Welcome back to our View From Here series, an ongoing tale by Barn and Willow featuring the unique views of our guests and tours of their homes.
Today's installment features Sara Albers, co-creator of Alice and Lois, a DIY project treasure trove of a blog, and twin to Melissa, the other creator of the blog. Together, these two fantastic women fill their blog with fun DIY projects and recipes that reflect their strong family values.
We're so appreciative of Sara for making time to tell us about her big move and design challenges. But no obstacle is too big for the creative mastermind inside Sara's head, as you'll read below!
Tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, who you live with, what do you like to do for fun and do you have any hidden talents?
My name is Sara Albers. This past year my husband, 10 year old daughter Harper and I moved to Indianapolis, IN. We left the beautiful city of San Francisco after spending 20 years in North Beach and Russian Hill. My husband and I both grew up in Indianapolis. We are now living close to our family which has been wonderful. We love to spend time at our family lake house in Indiana and also my parents lake house in Michigan. We spend as much time outdoors as possible!
What do you want others to know about your home? Or what would you hope guests understand about you when they visit your home?
After renting a flat in the city for 20 years, we bought our first home in Indy. Our house is on nearly an acre and has huge, beautiful old trees. The house was built in 1968 and a tri-level style. Honestly I never thought I would own a tri-level but it works. It has wood floors, light colored walls, a screened in porch and lots of windows. When friends visit our home, they always comment how light it is. Which I love!
If you could describe your interior style in three words, what would they be?
Unique, vintage, well loved.
What are some non-negotiables you have for your home? Things you can't live with or without.
I love to mix old and new. I don’t want to have the cookie cutter pieces that everyone might have in a space. I love to mix textures, mix wood tones, etc. For instance, I have a reclaimed wood French dining table with white modern chairs. I also love to add personal pieces throughout the home. Glass beads from the Alameda flea market, or handmade pillows or black and white photographs of places we have traveled.
Did you encounter any obstacles, structural or otherwise, when decorating your space?
Our home is a tri-level. We have a sunken living room, which I have never had before. But we have made it work. I layered a favorite rug that I had in our flat in SF over the carpet, added a large rattan coffee table and hung beautiful Barn & Willow linen curtains to give the room some height and sophistication. The previous owner had taken down the wall between the dining and living rooms, so we were so happy to have the open floor plan.
Can you share a favorite room or object in your home? Also favorite part of your bedroom, specifically?
My favorite room in our home has to be the screened in porch. It is extension of our living space. We have a sectional outdoor couch in a light grey, jute rug, plants and even a tv. We painted the porch white and left the beams dark wood. The space is light and airy. We love spending time in the porch - fresh air and relaxing go hand in hand.
Any advice you'd give to others when styling a home?
Remember to add in personal touches - go to antique stores to find little found objects that speak to you. Frame art from vacations and trips. It can be a post card or a photograph. Mixing old with new is key. A reclaimed wood table mixed with a mid century modern couch looks terrific together. Don’t be afraid to mix wood tones and textures in your space as well.
What is the very best view in your home?
My dining room table filled with family.