MORRISON RESIDENCE THEN AND NOW: PART 6 OUTSIDE

house, Morrison Residence Series

It is time to see what’s going on outside of our home. This series has been so fun and this will be the last post, unless I get more old photos of the home!

In case you’re new here, this series takes look at what our home looked like when the original owner (and architect) lived here and what it looks like now. It was built in 1963 by the architect for his family, who lived here for almost 50 years. You can find all of the past posts on this topic here.

Let’s start with the front of the home.

Then: The front of the house
Then: view from the bridge
Then: view of the deck which no longer exists

And this is what it looks like now. The major differences are the color and removal of the deck on front. The previous owners (there was one owner between us and the architect) re-sided the home in JamesHardie cement siding, as well as replaced a ton of windows, removed the front deck and replaced the roof. We are really grateful for this, because I am sure it cost a fortune. 🙂

Now: front of the house (and BLM!)

Please note the support for Black Lives Matter in the window. I hope that everyone can see the imbalance of justice in this country and do your part to help to tip the scales to an even level. Matter is the minimum.

Now: with the removal of a large tree, we get enough light for some sunny flowers such as canna lillies

We had to take down a lot of trees over the 8 years we’ve been here. It’s definitely not something that we like to do, but sometimes it’s the best option. There was a huge tree right to the left of the house where the canna lillies are now, above. Falling limbs broke two windshields on our car and the tree was slowly dying. Before it fell on the house, we removed it late last year. I was sad to see it go and the house felt so open and exposed, but now I’m used to it.

Now: Entrance

The entrance area is one of the most beautiful parts of this home. It is really funny when people come to visit for the first time, because they have no idea how to enter and usually start by walking up one of the side paths not realizing the entrance is here. It’s like a little hidden oasis once you walk into this area.

Now: Entrance and hanging chair
Now: The main entrance is up the stairs
Now: White planters. Unfortunately something ate the sweet potato vine.

Below is what it used to look like. I’m not sure when the stairs were rebuilt, but I have to say I liked the initial design. Do you see how the lower stairs used to go all the way across to the left? How cool.

Then: Entrance

The railings were also changed at one point and I assume that they were changed to meet current building codes.

We had to replace those horizontal huge beams that hold up the staircase, as well as the top level of the deck. It cost a small fortune, so I am hoping that it lasts until we die or move. Lol.

Then: Entrance courtyard
Then: Entrance

It’s so fun to look at these old photos and every time I look at them I see something new. I am just seeing that there used to be a built in bench where I now have the hanging chair.

Now: View from top deck

This is the view from the top deck and we hang out here often. It’s a really beautiful view.

Now view from top deck
Now: Winnie chillin on the top deck

Winnie hasn’t figured out that she can walk down these stairs. If we see a cat, fox or deer while out here we put her inside, because I think her instinct would take over if she saw one.

Below is a path to the right of the house. The before photo is MUCH prettier. Now this area is really overgrown and I need to give it a seriously hard prune. This yard is massive and there is so much to keep up with, so the areas that are used the least get the least attention.

Then: East pathway

Below is the current situation. You better believe that next year I am planting some coleus here to make it look more like the before photo. This pathway is a constant battle with weeds, ivy and shrubs.

Now: East pathway
Now: East pathway that needs some serious pruning

As you walk up the pathway it leads you to the gate and into this side of the yard. Each year I grow a bunch of plants in pots and up strings along the end of the deck.

Now: Dining patio
Now: Deck off the living room
Now: Vines and plants

This deck is another great spot to sit. The chairs look really cool, but in reality they are not comfortable at all.

Now: Plants

Let’s see what it used to look like. How cool is that picnic table that was built into the end?

Then: Deck with integrated picnic table
Then: Dining terrace
Then: East side yard

There used to be a water feature in this area, but it wasn’t here when we bought the house and I’m not sure when it was removed.

Then: garden terrace

We currently have a hot tub in this area. It was an impulse buy a few years ago and was a great purchase!

Now: Garden terrace (with hot tub)

We had this stone wall installed a few years ago.

Now: East yard

Heading up this hill and into the back yard…

Now; Pathway to back yard

…you’ll find my vegetable garden. As you can see this area gets a lot of shade, so I will blame my failure of a vegetable garden on that and the fact that a groundhog ate most everything that did grow. If you follow my Instagram stories, you have seen a lot about my trials and tribulations of vegetable gardening.

Now: Vegetable Garden

Below is the one area that we did the most to. I saw ‘we’ but we hired this job to the professionals. This awesome patio and stone wall is in memory to Dave’s grandma, Lucille.

Now: Lucille Garden
Now: Back patio, Lucille Garden

Below is what the back of the house used to look like. I really wish that we still had the curved skylight!

Then: Back of the house

I hope you enjoyed the tour of the outside areas of our home. I’d love to hear what you think I should bring back from the original designs. It definitely used to have more garden beds which would be awesome to have, but I am already over my maximum capacity of gardens to tend.

*Brandi

Morrison Residence Then and Now: Part 5 Bedroom and Bathroom

Bathroom, Bedroom, house, Morrison Residence Series

This time we will take a look at the bedroom and bathroom in the back of the house. If this is the first post you are reading in the Morrison Series, here is a quick recap. I compare the house as it was when the original owner and his family lived here. He was also the architect, Robert Morrison, and it was built in 1963. You can find part one (living room) here, part two (master bedroom) here, and part three (kitchen) here and part four (dining room) here.

In order to give you some perspective on where we are in this tour, I wanted to show you a drawing of the house. I have been showing you the upper level (and I am currently redoing the bathroom on the lower level, which you can read about here).

The houses was actually built in two stages. The first stage was the living room, kitchen, bathroom upstairs and downstairs and the master bedroom (which was was actually two bedrooms.) Phase two of the plan was some of the portions in yellow below (combining the two bedrooms into one, adding the dining/multipurpose room and two bedrooms and a shared bath.)

Morrison Series, house plans
Morrison Series Then: Back bedroom

The two rooms in the back are mirror images of each other. They each have a sink and in between them is a bathroom with a shared tub and toilet.

There used to be a glass curved window across the whole back (above each sink and the tub) which looked incredible! When we bought the house it had been replaced with high clerestory windows instead.

Morrison Series Then: Office

These spaces can be used as bedrooms or offices or anything really. When we had our master bedroom in the front, we used one side as a guest bedroom and the other side as my craft room. Then we moved our bedroom to one side and use the other side as a dressing room. Unfortunately it’s a hot mess, so you will only get to see the bedroom side today.

Morrison Series Then

The bedroom is off of the dining room. You can read all about what we did to this room in this blog post. I have changed some things around since then.

Morrison Series Now: Bedroom

Initially I had plants on the shelves, but they weren’t getting enough sun so I moved them to an area with more light. I decided to display my purses on them.

Morrison Series Now: Bedroom

The art is an antique mall find (oh how I miss shopping for vintage). The chair was from the Clover Market, the bed is Article, the bedside tables and square pillows are HomeGoods finds, the round pillow and lady art are an Estate Sale finds, and the lamp is IKEA. The quilt at the end of the bed is for sale in my shop. Don’t worry, we don’t actually use it; it was just used to style this room!

Morrison Series Now: Bedroom

The sink area we kept the same, and only painted the cabinets and got new knobs. I made that huge flower arrangement from plants in the yard. I used bleeding hearts, solomon’s seal, purple iris, hellebore leaves, and two plants that I’m not sure of the name.

Morrison Series Now: Shared Bathroom

We had this bathroom remodeled a few years ago. We wanted to save costs, so the right side of the room we left as is (except a new toilet). And the left side and floor are new.

Morrison Series Now: Bedroom

I wanted to mimic the look of a full slab wall, at a fraction of the cost, so we used large 24″ square marble tiles.

Morrison Series Now: Bedroom

We painted the build in cabinets and added new knobs. Those wooden closet doors are original. Aren’t they beautiful? The windows in this room are really unusual. You can see it on the drawing above, they jut into the room 90 degrees. Since they are at an angle you really can’t see into the house, but you can see out, which is cool. We can lay in bed and watch the wildlife outside this window. The foxes especially like to torment our dog Winnie.

Morrison Series Now: Bedroom
Morrison Series Now: Bedroom

The hanging lamp is an estate sale find, as is the art above the bed. I plan to reframe it one day into a smaller frame in a different color. I just remembered I have a whole blog post about it here.

Morrison Series Now: Bedroom

I love those windows at the top to let in light from the dining room. This room is dark, so it’s hard to photograph and I hope I did it justice. One day perhaps a professional will photograph this room.

The design of this area really is so versatile. We like having our bedroom tucked back here, because it’s nice and quiet. Plus Dave can get ready in the other room without waking me up. When school is in session he wakes up at like 5am. Yikes.

Let me know what you think!

*Brandi

Morrison Residence Then and Now: Part 4 The Dining Room

house, Morrison Residence Series, quilt, shop

Welcome to the fourth installment of the Morrison Residence Then and Now series. You can find week one (living room) here, week two (master bedroom) here, and week three (kitchen) here. I am showing you our home through our eyes along with photos from the original architect, Robert Morrison.

This week we will take a look at the dining room. If you’d like to see what it looked like 2 years ago, I have an old blog post from when we remodeled it here.

This room really can be used for a variety of purposes, much like all of the spaces in this home. When we bought it, this room was being used as a family room/TV room. The photos from the architect Robert Morrison, show it being used as a dining room, below.

Then: Morrison house
Now: Morrison House Dining Room

We now use this room as a dining room and have a huge table to fill up the very long space. We love to have dinner parties and can’t wait for this pandemic to be over so that we can entertain again.

Several years ago I had this wallpaper installed and I still love it. It’s from York Wallcoverings (my hometown!) and you can find it here. A couple of years ago we replaced the flooring and built-in cabinets.

From the kitchen, you have to walk down this hallway to get to the dining room. The house was built in two stages, and this back part was built in the second stage. This hallway is currently very messy, so the before/after of it will have to be at a later date 🙂

Then: hallway office

This area below used to be a reading nook with a fabulous womb chair. This chair is on my wish list. They are really pricy, so if someone finds one at a good deal, let me know!

Then: Reading nook

The chairs that we have in this space were Dave’s grandmothers. I would like to recover them in a salmon colored velvet one day.

Now: Reading nook in the living room
Now: Artwork and a fiddle leaf fig

I quickly ‘redecorated’ this room today to snap some new photos. You can see that half way through I decided this wall below needed some art, so I placed this watercolor piece below. The wood carving art above and the watercolor below I found at an auction in North Jersey. Oh how I miss going to estate sales, auctions, flea markets and yard sales.

During the renovation in 2018 we replaced the track lighting for these vintage pendant lights. The ceiling globe light came with the house and I think it’s perfect so there is no need to replace it. Chairs from Article, table from Crate and Barrel, Built in cabinets IKEA with The Tile Shop marble tile as the top.

When we replaced the flooring we left this original tile in front of the sliding door. We have a hot tub out this door, and I liked the original tile, so we kept it. The rest of the flooring was carpet, which we replaced with this hardwood floor from Lumber Liquidators. By the way, I am just listing resources in case you are interested. This is not sponsored (aka we paid for all of this ourselves.)

Now: Dining Room
Then: Dining Room
Now: Dining Room
Now: Dining Room

I bought these tulips from a local farm called Blooming Glen Farm. The shop where I have a space, Makers vintage + handmade, is sadly closed at this time due to the Coronovirus. The owner Jess has been having Instagram sales on her @thecrafterypa instagram account. I picked up these amazing flowers, as well as some earrings for myself, and a Mother’s Day gift.

Now: Living Room with Brand*Eye Home Pillows and quilt

The pillows and quilt (peeking out from the bedroom) above are for sale in my shop! They are 20% off, PLUS 20% of the sale will be donated to a local charity, Laurel House, a domestic violence shelter.

You can find my online shop here: www.brandeyehome.bigcartel.com

I have been keeping busy by making lots and lots of fabric face masks that I’ve been giving away for free. Email me if you are in need of one. I may eventually list some in my shop, but for now they are free.

Let me know what you think of these posts, the world in general, the pandemic, the meaning of life… I’m all ears (and eyes).

*Brandi

Morrison Residence Then and Now: Part 3 The Kitchen

house, Morrison Residence Series
Now: The Morrison Residence Kitchen

Welcome to the third installment of the Morrison Residence Then and Now series. You can find week one (living room) here, and week two, (master bedroom) here. This week I am showing you the kitchen of this mid century modern dream home. If I had to choose a place to be quarantined for months on end, this would be it.

Below is what the architect, Robert Morrison, has to say about the “Culinary Arts Center.” All of this is so true, even from the perspective of the year 2020 (the house was built in 1963).

Then: The Morrison House Culinary Arts Center

The second owners of this home made several changes to update the kitchen. The major change was to open it up to the living room, which we love. The cabinet configuration was changed a little bit, appliances were replaced, and the counter tops were replaced with a solid surface, Silestone quartz material. The original cabinets remain (which we love!) See below for the same view as above, but 50+ years later. I have to admit that I need to bring back plants in this skylight area.

Now: Morrison Residence kitchen

The only change that we made to the kitchen was adding a range hood, because we (Dave) does a lot of cooking.

Now: Morrison Residence kitchen

Now: Morrison Residence living room and kitchen

The bar furniture piece below was Dave’s grandmothers, Lucille. She gave it to us and we just moved it to this spot recently. Dave had the idea to move it here and it fits perfectly.

Now: Morrison Residence kitchen
Then: Morrison Residence kitchen

I am so thankful for the previous owners of our home planting so many gorgeous plants and flowers. The daffodils and azaleas have been here for decades. I usually cut a few of them to bring indoors.

There is so much storage in this kitchen. We even have a wall of storage in the hallway off the kitchen, shown above to the right.

Then: Morrison Residence

This eating nook above now is a credenza and kegerator, below.

Now: Morrison Residence kitchen

Last June (2019) we had the great opportunity to meet the architect of this home, Robert Morrison. Here we are in the kitchen.

Then and Now. Robert Morrison and Brandi

It was such a treat to be able to sit in this home and listen to the design decisions, construction, and ideas directly from the creator of this home.

Then and Now. Robert Morrison and Dave

Thanks for taking the time to meet with us Bob! We hope that we are carrying on in your vision of this home. XOXO

Morrison Residence Then and Now: Part 2 Bedroom and Craft Room

house, Morrison Residence Series, quilt

Welcome to the second installment of the Morrison Residence Then and Now series. It has been so fun to finally put these thoughts in my head onto virtual paper. And I am so happy for all of the great feedback that I have been receiving from everyone. In case you missed it, read Part 1 to get the backstory on this series.

Now: Guest Bedroom and Craft Room in 2019

The Morrison Residence book created by the architect Robert Morrison says it best.

Then: Morrison Residence Master Suite

When we first moved here in 2012, we used this room as our master bedroom. A few years later we decided to move our master bedroom to one of the back bedrooms and make this room a multipurpose room. It is now a guest bedroom, TV room, and office/craft/sewing room, essentially exactly for all the purposes that it was designed. Here is the bedroom from the Original owners.

Then: Morrison Residence Master Suite

And here is the room as of yesterday, March 2020.

Now: Guest Bedroom and Craft Room in 2020

The flooring was a beige carpet when we moved in. Last spring we replaced it with a black carpet tile (it was done on a tight budget and SUPER affordable from ReStore in Horsham), which is really funny, because now I see that it is almost exactly how it used to be. I didn’t even realize it at the time!

Now: Guest Bedroom and Craft Room in 2019

I designed and made the quilt on the bed. The pattern I borrowed from the wall hanging above it. It is an antique hooked rug that I bought a few years ago in Maine. I also made the pillows, bolster, and lamp shades

Now: Guest Bedroom with Handmade Quilt by Brand*Eye Home, 2020
Now: Guest Bedroom and Craft Room in 2019

The portrait art above was found in a yard sale in Abington years ago. If anyone knows who this is, I would love to know!

Now: Winnie in the Guest Bedroom

This is our dog Winnie Cooper. She is a rescue dog who we started fostering in 2015 and ended up keeping 🙂 They call it a foster fail.

Now: Guest Bedroom and Craft Room in 2019 with beige carpet

I redecorated this space the fall of 2018. You can actually read a bunch of posts about this process and find ALL the details on how I decorated this space here. I was just re-reading the last blog post on this room and it has an excellent quote for these trying pandemic times. Is it weird to quote myself? Yes, yes it is, but this is even more true now.

You can’t predict what madness you will face, but you can decide how you handle it and thrive in a new environment.

I hope you are all thriving during our new normal of being home bound.

This room also has its own bathroom. Here is the bathroom circa 2018 before we had it renovated.

Bathroom prior to renovation in 2018

I designed this bathroom with all of my favorite things: green hex tile, the Cole & Sons Woods Wallpaper. 2019 was the 50th year anniversary of the Woods wallpaper design and they had a special article celebrating it in their magazine. They picked one of my photos of this bathroom to include in the magazine!

Now: Bathroom in 2020
Now: Bathroom in 2020

You can read a blog post on the bathroom renovation here. The green hex tile is a favorite on Instagram. If you are on there, follow me at @brandeyehome.

Let me know your thoughts on these rooms. I hope everyone is staying safe and sane during this time!

Morrison Residence Then and Now: Part 1 Living Room

house, Morrison Residence Series

We are extremely lucky to have found this gem of a house that we live in. Our friends call it Ewok, because it feels like you’re living in a tree house. It was built in 1963 and has a mid century modern design.

Now: Living room in 2019

This past summer we were delighted to meet the architect of this house, Robert Morrison. He came to visit the home and we were so excited to meet him and learn more about it. He created a booklet of the home, so I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts showing the home then and now.

The most incredible tidbit of information that we learned from Bob is that he designed and built this home when he was in his early 20s! If I recall correctly, construction started when he was 25 years old and he did most of it himself. It was built in 1963 and is a true Mid Century Modern masterpiece.

I can’t wrap my head around being able to design this home (and landscape), especially at age 25. Bob lived here with his wife Ruth and their son. They lived in the home for almost 50 years. We are the third owners of this magnificent home.

Then: Original owners living room

I love to study the old photos and see what is different. The biggest change in this room is that the front windows used to be sliding glass doors that opened onto a small deck. The built-in section to the right of the windows looks very similar. I think the only difference is that the top of it is now painted white and the middle section doors were removed. The AC is new and was added by the last owners.

Now: 2019 living room
Then: Original owners breakfast nook
Now: 2019 Reading chair nook

This area where we have a chair or bench (depending on how I have rearranged this room on any given month) used to be a breakfast nook. The side table above was a DIY. The base was a lamp base and the top was a marble remnant that I found at a flea market. The yellow planters are from TJMaxx and the chair is Crate and Barrel. The hanging lamp is from Jinxed. The art is from a now closed antique store in Philly and is an African raffia textile. The quilt and pillow were made by me (you can find my online shop here.)

Another design element that we learned from Bob was that he designed all of the wall spaces to be removable so that they could be reconfigured. They are all based on 8 foot sections. Some of them remain in this room, as well as all over the house.

A really fun fact about the original owner is that she quilted! Ruth made the beautiful quilt that you see below on the wall.

Then: Original living room

Another big change in this room is that the kitchen used to be separated from this room by a partition wall. It is now open and the flow really works great for how we live and entertain. Dave is usually the one cooking, so I can sit at the bar and hang out with him while he cooks 🙂

Now: 2019 living room
Then: Original living room
Now: Living room 2018
Now: Living room 2019

The area above undergoes a lot of changes. I used to have the hanging chair in this spot, but since have placed this orange chair here. The hanging chair is currently in our entryway.

One decorating similarity remains the same. Houseplants!

The front of our Morrison Residence Book created by Bob Morrison, the architect and original owner.

I’d love to answer any questions that you have about this wonderful home. Let me know in the comments below!