Joe's Victorian 'Owl House'

House Tour

Name: Joseph Findeiss
Location: Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado (the "Owl House")
Size: 1,948 square feet
Years lived in: 6 years

Artist Joseph Findeiss has spent the past six years creating and perfecting what might be his largest project to date. Like his smaller assemblage works, his home is a perfectly curated adventure, boasting tales of travel, history, and stories that might be told around a campfire. 

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Take a little bit Green Acres, a dash of Moonrise Kingdom, throw in some Wall-Drug-esque souvenir style, mix with Estate sale chic, and top it off with portraiture collaborations from Joseph and his sister, Amy, and you've got just a taste of the Owl House. 

An iconic Denver Foursquare, the three story home is filled with beautiful woodwork and has lots of space for friends. Joe shares his home with a few roommates, the occasional Air B&B guest, and some very happy chickens. Wether he's hosting a supper club or an out of town guest, Joe's generosity and hospitality is just brief glimpse of Denver at its best. 

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Pseudo-Bohemian Thrift/Seafarer-Railway/Big-Buck Hunter/Cozy-As-F**k

Inspiration: All over the place, but I've tried to keep the house as close to my idea of how the house wants to look/should have looked at its time of construction (1904).

Favorite Element: I love the wood burning stove in the parlor. Obviously it was retrofitted at some point — my guess would be in the 70's given the stone work it rests on and the AMAZING sailboat scene the glass door has etched on it.  When it's winter and cold and crappy out, and the fire is glowing, it's a perfect little ocean sunset/sunrise scene.

Biggest Challenge: Building the 12 foot tall arbor over the backyard.  I had my friend Eric help me raise the monster.  And then installing a huge chandelier on it.  That and keeping the yard weed free, which is next to impossible.

What Friends Say: "Will you please sit down."

Biggest Embarrassment: The front lawn — I ignore it on most days, and others I just shake my head and sigh.

Proudest DIY: The chandelier in the kitchen is pretty awesome. It was a thrift store find given to me by my friend Brian, and it was missing one of the ceramic candelabras, just wires hanging off.  I made a mold of one of the other ceramic bits, filled it with two part plastic mold, and drilled it out. It's not perfect, but I'll be damned if it's not close.  I took 1 3/4' oak dowels, drilled them out on the drill press, and stained then for the covers. That was my friend Kira's idea.  Brilliant. So, I take materials and inspiration from many, many different sources.

Biggest Indulgence: Paint.  And the time spent painting (oh god, the time spent painting…)

Best Advice: If you really want to embark on a project, just start. Doesn't matter where. You'll figure out the order of operation soon enough.  And mistakes just add to the experience. Also, plants. A little bit of life, a little bit of green will give your hamlet a warmer feel, and you'll breathe/sleep better. Research it.

Dream Sources: I really wish Denver had a proper recycled architectural salvage place like the ReStore in Seattle or Hippo in Portland. Otherwise, if I could loot Versailles ...

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Resources of Note:

  • Boutiques like Ironwood on S. Broadway.
  • Craigslist
  • Ebay
  • Garage/Estate Sales
  • Queen City Salvage
  • Any number of local thrift stores (favorite locations will remain unspoken for obvious reasons).
  • Flea Markets (seriously, at home and especially when you travel, hit these up!  You can find some seriously awesome shit.)
  • Alleys (you can find a lot of decent materials in alleyways and dumpsters, get creative, look at design blogs and books for ideas accentuate and ways to repair wayward furniture.  Just be forewarned of the potential unwanted pests these items may harbor, read:  bed bugs!)
  • I build/make a lot of elements also.  Get handy with a miter saw y'all.

PAINT & COLORS

• Behr:  too many to list.

ENTRY

• Owl Prints:  Old Book 
  • Ceramic Owls:  Thrift Stores

LIVING ROOM

• Antique Piano:  Gift
• Upright Piano:  Gift
• Cane Backed Chairs:  Craigslist  
•  Bavarian Roe Deer Antler Mounts:  Ebay

DINING ROOM

• Dining Room Table:  Alley 

• Console Record Player:  Goodwill
• Pump Organ:  Estate Sale
• Japanese Hand-Carved Bar: Permanent Loan
•  Semaphore Flags:  Ebay

KITCHEN

  • Chandelier: Gift (modified)

BEDROOM

• Finish Writing Desk:  Thrift Store
• Waterfall Dresser: Craigsist
• Taxidermy Deer Heads:  Ebay/gift
• Lamp: Garage Sale, Shade: Antique Store (modified; fringe)

Thanks, Joe!

(Images: Ashley Poskin )

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