Name: Bobbie Ann Tilkens-Fisher, Owner of At Home Modern, and Matthew Fisher, Owner of Night Kitchen Interactive; Cats: Lucha and Lincoln
Location: Wallingford, Pennsylvania
Size: 2,600 square feet with 600-square-foot annex
Years lived in: 4.5 years; Owned
You can’t help but be inspired by Bobbie and Matthew’s beautiful home. Each room exudes both style and comfort. The house itself was the stimulus that launched Bobbie’s business, At Home Modern, where she sells vintage modern art, objects and furniture from the second half of the 20th century.
It seems like this house was destined for Bobbie and Matthew. The house was built in 1958, designed by Irwin Stein. The initial structure included the living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom and Bobbie’s office. Years later, the original owners commissioned Stein for an addition, which included a den and two more bedrooms. The house also includes an annex space that was originally used as a dental office (not photographed).
Bobbie and Matthew found the house in 2010 but were out-bid on their first offer. Fortunately, fate took a hand when that bidder had a change of heart. Bobbie had been teaching art history, but started her business after discovering a knack for finding treasures for her own home. You can see evidence of her impeccable taste throughout the house, and it is inspiring to see both stunning art pieces and personal knickknacks living together in harmony. Matthew clearly has a strong design sense, too – his business designs websites and real space interactives for museums and cultural institutions. There are some great pieces in the house inherited from his family. And while Bobbie typically does the scouting for furniture and objects, Matthew gets veto power!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: My style is Mid-Century Modern mixed with original modern art, ethnic objects and Turkish rugs. I like things that make me smile. I don’t take decorating too seriously, and I am not a “purist.”
We use our vintage collections, our furniture is not pristine and there are even a few vintage knock-offs around. We love to entertain and don’t sweat it if someone spills a drink at a party!
I purposely named my business “At Home Modern” because of this philosophy – living in a modern environment doesn’t mean it has to be sterile or feel like a museum. Our home is warm and fun! Everyone feels at home here.
Inspiration: My home. I never imagined buying a home would lead to a successful new business and happy career!
Favorite Element: The roof and ceiling. It continues to amaze me. The light inspires me as well – it is constantly changing and always lovely.
Biggest Challenge: I would say our biggest challenge has been the yard. Neither of us likes to mow and we have 3/4 of an acre!
What Friends Say: We often hear that that this is the coolest house they’ve been in! And that it looks like a spaceship when it’s all lit up at night!
Biggest Embarrassment: The yard – it still needs a lot of work. We were fortunate to buy this home from the original owners who took loving care of the home’s interior, but the exterior needs some TLC. We’ve done some significant improvements including a privacy fence and border plantings, but we have a way to go.
Proudest DIY: Decorating this home from scratch! We owned three pieces of mid-century furniture when we purchased the home. The architecture of our home really dictates what furniture works inside of it, so we had to start over when we moved here from our 1800s row home in downtown Philadelphia.
Biggest Indulgence: Our Modernica Case Study bed and Tempurpedic mattress. It’s almost impossible to find large vintage beds, and in order to have room for nightstands, we ended up needing a California King (they are narrower than standard king beds). They didn’t make them in the 1950’s and 1960’s, so we bought new. It’s gorgeous and super comfy.
Best Advice: If you don’t love it, don’t buy it. Be patient – what you want is out there. Too many people find themselves in a hurry to decorate a new home, and make decisions they later regret. Live in it a while. Build your collection with intent.
Dream Sources: I’d love to have a 1st Dibs budget!
Resources of Note:
- 1970’s Abstract Expressionist Painting by John Bledsoe: Auction
- Sculpture by Krishna Reddy: Auction
- Teak Cabinet by Jens Risom: Antique Shop
- Black Lacquer Cabinet by Renzo Rutili: Inherited from Matthew’s grandmother
- Pencil signed Miro Print: Local estate
- Teak Laurel Mushroom Lamp: Auction
- Turkish Rug: Auction
- Mid-century Sectional: Flea market
- Cocktail Table: Inherited from Matthew’s grandmother
- Prints: Auctions and flea markets
- Mid-century Wall Unit: Craigslist
- Maison Jenson Campaign Chair: Inherited from Matthew’s grandmother
- Jerry Johnson rocking chair: Craigslist
- Red Turkish Kilim Rug: From a trip to Istanbul
- Orange and Blue Turkish Azeri Rug: Craiglist
- Rosewood Selig Lounge Chair: Craigslist
- Saarinen Tulip Table: Craigslist
- Off white Overman Chair: Auction
- Parsons Dining Table: Craigslist
- Turkish Kilim: Overstock
- John Stuart Dining Chairs: Auction
- Brutalist Centerpiece signed “Steck”: Auction
- Original Vintage Art: Auctions and flea markets
- Paint - Mysterious by Benjamin Moore
- Original walnut cabinets, 1958
- Floors were installed in the 1980’s
- Vintage Greek wool Flokati Rug: Auction
- Mid-century Sectional Sofa: Auction find reupholstered in Crypton fabric
- End Table is vintage Henrendon: Auction
- Adrian Pearsall Cocktail Table: Auction
- Lamp on end table: Thrift store
- Danish Teak and Leather chair: Auction
- Tulip Table: Auction
- 4 fiberglass Chairs: Inherited from Matthew’s father
- Collection of matte white vintage ceramics: Thrift stores and flea markets
- Collection of vintage Rimini Blue Bitossi ceramics: Ebay, flea markets and friends
- Large Ceramic Vessel, 1969 by Tom Collins: Auction
- Vintage Movie Posters: Ebay
- Vintage Ceramic Italian wall hanging: Auction
- Masks: From our travels
- Modernica Case Study Bed: Modernica
- Vintage Walnut Nightstands: Auction
- Vintage Walnut Dresser: Auction
- C. Jere Doves Sculpture above Bed: Flea market
- Bedding: IKEA and Target
- Turkish Kilim Rug: Ikea
- Danish Teak Desk: Auction
- Mid Century Credenza: Auction
- Vintage Artwork: Auctions and flea markets
- Vintage Eames Shell Chair in Elephant Grey: Auction
- Vintage Metal Hoop Chair: Junk Shop
GUEST BEDROOM / MATTHEW'S OFFICE
- Danish Teak Trundle Bed: Ebay
- Laurel Mushroom Floor Lamp: Inherited from Matthew’s father
- Danish Teak Nightstand: Auction
- Green Chair: Auction
- Framed Rock Posters: Swissted
- Print tray contains mementos from Matthew and Bobbie’s lives
- Rocking Pussy Cat toy: Matthew found this for Bobbie at a flea market
- Pair of George Nelson Chests: Ebay
- Plycraft Lounge Chair and Ottoman: Inherited from Matthew’s father
- Art: Auctions and fleamarkets
- Brutalist Sculptures: Auctions
- Lamps: Auction
- Mirror: IKEA
- Bedding: IKEA and Target
Thanks, Bobbie & Matthew!
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