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.
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.
Hunting for barn wood is always a bit of a challenge. We’ve gotten a few good hauls through the years, and have lusted after many dilapidated barns on the side of the road, but have never actually had the chance to see the wood in place before it ends up in the back of our truck. Until now!
We took a hike up to Phillipsburg, NJ last week and took a peek at the falling down barn and its 100+ year old wood planks before they tore them off for us to use at the new Bryn & Dane’s location in Horsham, PA. The siding we got was awesome, but I wish we could have taken the whole place with us. The floor boards were gorgeous, and the entire lower level was white (and dirt) washed in the most beautiful way.
Take a peek at the barn, and stay tuned to see where the salvaged wood ended up.
I’ve been a ridiculous dreamer/idea maker/unrealistic planner my entire life. I thought that when I escaped the world of waiting tables and started to “figure out my life” the big crazy plans would subside, but in fact they’ve only grown bigger, and actually feel more possible than ever. So when Percy and I started dreaming about our potential new lives in Savannah, I completely 100% fell in love with the idea, and fast. It was like somebody said the word Savannah and we said “YES” in unison.
We instantly booked a trip and started planning our perfect lives down there. A great old house with a yard and a garage, suntans all year round, spanish moss, cobblestone streets, a vintage shop, a design firm, an ice cream shop (to finally make some sense of our name) a bed and breakfast that would rival Ace hotel, complete with a speakeasy style underground bar AND a roof top pool, (because frankly, why not?) and of course, an amazing group of creative (but not too artsy) friends who would invite us over to big dinners under twinkle lights. Savannah! The place where dreams come true and you can wear a dress every single day, which is exactly what I would do, after I went for my morning run and made a fresh smoothie and efficiently responded to emails. I’m telling you I was so excited my stomach ached. This was IT.
I wish I could tell you that we were packing up our things to head down there for good, but it seems that our big dreams may have gotten slightly ahead of us. At least, for now. Instead the dreaming continues, the plan everyday slightly different from what it was the day before. I’m just holding onto those Georgia butterflies that had me so excited and waiting impatiently for Spring.
We were so happy to take part in Etsy’s great post today, Creative Couples : Making it Work in Love and Business. I love a captive audience so when they asked us to answer a few questions, I was thrilled to blabber on. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day craziness of running your own business, so it was nice to force myself to sit and reflect for a bit and remember how lucky we truly are.
And because I’m nuts, even though I’m part of the article myself, I still find myself a little envious of the couples featured! They are all doing such beautiful work, and seem to be so happy and in love. Take a peek at some of the magic they are making together.
Thanks so much to everyone at Etsy for a little reminder of how good we have it. X
Sometimes a perfect design opportunity arises and you just have to jump on it. A dear friend of ours was looking for some help sprucing up her Ikea-filled apartment on a budget and was also about to fly out to a warm beach somewhere for a little family getaway. Though we only had a few days to prepare, it was a now or never situation so we made it happen! While she was sipping mojitos, we were able to completely take over her apartment and in just a few days turned the space into the warm and cheerful home she was dreaming of. Though it’s never easy to come home after a vacation, we were so happy to make her return a little brighter.
We’ve been so lucky to spend the past few weeks working with the Bryn & Dane‘s crew to spruce up their first (of many!) delicious & healthy fast food restaurants. It’s honestly a crime to even think of it as fast food, it’s like it’s healthy great food that just happens to be made quickly. Bryn Davis is the owner and mastermind behind the restaurant, and the love and care for what he does is completely infectious. There is almost a Disney-like vibe to the whole place. Workers with smiles so enormous you can hear them through the drive-through window, a gift shop to browse through while you wait for your Mo’ Green smoothie, children laughing, sun streaming in. The whole concept is so brilliant and wholesome it’s really no wonder that they are preparing to open up their second store in Plymouth Meeting this fall.
The lovely and talented Stefania Patrizio has been working with Bryn to create a new brand identity and logo, something that was much needed. (Sorry Bryn!) Her design work totally changed the feel of the place, which meant they needed an interior design revamp to match. Cue us! We were so happy to be able to come in and make the place perfect for Bryn and his entire gang, because really they’re all the sweetest people around. A bit of wood hunting, white washing, hand painting, cutting, drilling, nailing, and styling did the trick. The whole restaurant really feels like one big idea now, which is exactly what is. Enjoy a peek inside and don’t hesitate to make a trip to see it in person. If Mo’ Green doesn’t win you over Dark Lucy will.
I meant to post pictures of how we left the house before Thanksgiving. Each room waiting anxiously to be seen. A new table preparing to hold its first turkey. Fresh paint drying all over and beds made and couches and everything! But instead I ate a lot of food and watched lots of movies and stayed far away from my computer. The moment for the grand tour seems to have passed, or at least been postponed until things are finished! Which is in a few weeks, which just gave me a heart attack. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have something beautiful to share with you. To be honest, there is SO much I want to show you. But we’ll get there, we’ll get there.
For now…the dining room! Or at least the front half. From start to (near) finish.
This is how the dining room looked when we walked in the door for the first time. We instantly knew we wanted to change every single thing about it. Green trim. Lace curtains. Hand stenciling. Those things could look beautiful if done right, but they sure didn’t look beautiful here.
One of the first things we decided was that this little dividing wall had to come down. It created two tiny unusable rooms instead of one grand dining room. Which is exactly what our food and company loving clients needed.
So with one swift blow of his mighty hammer…
With the wall down, we realized that under about 5 layers of cheap wood flooring, the original wide plank floors were still in tact. We couldn’t just leave them buried under there! Many many days of demo and sanding and sanding and staining and finishing followed.
We knew we wanted to plaster in the dining room, and loved the idea of having a blue sky like ceiling and slightly darker walls. I read somewhere that people used to paint their ceilings because it was cheaper than painting the entire room, and for some reason loved that thought. Even though we didn’t paint, and covered the walls as well, it still makes me feel like there’s a story hidden in there.
It’s no easy task, but plaster going up is a beautiful sight to see. The bottom half of the room was so rich in color we almost wanted it to stay that dark. But once the dry white clouds started forming we fell in love with the new color too.
Plus, some wood from an old barn door came together to make a perfect long dining room table.
It was magical walking back into the house. The plaster had dried to the perfect colors. The sun was shining. The kitchen was incredible. Everything was simply dazzling to the eyes. Such a dramatic change from that first day, months ago, when we curiously opened the front door.
A little paint mixing and a few tedious trim painting hours later, voila. The oh-so-stunning dining room was officially born. There are still some final touches to be done, but we’re totally in love already. And hope you are too.
Wow. That was an actual guess and I just checked and it’s literally Wednesday. I will never be able to prove this to you all, but take my word for it.
We are currently in the stage of this job that I like to call “The Total Worst”. That is to say, the total worst part of a situation that overall is amazing, so still not the world’s worst, but you know, the awful middle part of something that’s pretty great. Did I mention I’m high on floor stain fumes?
The coming together stage feels incredibly close, but as of today we are basically camping indoors, which I’ve been trying to think of a word for. If glamping is glamorous camping then we are… Riving? (Rough living.) Hamping? (Home camping.) Seriously, it’s the fumes.
I had big hopes to keep this blog orderly and compartmentalized but today I throw caution to the wind. Which according to the weather forecast will also be filled with snow any minute now.
Instead, enjoy this scattered glimpse into our lives (and the house) today. Everything you see is exactly how it really is.