Century House Reno: Amanda & Timmie Roll Up Their Sleeves

The beach house was built just before the turn of the 20th century, back when the Hamptons were mostly potato fields and pitch pines. William Dwight Whitney, a Sanskrit scholar and linguist, constructed the house with proceeds from his 10-volume Centur…

The beach house was built just before the turn of the 20th century, back when the Hamptons were mostly potato fields and pitch pines. William Dwight Whitney, a Sanskrit scholar and linguist, constructed the house with proceeds from his 10-volume Century Dictionary, published in 1889. For this reason, it became known as “Century House” generations ago—and we call it that to this day.

My husband Tad’s family, and an evolving generational tidal flow, have owned the house since 1915, but even as bankers have built gilded fortresses all around it, the Friends have staunchly resisted the temptation to sell. Instead, they’ve doubled down on keeping the house intact.

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A Stylish Mid-Century Home Designed for Accessibility

Hayden and Claire’s circa-1950 brick bungalow in Yarraville, Melbourne looks out over the local park’s sea of gum trees. Inside, it features well-preserved, mid-century fittings, and boasts an expansive layout. Before Megan Norgate, founding director a…

Hayden and Claire’s circa-1950 brick bungalow in Yarraville, Melbourne looks out over the local park’s sea of gum trees. Inside, it features well-preserved, mid-century fittings, and boasts an expansive layout. Before Megan Norgate, founding director and principal designer at Brave New Eco, put her stamp on the property in 2015, however, it was difficult for the couple’s son Owen to navigate in his wheelchair. “It needed to work harder,” Norgate says.

To tip the scales in Owen’s favor, the designer started small and focused on customizing his bathroom. Her solutions? A wider entry, a floating sink Owen’s chair can roll up under, and new pocket doors which take up zero space when opened—read: they provide his chair with more room to turn. “The curved edge of the hardwood vanity also eliminates hard corners in the small space, so carers can easily move around the bathtub,” Norgate adds.

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A Peek Inside a Christmas-Ready 1918 Craftsman Home

Every year, blogger, shop owner, and interior stylist Jeran McConnel of Oleander and Palm and her husband Lonnie host a holiday bash at their Bakersfield, CA home. “Most people stay for hours, and our house gets loud and crowded. I bake and cook for da…

Every year, blogger, shop owner, and interior stylist Jeran McConnel of Oleander and Palm and her husband Lonnie host a holiday bash at their Bakersfield, CA home. “Most people stay for hours, and our house gets loud and crowded. I bake and cook for days leading up to it so that everything is homemade and fresh,” the multi-hyphenate Jeran tells us. This year, however, the couple has reworked not only that annual party but all of their holiday plans in order to keep their loved ones safe.

“I grew up in Papua New Guinea. When I was pregnant with my oldest child, we visited a very remote Island, and I bought an ebony-and-shell carved ornament from a local artisan. I used to hang it on the tree, but this year I got a little ornament stand at a thrift store for it. Now it has a special spot on the mantle,” McConnel tells us. Stockings by Target Photo by Oleander and Palm

A highly scaled-back guest list and a change of scenery will help keep their traditional gathering alive. The new socially-distanced setting? The front porch. “We will serve a few neighbors thermoses full of spiked citrus punch, hand out boxes of homemade treats, and give them blankets to keep them warm,” McConnel adds.

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This Laundry Room Renovation Took 3 Years. Here’s Why It Was Worth It.

In 2016, interior designer Mandi Gubler and her husband Court were planning the custom home of their dreams in Santa Clara, UT when one of their friends, a real estate agent, showed Gubler around a 100-year-old mercantile store—and unintentionally thre…

In 2016, interior designer Mandi Gubler and her husband Court were planning the custom home of their dreams in Santa Clara, UT when one of their friends, a real estate agent, showed Gubler around a 100-year-old mercantile store—and unintentionally threw their plans for a loop. “The agent said it would make for a cool vintage store, a coffee shop, or a restaurant,” Gubler recalls, but the designer had other plans. “It was old and awesome. I loved the giant shop windows and high ceilings. This was my house.”

The home’s exterior. Photo by Mandi Gubler

It took her husband a bit longer to come around to the idea, but Gubler eventually won him over, and they’ve spent the last several years teaching the old shop—which they’ve affectionately nicknamed “The Merc”—some new tricks by unhurriedly renovating it bit by bit. Their most-recent project? A cheery laundry room glow-up that favored thoughtfulness over speed and took three years (yes, you read that right) to complete.

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