A Former New Yorker Happily Fills up her Michigan Home

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Dining room: It’s hard to tell from this photo, but that bench is almost nine feet long! It was originally a waiting bench in a train depot here in Michigan. (Image credit: Submitted by Lissa )

Name: Lissa and her two cats, Cleo and Miley
Location: Heritage Hill, Grand Rapids — Michigan
The basics: 3.5 years, owned — 1,600 square feet

Lissa has filled in the square footage of her home in a way only those deprived of space for years (aka former New Yorkers) can. A station bench here, a camel statue there, she’s started to fill her historic home with funky finds.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My house was built in 1902 and is located in Heritage Hill in Grand Rapids. It is classified as a Victorian and still retains some of the original features (while others have been lost to renovations over the last 115 years!). According to the historic records, this house was originally built by a county agent for his wife and one adult son. Right now I live here by myself with my two cats, Cleo and Miley. I also rent out my guest bedroom on Airbnb and I use the extra income for projects around the house.

What is your favorite room and why? Probably the dining room. That room feels the most complete to me — plus, it has some of my favorite elements in the house! I love my vintage camel (from an old Shriner’s lodge), the 9 foot train depot bench that took four people to maneuver into my house, the mission bookcase (that I use as a china hutch) and the Bertoia chairs. I also love it because I really enjoy having people over to my home and, having moved from NYC, it’s such a luxury to have a giant space for just sharing a meal or game or drink (or all three!).

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? At some point in my house’s history someone removed all of the hardwood floors and replaced them with asbestos tile. Why? WHY?? So I would put my original hardwoods back in.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I bought a turquoise retro-style beer cooler for my patio.

Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? Garfield? I do love my cats.

Lissa’s words of wisdom: Take your time and try to buy meaningful pieces. I have been slowly collecting things for most of my adult life and nearly everything has a story. The most meaningful decor has memories attached.

Thanks, Lissa!

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