I hope you guys are either coming from, or are on your way TO, all of the other kickass homes that are participating in this week’s “Something Different Home Tour” (please find list/links at the end of this post) – each of these homes is oozing with eclectic goodness and to round out this week’s tours I am going to open up my doors and have you take a peek into mine!
If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that we’ve been in our home for two years now… and have been renovating and designing for two years. And I anticipate we will continue to do such for many years to come! My husband, Billy, and I are a contractor/design duo and we tackle these projects solo. The best part about that? If we can do it, so can you! Neither of us has a background in these areas, just a passion for it, and we’ve learned that there is literally nothing in the home arena that can’t be accomplished with a little help from Pinterest and YouTube.
I’m going to start out by taking you to our one and only bathroom, and our first complete remodel of a room. We took this space down to the studs and kept nothing except that good old art deco square pink tub (because why would we ever get rid of it?!). You can read about how we tackled this space with a fairly strict budget here. We originally had a closet in this space and decided to do away with it to open up the space. We discovered that when you get rid of all the expired products, ratty towels and pair down your hair brush collection, a six-drawer vintage dresser is MORE than enough room to store your bathroom essentials- even for a family of four sharing a single bath.
Which brings me to this important point about our home: it is focused on sustainable design. And this becomes true of it more and more each day. As a vintage shop owner, our home has always been loaded to the max with thrifted finds. But more recently, we’ve embraced a less consumer-centric lifestyle that is reflected in the way we design our home. Open shelving in the kitchen does not allow for the hoards of kitchen items that get used seldomly to never, and the complete lack of closets on the ground floor has forced us to think long and hard about whether we can “get by” without certain items. In a similar vein, if a toy comes in, a toy gets donated. If a new vintage rug comes in, one gets sold. You get the idea. I like to think of it as “Marie Kondo-ing” for the thrift obsessed. Because don’t get me wrong, lots of new thrift is constantly entering those front doors, but when one thing comes in, another item gets sent off to a new owner via my Etsy shop (in a reused cardboard box, of course 😉 ).
When you head up the stairs and into our three bedrooms, you’ll find the only closets in the entire house. They aren’t large, but they’re large enough. And though we plan on adding a master en suite to the home, we do not plan on adding excessive closet space – something we view as a crutch to hoarding. And one thing that may surprise you is that – despite the fact that two of our three beds have bed skirts – we have little to nothing hiding under them!
All of this talk of living light may surprise you coming from a self-professed “maximalist.” But, as discussed in this blog on maximalism, there is a profound difference between maximalist style and hoarding. We maximize the artistic potential of wall space by using wallpapers and hanging gallery walls. Likewise, we use our floors as both practical and aesthetic vehicles by coating them with area rugs that provide visual interest, noise control, and warmth to every space. The very conscious decision to not add closets to our 1910 home (which was built without them), is a very intentional choice to make sure the things that join us in our home are meaningful, or useful (and, ideally, both).
If there is one thing we hoard, it’s plants. We love the warmth and pops of color they add to any space, but they also function as natural air filters. But our love of plants goes even beyond our admiration of their aesthetic and functional aptitudes. I strongly believe that the only way I make it through New York winters with my head intact is because of the organic and tropical vibes these green babies bring into our home.
This journey towards sustainability in design isn’t a path we have always been on – and it is one that lacks the satisfaction of having a final destination. There are areas where we could do WAY better (we SHOULD be saying hello to solar panels and compost and be bidding adieu to all plastics and long hot showers!), but we’re increasingly interested in living sustainable, eco-friendly lives and our interest is reflected in how our home is being built and designed.
A friend recently remarked on how we should be thanking one another for our efforts to do good on a number of different social, environmental and humanitarian fronts, rather than lambasting one another for everything we’re NOT doing. I find that I don’t even need a troll squad because I am so busy PERSONALLY beating myself up over everything I’m not doing. And while there is SO much that we are NOT doing in our home, we are trying to do better each day. But, because of that much needed reminder from a friend, I am choosing to be proud of how far we have come, and be optimistic about how much further we can go towards our goal of sustainable living.
I hope that taking a peek into the home of Kate Pearce Vintage can serve as an example of a home that is ever-evolving, right alongside the people who live in it. Our homes should be reflections of ourselves, and our hope is that our home tells a story of optimism through its bold colors, attainability through its whimsical imperfections, and an endless evolution of self through the immutable rotation of its art and objects.
Thanks for popping by!