“Hygge” (pronounced hue-guh) Danish word meaning “to give courage, comfort, joy.”
Interested in having your own personal “Hygge Retreat”? Contact Dungeness Barn House to book your reservation now! Feel the warmth of Hygge; comforting mind, body and soul…
The dark days of winter invite contemplation…
The dark days of winter invite contemplation: nature closes in, the blood slows down and the eyes get heavy early in the evening. In the Pacific Northwest, it’s a time of dramatic skies and a steel-gray ocean.
Yet in the middle of all of this darkness, there is light.
The precious light of a winter sky – and the light that we create: indoor lights, candles, Christmas lights – all kinds of light. And the most important light of all, and for many, the hardest to kindle: the light within our hearts.
For many, it’s the season of light deprivation, Seasonal Affective Depression or S.A.D. Is rampant. A good model for dealing with wintertide comes from Northern countries with the harshest winters, the shortest days and the longest nights.
The Danish have an obsession with the concept of Hygge.
Hygge, which is pronounced “hoo-guh” is one of those untranslatable words whose closest cousin in English is “cozy.”
Hygge happens on many levels
from basic physical comfort, to a state of mental well-being to the warmth of belonging to a community. It comes from simple creature comforts: a hearty breakfast, cup of hot chocolate, your favorite old sweater, and a great book. It’s a feeling of inner peace, and comfortable in one’s own skin. It means finding your tribe and living in a place where you feel accepted and loved.
The Dungeness Barn House believes in cultivating hygge
At Dungeness Barn House, we believe in cultivating hygge. Eat well, change your wet socks, add extra layers of warmth and light a candle to ward off the dark. Do whatever you need to do to cultivate inner peace: yoga, walks, meditation, cooking, and journaling to name a few. Find like-minded people who will support your vision and dreams.
Many of our guests have expressed how comfortable they feel at Dungeness Barn House as a result of our practice of hygge
Sometimes, with all of the pressures of modern life, it’s hard to find time and space for hygge. We find the best way to learn hygge is to take a break, even just for a day, to cultivate those habits. “Hygge Habits” which can then be brought back into your daily life for more balance and a sense of well-being.
Embrace wintertide. Tend your fires, and stay warm.
There is no “normal”
Blended families have always been a part of our culture and recognized in pop culture for almost 50 years with the Brady Bunch show being a significant watershed. The classic nuclear family is becoming the exception rather than the norm – with so many people choosing alternative lifestyles, same sex partners and even the lines of gender have become blurred with the transsexual movement. Perhaps the “new normal” is that there is no “normal” – and that’s a good thing. That never existed anyway, even in the most “normal” looking nuclear family.
There is the family that you are born into, and the people that you choose to be in you life; your “family of choice.” Sometimes these are blood relatives and sometimes not, sometimes they include both.
We believe that the best way to move through life is to show up as our most authentic selves – without explanation or apology. Clare and Su are excited to be grandma’s in the year 2019. They are “The Grandma’s” to their families – they show up as the married couple that they are – and it’s that simple.
The holidays are a time in which loss and celebration are entwined… “the first year without a loved one…” when the one gift we all want is the one thing that you can’t have which is to have that loved one back…
Clare’s father recently passed away. He was 88. He enlisted when he was 17, served in the Korean War and was one of only a few people from his platoon who made it home. He survived alcoholism. And she was his adored daughter. From when she was first held in his arms as a newborn, she was his girl. He lit up when she entered the room – and in his eyes, she could do no wrong. He would do anything for her. At the age of 8, she brought him to his first AA meeting – and he became sober for the rest of his life.
They shared so many of the same quirks – one of them both being “hoodie people” in that they both wore hoodies even in the house to fend off the cold – and friends commented upon seeing them both in their hoodies “My God, you look just like him!”
He was always willing to try and understand, even when it was hard. Clare’s niece Mee-ya became angry with him at a family dinner when he made a comment about not understanding what all this new terminology was and not knowing what to say when addressing people. “Male or female how are you suppose to know? Are Clare and Su both wives? I don’t understand all these strange terms, why is it now necessary!?” Mee-ya was so frustrated with her grandpa she left the table and went outside . He followed her and said: “Mee-ya I am sorry I upset you. I’m just a old man. I’m confused and need help with the new ways.”
He died surrounded by loved ones, his extended family. Including his adopted daughter which he adopted when he was 80 and she was a few months old.
It’s a bittersweet holiday remembering a lost father. The gift of life that a parent brings and the closure of their life ending. Love is a bridge to span the gaps between our differences. Love motivates us to reach out and understand more about the people who we love. Love can heal wounds.
We hunched around Clare’s laptop while Trina on speaker phone guided us through the steps of posting a blog… “Look for the button that says ____ on the upper left…”
Su and Melissa demolished a large bag of BBQ potato chips in the process. And some candy.
Our brains needed it!
“I just think that machines don’t work around me.” -Amy Schumer, Mom Computer Therapy
We were in start-up and didn’t really know how to communicate what our business was or what kind of look we wanted… it just had to get… DONE.
Which it was – cobbled together out of existing photographs and using modified templates – it was the best we could do for where and what we were at the time.
Except that having a great website IS a basic.
As our business evolved – many upgrades were made in remodeling house and garden – and the website stayed behind. It was meh… OK but it increasingly didn’t reflect who and what we are now.
When we first took over the Dungeness Barn House it was filled with Victorian antiques and for many years was the owners’ full-time home.
Anyone who visited the Barn House felt the love and devotion that had been given to it from the very beginning of its renovation from a barn to home back in the 1950’s, which was reflected in their five-star reviews.
We are the third “generation” of owners to care for the property and barn house. Now it was Clare’s turn to put her own style to work and create a signature business that reflects our life style and intentions.
Rustic modern with a hint of edginess. Comfortable and eclectic – where masculine and feminine elements were balanced. We wanted to give our guests the feeling that they are not visiting our home but that we are here to share what we do. We live in the 200′ square apartment above the garage next to the Dungeness Barn House.
Our website continued to gather dust – it worked “well enough” with basic information and people could find us. We handled all of the bookings and reservations by hand so we didn’t think that it was hurting us.
Except it was.
Bookings that could have happened with a few convenient clicks of the button by a customer became an involved process of phone calls back and forth.
So… taking a deep breath – we decided to make the plunge and hired a web designer – Trina Packard. Someone who could “get” what we do and modernize it and make it reflection of our business NOW.
“I want for these doilies to be an expression of that love… that we have for our guests…” Portlandia Bed and Breakfast – The Doily Shoppe
An Informal, Opinionated, and Brief History Of The Business Of Bed & Breakfasts
The 80’s saw the rise of Bed and Breakfast’s as home owners who enjoyed entertaining, decided to earn some extra cash by opening up their homes as B&B’s. Hallmarks of the owner’s quirks included staying in a room with pictures of the owners family on the wall – or worse – their dolls on the beds. While some did an excellent and professional job, a huge part of the charm was that it was run by amateurs and “not corporate.” Travelers sacrificed convenience for a unique experience.
As the rise in popularity of B&B’s continued, they became more organized – and corporate. “Homes” were built specifically to be B&B’s and they became more organized as income-generating businesses. In some cases, they were also seen as a tax shelter for upper middle class people who were looking for a write off for whom it didn’t matter if they were a viable business or not.
2000’s and beyond
Corporatization and technology came to B&B’s. Booking became more sophisticated – and online booking became an expected part of even a very “low key” B&B operation. Public ratings from Yelp, TripAdvisor and similar crowd source reviews became extremely important. Google search placement and Google Maps meant the difference between a successful business and failing. It became harder for small B&B’s to compete without having a strong online presence. All of these conveinances come at a high price for a small B&B. The advent of AirBnB.com added a new player to the field.
“Those little soaps that you saw… those are cookies!”
Portlandia: Bed and Breakfast – Inspection
Businesses that facilitate travel, and work as liaisons between hotels/B&B’s and their customers have also consolidated and become much larger
Expedia.com and Booking.com – own many smaller online travel agents such as Airbnb .com, Trivago and Home Away. If a small business wants to compete, they need to work with these huge companies which take a hefty percentage of any room that is booked.
At the same time, savvy travelers also became more wary of “fake positive reviews,” photographs that looked “too professional” and obviously paid for advertisements by large companies to boost their web presence. The internet had transitioned from being a level playing field for all businesses to compete with equal access to an increasingly corporate environment with priority given to the paid advertising and those who could pay to optimize their website to be found by search engines.
Dungeness Barn House’s location on search pages had become buried. It was past time for an update. An update on every level and to make it a more streamlined process for our customers, and let us focus more on offering great experiences for our customers – like gourmet breakfasts. And tend our organic vegetable garden.
The website needed to not look like “Grandma’s B&B” and more modern, yet rustic to reflect what the Dungeness Barn House looked like now.
Clare researched different designers and options… Should we go DIY – “Do it yourself” That was quickly ruled out as a “Do it yourself – DON’T” or what Melissa likes to call a “DIYD.” Should we try and slowly update what we have just by swapping out old pictures for new ones? No. The format isn’t right… and it would have to be redone sooner or later. Sooner much rather than later.
Trina Packard of Packard Design Works was clearly the best fit – she understood that we wanted something clean, but warm – to reflect the “high touch” elements of the Barn House. Modern, but also honored the traditions we value. She and Clare did a deep dive into educating Clare about all of the elements that needed to go into the revamp. Clare’s brother Michael Monnin who is a competitive photographer and avid birder supplied many of the photographs. Terms that were initially unfamiliar but now roll easily off of Clare’s tongue: SEO (search engine optimization), OTA (online travel agent), VBRO (vacation rental by owner). She says: “Acronyms… It’s been painful…”
We also wanted the website to be a resource for both locals and visitors to the Olympic Peninsula. While the beauty of this location is breathtaking – many people are not aware of all of the hidden gems and options for inexpensive – and creative day trips.
Some transitions happen gracefully…
Trees turning color in the fall are a beautiful example of that…
Daisies are not…
But in the end…
totally worth it.
Just make sure that you have plenty of chips, candy AND the right designer!
Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade. -Rudyard Kipling
“Garden as though you will live forever.”-William Kent
There is a bond that happens between the property and the people who put their love, blood, sweat and tears into it. The land binds us together across generations of owners and caretakers who collaborate to create a beautiful and functional garden. We are joined by a common love of the land. A thriving garden is a reflection of the community and our mutual understanding and respect. In caring for our garden, we also care for ourselves.
“Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.” -Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Su is the mastermind behind all of the building projects at Dungeness Barn House. She applies her talents and skills from working at Habitat for Humanity and her own construction business to create original designs.
When asked “What do you like about building?” Su’s philosophy of designing and building is to create something out of someone’s idea but that they didn’t know how to make – and “…make it happen. It makes me happy to see them happy with the final result.”
Which is a good thing because Clare is always thinking up new challenges for Su!
Clare wanted raised beds to be designed so that she could “… still garden at 80.” Waist high, and made of materials that will weather well over time, with a deep base to allow for the roots to grow. Bales of straw at the bottom provide organic matter that decomposes into a rich mulch and holds moisture. The beds are drip irrigated because as Su puts it: “I didn’t want want to spend all day watering the garden.” Whatever your age – making gardening easier and being able to easily access the plants (and weeds!) can make the difference between a garden that is maintained over time, versus one that gets neglected because it’s not “user friendly.”
The raised beds are planted with a wide variety of vegetables – from potatoes to lettuces, spinach and heirloom-variety tomatoes. Guests are fed from the garden and from local farms from whatever is in season. The Dungeness Barn House chickens supply the eggs!
Late summer and early fall is the height of the growing season in the Dungeness. Hardy crops: potatoes, garlic, spinach and kales can be harvested even into the early winter months.
Peas and cucumbers are trellised from four corners of two of the larger beds.
Sequim is a cool-weather growing climate – and because the Dungeness Barn House is located on a high bluff waterfront, there are additional challenges of wind and salt air. The gardens are sheltered behind the buildings, where it’s warm enough for roses to bloom in a mild winter.
This design is flexible; make one, see how it goes and add on.
Dungeness Barn House Bed and Breakfast at Two Crows Farm
Raised Garden Beds
So my beautiful and wonderful partner/wife, Clare, decided she wants to be able to garden when she’s 80…and figures since she won’t be able to get on her hands and knees any longer, (or most likely won’t be able to get up if she did get down there), she asked me to make these raised beds for her. Now, she can garden (and possibly with her walker later in life) standing upright and the boxes make it easy. So I’ve tried to put together what I did and some of the tips I found while making them for her. I love her creative energy. She’s always got something new for me to try and make.
Materials needed for one 3 x 5 box:
8 – pressure treated 2 x 4 x 8 (base structure)
2 – doug fir 1 x 2 x 8 (trim boards)
2 – corrugated metal (patina or rusty if you like) approx. 27” x 16’ long
2 – bales + 2 flakes (straw per box)
3” screws (make sure for use in pressure treated material or they will rust)
1” screws for metal corrugated roofing (small rubber washer attached)
6 p nails 1 1/2” long
Landscape fabric (under the boxes and over the straw)
1 yard (approx.) (Organic) Soil
4 – 2 x 4 x 57” pressure treated lumber
4 – 2 x 4 x 36” pressure treated lumber
8 – 2 x 4 x 21” pressure treated lumber
2 – 1 x 2 x 32 3/4” doug fir
2 – 1 x 2 x 55 1/4” doug fir
2 – 27” x 56 3/4” corrugated metal
2 – 27” x 31 1/4” corrugated metal
Take 1 – 2 x 4 x 57” pressure treated lumber and attach to the inside end of 1 – 2 x 4 x 36” pressure treated lumber with the screws. This forms and “L” shape. You will repeat this step 3 more times. Once you have 4 “L” shapes you will connect 2 of them together to form a box (  ). Repeat with the remaining 2 “L” shapes. Now you have 2 boxes.
Take 2 – 2 x 4 x 21” pressure treated lumber and screw them together for the side corners (long side to long side of the lumber). Repeat 3 more times. You now have all the side corner pieces ready to install on the boxes.
Toe nail the side corners to the boxes with the 3” screws. (I placed the side corner cuts opposite of the way the cuts were for the boxes so it would be stronger and it helped for screwing on the metal later.) (I also found it was easiest to screw on one side at a time to the bottom all four corners and then flip the entire unit onto the top (which is now laying on the bottom) and then screw it into place.) (It forms a 3 D box). After all the corner sides are screwed on the box, it should be pretty sound and you are ready for the metal.
Install the long metal on the long sides first with the metal screws. Then attach the smaller sides with the metal screws. (again, I found it easiest to place the boxes on their sides so I wasn’t crawling inside to try and attach the metal to the lumber) (learned that the hard way, ha!) Once all sides are attached place the box upright and you are ready to install the trim.
Since the metal sticks out a bit and can be very sharp, I used the 1 x 2 to hold it in place and protect the edge. Using clamps to hold the 1 x 2 and the metal close to the 2 x 4, nail the 1 x 2 to the 2 x 4 holding the metal in-between. (I used my pneumatic nailer for this, you could also use screws if you don’t have a nailer, although you might need to pre-drill so the wood doesn’t split) Either way, once this step is completed all the way around the top of the box you are ready to install the straw.
Take landscape fabric and place where you are going to be putting your boxes. I use 20 p nails 4” long and fender washers to hold down my fabric as we have a lot of rocks and harder soils. Once that is down and you’ve placed your box where you want it take 2 bales of straw and place side by side inside the box. You will find that there is a gap at the end or they look short and they are, that’s where the 2 flakes of another bale will fill in. Then cut some of the landscape fabric to cover the top of the straw to prevent it from sprouting up into your box. You’re now ready for soil.
It will take not quite a yard of soil per box giving you about 8” – 10” of planting depth. As the straw decomposes, you can fill the space with more soil, compost, manure etc. Thus, reviving the soil each year. You are now ready to plant.
Have fun and enjoy!
On a separate note, I installed a drip watering system on a timer so I’m not spending hours (although I’d like to sometimes) watering the garden. So far, it’s worked out great.
Any questions you can reach me on my cell at 360-821-9294 or leave a message. I’ll get back to you.