If you're feeling up for a scenic trip through rural Virginia's beautiful rolling hills, Matthew's House & Garden is an idyllic destination. Interior designer and shop proprietor, Wanda Crossley, has transformed a neglected 175 church into a haven of Gustavian wares, English antiques, and inspired new furnishings. Walking into the sun-filled white church turned store, it's hard to imagine that just a few years ago all of the structure's original charm had been drowned under dated "updates." In addition to removing the dated paneling and acoustical ceiling, she added in architectural details that compliment the original structure, such as the raised alter sanctuary which she decked out as a reading nook. After seeing the radical transformation, we were equally as taken with the structure itself as we were with all the unique finds within.
However, the products are equally delightful to the eye, albeit not all are as delightful to the wallet. In terms of antiques and designer furniture, such as a fabulous collection by Bunny Williams, prices are comparable to the average high end Georgetown shop, but there are also many wonderfully priced pieces of artwork and unique accent pieces, some beginning as little $20. While we confess to swooning over every last item, we were most taken by the furniture, paintings, and trays created by Kevin Chadwick, a illustrator and artist who now helps significantly with the shop and design studio. And most significantly, we were struck by the generosity and vibrancy of Wanda. Visiting the store felt less like a shopping trip, and more like a visit to see an old friend, and from what we've heard from other shoppers, ours is a common reaction. Warm, inviting, and a treat for the eyes!
In addition to running her lovely store, Wanda Crossley also offers full interior design services.
(Images: 1-10 and "After pictures": Leah Moss, Before Pictures: Wanda Crossley)
Wanda converted this neglected 175 year old church into a shop and design studio in 2009.