A Crumbling Home Is Revived Around a Massive Tree Trunk

Office, Desk, and Chair The owner uses the ground floor as a studio for art and music.

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The entry posed a special challenge, as the walls were in such bad shape that Marcia had to leave the wallpaper on them lest they disintegrate. Her creative solution was to paint a folk-art mural

Metallic pewter, candle molds and an iron rabbit mix beautifully with wood elements in the entry, such as the shelf Marcia’s father made.

A Crumbling Home Is Revived Around a Massive Tree Trunk Photo Gallery


Depicting the countryside and some houses she liked—including her own! After stripping several layers of paint from the newel post, railing and stairs, Marcia applied a rich, dark stain; finally, she painted a soft country red hue on the balusters, which were spaced too closely together to strip. Thanks to her time and determination, the once-generic entry went from bland and boring to country chic.

Living Room, Ceiling Lighting, Console Tables, Sofa, and Chair Large wood-framed windows flood the interior with natural light while openings in the walls give the home a porous character.

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Marcia discovered her love of country decor as a youngster by reading her parents furnish her childhood home in small-town Connecticut My mother had a lot of collections, Marcia remembers. She knew how to put things together and liked antiques, and my dad did also. When I moved out in my early 20s, it was a good way to furnish my own place!’And it’s a method that is still serving her well, as demonstrated in every room.

Living Room, Chair, Ceiling Lighting, Stools, Medium Hardwood Floor, Coffee Tables, and Sofa The view from the kitchen to the living area above and atelier below.

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Exterior, Brick Siding Material, and House Building Type The nearly 40-foot-long oak tree trunk was craned into place through the roof.

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The architects gutted the interior and inserted new floors in a spiral formation around the central support of the oak tree trunk.

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Staircase and Wood Tread Here's a look at the spiraling floors. Note the owner's white cat peering down from above.

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Bedroom, Chair, Bed, and Medium Hardwood Floor Two bedrooms are located in the attic. 

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Bath Room, Tile Counter, Medium Hardwood Floor, Mosaic Tile Wall, and Soaking Tub A peek inside a mosaic-tiled bathroom with a soaking tub.

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Living Room, Coffee Tables, Ceiling Lighting, Sofa, Medium Hardwood Floor, and Chair Above the atelier are the kitchen, dining room, and living room—each placed on a separate floor.

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Dining Room, Table, Chair, and Medium Hardwood Floor The interior brick was painted white and paired with white plaster walls for a clean finish. A large courtyard-facing window was added in the dining room.

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Dining Room, Ceiling Lighting, Table, Medium Hardwood Floor, and Chair In the kitchen, the original unpainted brick can be glimpsed. The floors are polyurethane.

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Staircase and Wood Tread A view from above down to the ground floor. Safety railings were kept simple so as to not detract from the minimalist aesthetic.

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Bedroom, Bed, and Medium Hardwood Floor In replacing the roof, the architects also added a small viewing deck (not pictured) that overlooks the park in front of the house.

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