Jennifer Maxcy’s architecture career was built-in out of crisis and a bad daybed choice. Today, she is a acknowledged online purveyor of best appliance and accessories (via The Agronomical Uncommon) and a stylist. A decade ago, she was a burned-out casting abettor with a Craigslist affairs habit.
How she transitioned from casting abettor to best dealer, adapted a aged agronomical abode into a dream house, and pivoted afresh to become an online merchant is a adventure of animation and artistic thinking.
It started with the acquirement of a Victorian settee. “It was gaudy, but I admired it,” she says. “I was active with my brother in Southern California at the time. I awkward the allotment into my tiny car, got it home, and apparent it was absolutely the amiss calibration and appearance for the place. I resold it on Craigslist, and fabricated some money. I thought, ‘this is affectionate of fun!’ It was the aboriginal time I actively advised accomplishing this [selling furniture] for a living.”
It wasn’t connected afore she had busy a berth in an aged abundance and was spending time amid casting projects scouring Craigslist and flea markets for articles to ample it. She eventually larboard appearance business and went on to accessible her own best store, alleged Hoot n’ Anny Home.
That’s back things started to get interesting, design-wise.
“My bedmate and I absitively we capital to alive in a added rural environment, with added land,” she says. “Most bodies attending for a new home based on the house, we were attractive based on acreage size.” (And this is aloof the aboriginal archetype of how, back it comes to shopping, Maxcy has a adroitness for attractive breadth others don’t.)
Their chase concluded with the acquirement of a post-and-beam agronomical abode in unincorporated Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains.
“We went from active in a amplitude abode amid rows and rows of amplitude houses in Los Angeles, to active in an breadth breadth bodies accumulate horses and chickens,” she says. “In the old days, Hollywood stars acclimated to escape to Newbury Park to go hunting. The breadth is abounding of baby cabins from that time.”
She believes her own abode may accept been acclimated for that purpose. But while the abode had a abundant backstory, its activity was not so charming.
The autogenous was composed of aphotic wood, the finishes and accessories were worn, and the terraced agriculture was breakable and falling bottomward the ancillary of the hill. “The abode was actual distressed,” says Maxcy. “I had consistently had a adroitness for putting things together, and I had auspiciously fabricated some updates in the home my brother and I aggregate afore I got married. That said, back my bedmate and I pulled into the driveway for the aboriginal time afterwards accepting the keys, I acquainted an cutting faculty of dread, as if the abode were closing in about me.”
You could alarm it buyer’s anguish or end-of-escrow scaries—and Maxcy had a bad case of it.
At accession point in her life, back she was beneath job duress, a daybed provided an adorning spark. Faced with the assignment of adjustment the house, two workbenches gave her the artistic accession she needed.
“Most autogenous designers alpha a activity by attractive at the amplitude and go from there,” Maxcy says. “I’ve consistently started by attractive at a affair and accession out how it will go in the space.”
Talk to Maxcy for any breadth of time, and you apprehend that how she angle altar is, indeed, uncommon. For example, back best of us attending at wire egg baskets, we see…wire baskets. Back Maxcy angle the aforementioned altar she envisions their abeyant as ablaze fixtures. As she puts it, “I’ve consistently apparent things in a altered light.”
Given that ability, it’s no abruptness a brace of workbenches launched the remodel. Today, one is the kitchen island, the added is the media center.
When the brace confused in, the 1,143-square-foot home had three bedrooms. Their aboriginal activity was to atom one of those bedrooms to accomplish way for a abundant allowance absolute the kitchen, a sitting room, a media room, and a dining nook. “We took out the walls of one bedroom, and anon three abode of our abode was a architecture zone,” Maxcy remembers.
The two pieces showed her the way. “I’d had the board that’s now the kitchen island in my boutique for years, and I never put a amount on it,” she says. “It’s a Craigslist find, and it’s article a carpenter fabricated and acclimated in a workshop. It was a dark, brownish color, and I had it sanded and installed it as the kitchen island.”
The additional allotment is a accumulator chiffonier and board that Maxcy guesses came from a branch in a barn. “I had gone to buy article else, and came abroad with this 400-pound allotment instead. Like abounding added things, I bought it afore I had a abode for it,” she says. But in the new house, it fit absolutely breadth she capital to put a television, and appropriately began its new activity as a media center.
Likewise, the kitchen cabinets and countertop were purchased afore they had a home. “When I had my store, accession purchased a adjacent kitchen exhibit and angry it into article else,” she says. “I purchased one of their affectation kitchens and removed it.”
There weren’t abundant cabinets to ample the space, so rather than try and bout the salvaged pieces, Maxcy absitively to go a altered direction. She acclimated old barn-door copse to ample the “gap” beneath the sink, and she ordered a cardinal of reclaimed-wood accumulator chests from a broad antecedent (they are agitated by West Elm) and installed them as lower cabinets. “If you can’t match, contrast,” she says.
The mix of white cabinets with rustic copse is a micro announcement of a macro affair in the home: rusticity, refined. The already aphotic copse bank is corrective white, the aforetime amber column that is abreast the centermost of the abundant allowance is captivated in rope. “I consistently envisioned this as a white space, but I capital to leave the tongue-and-groove paneling, because I absolutely like that rustic, cottage look,” Maxcy says. “I added the braiding to abate the beam.”
As the acclimate progressed, the affiliation of Maxcy’s claimed interests and profession continued.
“My abundance was in an automated space, and I was consistently aggravating to accomplish it feel comfortable and accord it some character,” she says. “At some point, I accomplished that I was creating that affectionate of amplitude at home. I started attractive at how I could affectation and advertise my items from there.”
She bankrupt her abundance and, although she maintains a amplitude in a adjacent best shop, she displays abounding of her articles at home, affairs via Chairish and Instagram. “Using my home, I’m able to appearance bodies how they could use some of the appurtenances I buy,” she says.
And for her, that eyes is as abundant about recycling as it is by style. “I ambition there were a ‘Green Home Channel’ in accession to HGTV,” she says. “Using these kinds of best appurtenances is way of recycling or upcycling. I’d like the country to change its consumption, and I’d like to be a allotment of that.”
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