Today, we’re catching up with Melissa of Melissa Ross Photography to tour her lovely home, beautifully decorated for the autumn season. Enjoy the tour!
Can you tell us a bit about your home?
“Our house is located in Glenshaw, PA, a small community just north of Pittsburgh. Glenshaw was founded in the early 19th century, and features many notable homes of Federal and Victorian architecture, as well as early 20th century catalog homes. Our four bedroom home has its own unique history in that its construction was commissioned in the early 1900s by a single woman of means who worked as a manager at the local telephone company. Although she eventually did marry much later in life, she remained in her home until she died at the age of 102 years old. The home’s current occupants besides me are my husband, our daughter, our pudgy cat and our rambunctious Airedale terrier.”
What do you love most about your home?
“I think we are a great example of how your home can be both stylish and functional. With an active young daughter and multiple pets, our friends and family must think we’re crazy for having so much white furniture, but when you have slip covers, white is ideal. Pop them in the washer with hot water and bleach, and they’re as good as new again. Plus, everything goes with white. We like to change things up now and then, so we never have to worry if a paint color or pillow is going to match the furniture.”
What is your decorating philosophy?
“Simple, classic lines with a combination of modern and early American décor. You’ll find bold furniture sporting mid century inspired upholstery next to elements that predate the furniture by 150 years. Seating elements are modern and comfortable. Also, everything needs the resilience to withstand an Airedale terrier. There’s a reason they’re described as naturally lively and sometimes very rowdy!”
What features about your home set it apart or make it unique?
“Our house is noteworthy for having a unique exterior style that we haven’t seen elsewhere in Pittsburgh. It’s an early 1900s hybrid of classic styles, with a symmetrical center chimney cape with a gambrel (barn style) roof line in the manner of a Dutch colonial. It has a traditional New England feel, but in the middle of Steeler country.”
How does your work as a photographer influence the way you decorate your home?
“I’m a big advocate of effectively using negative space, both in photography and decorating. You don’t have to have every wall covered or every corner furnished in order to have a beautifully decorated home. Just like the eyes need a place to rest when viewing a photograph, you don’t want to feel overstimulated or crowded in when you’re trying to relax at home.”
Where do you like to shop for art, furniture, and decor?
“For several years, we’ve spent the summer months travelling to various eastern Ohio towns that host antique fairs. There are some really great ones in places like Burton, Hudson and Zoar, where you can find anything from early American furniture to mid-century modern kitchenware. The internet has been a big resource as well, especially eBay and Craigslist. For example, our theater chairs, which were advertised on Craigslist, once served as seating in a local synagogue. It just goes to show that you never know where a great décor find will turn up!”
Why do you shop at Pottery Barn?
“I love how Pottery Barn’s furniture fits in seamlessly with our period pieces. In recent years, it’s become more and more challenging to find authentic antique furniture that’s affordable, so we’ve relied on Pottery Barn to get the look that we want without paying auction house prices. I also love how Pottery Barn encourages its customers to decorate with found objects. I don’t know how many times I’ve browsed the latest catalog and was inspired to dig out old forgotten items out of our basement and place them on display. Lastly, Pottery Barn makes some seriously comfortable furniture. We have the Basic Sectional in our living room, and there’s no better place to curl up with a book or to take a nap after a big holiday meal.”
Do you have a piece of art/furniture/decor that has special meaning to you or a special backstory?
“We have an unusual antique Hoosier pantry wall cabinet that was originally used in a delicatessen that was owned by members of [my husband] Mark’s family. It’s now retired from storing pastrami and cheese and is enjoying a second life as my craft supply cabinet.”
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Source: Photos courtesy Melissa Ross Photography