Angelique’s Maryland home is over one hundred years old, but she’s done an incredible job with staying true to the architectural preservation of the house while simultaneously adding her style to make it a home. Add a husband, three young daughters, and the bustling vintage-modern home furnishings and apparel shop she co-owns with a friend, and you can imagine the just-right amount of pink and creative flair that sneaks into the home’s everyday decor. Enjoy the tour!
Q: One hundred years old! I love that. What are the challenges and charms of an older home?
A: Challenge number one is the lack of storage! I edit and clean out what we don’t need a couple of times a year; thankfully, I’m not a pack rat! Our master bedroom has a closet the size of a small coat closet, so that one belongs to my husband. My clothes are hanging on a garment rack from Target in a quirky room that the previous owners converted from a sleeping porch into a 1/4 bath, with a pink jetted tub and nothing else. I’d like to turn it into an actual closet or 3/4 bath someday. My kitchen received a facelift when we moved in, but it’s pretty dated in terms of functionality. The cabinets were installed in the 1950s and are tight. However, I love how large and liveable the kitchen is; someday, we’ll bring it up to speed. We’re operating on the 20-year plan, even though I thought we’d have everything on our wishlist accomplished within five to seven years!
When I first saw the house, every room had dated country wallpaper. Some rooms had three to four styles, counting borders. There was linoleum and mismatched carpet everywhere. The lighting was brass and glass, and the kitchen countertops were green laminate. But what I saw more than anything walking through it for the first time was how spacious the rooms are. The ceilings are tall, many of the doors have transom windows above, all of the original hardware was intact on the solid chestnut doors; there were serious treasures to be found if you looked hard enough. Also, every room on the downstairs level has at least two doors leading into it. The kitchen has four. We took many of the doors off when we moved in for the sake of keeping an eye on the girls because two were babies at the time, as well as to open up the flow. And don’t get me started on my wrap-around porch. I love it.
How would you describe your style? Has it changed since you’ve added kids to the mix?
I would definitely use the word eclectic when describing my style. I really love homes and decor and have a hard time committing, so eclectic works for my love of many style inspirations. Less is usually more for me; I can’t stand an over-decorated or perfect house. When looking at magazines, perfect rooms never move or inspire me. I like breezy, quirky, the unexpected, patina, and character. I love opposites in decorating, such as modern chairs with an old farmhouse table. I love a good story, and I think every home should tell one.
Adding kids to the mix definitely changed my approach. Besides the huge amount of art and school notices that cover my fridge, I’d be a basket-case now with kids if I had the same approach. I pick my battles and feel good that it’s a home…not a museum.
You make a huge impact with your gallery walls and family photos as art; what’s your secret to framing cohesively and arranging them on the walls so well?
When working on the project, I’ll lay it all out on the floor first. I pay attention to scale, and try to build interest with similar components, but also vary it some to make it fun. Going up the stairs, I always start with my center and work from there.
What’s been your favorite DIY project?
I do love our numbered stairs. They say Count and Your and Blessings in between every four or so of the numbers. It wasn’t hard, so I’m not sure I feel all that accomplished! It was an idea that hit me while looking at vinyl lettering in Michael’s. I saw a long, fluffy quote that had those words in it, and I immediately thought it would be fun to cut it all up and use just those three words with the numbers.
Genevieve’s reading nook took more time, so I guess I would choose that as my favorite. I hand-painted her flowers up top, and painted the closet scene by hand with chalkboard paint. We all love that little space.
The open shelving in your kitchen looks gorgeous in photos…what about in real life? Are they hard to keep clean?
No, they’re not hard to keep clean. Finding the time to clean is what’s hard! I’m very tidy and have some non-negotiables on what needs to be clean, but with kids, perfect is not in my vocabulary. Dust never hurt anyone and isn’t so evil to me anymore!
Your drapes seem to add the color and texture in your rooms, rather than paint; what’s your philosophy on wall color?
Most of the drapes are cream or white with the exception of the girls’ rooms. I actually love wall color and pattern. I initially had some colors on the walls, from barley and golden tones to celadon greens, but the home is extremely heavy with dark wood doors, trim, and floors. Add the fact that some of our furniture is dark wood, and it began to feel too heavy to me. It could have been that it was winter when I made the change; I was probably needing more light around me! In the end, I decided to go more neutral, and even painted some of the dark wood furniture. Painting the trim or doors was not an option to me, since they’ve made it this far without paint. I didn’t want to be the one to cover them up.
I was intentional with the office. What I really wanted to do in that room was cover the walls with a black and white wallpaper. The quote for labor due to the bead-board paneling was really high, and the paper I chose was far beyond my budget, so I had patterned drapes made instead. I’m currently shopping wallpaper for the master bedroom and the powder room to get some pops of color and pattern.
How much influence did your daughters each have on their rooms?
When we moved here, the younger two girls were babies; they influenced their rooms solely on what I read their personalities to be at the time, and I translated that into a feeling for their rooms. Genevieve is dynamic and vocal, so she translated to brighter colors to me. Hope is so soft, sweet and nurturing, and a little quiet, so her room ended up a bit shabby-chic. Hope recently asked me to cover up the green stripes, so her walls are now a salmon pink.
Lily’s room was a purple and pink that she picked out at the age of four, with a hand-painted floral border. Last year, I think she was ready to grow it up some, so we nixed the purple and kept light and hot pink, adding some black with gilt touches. She’s talking about more changes, most of which aren’t practical to do every year with our budget, but I do want them to feel like they have some control in their spaces, as well as a lot of comfort and pride. I try to communicate what she is needing and craving, and then reign it in to a more practical change.
What are your daughters’ favorite spaces in the house?
Genevieve’s favorite room is the “family room, because we can cuddle up together on winter days.” Hope-Elizabeth’s favorite room is the “play room, because I can play in it.” Lily’s favorite room is “my bedroom, because it’s cozy and my own personal space and I can block everyone out if I want to.”
You’re leaving a flea market in Paris; what have you bought? Since this is hypothetical, the sky’s the limit!
A fabulous antique chandelier that’s dripping with crystals, bolts of old fabric, linen, and an old leather Parisian club chair. I do love old lighting and textiles!
Gorgeous home, gorgeous answers! Thank you, Angelique!