Delightful and oh-so-cozy, this 1918 craftsman nestled in a quiet, Washington neighborhood is chock full of character and charm thanks to Tessa Doan and her creative eye. Brimming with classic beauty and timeless appeal, this sweet and humble home is a lesson on slowing down and learning to appreciate the everyday moments. Finding ourselves drawn to her knack for crafting whimsical yet homey spaces, we decided to spend some time with the creator behind @houseonchestnut to talk family, inspiration, and what she believes makes a house a home.
Tell us about your home. How long have you lived here, and how did you know it was the one for your family?
It’s a Craftsman and was built in 1918. I actually lived in this house growing up from about the age of 10 until I moved out after high school. I had always loved the home and my mom was getting remarried and moving out of town. So my husband and I moved back in after we got married in 2010 and rented from my grandparents until we bought it from them five years later.
If you had to pick three themes for your interior aesthetic, what would they be?
European, country, traditional-ish.
Could you tell us a little bit about your background? Have you always been drawn to interiors, thrifting, and art?
I grew up watching both of my parents care about how their homes were styled. I would help my mom move furniture around or I would change up my room often. I also remember going to yard sales or my nana would bring over antique furniture she picked up at an estate sale. So I’m just naturally drawn to it now.
To you, what makes a house a home?
Comfort. I want everyone to feel a sense of relief and warmth and safety when they are home.
One of the first things I noticed about your home was how thoughtful your art arrangements were. Do you have any tips or suggestions for grouping different art pieces together throughout the home?
Go with what resonates inside you. I spend a lot of time at home, so I know where my eye is drawn throughout the day. It helps to pay attention to things like that when hanging art. What sparks joy to you? Sometimes simpler is better and other times a gallery wall works great. Don’t force a certain look just because you saw it in a magazine or online. You know your space better than anyone.
Do you have any design or life philosophies you abide by?
Less is more, more often than not. It always feels good to simplify. Oftentimes, it’s the slow mundane moments that are the most memorable.
What are some ways you and your family practice slowing down at home?
Having family meals together is a big one. We get super busy during school and sports season, but taking that time is essential. And just personally I try to take notice of the little joys each day. The sunlight coming through a window or the smell of coffee, seems cliché but it’s what life is made of really.
Could you share a few of your Schoolhouse favorites and why you selected them for your space?
I’ve been a fan of Schoolhouse for a long time now! I love how classic and timeless the pieces are. My favorites are the Jute + Chenille Rug, the Cotton Pinstripe Throw, and the Arbor Floor Lamp.
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