Back at Thanksgiving, when I visited home, I had the delightful and privileged opportunity to see and photograph the most enchanting Gardenhouse. Built from mostly repurposed materials and all dressed up for Christmas, you’re in for an inspiring and festive tour!!
Let’s rewind a bit. When I was 16, I worked at a charming little country store and café, often side by side with a wonderful woman named Janice in the store section. (Even then, I had a passion for styling—setting up displays, decorating Christmas trees, and the like.) Janice used to bring in her handmade items to sell: wreaths, dried flower arrangements, holiday decorations, you name it. I was always in awe of her creations. I still vividly remember a bunny she crafted that my mom purchased and adorned with a mini coat she crafted from vintage fabric, intricate button details, and a quaint little flower arrangement—it was a masterpiece.
Fast forward a couple of decades and now you’ll find Janice running a shop she owns called The Olde Stone Gate, nestled next to her home. I’ve been a regular customer over the past few years whenever I’m in town, and I always find something irresistible. Her shop is a treasure trove of beautiful home decor, curated vintage finds, and naturally, Janice’s handcrafted pieces.
A few years ago, Janice and her husband Allie set out to build what is called Gardenhouse next to her store. They built it from the ground up, using their own hands and an array of salvaged and repurposed materials they had curated over the years. The incorporation of so many exquisite details in their creation is truly awe-inspiring—it gives me chills just thinking about it.
I visited Gardenhouse last Christmas and I was in absolute awe. I told Janice that once it was complete, I’d love to photograph it and share it on Inspired By Charm. We debated on the best season to showcase Gardenhouse and eventually agreed upon Christmas—and what a magical choice this was.
I spent a few hours there snapping away—I took 500 photos! After some tough decisions, I narrowed it down to the top 90, and from there, even further. Today, I’m thrilled to share these curated glimpses with you.
For the most part, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but I might highlight a few features as we go along. Janice and Allie have poured countless hours into this space, and I’m ecstatic to share their labor of love with you. It’s one of those places that deserves to be admired by as many eyes as possible. So, enjoy the tour!
As I mentioned, Gardenhouse is a patchwork of reclaimed pieces. Every window, every piece of flooring, etc. is salvaged material. That wall with the grand wood? It’s crafted from vintage doors. Some of the wood accent details were created from old bookshelves cut into strips.
And about that wood cabinet… when they went to pick it up, it wouldn’t fit in their van. They had to dismantle it completely, piece by piece, and then reassemble it at home.
See that gorgeous thick old wood forming the loft? Well, it’s all salvaged; formerly, each piece was bristling with nails that were removed with painstaking care. The bricks on the back wall were leftovers that a family member didn’t use.
The quaint lean-to on the right side of the Gardenhouse, designated for lawn equipment and the like, is yet another testament to the resourceful building. Constructed entirely from salvaged items, the cost of this addition was astonishingly low—truly a testament to their ingenuity.
While I’ve spoken at length about the construction, I must highlight the seasonal decor that brings Gardenhouse to life. The holiday adornments are a testament to Janice’s meticulous eye for detail—a quality that absolutely delights my design-loving heart. There’s immense joy in discovering the array of treasures someone has gathered over time, learning where they found them, and seeing how they’ve chosen to display them.
So many pieces in this space narrate a tale dear to Janice; her face would illuminate as she shared these origin stories with me. This, in essence, is the heart of exceptional design—it’s about cherishing and showcasing the things you adore. It’s about surrounding yourself with items that bring a smile to your face, pieces steeped in history, and those you’ve crafted or constructed with your own hands. I could’ve spent hours just sitting there absorbing every intentional touch she’s added to the space.
If you ever find yourself near St. Marys, PA, do yourself a favor and visit Janice at The Olde Stone Gate. I’ll link The Olde Stone Gate Facebook page HERE so you can check her store hours and give her a follow.
It’s been a joy to share this magnificent and festive space with you. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I thought you would. I would love it if you’d take a moment to leave a comment below that I can share them with Janice.