Originally from Minneapolis, Nellie and Wade moved to Rochester eight years ago and Duffy and I quickly developed a strong friendship with them. Our relationship began as a result of the fact that they rented one of our apartments on Westminster, and continued despite their eventual move to their beautiful home in Brighton. When Nellie and Wade first opened the doors to what would eventually become their future family home, they were besieged by the dark, heavy curtains, ornate fixtures, and ostentatious chandeliers. The formality of the house was not reflective of their aesthetic and was certainly not reflective of their personalities. Nonetheless, with the help of their friend, Stephanie, and a nudge or two from Duffy, they saw past the décor and fell completely in love with the bones of the home. For the past three years, Nellie and Wade have made it their goal to create an ambiance that feels welcoming, inviting, and most importantly, representative of them as a couple and as a family. With a five year old son, Clay, and a two year old daughter, Eliza, it was incredibly important that the house be both functional and cozy. From the outside, the property has all of the charm and character that you would expect from a 100 year old home. Upon entry, there is no mistaking the time, love, and effort that was put into transforming the aesthetic of the interior. When asked about their three favorite aspects, this was their response…
No. 1 – Foyer
Constructed during the 1920s, Nellie and Wade’s home was anything but “bright and fresh" when they first purchased it. This was one of the first things that they sought to tackle when considering renovations. Nellie specifically wanted something that would be completely unexpected from a 100 year old home, and this wall paper, which transforms to an incredible piece of artwork on the wall, did exactly that. The historic, regal exterior does not lend itself to this type of foyer, which is exactly why Nellie and Wade fell in love with it. Every single room is a perfect blend and juxtaposition of the old and the new. The foyer, in particular, was an area where Nellie wanted to combine newer pieces, such as the light fixture, with more rustic pieces, like the locally made bench behind the staircase. Stunning!
No. 2 – Dining Room
Nellie and Wade’s dining room holds a remarkable collection of significant pieces of art and furniture, each with their own story to tell. So, unsurprisingly, this is regarded as one of their favorite rooms. The buffet, in particular, was a labor of love, handcrafted by Nellie’s father. As a one-man-show, custom woodworker in Minneapolis, Nellie’s dad dyed, stained and assembled the wood to match a china cabinet that rests on the other side of the dining room. The china cabinet was a keepsake from her grandmother, one that she hopes to pass onto her kids one day. In an effort to incorporate local pieces into their décor, Nellie and Wade opted for local stone to top the buffet. The artwork above is a statement piece by the Brooklyn artist, Samantha French – a guaranteed conversation starter when entertaining.
Because of her father, Nellie has a tremendous appreciation for furniture. When picking the dining room table, she wanted something unique and intimate, opting for round in order to achieve just that. The table, made of barn wood imported from England, is a perfect rustic addition to the room.
No. 3 – Living Room
The living room, which was once a stuffy sitting room, is the area where Nellie and Wade cozy up with their kids to watch movies, or where they chat with friends over a few glasses of wine. Nellie made sure to mention that this room, above all else, feels like home. The bright colors, cozy furniture, and inviting design are all reflective of their personal style. When describing this room, and their house as a whole, Nellie stressed the importance of finding furniture and decor that is meaningful to them. Instead of having a collection of cookie-cutter furniture, they opt to take the time to look for pieces that they love throughout their travels. For example, this old postal sorting table from Geneva was found while in Hammondsport (after breakfast with Duffy & me!). It now houses a large number of wine bottles and is without a doubt, most frequently commented on when guests come into their home. It is a statement piece that tells a story – much like all of the furniture in their home.