Monday, March 26, 2012

Upload - East Coast Character

Vintage Wallpaper, painted floor boards, gigantic fresh cut blooms

I've been in Nova Scotia for the past several days with my other half looking at properties and touring some really old houses.  Our search for an East Coast abode has us focused primarily on century houses, many we've seen are close to 200 years old and have been in various states of neglect or restoration.   What I love most about these old houses is seeing the original details still in tact whether they're in need of some love or have been lovingly maintained.  I know that in either case, I would never think of getting rid of these character details - I can only envision how interesting it would be to incorporate them with my own aesthetic.   My own personal taste for architectural details runs much more traditional than modern, but I prefer it in a minimal way, simple to a point that leans to utilitarian and paired with more modern furniture and art.   And then sometimes you can't predict what you'll be drawn to, the landing area shown in the top photo totally captivates me, from the sunlight streaming in, the wide painted floor boards to the huge yellow blooms.  But most of all, that vintage wallpaper!  I'm not a fan of flowery wallpaper in general, but I have to admit I'd have a hard time stripping this one down.  Add a great lamp, a comfy reading chaise and a stack of books - perfection.

The same elements that attract me to modern designs are the same elements that attract me to centuries old east coast details and decor.  Clean geometries, simple form, no over embellishments.  When things are so pared down, there's an unpretentious ease.  I love a space that is so simple it enhances your personal collections of books or artwork or collections.   I adore things with aged patina and I appreciate imperfections especially when juxtaposed with crisp and modern.

Here's a glimpse at few of the things that have caught my Iphone while viewing some of these houses, some architectural details, some decor.  Even though these images are from a number of different houses, the character is consistently charming.

Antique door hardware, antique doors painted black, antique brass bed,
wrought iron bed, hand made quilt, brass knob on antique door, painted furniture, collections of family heirlooms

hand made lace bedskirt, 180 year old floorboards with glossy white paint, antique brass cup pulls,
built-in storage with original hardware, original handrails and newel posts, brass faucets

Antique brass bed, original ceiling beams, simple block printed curtains, stacks of wood for fireplaces and furnaces, oversize wood burning fireplaces, antique chairs

The search continues for that perfect combination of location, views and character.  Stay tuned for some more photos from our travels around the coast.


  1. Now that our renovation (the new part) is complete, I am looking for ways to imbibe certain elements that add an old nuance. I cannot wait to see what you find....or rather what finds you. The law of attraction works....sending you positive vibes for a place that has all you want and dream for.

  2. Thank you Patricia, I'm tuning in your positive vibes! You are so right, I do believe that the right place 'finds you'. I am very opposite of many of my own clients who can often set on what they want regardless of the style of home they own. I actually don't have many pre-determined ideas, my mind is totally open and I won't start formulating any concise ideas or plans for a home until I've found the house. I'll know it when I feel it. Its the vibe of the house that will totally guide all of my design decisions. I'm sure you will find your own way to personalize your new space with character that speaks to you,,,what I love about modern and contemporary architecture is that it lends itself, like a blank canvas, to showcasing antiques, artifacts and artwork. When I'm not dealing with a character home, that's always the direction I'm inclined to take. ~ C

  3. Great post! I really identify with your comment that the same elements that attract you to modern designs are what attract you to centuries old homes. Very true for me.

  4. good luck with your east coast hunt. We searched from Ontario for the perfect NS spot for 6 years and found it very unexpectedly. as it turned out, the house that chose us wasn't at all what we were looking for. In fact, it is so ugly from the outside that when the realtor proposed looking at it, i said no. but we happened to be nearby and went anyway and bought it that afternoon. the location was outstanding, the view spectacular and we had just gone in the back door when my husband and i looked at each other and nodded. we knew. Hope you are as lucky finding a wonderful home.


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