Lancaster County B&B’s Winter Renovations Unvealed

After the busy summer and fall season in 2010, the winter months are traditionally slower at the Historic Smithton Inn, and for the second year in a row, the innkeepers have put the lull in business to good use.  This PA Dutch Country B&B used the winter months to spruce up, fix up, renovate and add amenities.  In 2009 their the big push was to put cable TV into all the guest rooms, including flat screen TVs with DVD players.  This year they got even more ambitious… check it out:

Guestroom #3 – the Chocolate Room:  A fresh coat of paint and new curtains warmed up the feel of this room.  It was always a favorite choice, especially among male guests who love the strong canopy bed and the bare brick fireplace, but now it’s spruced up and lovely.  A new desk and night stand were purchased from local nearby Adamstown antique shops.  A new focal point in the room is a hooked rug that hangs between the front windows.  It looks great and is a reminder of a ‘regular’ guest of the Historic Smithton Inn who made it especially for the Inn (thanks Karen!!!).

Guest Room #2 – the Yellow Room:  This cheerful, charming guest room suffered from numerous of cracks in the plaster ceiling and outdated, curtains.  All the cracks were repaired and the walls and ceiling were painted in a combination of yellow tones.  The updated curtains are semi-custom with ‘off the shelf’ panels on top and a strip of floral linen on the bottom, allowing the curtains to just ‘kiss’ the floor.  Extra fabric became accent pillows for the bed and chair.  Two paintings by local artist Gladys ?? where purchased from the HeArt of Friendship art gallery in Downtown Ephrata.  And finally, a new Tiffany style lamp compliments the sunflower designed hand-sewn quilt while brightening things up nicely.

Behind the Scenes – Keeping the Breeze OUTSIDE:  Not all of the Historic Smithton’s winter updates are obvious to guests, but they’re impactful none the less.  While the smell of fresh air is lovely, it’s not such a good thing when you’re standing inside front hallway and the door is closed!  It’s great to be able to spend the night in a B&B built in 1763, but unfortunately the Inn was stereotypically drafty.  The solution:  an  infrared camera was brought in to identify problem spots and leaks.  Foam insulation was sprayed where possible, all the the exterior doors were sealed up, and gaps around windows and along baseboards were caulked.  This generally buttoned up things up and made the Inn both more energy efficient and more comfortable for guests.

A New Back Door:  One problem drafty area was a window in the back hallway, on the way to Guestroom #1 – the Sage Room.  By changing out an old, leaky window for a door, multiple benefits were achieved.  Besides the improved energy efficiency, now there’s a way for guests to access the back patio and garden without having to walk all the way around the house from the front, or alternately, pass through the kitchen.  A additional security benefit came from a keypad entry handle that was installed on this door, allowing guests to type in a code to enter the building late at night, while keeping the other doors locked.

Drum Roll… the BEST Winter project is… !?!?  On the first floor, also off the hallway that leads to Guest Room #1, was an old storage room.  This cluttered, junky, generally yucky space has been transformed into a cloak-room / hallway that leads to… TWO new powder rooms!!  Everything about this space is wonderful:  the paint color is warm, the old wood floors shine, the wainscoting is in keeping with the property’s history and makes the old stone window ledges ‘pop’. 
But while the design and style are attractive, what makes this project the big favorite is the benefit it affords both guests and staff at the Inn.  With the addition of two powder rooms, the Historic Smithton is now a terrific option for parties and events, both indoors and out (the powder rooms are situated directly ahead of the new back door!).  Staff no longer need to traipse up and down three flights of stairs every time they need to use the rest room (YEAH!!!), and guests have an option to use a first floor powder room rather than go to their guest room to use the facilities.
This year’s winter renovations have proven to be exciting and welcome updates to an already lovely, historic Bed and Breakfast.  They all compliment the history and charm of the inn, while enhancing guest comfort and enjoyment.  Plan your Lancaster County vacation to Ephrata and the Historic Smithton Inn to check them out for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!
For even more photos (some before & afters…) go to our facebook page:  Click Here