Many thanks to Sara for all her hard work and the beautiful feature!
As much as we adore these, they have been sitting in our front room since then, and we think it’s high time we found them a home. So let the bidding begin! You need them! And they need you! Do I hear $600? x
Gotta give a little shout out to Huffington Post for the heads up on the AMAZING photographs of Niki Feijen. Fiejen took these shots from four different abandoned farmhouses in western Europe. These places have been untouched for years, and whether they are covered in moss, falling down, or holding up pretty well they are just stunning. If we could find a house like this to take under our wing… I can’t finish typing that sentence without letting out a huge sigh.
Enjoy these beautiful shots. And be sure to check out Feijen’s personal website for the full collection. 149 perfect moments.
We tend to do all the documenting in huge bursts, which–believe me–is not the best way to do it. It always means faking “during” shots, re-cleaning and re-styling for after photos, and getting so frustrated that we didn’t take more befores. Two great rules we need to start following: 1. Clean as you go. 2. Photograph as you go.
Anyway, here’s a project from a couple years ago! My personal favorite actually, and one that we did manage to photograph while it was happening. And thank god we did. I don’t know exactly how many hours it took altogether, but I’d guess at least a hundred. I still can’t believe it’s done. And that I did it. Everything from pulling hundreds of feet of thick old oak basecap molding (yes, oak!) out of an abandoned school in North Philly to spraying on the final coat of paint. None of it was easy, but the final result was worth every second. I doubt most visitors even realize that molding hasn’t always been there.
The first step was salvaging all the wood, which I did solo one snowy winter day a couple years ago. A friend of a friend had shown me this amazing abandoned school in North Philly. It had been sitting for years, slowly falling to ruin at the hands of kids, scrappers, and the weather. It was slated for demolition any day (but actually took another year or two), so I didn’t feel too bad about trying to preserve some of the unbelievable craftsmanship that had gone into building the place. (School photos from a different mission on a different day, thanks to Hilly Cribben!)
It’s not easy to salvage around four hundred linear feet of molding, let alone singlehandedly. Pulling it off’s just the first step. A lot of hallways and rooms like this one were left cap-less that day.
After I reached my linear foot goal, I had to haul all the pieces down a few hallways and stairs, across a courtyard, up a few more stairs in the gymnasium, and out one of the former windows. Defenestrated, the molding would land in the quickly accumulating snow about fifteen feet below, ready for me to circle back and pick it up in the clean black minivan I’d rented for the day.
After all that, at the end of a very long day, the wood ended up in the dining room, ready for action. If you ever need extra motivation to get a project done, just pile up the supplies in your dining room to the point that you can barely walk past, especially if your supplies still need to be denailed. You’ll be dying to finish before you’ve even started! And just like that, the room quickly started coming together.
For about a year now we’ve been living like nomads. Traveling from one job (or trip!) to the next, living out of bags, subletting, crashing with friends, and living with my parents in suburbia to fill in all the time in between. There was some excitement to this lifestyle when it began last spring, but at this point we’re both desperately longing for a place to call home.
We had hopes of trying out a new city, which led to a nationwide search for the perfect place to live. There are still a few places to investigate, but as fairy tales have been trying to tell us for years, it turns out in the end, home was right in front of us. Staying in Philadelphia near our work and connections and people feels like the best thing to do for now, especially while we continue to try and figure out this crazy business of ours. The runner up awards went to LA, New Orleans and Savannah, and the five year plan still involves moving somewhere warm and beautiful and building a house and having a vineyard and maybe even some blonde kids running around, so don’t get TOO used to us being in one spot. Yes, I’m already thinking about our next house and we haven’t even found our first one yet. But I know you’re crazy and do the same exact thing, so cheers to being human!
Anyway, house hunting! What a glorious, fun, all-consuming, disappointing, heart-breaking, dream-making activity. We pretty quickly have realized that the more completely falling down a place is, the more we love it. Remodeled kitchens? Shiny new wood floors? Freshly tiled bathrooms? No thanks! Bring on the cracking plaster, the hidden wide plank flooring, the tattered wallpaper that I can’t get out of my brain, and make the place super affordable while you’re at it?
Here is a glimpse of the things that have been making our hearts flutter, and some glitter popcorn walls just for the fun of it. And if you believe in magic, send out a little prayer to the housing gods that the guy selling 728 S. 6th comes to his senses and let’s us turn a crumbling mess into a beautiful home. If it happens, our guest room is wide open.
It’s been a whirlwind April for us up in Horsham PA. Bryn of Bryn & Dane’s took possession of his new location (inside Horsham Athletic Club) on April 1st, and we had until the April 11th Launch Party to make it beautiful. There were more than a few late nights packed in there, but we did it!
Also be sure to scroll all the way down for a couple before pics, which don’t convey nearly how disgusting it was in there. Sticky surfaces and ants everywhere, old egg on the griddle, and a walk-in fridge that smelled like death. Thank god for commercial cleaning crews.
For some reason, at some point in the last few decades, some idiot decided that appliances should no longer be available in custom colors. And after seeing a bunch of grandma-house atrocities while house hunting in Philly yesterday, I can’t blame him (yeah, it was definitely a dude). But something tells me all the major appliance manufacturers just got together one day and decided over stiff cocktails, the fewer options the “better” (read: cheaper). And so began the reign of stainless, black, and white. Not a lot of fun for us designers!
Now you’re probably saying to yourself, “Smeg, Smeg, Smeg!” Yeah, we get it! They’re adorable. Just like a wittle kitten. Cute, but too small to get much done. The first time Tara and I saw one in real life (after gushing over a bunch of pictures), we couldn’t believe how tiny it was. Plus they only come as a fridge or a freezer, not both.
Enter Big Chill Fridge! Well, twelve years ago–I’m a little late on this one. But how awesome are those colors? Not only do they have normal-person-size and Smeg-size fridge-slash-freezers, they also have ranges and range hoods and dishwashers and microwaves. Check out Drew Barrymore’s kitchen below!
Now all we need is a big-budget kitchen job.
Well it might not really be Spring related, but National Geographic’s recently started posting a huge archive of old travel photos to this new tumblr of theirs.
There are about a thousand other photos I want to post here, but I’ll refrain. Go check it out for yourself!