We’ve said it a thousand different times in a hundred different ways: in our COLLECTIVE minds, the space in which you live–be it the walls around you, the neighborhood in which the walls are perched, or the city that envelopes it all–is of the utmost importance. For us, the point is simple. When you make an effort to create a home in which you can flourish, then you most certainly will. We’ll be singing this song for as long as we’re around, and Home, Made marks another way for us to keep the music going. It won’t be entirely unlike others on the website, this series: our focus is always on creating what you need in your space. Home, Made has fewer rules and a fixed focus on what it is, exactly, that makes these particular homes so very well suited to the owners. They may be clients…they may not. The homes you see here won’t necessarily be for sale. They will, however, be so perfectly paired to the people inside that we can’t help but “ooo” and “aah” and tell their stories. Here, every perfectly-placed peculiarity will have its reason, every room its respective owner’s ethos.
Each room–every piece of art, pottery, or furniture–has a narrative. .
We introduced you all to Sarah Winward a couple of years ago on this very website: a local by all definitions, but a destination wedding florist, Sarah’s been around the globe to create seasonally and environmentally native arrangements (gorgeous Instagram feed here). Sarah’s Millcreek home with husband, David, and their two (stunning) kids, Ivy and Leland, is a spot-on reflection of the souls on board. Together, they’ve created (that is to say, they’ve done substantial remodeling) and curated a space that exemplifies precisely what we mean to praise in the Home, Made series. Says Sarah, “Because there is a story behind everything in our house, we feel more connected to the space.” We asked her to talk about a few of her favorite things in the house, and to tell us what, in her opinion, makes this home…well, made.
"I am a collector of things, this is for sure..."
I think my favorite room is our living room. It feels like us. I love the darker colors and how cozy they make it feel. I love our big windows, and that pretty much everything we do in that room is facing one of them. It seems because the fireplace is in here and it is the biggest common space, that we spend a lot of time in this room in the winter. In the summer we spend a lot of time in the kitchen, because it connects to the back patio and yard. It’s encouraged us to use it…we eat dinner out there pretty much every night, from Easter to Thanksgiving.
The kitchen benches (that open and have room for storage beneath them) were in the kitchen when we bought our house. I think it was a genius use of what would have been a really awkward spot for a table otherwise. We spend a lot of time sitting on them throughout the day. They are the perfect spot for meals, because you can look out to the back garden while you’re there. We have an abundance of birds that live in the yard, and it is the perfect perch to watch them as you eat/read/daydream. The kitchen is really small, and on the opposite end of the house from the living room and where we have a more formal dining area. So this is the only real hang-out area at that end of the house. Even though it is a tiny space, people always end up congregating there because it is so comfortable. The window there is South facing, so there is a lot of light that comes through it. I particularly love the light in the winter that comes through it. It can be harsh at times, but if it is cold, I like to lay there like a lizard and soak up all the rays that come in.
I’ve got the hoarder gene in me and I am constantly testing that boundary. I feel like the only way I can cram all of my precious things into our space and try to have it not feel too cluttered is by clustering them into little vignettes so that there is still some open space on the surfaces in the room. Some of my favorite vignettes are those made with my vases, bottles, and decorative pots in the living room. I love seeing the different shapes and textures of them all clustered together. We have a lot of little treasures we have gathered from nature, rocks, wasps nests, sticks, etc. in little piles all over our window sills and tables. They are not particularly arranged, they’re more precarious pile, but I love them too.
Pommel horse bench
A lucky find from the closing sale at the local store Bohem. It doesn’t fit the piano properly, but I love it, and think that anything is worth making work in your space if you love it enough.
Painting in living room on piano
This painting is by a friend of ours Colby A. Sanford. It is a likeness of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, that we visited in 2015. It is this incredible building that was built in 537 AD as a Christian church, but was transformed to different places of worship many times as many cathedrals and a mosque, when the area was conquered through history. Now it is a museum. The building is giant and can be seen from any high point in the city of Istanbul, its huge vaulted ceilings are ornate with painting and mosaic, and many of the walls are covered with marble slabs cut in a cross-section and then tiled together to create a pattern. I studied the Middle East in school and learned a lot about the people and dynasties that had been with the Hagia Sophia through history, and so it was really special for me to visit it. When we walked in I was completely overwhelmed by its beauty, both the large scale beauty and the ornate details of every tiny corner were fascinating to me, and I spent hours pouring over them. David knew how special our visit there was to me, so he had this piece commissioned for me as a surprise for our anniversary this year. I love it. I think it fits the color palette and mood of our home so well, and was the perfect final piece for our living room.
Living with kids
We have lots of windows for a house of our size/age, and they seem to be where a lot of Ivy’s play takes place indoors. She sets up little stations with her toys in front of the windows to play. Having the big windows is really beneficial in the winter with kids. It stays open feeling and we don’t feel quite as cooped up if we have to say indoors. We have tried really hard not to make our house not have a “kid house” appearance. We try to keep all of their toys in their rooms, except for one big basket of them that we have in the front room. We took a risk and kept a lot of glass fronted cabinets and somewhat fragile large items down low within kid reach. So far we haven’t had anything major like this break due to kids being rough with them, and maybe we are pushing our luck…but we will keep pushing it.