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Romance is in the air this month at Alice's home in West Henrietta, NY.
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Residing with her husband, Joshua, in West Henrietta, New York, Alice and Joshua have been in their townhome for just over a year. Because it is a rental, Alice discovered that working with her creative talents by painting walls, replacing light fixtures and removing the kitchen cabinet doors was the key to turning this rental into a very comfortable, personalized space. "We hope to buy our own home within the next couple of years" says Alice. "But until then, we try our best to be creative within the boundaries of renting".Alice describes her style as French mixed with time worn romance. "Our home is filled with pieces that we have lovingly collected over the years, most of which are vintage/antique finds" says Alice. "Each room tells a story of the past, mixed with our own present story that we are creating with them. And while we often don't know the actual story behind these pieces, the simple romance of knowing they have one thrills me". The living room is their favorite gathering place, where Alice and Joshua, along with Renoir (their Cairn terrier) spend the majority of their time. "I love curling up in our big chair and ottoman with a blanket and good book or movie with a cup of tea" says Alice. "And of course, Renoir at my feet".Alice enjoys combining very ornate pieces mixed with rustic/cottage pieces. She uses a lot of layers in her decorating and often finds that it's the details that finish the look, which are often remnants of the past. Mother-of-pearl buttons, vintage postcards or handwritten ledger sheets, old spools of thread, sparkly brooches and tiaras, antique cabinet card photographs, dried roses and bits of old lace or trim. Something as simple as a rhinestone brooch or dried rose instantly adds romance. Alice also enjoys the mixture of masculine and feminine details. "For example, in the living room we have an ornate French style sofa off-set with a very old and worn black trunk" Alice points out. "I like to juxtapose pieces like this".Passionate about decorating for as long as she can remember, Alice has always had a love for old things. "Even as a small child, going to the flea market with my mother was one of my favorite things" Alice recalls. "My mother often likes to tell the story of how when my sister and I would go with her, she would let us pick any toy or doll out that we wanted, and we would always choose the oldest, rattiest one we could find, over the new ones that were there. It used to drive her crazy!" Some things remain the same, and Alice still loves to bring home items with a past and give them new life.When it comes to shopping for treasures, Alice frequents several shops in Avon, NY during the spring/summer months, but prefers thrift stores and antique shops all throughout the year, as well as an occasional auction. "My favorite places to shop though are usually smaller church sales, "says Alice. "They are great places to find a diamond in the rough for ridiculously low prices, and often have the sweetest ladies working at them". It was at the annual Ronald McDonald House Charity in town, where they purchased their gold damask sofa two years ago for only fifty dollars.You can visit Alice at her website Painted White, where she sell original artwork, vintage & inspired finds, handmade creations, and website and graphic designs. She also has a blog. If you stop by, please tell her you saw her featured at The Old Painted Cottage!(Photographs by Alice Wingerden, written feature by Jennifer Grey)