Month: September 2020

Colour and Craftiness in 3 Charming Virginia Spaces

Close your eyes and imagine the house of a colour- and – pattern-loving Virginia resident who teaches girls to sew and enjoys thrift shop shopping. Odds are, you just got a fairly accurate picture of Australia native Annabel Wrigley’s house.

Actually, it’s not only her home that fits this warm and creative mold. When her Little Pincushion Studio — through which, yes, she teaches girls how to sew — outgrew the little storage shed on her property, she applied her abilities (with the help of her students) to outfit a new studio space. And of course she couldn’t only leave the storage shed alone. That space got a glowing upgrade, too, as a game and media room for her two kids. Here’s a peek at all three of her eye-opening spaces.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Annabel and Darren Wrigley, son Oliver (age 13), daughter Ruby (11) and puppy Coco
Location: Warrenton, Virginia
Size: 1,800 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

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Daughter Ruby created a lot of the artwork on her bedroom wall.

The Japanese lantern was bought for $6 to a trip to New York’s Chinatown; the desk came out of a thrift shop and has been repainted.

Rug: Wayfair; pendant: Maskros, Ikea

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Annabel’s husband, Darren, made this built in desk nook for Ruby’s stitching area. Small floating shelves feature undermounted mason jars that save crafting supplies.

Annabel painted the chair, left over from a dining room set, a vibrant green.

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French doors from the living area open to a rear patio and an outside seating area.

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Hitting up thrift shops, Annabel spent $70 on most of the outdoor furniture, such as a mirrored coffee table and Guatemalan love chair.

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“Groupings are a excellent way to fill a blank space,” says Annabel. For the group of art above the sofa, she had original prints enlarged and framed for about $100. The slipcovered sofa was a 50 Craigslist find.

Despite having two young children, Annabel insisted on getting white couches. “White is absolutely the way to go,” she states. Her advice is to be certain that the fabric is washable and the covers are removable. The sofa on the right, beneath the window, is the sole furniture piece she bought new, from Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic. “The best investment I ever made,” she states.

Watch more on practical white slipcovers

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An archway into the living area frames a set of green table lamps along with a tree trunk table bought from the Salvation Army.

Red seats: eBay

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Also from the living area, a red lamp out of Habitat for Humanity sits atop a record player and a tube radio in the ’50s.

“I have never set a budget for a room,” Annabel states. “I also don’t actually set a limitation on the bits I buy. I shop classic so often that I just come across great pieces at reasonable prices. If I find something that speaks to me, I will buy it.”

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The dining area is outfitted with largely secondhand finds. Annabel cites the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, flea markets, auctions and Lucketts as her favorite secondhand shopping resources. And of course the occasional lucky find on the side of the road.

Among the greatest dining area splurges was that the chandelier, located on sale for $500 at Fabric Emporium. The dining room table and crimson chairs were given new updates with paint, along with the acrylic seats came from Craigslist. The ceramic elephant on the table is out of an antiques shop.

Beach painting: Theodore Turner

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Annabel considers the kitchen in transition, using its original countertops. There’s a Francis Francis espresso maker, and one of Annabel’s found bits hangs above the sink. The signal in the window is that a flea market detect from a trip to Italy.

Dishwasher: LG

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This painting about the dining room wall cost more than the $200 maximum Annabel typically sets for Salvation Army items.

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This colorful painting of this Washington, D.C., metro sits on a bureau near the entry.

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Annabel’s home office, where she does a lot of her writing, such as a soon-to-be printed book on sewing, is stuffed with her usual eclectic mix: a lion bought at Lucketts, a chrome lamp out of a tiny shop in neighboring Culpeper and an Andy Warhol print of Queen Elizabeth bought on eBay.

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She recently brought back several of these classic items from a trip to San Francisco and Portland. She’s attracted to colour and layout, and purchases bits regardless of size. They’re all references for a upcoming fabric design project.

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When the Wrigleys bought the property, the detached garage was standard of this age, with a dirt floor and also the remains of a roof that was no more keeping out the elements. The couple spent $2,000 renovating the structure to make it more habitable. The budget included building a loft and adding a roof, as well as updating the flooring, insulation and electric and employing a drywall crew for 2 hours.

Before Photo

BEFORE: The shed was once Annabel’sLittle Pincushion Studio, by which she teaches girls how to sew.

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AFTER: When she and her students outgrew the space, the detached garage became a media lounge for the kids.

Before Photo

BEFORE: Among the Ikea pendants within the old sewing studio was reused in daughter Ruby’s room when the studio was relocated.

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AFTER: The space is currently well ventilated and heated using a little space heater. On the wall is just another thrift shop painting. Acrylic nesting tables have been bought for $5 apiece, too from a thrift shop.

Tree blossom: Home Goods

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Darren built the desk, and Annabel upholstered the rear wall using the striped fabric. The blossom is a thrift shop find, while the artwork is by son Oliver. Annabel did the silhouettes.

Rug: Home Goods; bamboo laminate flooring: Home Depot

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Annabel and her students decorated the new, larger sewing studio, revealed here; it’s located in downtown Warrenton. Courses range from crochet patterns for boys to the way to sew sensed mushrooms.

In additon to the Pfaff, Bernina and Viking sewing machines employed by the kids for their projects, the new 1,400-square-foot studio (a shared space referred to as Confetti) also houses Annabel’s collection of classic machines, classic fabrics, textiles and course projects from students. “It’s controlled chaos — always,” she states.

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A number of the same decorating principles found from the Wrigley house will also be at play in the studio — white couches, colorful patterns and DIY art. Everything on the walls is handmade.

From the parents’ waiting place (shown here), the pillow on the sofa is part of a course project. Annabel found the white chair in the Salvation Army. When she brought it back, she couldn’t follow through with her first plan to have the kids paint grafitti on it. Instead, she used fabric paint to create a heart pattern.

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Annabel, revealed here, says her next major project is that the kitchen in her home.

See more photos of this creative home | please reveal your house!

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A Film Festival Explores Buildings and the Lives They Touch

The fifth annual Architecture & Design Film Festival returns to New York City this month (October 16-20 in Tribeca Cinema), viewing 25 brief and feature-length films exploring the connection between film and architecture.

At first blush, the idea of a film festival on architecture and design seems a little strange. Granted, it’s difficult to deny the role of design — known or unknown, existing or set design — in providing sometimes transcendent places for films. But films about design do not tend to be as engrossing as their fictional counterparts.

Happily, festival co-directors Kyle Bergman and Laura Cardello have the ability to choose films from a far larger pool, presenting the highlights that profile legendary architects, walk us through buildings, show us a different side of a building’s occupants, or even reveal the joys of cities. The films do a lot more, but Bergman told me this season’s event will be more about urbanism, tapping into that last theme. Additionally, there are several films on houses and housing, the focus of this ideabook.

The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat
Directed by Mike Dorsey
2012 / 46 min / USA

The Oyler House is “a beautiful movie,” Bergman told me, about a working-class guy named Richard Oyler who grew up in Southern California, headed off to war and returned to work a government job.

Having a desire to construct a modest household but no comprehension of structure, Oyler has been granted some books on design from a librarian. He proceeded to fall in love with all the buildings of Richard Neutra, an Austrian emigre who played a large part in the explosion of contemporary architecture in the area in the middle of last century.

Oyler did not need to convince Neutra much, for it had been the breathtaking desert locale that made the improbable pairing happen. In this sketch by Neutra, it’s clear he piled the home in its site and oriented it toward the distant mountains, as seen in the previous photo.

The home is currently owned by actress Kelly Lynch and her husband, producer Mitch Glazer, that are interviewed in the movie. (The “archiphiles” also have a home designed by John Lautner, another famous L.A. architect.) Oyler is also interviewed, as are two of Neutra’s sons.

The Barragán House. A Universal Value
Directed by Tufic Makhlouf Akl
2011 / 30 min / Mexico

Mexican architect Luis Barragán’s own home is one of the most celebrated contemporary houses (it’s on the UNESCO World Heritage list), albeit one that departs from what’s usually considered contemporary.

Yes, the partitions are planar and kept free from decoration, but colour is used generously — nonetheless carefully.

The landscape is also an integral component of the home, if in carefully framed views or as an expansion of the home’s functions into courtyards.

Constructed on Narrow Land
Directed by Malachi Connolly
2013 / 64 min / USA

This movie tells two tales: how contemporary architects like Walter Gropius managed to construct contemporary, Bauhaus-esque cottages in conservative Cape Cod; and what happened to the houses after the property became a part of Cape Cod National Seashore at 1959. Upon the passing of the houses’ owners, the buildings became National Parks property and very few remain.

The multifaceted story looks at a few issues that are firmly contested in the United States: how to build on and also with character (it’s precarious, if this photograph is any indication), and the value of personal property when eminent domain rolls about.

The Absent Column
Directed by Nathan Eddy
2013 / 8 min / USA

Two or Three non-residential films in ADFF of attention (at least to me) include one on Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital at Chicago. Preservationists fought the city and unfortunately lost a concrete concrete construction by the architect of the famous Marina City (aka “corn cob towers”).

The Human Scale
Directed by Andreas Dalsgaard
2012 / 77 min / Denmark

The influential Danish architect and urban planner Jan Gehl is in the heart of this movie about what happens when the concentrate on building cities would be the “life between buildings,” each title of one of Gehl’s famous books. Gehl is responsible for a lot of the pedestrianization of Copenhagen’s roads (pictured here), and he brought that exact same thinking to New York City to make areas such as Times Square better spaces for people rather than cars.

Info: The Architecture & Design Film Festival, founded in 2009, occurs from October 16-20, 2013, in Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick St., New York City. The festival then plays in Los Angeles (March 12-16, 2014) and Chicago (April 24-28, 2014).

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