Name: Aaron and Shannon Hase, owners of Yuppie Decor, and their spoiled Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Pepper
Location: Arlington, Virginia (Douglas Park)
Size: 1450 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Years lived in: owned 2 years
Part preppy coastal, part old boys club, and part fresh traditional, Shannon and Aaron's home is a lighthearted interpretation of yuppie East Coast style. It's also the perfect showroom for the multitude of furniture pieces and accessories which the young couple have lovingly breathed new life into as part of their business Yuppie Decor, which is known for its upbeat transformations of salvaged traditional furnishings. However, the house itself— once a foreclosed, rundown bungalow— is their biggest restoration yet.
When Aaron and Shannon found the house, it was in a sad state— layers of cooking residue in every room including the bedrooms and 80 years worth of sloppy paint job buildup. However, the couple seems to have a knack for restoring old unloved items, and the house was no exception. In addition to giving the house a thorough scrub down and a fresh new color palette, they also went about restoring some of the original architectural details of the the 30s home by resuscitating decrepit original hardware and scouring salvage shops for accurate replacements of fixtures that had been switched out over time.
While Aaron and Shannon have been careful to make updates that are in line with the original character of the house, they've also managed to put their own youthful spin on it. Their fabric choices and bold pairings reflect their playful approach design. So, although there are several consistent themes running throughout the house— i.e. nautical which reflects their mutual passion for sailing and Martha's vineyard— they lightheartedly disregard the rules of traditional pairings, mixing say, plaids with silks and faux animal skins with gilt. I was especially happy to catch a glimpse of their cute home in its current state, because I learned that couple is planning to move later this year.
Every piece in their home has a story, so be sure to check out the captions in the gallery tour for more details.
They also update their blog, Hase Haus, regularly with new transformations so check it out for a good dose of before & afters.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Style: East Coast, Yuppie Bungalow
Inspiration: Each other. We like to have "design competitions" to see who can create/reinvent the best piece of furniture or pick out the best lighting fixture. Our style is constantly evolving, and we are always trying new things out, based on ideas from design books, shelter mags, and our travels.
Favorite Element: Every piece tells a story about an adventure or a vacation we have taken together. The oyster lamp in our guest bedroom was created using oyster shells we picked up during a shark tooth hunting adventure on a beach in Pennsylvania. The yellow art deco mirror in our guest bath was originally
from an upstate New York hotel, although we found it (much later) in an old southern Virginia barn that we crawled and rummaged around in 100+ degree heat in the middle of the summer.
Biggest Challenge: Blue paint on all the walls... and ceilings(!); Stained carpet covering the hardwood floors; Grease covering every surface in the house (including the bedroom walls); Brown tile with red grout in the bathrooms... the list goes on and on. So, our biggest challenge has been restoring some
of the original charm to our 1930's home, with a modern twist. We have spent a lot of time at Architectural Salvage stores, finding period doors and hardware to match the period of our home.
What Friends Say: Friends love it, especially the parties. They are usually commenting on how all the décor has changed since the last time they were here.
Biggest Embarrassment: Shannon would say, it's the taxidermy in the attic. Aaron would say, it's actually quite cool, I just have to pick my battles.
Proudest DIY: The guest bathroom. We completely gutted it and then built it back from the ground up by ourselves including installing new floors, shower tiles, and fixtures. We created the sink vanity using an antique dresser we acquired at a flea market. We applied numerous coats of marine varnish to ensure the wood would withstand bathroom moisture.
Biggest Indulgence: Marble countertops. We love the modern yet old world look of marble, and just had to have them for our kitchen. We have a relatively small kitchen, and they really seem to brighten the
Best Advice: You can't decorate a house in one weekend, or even one month. It takes a while to acquire the perfect pieces of furniture and décor for your home, and sometimes you don't know what those perfect pieces are until you live in a space for a while. A house has so much more personality when every room or piece of décor has a story behind it. It's no fun to just go buy an entire room of furnishings at a big box store.
Dream Sources: 1st Dibs
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
- • Front Living Room- Benjamin Moore: Revere Pewter
• Guest Bedroom - Benjamin Moore: Instinct
• Guest Bathroom- Behr: Valley Mist
• Kitchen/ Dining Room- Glidden: Universal Grey
• Master Bedroom- Behr: Shimmer
• Den/ Man Room- Glidden; Intercoastal
Appliances: Craigslist, Lowe's, and Best Buy.
Hardware: Restoration Hardware and Anthropologie
Furniture: We curate and create most of our furniture from our own collection for
Yuppie Decor. We also like to pick pieces up from Old Lucketts Store, Eastern Market,
and antique stores around the Chesapeake Bay. A few pieces are also family heirlooms.
Accessories: Etsy, U Street, Potomac West Antiques, flea markets, estate sales, old
Antique wooden moving crate: An elderly neighbor of ours was throwing this out, and had originally used it for storing garden tools. After restoring the crate, we did some research and authenticated that this shipping crate was owned and used by E.H. Conger, the American Ambassador to China from 1898 to 1905. Conger was the ambassador during the bloody Boxer rebellion, and was literally under siege and in hiding during that time. This crate was used when he moved back to America following the completion of his Ambassadorship (1905), and still has his address and shipping details written into the wood. With a little work, this piece has become one of our favorites, with a great story behind it. And to think, it was almost trashed!
Antique wooden oars: We bought these in a guys barn in Southern Virginia. They weren't even for sale, but we asked him how much he wanted for them. He laughed at us, and then said $1 each. So we bought all three that he had. We love them!
The vintage brass eagle on the front door: We actually found this buried in the back yard while doing yard work. A few months later, we bought an Architectural Salvage front door, and noticed there was an imprint of an eagle in the aging paint. As luck would have it, the brass eagle from our back yard matched up perfectly with the outline on the door. It makes us wonder whether that was originally our front door. Probably not, but it turns my head upside down.
18th Century Mongolian wooden horse: We picked this up from our favorite East Coast picker. He is a very eccentric fellow, but he always finds the best stuff. He bought this for us at a New York antique store that was going out of business. The horse originally had legs and real horse hair for a tail, but it has gained a lot of character over the last couple hundred years.
Lighting: Bliss (Knoxville, TN), HomeGoods, and vintage lamps and chandeliers
Rugs and Carpets: We use a Canadian importer for selecting and shipping in rugs from
Tiles and Stone: Home Depot
Window Treatments: Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel
Beds: Guest Bedroom - DC Big Flea, Master Bedroom - Target
(people never believe us when we tell them our headboard is from Target)
Artwork: Yuppie Decor. Antique French Perrier poster in the dining room: The print itself was a bit more than we're used to paying. Though, we saved loads of money by acquiring the frame from a second-hand store.
Thanks, Aaron & Shannon!
Images: Leah Moss
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