Inspiration

My Sister’s Art-Filled, Eclectic Home

May 23, 2017  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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There are five girls in my family and we each live in wildly different homes. Somehow we all grew up under the same roof in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and now, decades later, we’re spread out across the country (and globe) injecting our own style into our own homes. Last year, while I was visiting my sister, Victoria, in Pittsburgh, I fell in love with her eclectic, art-filled home and today, I’m so excited to share a little house tour with you.

Victoria is the only one of the sisters that still lives in our beloved hometown of Pittsburgh. She lives on the first floor of a historic house in Wilkinsburg, in the East End and has for the past three years with her sassy cats, Doug and Manny. The home was built in 1920 and oozes all the charm you could possibly want. Two big fireplaces. Lots of built-ins. Original stained glass windows and big pocket doors she uses to section off spaces for parties.  But she has also managed to curate and add new furnishings and accessories that have just as much charm to the old world mix. Like, the recently added Nirvana Dakota Smoke Sofa (so much character, like your favorite leather jacket you’ve been wearing for years) and Sven Chair in a velvety dark blue–both from Article–to her living room. By day, she’s the Editor in Chief of TABLE Magazine, a regional food and lifestyle magazine. But she’s also a really talented painter (and art collector)–we have a few of her pieces in our laundry room and the girls’ room–you can check out her Etsy shop here.

I asked her a couple questions about how she chose her home and her decorating process and challenges, too. Here’s what she said:

J: How did you know this home was the one?

V: I was really looking for a home in which I could house a little artist’s studio. The living room opens into a bright studio. As soon as I saw my home’s little sunroom, I knew I would be really inspired here. I paint every morning, from 6:30-8:30 a.m., and having a special space in which to be creative was the most important thing for me.  

J: What’s something you did to make your house feel like home?

V: As soon as I moved in, I started hanging art. That made it feel like home right away. Since my rooms open into one another, I knew the bedroom had to be something special (it’s adjacent to the living room, where I entertain). I built a chesterfield-style headboard that fits into the mantle of the home’s second fireplace. The result is both dramatic and intimate. I’m also a big fan of functional décor, I knew I wanted a clothing rack (mine was built by a dear friend) on display. The bedroom built-ins were a no-brainer home for my shoes–display what you love!

J: What is the most challenging part of your home?

V: Because I’m a renter, I can’t renovate my kitchen. It’s small and opens into my pretty, whitewashed dining room. I like to host dinner parties, but that means that the kitchen has to be very tidy before anyone comes over, and I have to prep and plate courses in view of my guests with very little workspace. It always takes planning!

J: What were some of your decorating goals of your home overall?

V: I’m a collector! I wanted to show off as many of my antiques and curious little finds as I could. When I travel, my souvenir is always art, and one my favorite pieces is the little wood painting of a woman in a red dress that I brought back with me from Florence.

 

The golden rooster lamp was a lucky find in a friend’s attic. I painted it gold, stripped the shade, and installed an Edison bulb. I get lots of compliments on it. On the large canvas behind my couch, I painted the quote, “Flying is simple. Just throw yourself at the ground, and miss.” It’s paraphrased from Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

 

Lastly, I entertain always. The living room is the literal center of my home, and stocking it with a warm leather sofa with natural color variations, marks, wrinkles and creases that gets softer with every sit, and an elegant velvet chair that pulls out all the blue accents scattered around the apartment makes for the coziest evenings in, with friends and long conversation.

Couldn’t you just move in? Her home is such a magical corner of the world. I love the expertly crafted gallery wall in the hallway, the shoes in the built-ins and I want to sink into that leather couch! What’s your favorite part?

Special thanks to Victoria for opening her home to us. All photos by the insanely talented, Adam Milliron. 

 

What do you think?

  1. Veronica says:

    Sisterly love + a gorgeous home that truly reflects Victoria – This post made me so happy. :)

  2. KP says:

    I get the sense that this post was sponsored by Article or that Article gifted her the furniture but I don’t see it explicitly written anywhere. I’m used to blogs specifically stating what is received for free.

    • Julia says:

      I helped her get the furniture from Article to finish off her living room so I could feature her home–finally!–she had the oldest couch falling apart in there–but it’s not sponsored. :)

  3. Emilie says:

    Love this cozy and eclectic home! Thanks for posting — any chance you have more pictures of the shelf/clothing rod built-in she has in the bedroom? I am moving to a small space and need some creative ideas for clothing storage. Thanks!

    • Julia says:

      Darn, I don’t. But if you follow her on Instagram (@victoriabradleystudio) she might share something there?

  4. Echoing the sentiments of other commenters here – Victoria has a home that really truly breathes. There’s personality here and a story to tell. Julia you had such amazing foresight to imagine our articles (a distressed leather sofa and a rich, navy velvet armchair) would pair so beautifully together in this eclectic space. Amazing!

  5. Clarissa says:

    Your home is lovely and warm. You’ve really done a wonderful job! I would love to see more of the awesome gallery wall and please share ideas for sourcing art!

  6. Maya says:

    I love everything about this home and the comments. <3

  7. Loved this tour so much! Pinned just about every image. Her home has that feeling of your favorite pair of jeans or well worn shoes while still being beautiful! Love it

  8. Mel says:

    Gorgeous, I love the headboard! That’s such a clever idea, especially for a fireplace that may (as is unfortunately the case with a lot of rentals) be non-working.

  9. Lindsey says:

    This space is beautiful! Thanks to your sister for sharing!!

  10. Jennifer says:

    This is eclectic done well! Sometimes too many accessories can crowd a space. This feels just right! I love the curated mix of art that means something to you with historic charm and some rugged feeling pieces. It balances well. Also, I think you left negative or free space open to achieve an environment that still feels light and open. Those gorgeous windows help too. :)

  11. Amanda Savarino says:

    I’m SO inspired by Victoria’s home! Thank you for sharing.

  12. Abbey says:

    I love/am so jealous of all the amazing art! Wow!!

  13. Emelia says:

    Great feature!! Goes to show how you can make a rental your own. I’m curious about the last photo. I love the chest at the foot of the bed! But it also looks like the old studio light(?) and what looks like an old camera on a tripod are pointed toward the bed….

    • Hi, Emelia! You’ve spotted two of my favorite treasures. I have two large antique lights by my bed. The taller, round one has be refashioned from an old ship. The short one on a vintage tripod came from a historic theater. In the evenings, they cast a lovely glow and make the bedroom feel like a really homey offshoot of the living room.

  14. Liz in Brooklyn says:

    What an amazing space. Really inspires me with what can be done with a rental!

  15. Corine says:

    It feels like a place filled with stories. And I want to hear them all. What a beautiful, interesting, space. It’s like it’s alive and has lived a hundred lives. I love the mix of old and new. The art just captures me.

  16. Thank you for featuring my little home! It is truly an honor to be even mentioned on your blog, sis. You inspire me every day with your spot-on design sense and do-anything attitude. I love you!

  17. Flo says:

    That home is amazing, makes me want to fill mine with way more art and antique pieces. I love those colors, materials, light – everything! Your family really has a talent for interior design!

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