At Home: An arts and crafts home in German Village
A house filled with history and memories is a wonderful place to spend your time.
Thirteen years ago, Lindsey Alexander and her husband Steve Stout decided to downsize from their home in Bexley. For their new home, they looked throughout Downtown, and then took their search into German Village.
“My mother had bought property here in 1967 and she always loved it,” says Alexander. “My sister Jaimie has lived in German Village too. I fell in love with this house when I saw the built in cabinet in the kitchen. I just love the architecture.”
The three bedroom, 3 bathroom home has 2,346 square-feet of living space, a backyard with a pear tree, front gardens, porch, and a garage. It has original wood floors, trim, and pocket doors. Built-ins can be found in several rooms. “So many of the homes in German Village are close together,” says Alexander. “Our home feels spacious with the backyard and the parking lot next door. It gives the home room to breathe.”
She also loves the proximity to Downtown and that the skyline is visible from their upstairs bedroom. “I really like the way this feels like a part of Downtown,” she says.
Alexander’s mother used her interior design skills to outfit the home in a classic style, with many personal touches throughout. When the home needed a small update, Alexander turned to Shauna Lehman of Shauna Lehman Interiors who provided creative ideas and the same ‘decorator’s touch’ her mother had.
Much of the furniture in the home are pieces that have been in the family for years. Alexander also enjoyed frequenting antique shops with her mother, looking for quality pieces with history that continue to tell a story.
The flat file cabinet in the laundry room was a piece she purchased from a Capital University, which now holds inspirations for her art. In the dining room, a chest from the Dublin Barn, an antique shop, was topped with a slab of marble to make it a beautiful original. The secretary desk was once her mother’s, then a piece she shared with her sisters as a girl. In the foyer, a sleigh bed purchased for $50 from Madison’s as it was closing became a base for art.
“Everything has a thread of history,” says Alexander, as she shows a chair reupholstered in a coat her mother loved to wear. Alexander thinks of her mother often. After her mother’s passing, Alexander decided to turn her artistic focus to tiling her bathroom into a beautiful tribute to her mother’s life, themed on the blue perfume bottles her mother always had.
A dear friend, D. G. Fulford, captured her life as part of her book on writing family histories, One Memory at a Time. Alexander has incorporated parts of the story, as well as sections of her mother’s diaries into the tiles.
“I’ve been working on this room for about six years, and it’s my favorite place to spend time,” says Alexander.
For many years, Alexander did commissioned pieces, ranging from watercolors, to paintings, to stained glass, to ceramics. She currently has some pieces in the Art Access Gallery in Bexley. But as time passed, she became much more personal with her work.
“Everything I do is pretty personal,” she says. “It’s hard for me to part with pieces, and even harder to put a price on them. I’m more interested these days in doing things in the house for myself.”
In addition to the tiling in the bathroom, Alexander made the tiles for the fireplace in the living room by hand.
“The fireplace had tiles that did not fit the character of the home,” she says. “I researched what would have been there, then cast the decorative tiles from pieces I had.”
She finds the Recreation Center at Schiller Park to be a wonderful resource for ceramic artists, and does most of her work there.
Alexander often hangs art in her home and has hosted shows for artists. They were also a part of the Haus und Garten Tour in 2001.
“Living in German Village is great,” she says. “It’s in the heart of everything.”
They love that Pistacia Vera brings so many people to the neighborhood, and it is a favorite place they frequent. “Pistacia Vera has turned German Village into such an international, cosmopolitan place,” she says. “We like feeling like there are tourists here, and enjoy talking to them about the city.”
Feature image is of the couple in their kitchen is a painting by Barbara Vogel. View more of Vogel’s work in her current exhibition, Luminosity at Sherrie Gallerie in the Short North, October 5 – November 9, 2013 at 694 N. High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.
Find Lindsey Alexander at the Art Access Gallery in Bexley.
For more information about Shauna Lehman, visit Shauna Lehman Interiors.
At Home is a monthly column on Columbus Underground focused on urban home remodeling and style as well as older home renovations and unique homes in Columbus. If you would like to have your home featured in the At Home series, please send an email to me at [email protected].