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Interiorssneak peeks

The Reinvention of an 1800s Farmhouse in Ohio

by Garrett Fleming

The Reinvention of an 1800s Farmhouse in Ohio, Design*Sponge

This Valley City, OH home is the third one Helena, owner and curator of 9 Vintage Girl Finds, and her husband Myron have owned. While each has presented them with unique opportunities to push their creative boundaries, their current space is special. In retrospect, it’s as if all of their decorating experience has inched them closer to this one: A layered house chockfull of DIY touches. Clearly the third time’s a charm.

Their dining room and playroom, in particular, feature two great DIYs of note. The first of which is the faux fireplace you see above. It was a gift from Helena’s sister, but clever Helena couldn’t just install it “as is.” Instead she wallpapered the interior and tiled the surround, transforming the simple piece into an eclectic focal point and perfectly-cozy backdrop for family dinners.

Focal points seem to be Helena’s strong suit. The ceiling in her house’s playroom is also the result of a show-stopping DIY project. A bit ago she and her husband renovated the space so their grandchildren would have a room they could make memories in when they came to visit. Beforehand, though, the ceiling caved in and exposed the lath behind the plaster. While baffled, Helena and Myron tell us staring at the hole above got their creative juices flowing. “It was too cool to try to cover it up,” Helena says. Instead the couple removed the wooden slats, stripped them, re-stained them and then put the set back up sans plaster covering.

Given the numerous tweaks these grandparents have made to their space, you’d never know the home was built in the 1870s. Thanks to their handiness the nest feels fresh and inviting with pattern and color to spare. Scroll down to check it out, and enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Helena Szwec

Image above: The Polish bentwood chair at the head of the table is Helena’s absolute favorite thrift store find. This room gets the home’s best light, so it’s always basking in the sun.

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Helena’s sister gave her this faux fireplace. Helena then painted it white, added the ceramic surround and covered part of it in wallpaper.

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Grandparents Helena and Myron live in Valley City. It’s known as Ohio’s Frog Jump Capital because of – you guessed it – the town’s annual frog jumping competition.

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The 1870s farmhouse was originally comprised of just two bedrooms, but Helena guesses that in the early 1900s – around the time indoor plumbing gained popularity in the area – a builder added the living area, kitchen and current bathroom.

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The family may have cats now, but Helena’s fondest memories of her home were when she got to watch the family’s beagle raise her six puppies.

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In the summer months Helena sometimes sleeps here on the patio’s daybed. “It’s like sleeping outdoors without all the mosquitos!” she exclaims.

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Many of the family’s favorite pieces are found here in their living room.

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This estate sale sofa wasn’t exactly the color she wanted, but Helena made it work for her space by covering it in throw pillows, painting the legs black and removing its skirt. Now Helena says she’s never getting rid of it.

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Myron made the loveseat that sits behind this coffee table out of an old crib.

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Giving furniture a new look can be tricky, but clearly this couple is masterful at it. A fresh coat of paint and sparkling hardware did wonders for this hand-me-down from Myron’s mother.

Interiors don’t necessarily have to cost a lot to be beautiful.

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Helena and Myron’s bedroom is always cozy thanks in part to its sloping ceiling.

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Yarn art by the couple’s daughter and a beaded necklace from their granddaughter decorate their bedroom’s accent wall.

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The headquarters for Helena’s online store is right here in her home.

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Helena hand-painted these leaves onto the wall to make her office feel more inviting, but she isn’t attached to them. She says, “When I get tired of it I will just paint over it!”

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Helena and Myron’s grandchildren “create memories” here in the playroom.

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One night the playroom/dining room’s ceiling caved in. Luckily, the incident ended up being a blessing in disguise. Staring back at the couple from above was this wonderful lath ceiling. Helena and Myron capitalized on the collapse by removing the strips of wood, re-staining them and then reinstalling them. The result is this wonderful focal point.

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The bathroom has gone through two renovations. The latest one has it decked out in birch panels that Myron cut out and Helena sanded, stained and distressed.

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Reclaimed oak covers the island in the kitchen.

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The kitchen cabinets were once pale yellow.

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“What I love most about my home [is]… how it speaks to my heart!” – Helena Szwec

SOURCE LIST

Entryway
Stair runner – At Home

Dining Room
Paint – Behr “Timid White”
Rug – World Market
Chair – Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Dining table – Overstock

Living Room
Paint – Glidden “White On White”
Sofa – vintage
Daybed – DIY repurposed crib
Coffee table – thrifted
Rugs – Target, Rugs USA
Baskets – 9 Vintage Girl Finds

Bedroom
Paint – Behr “Timid White”
Accent wall paint – Behr “Spiced Wine”
Yarn wall hanging – Craftd Soul
Gallery wall – 9 Vintage Girl Finds

Home Office
Paint – Glidden “White On White”
Wall mural – DIY
Lighting, desk – thrifted then DIY
Rug – At Home

Bathroom
Paint – Behr “Wheat Bread”
Vanities – Cleveland Furniture Bank
Lighting – eBay
Shiplap wall – DIY
Pedestal sink – Lowe’s

Kitchen
Wall paint – Glidden “White On White”
Cabinets – Annie Sloan
Cabinetry paint – Chalk “Duck Egg Blue”
Countertops – DIY faux-painted marble
Kitchen island – @iamyourguy2017
Lighting – thrifted

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