Nesting Place

A farmhouse feel with touches of bohemian flair

provide the perfect rustic escape nestled

in the heart of Homewood.

Written by Vicki Johnson        Photography by Caitlin Van Horn

a place to catch up, relax and enjoy life

Caitlin Van Horn spends almost all day everyday working from home as a graphic designer, so having a beautiful place to retreat was high on her list when she moved from Seattle and settled back in Alabama.

“The design, the décor, everything is very important to me because this whole house is my office,” Caitlin explains. “I’m here all day and it’s important that aesthetically it’s pleasing, comforting and it’s a safe haven where I feel at home.”

After graduating from college, Caitlin followed then–fiancé Jordan out to his hometown of Seattle in January 2008. They lived there for the next three years, but in late 2010 Caitlin became restless with the city and felt a pull to return to the South to be closer to family.

The couple knew they wanted to settle in Homewood because of its history and artsy scene but also loved the culture and diversity of the area and its family–friendly atmosphere.

They began their house hunt while still in Seattle and were planning on living with family until they found a place. A house caught their eye, an offer was made in February and the Van Horns moved to Homewood in April 2011. “It all happened really fast,” Caitlin says. “But I just knew. My intuition said this was it. We had looked online at other homes, but we didn’t feel the need to go physically look at the others. I walked in and said this is it, lets make it happen.”

It’s easy to see why it was an instant attraction. The four–bedroom, three–and a–half–bathroom 2,500–square–foot house features a mudroom, which doubles as a laundry room, a screen porch, open kitchen and den, a formal living room, an office area and ample storage.

“I was attracted to the fact that it was an older home. It was built in the 1940s, but it was all newly remodeled. So it had the perks of being a new home, but it also has the history,” Caitlin says.

A love of cooking drew Caitlin immediately to the kitchen, a place she finds herself often. “It was very important to me that it was aesthetically pleasing, with lots of natural light. I knew that I would love it. The kitchen definitely won me over,” she says.

Wooden and metal stools from Anthropolgie with zigzagging rope legs line the island countertop made from Alabama white marble, and a farmhouse sink lends to its relaxed cottage look and feel. A breakfast nook with wrap–around, L-shaped seating provides hidden storage underneath. The space is open and airy with a crisp clean look and flows into the den, which doubles as a great entertaining space.

Because her husband Jordan has Crohn’s disease, the couple now follows a rigorous diet called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which requires Caitlin to make virtually everything they eat. The diet eliminates many major carbohydrates in addition to all sugars, processed foods, grains and starches. It has been used as a holistic approach to reduce symptoms and improve the lives of those living with Crohn’s disease, colitis, celiac disease and autism to name a few. The blog, Roost, which Caitlin originally created in Seattle as an outlet to share the art of homemaking, became purpose driven once they began their diet. She now uses it to showcase homemade recipes and inspire others with her cooking.

Each room is as beautifully furnished and thought out as the last. “I just built off what I had and what I like. A lot of stuff is from secondhand thrift and antique stores. I love anything old looking,” Caitlin explains. Much of her design inspiration comes from the English countryside, particularly, early 20th and late 18th century England, known as the Edwardian and Regency periods. It was traditional to incorporate blues, browns, neutrals and whites into the color palette.

The rooms are white, with pops of color including some vintage style ottomans in a tea–stained brown, a pair of rich caramel–colored leather brown armchairs that are almost 80 years old, colorful pillows and lampshades, a white–bricked fireplace and a soft blue couch in the den.

Her love affair with England does not stop there. A large painting over the fireplace in the formal living room is a landscape of sheep grazing in the English countryside, painted by her mother. On the opposite wall, hangs a large vintage map of England. The sunshine yellow pillows and colorful flowery lamp shade add a splash of color; while the soft neutral sofa and white metal chairs from At Home and the long rectangular wooden coffee table from Anthropologie make the space an eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary.

The master bedroom and bath provide a peaceful escape, while the white-ruched duvet and upholstered headboard has a light, romantic feel. Above the bed hangs an old window frame with a lattice pane design from Hanna’s antiques. Caitlin added white butterflies, which she found on Etsy, making it  whimsical and fun. The spacious master bath has a free–standing tub, a rain shower made from marble, vanity with his and her sinks and a walk–in closet.

While satisfied with the house, the Van Horns have plans to tackle landscaping in the front and back yards. Moving to Homewood has been a decision the couple couldn’t be more pleased with. They love their neighbors. They love their house. And they love the area.

“I feel like it’s a real popular place and a lot of people want to move here, and that gets us excited. We’ve only lived here a few months, but we already have such pride for our little community,” Caitlin says.

For Caitlin and Jordan Van Horn their home is  a place where they can entertain friends and family and have guests stay for a meal or a weekend. It’s a place to catch up, relax and enjoy life.

“We feel it’s very important to not just acquire a nice house or nice things for the sake of acquiring, but for the sake of having people feel welcome and inspired when they walk through the door.” •


Furnishings and Accessories: Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, Hanna’s, Homewood Antiques and Marketplace, Interiors and Antiques, Urban Suburban

Kitchen Appliances: Kitchen Aid

Paint Colors: Living Room, den, hallways, office nook, powder room, mud/laundry room and all bed rooms were painted with a custom white mix using Extra White by Sherwin Williams. The kitchen and master bath are painted Iceberg by Sherwin Williams.


One Response to “Nesting Place”

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