I adore historic homes and dream about restoring one in retirement. Cary and Melinda Winchester got to live out my dream with the Belle Louise Historic Guest House in Paducah, KY.
About the Home
Built in 1879, this Italianate mansion was built by Lt. James Daniel Frazier and his wife Sarah Abigail Frazier for their family. Like many other homes of this stature, it changed hands multiple times over the centuries, and even served as a funeral home before falling into disrepair. Over the last year, the Winchesters lovingly restored it and this Grand Dame is now a charming bed and breakfast, and the place to stay in Paducah.
The Centuries Room
After a full day in the city, we arrived at the B&B in the evening. The gas light on the porch was lit, and I was immediately smitten. We stayed in the spacious Centuries Room, so named because an addition in the early 1900s utilized brick in a contrasting color. This feature is most prevalent behind the beds. Just outside is a secret garden where Blinky and I sat and identified plants for a spell.
The Dining Room and Great Room
After a restful night’s sleep, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast in the formal Dining Room, which adjoins the Great Room. It’s easy to imagine a ladies’ retreat, or small wedding here, no?!
Immediately following breakfast, Melinda was gracious enough to give us a tour of the home. (Please note that some of the pictures were taken the night before and some the morning of the tour.) Her passion about the restoration is evident in everything. From selling her family’s farm to pour her heart and soul into the Belle Louise, to the framed artifacts like newspaper clippings she found in the walls, to the period furnishings outfitting the home. Make no mistake, restoring a home this size is a gargantuan feat, and not for the faint of heart. To do so successfully, is a monumental achievement.
The Grand Foyer
My favorite features of this space are the curio cabinet filled with relics about the home, and the three chandeliers on the first floor, which the previous owners purchased from a Rockefeller estate sale.
This sunlit room features an ornate, hand-carved fireplace of German craftsmanship, and the most beautiful hinges I have ever seen!
The kitchen is modernized to host small social gatherings. I adore all things blue and white, and this plate wall in the corner caught my eye!
The Powder Room
The crackle paint finish on the inside of the door is like a happy surprise.
In addition to the Centuries Room, there are four other bedrooms.
Sallie Abigail Room
This room is named after Sarah Abigail Frazier, the original matriarch of the home.
The Queen’s Bee
Fit for a queen, the moniker is also to memorialize a bee nest of 30,000 honeybees found outside the window during the renovation. The nest was safely rehomed with a local beekeeper.
The Belle Suite with Private Deck
The private deck off the Belle Suite is a lovely space to sit and read. And that clawfoot tub…all the heart emojis!
The Master Suite
Part of the original antebellum portion of the home, this is currently Cary and Melinda’s room, and is available for a stay. We did see this room, but I did not get photos. I borrowed these from their website.
We enjoyed our stay immensely, and would absolutely stay here again! I would love to see this Victorian lady dressed for Halloween or Christmas. Can you imagine?!
As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you have.
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