At Home: Glen Echo Arts and Crafts
It is only fitting that creative people would live in a ‘crafty’ house. Elizabeth and Nicholas Dekker have lived in their Arts and Crafts home in the Glen Echo neighborhood for three years. About the time they found their home, they helped to found Wild Goose Creative. At first, the group hosted events out of the Dekkers home. They especially enjoyed hosting food events in the kitchen – jam and sauce making, too many cooks, tea tastings. The Two for Tea event drew so many people that their house was packed and the group decided to relocate to a space on Summit St. Living near the WGC space has been wonderful, in fact most of the group’s members live in the same neighborhood, creating a sort of “intentional community.” Many of the residents take pride in their neighborhood and the area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
The 1900 sq. foot, 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home was built in 1918. When they first moved in, the Dekkers heard about the Columbus Landmarks Foundation’s Walking Tours in Glen Echo and they went on it. While talking with the tour guide, they discovered that she and her husband had raised their family in the same home. The husband was an architect and they had extended the kitchen and added a bedroom above it. Elizabeth and Nicholas had looked at several homes in the area, but when Elizabeth saw the kitchen in this one, she was sold. She loved it. Who wouldn’t? It is gorgeous. Light and airy, with beautifully painted cabinets – this kitchen is great for entertaining and cooking up anything you’d like. The ceiling detail and light fixture over the island remind them of being on a boat.
Nautical themes carry over to other rooms of the house. The decorating scheme of the guest bedroom is centered on a picture of Ocracoke Island, a place they love to vacation. They have brought home shells and driftwood to remind them of their trips. The house has several spots to remind them of favorite places they have been, another being a cityscape of London lining the bench at the bottom of the stairs.
They have made a conscious decision to fill their home with local art. In their son Will’s room, some fifteen or sixteen pieces decorate his space. Will’s room is a fun jester theme with triangle patterns repeated on the walls and banners with other little touches. The triangles were created by taping off the areas and painting with a clear, high gloss varnish. The end result is a really fun space for Will now as a young child that he will be able to grow into.
Elizabeth says that “interior design has to be funny and fun to live with.” You see other touches of that idea throughout their home on their office walls and in their living room. Some of their favorite places to find items for their home has been estate sales, thrift stores and Craigslist. Her best purchases came from an event planner’s estate sale. That was the motherload of good finds!
When they bought their home, they had a month long window to finish up things they wanted to do in the house before they moved in. That time allowed them to completely redo the guest bathroom (which they ripped down to the studs and did themselves!) and paint all of the rooms. If you are looking to buy a home with a few immediate projects to do, they recommend giving yourself the extra time to finish before moving in.
The Dekkers love their neighborhood and being so close to the Wild Goose Creative space. But they do love having land and may want a more rural setting sometime in the future. For now, their backyard is filled with a garden and playspace and they have plans to add a grape arbor and a deck.