I'm gathering photos of some of my favorite projects with my pal Niki Thompson and Storybook Homes. An anthology, if you will, of her work and our work together. I met Niki at an antique show a few years ago and I knew right away that we would be BFF's! Her energy and excitement to create was explosive, and it still is today! I love that! There has to be a place for all that energy to go, and that place is Storybook Homes.
A Storybook Homes "before" and "after".
Niki scours the Historic District, Conway, Arkansas' first neighborhood, for homes that have un-loved for a long time. Leaky, sagging, abandoned and often occupied by critters; most would think that a bulldozer would be the first tool of choice to work on these homes. But Niki can look past the overgrown vines and broken windows to see the style and craftsmanship that you just don't find in modern homes. Her ambitious mission is actually to bring them ALL back to life!
Niki says the song "My Girl" was the foundation of the story that inspired the design of this Ash Street Cottage.
Niki has a unique way of finding design inspiration for the homes that she restores. She says that when she enters a home for the first time, the home tells her a story. Not in a haunted house kind of way, but it gives her a thought, an idea or maybe even a song. That gets the story going in Niki's head, which she eventually shares with the world in whimsical detail, on her blog. Sometimes it's about the home's past owners, or it might be about an imagined future occupant. Niki uses this story to guide her design decisions for the home... Seriously! and it works in a beautiful way!
We restored this apothecary cabinet in the master bath that pays homage to the imaginary WW1 Red Cross Nurse who once occupied this home
sometimes the first walk-through is a little sketchy
I'm always excited to get the call when Niki has another home. It's always in the early stages. Sometimes there's no floor, sometimes there's no roof! As we take the first walk-through, Niki fills me in on the story of the home. Then while Niki's saws are buzzing and her sledgehammer is flying, I set forth in search of furniture and fixtures that help her tell the home's story.
from outdoor vintage markets...
to the catacombs of architectural salvage warehouses...
or my favorite vintage art guy's secret stash
and I ain't too proud to go dumpster diving for some reclaimed wood
If I cant find it, I'll just build it in my workshop!
like this vintage sink base...
or these copper kitchen lights and the island made from wood reclaimed from the floors of this house
and this front porch bench...
or this reclaimed wood plate rack and farmhouse table...
The story dictates the design!
It might have been the home of an Irish sheep farmer
or a bohemian accountant named Bruce whose home had a chartreuse green kitchen and a coffee house vibe
or a highbrow English Manor inhabited by raccoons
It may sound crazy.... Ok, its crazy. But I love the tale that these Storybook Homes tell!