage house. (We moved the two noisy air conditioners off the deck to the side of the house.)

Last summer as the COVID-19 pandemic kept many of us from traveling, we decided to tackle the second-floor exterior. We repaired and painted all the second-floor windows. (Watch for a future article on repairing not replacing windows. Yes, well-maintained vintage windows can be better than new windows.)

We also repaired and painted the front porch. We removed the not-original-header clutter and put Matthew’s mechanical engineering skills to good use realigning the pillars. Now the front porch feels more open and fresh. We love it—the porch is cool on hot days and cozy on cold days. It’s great for relaxing and watching Decorah life go by.

This summer we sat on the front porch while carpenters and painters reached the third-floor painting and repair work. They had to move a few birds’ nests to new locations, but otherwise, no guests or family members were disturbed by this final stage.

So, the big question: what colors did we paint our Queen Anne?? Since we are San Francisco Bay Area transplants, you might think we followed the lead of the painted ladies. But no, we fall into the camp of historically appropriate rather than modern or trendy.

The previous owners did a great job choosing historically appropriate colors for a Victorian home: they chose a creamy buff, rusty brown, and khaki. We kicked up the khaki a notch with a sparkly caramel color, but otherwise stayed with their color palate. Colors from nature—mostly dark, rich shades of red, burgundy, chestnut, greens, browns, blues, and creamy yellows—reigned supreme on new Victorian homes from 1840 to 1920. The intent was to be consistent with nature’s paint palette plus paint color choices were limited compared to the array of paint choices of today.

If you’re thinking about what colors to paint your historic home, check out this article: Choosing Exterior Paint Colors for Your Historic Home

Around Decorah

Speaking of colors, the Decorah Prairie never disappoints. Spring greens transform into bursts of summer yellows, purples, blues, and orange that change to reds, browns, and deep purples in the fall. Even the browns and greys dusted with snow in the winter make prairie hikes a visual paradise all year long. The Upper Iowa River skirts the prairie providing additional vistas.

The Decorah Community Prairie is located at 4 Ohio Street, about a mile from the B & B on Broadway. Stop by The Landing Market or Pulpit Rock Brewery for a cool beverage or snack after your hike on your way back to the B & B.

– Melissa & Matthew

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