Christmas in the Gardenhouse

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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!!

mirror and shelf with christmas decor.
vintage windows and feather tree with green cabinet.

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.

vintage ornament hung on a tree.
small christmas tree decorated with vintage ornaments.

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.

lamp, santa figured, on a green cabinet.
vintage looking Santa statue.

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.

looking through the door into a space decorated for Christmas.
space with repurposed materials looking inside.

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.

looking into the garden shed with festive decor.
vintage armchair with christmas decor.
view into garden house with festive holiday decor.

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!

outside of the gardenhose with Christmas lights on.
outside of gardenhose with christmas lights.
looking into the guardhouse with festive christmas decor.
looking back into the gardenhose with vintage decor.
old door with log on the glass.

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.

green cabinet with sink and windows above.
green cabinet decorated for christmas with window and a feather tre.
beautiful garden shed decorated for christmas.
wood cubbies filled with festive decor.
beautiful large pine cabinet filled with potting shed treasures.

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.

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pine shed filled with pots, pine, and garden decor.
wingback chair, large wood cabinet.

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. 

gardenhose shed filled with decor and beautiful wood loft.
loft space in house built from reclaimed wood.
house with loft decorated for Christmas.

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.

lean to on side of gardenhose.
outside of gardenhose with festive lights.
outside of garden house with doors and windows.

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.

small christmas tree decorated with vintage ornaments.
full space of gardenhose with windows across the back.
gardenhose space with two doors and shelf of decor.
shelf filled with christmas and vintage decor.
wall with vintage furniture decorated for christmas.
vintage red pen sketch hung on the wall.
cabinet and shelf with rustic look decorated for christmas.

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.

white feather tree filled with ornaments.
white feather tree with glass trees and vintage decor.
festive garden space decorated for Christmas.
gold metal wreath and white feather tree.
under the loft with festive Christmas decor.

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.

vintage shelf with santa hat and Christmas decor.
view into the garden shed with decor for christmas.

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161 Comments

  1. OMG Michael…The best I have ever seen..such creativity… have been scouring this post over and over. The re-use of vintage items just warms my soul….wraps its arms around you. Janice…this is a Masterpiece!!!
    Thank you Michael for sharing.

  2. Thank you for photographing and sharing this lovely and enchanting Garden house. The creative construction and displays inspire me. It would be delightful to get to see photos of it in other seasons too.

  3. I can truly say this is one of the best spaces I’ve ever seen! I’m so in love with it!!! I love how GardenHouse is built from reclaimed pieces by Janice and her husband Allie – the building itself has so much charm! All the hours of work definitely showcase the love that went into building it. Then it’s filled with so many beautiful pieces and decorated so lovely for Christmas. Thank you so much Janice for letting Michael photograph your amazing GardenHouse and thank you Michael for sharing such a grand tour! I couldn’t stop pinning and enjoyed every minute of every photo! I definitely am adding visiting The Olde Stone Gate in St. Mary’s, PA to my list of things to do. I would love to meet Janice. Lovingly from Oregon, Linda.

  4. I have to say Michael that you perfectly captured the Gardenhouse. I have been on tours of it before but Janice outdid herself this Christmas. I could stay in there forever listening to Janice tell her tales of the creation of each and every corner. I have been going to The Olde Stone gate for years. She told me today that it has been in existence for 5 years. I visited before Christmas and found new treasures for 2023. Today I went back after returning home from a family holiday. I had to tell her how much I liked your video as we discussed the fact that you were photographing the Gardenhouseon my last visit. Today I found more treasures that were not there when I last visited. Her creations are perfection. Her eye for design is outstanding. I love decorating with trees and I have purchased many of her tree creations over the years. Today I even found a perfectly dressed llama that made me smile! Janice showed me this part of the blog when I was there today so I just had to take time at home this evening to savor your photos. You did an amazing job! The only better representation is to walk through the Gardenhouse. What a treasure it is and what a treasure Janice is! I don’t think she even realizes how talented she is or she is just humble. I am so happy to have discovered her hospitality, The Olde Stone Gate and the Gardenhouse!

  5. I am ready to move in. I love this space so much and then found out it was so close to where I grew up! Next time I visit I am definitely stopping by. Thanks so very much for sharing.

  6. As a former Warren, PA girl this place intrigues me! Isn’t St. Marys where The Christmas Shop used to be? Wow, this garden house is as spectacular. I do question, how do you get up to the loft? Did I miss an explanation?

  7. You did an excellent job capturing the essence, depth, and beauty of the space. It looks like a scene from a Hallmark Christmas movie. The coziest place for a cup of coffee with loved ones ❤️. Thank you for giving us the virtual tour! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  8. This place is an absolute dream! It’s so amazing to me that someone has the gift to collect old things here and there then put it all together to make something so special. Thanks for sharing this!

  9. Every image is absolutely stunning! I may have broken Pinterest by pinning so many images…LOL! Thank you so much for sharing! Please send my thanks and admiration to Janice as well!