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Interiorssneak peeks

A Chef and Painter’s Art-Filled Cottage in South Carolina

by Garrett Fleming

For me, getting comfortable doesn’t always mean snagging the best spot on the sofa for movie night. It doesn’t mean putting on my robe after a long day. True comfort is hard to come by. It’s effortless. It’s a state of being so at ease and so in tune with your space, you seem to blend into your surroundings. For a house to feel comfortable, it takes a special blend of love and craft.

Eleven years ago, painter Joseph Bradley and his wife Rachel, a pastry chef, moved into their Greenville, SC neighborhood. The area’s charming, old colonials and proximity to nearby friends has served them well. It fit them so perfectly that when it was time to upgrade, they only considered homes that were close by. As luck would have it, just as the Bradleys were on the hunt for a new nest, family friends were trading in their South Carolina house for one in Atlanta. With more room for their expanding family and lots of old-world charm, their friends’ 1940s cottage was a perfect fit for Joseph and Rachel.

The space was move-in ready, so without hesitation the family pounced on it and have since had a blast making the cottage their own. The previous owners had done a fabulous job designing and maintaining the house, but for the Bradley family to truly feel comfortable, one renovation was in order — and it wasn’t a subtle one either. Joseph and Rachel didn’t like how their bedroom was upstairs, far away from each of their three growing boys’ rooms below. To remedy this, they added on bedrooms and bathrooms to their house’s second floor. For five months construction went nonstop, but in the end it was a small price to pay for the chance to live at ease. Nowadays, all of the Bradley boys sleep soundly closer to their artistic parents.

With construction complete, the family focused on further decorating their 2,500-square-foot home. Over the past two years, it’s become an eclectic mix of arresting art, antiques and family heirlooms. Joseph’s ties to the art world have resulted in walls that are bursting with new pieces by colleagues and friends. All of the Bradleys, including their young children, are collectors as well. License plates, platters, and groups of figurines all do wonders for making the home into the comfortable sanctuary they hoped for all along. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Paige French & Chris Isham

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Over the years, Joseph and Rachel have had the privilege of trading art with many other makers such as Donna Shank Major, Janusz Zadurowicz, Elizabeth Whittington, and Karen Brinson. Displaying all of the collected works can seem daunting at times, but often they all come together, like the gallery wall seen here, in a visually-striking display of artistry.
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The Bradley family is truly beginning to think Jack's two front teeth may never come in. Rachel's holding on to squirmy Levi, and Luke, her and Joseph's eldest son, looks up at all the silliness.
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The home office acts as both a workspace and a play area for Joseph and Rachel's youngest child. They say pulling the room together was a challenge because it's become a catchall for all of their extra accessories and furniture. You'd never know it based on the space's cohesive look, though. Even their Stendig calendar fits with the room's aesthetic. All of the 2016 calendars are sold out, but you can get your name on the waiting list for the 2017 version here.
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The upstairs hallway is wide, but not quite wide enough to house furniture, so the Bradleys cleverly use it to store their large book collection. They love how the Solid Construction shelving instantly turned an awkward space into a conversation piece. A vintage Sputnik light fixture illuminates the shelves.
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Joseph painted the piece above the bed he shares with wife Rachel, and their duvet is from Anthropologie.
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This bathroom is Joseph and Rachel's favorite part of their home. The design was heavily influenced by the nearby Biltmore Estate. "We loved the timelessness of the subway tile and brass fixtures. When constructing the space, we made sure to raise the ceilings and put in lots of windows to give an airy feel," the pair tells us. The bathroom's tub and faucet are by Barclay.
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The living room's style is a combination of Joseph's mid-century aesthetic and Rachel's romantic, eclectic taste.
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Luke's desk originally belonged to Joseph's grandmother. Joseph, Rachel and Luke agreed that the area above the desk was the perfect place to display the family's abundant license plate collection.
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Luke's room was originally a too-large-to-be-practical bathroom! With three kids, the family needed the square footage, so Joseph and Rachel spearheaded the transformation. "Our home was built in the 40s, so it was important that this new addition reflect the overall aesthetic of the home. We didn’t want there to be an obvious transition into the 'new' part of the home. Fixtures and details became very important. All the doors in this room are salvaged. Rachel spent many nights searching eBay and Etsy for knobs, backplates, and hinges that matched the originals," Joseph explains.
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Pops of color distinguish the guest room from the rest of the home. It's been deemed "boring"' by the family's three boys. Since nearly everything in the rest of the home has to be kid-friendly, Joseph and Rachel took the rare opportunity to incorporate a white palette and some nicer accessories into the "boring" space. The room's painted in Sherwin-Williams "Oyster White," and its walls hold artwork by local Greenville, SC makers.
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"We host gatherings at least once a week, and a kitchen space where people actually wanted to hang out was really important to us," Joseph says. "An awkwardly-shaped island used to reside in our kitchen, cramping the flow of traffic, and blocking off a considerable part of the space. We found a great solution with this long-and-narrow antique kitchen island (from Oddfellows Antique & Design Warehouse). It has perfect storage underneath and provides a great area for prepping, breakfast and homework." The table's chairs and the rug are from Screen Door.
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A Kohler farm sink and Rohl faucet gave the family the inviting, rustic look they were hoping for. "Our cabinet color was quite the subject matter for several weeks. While I thought we should paint our cabinets white, Rachel was convinced we needed a color in the kitchen. After trying them in white, we painted them this fantastic shade of (Sherwin-Williams 'Tempe Star'), and loved it," Joseph says. The drawer pulls are from Cool Knobs and Pulls.
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"Rachel is an award-winning pastry chef here in Greenville, SC. When we were thinking about our handwritten note, we couldn’t think of a better way to show our love for family, community, and friends than by baking a cake!" the family shares.
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The layout of the cottage's first floor.
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The layout of the cottage's second floor.

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