Blue Door Cottage

In 2016 Rachel and Brenton Rohler began searching for their first home together as a married couple, and after months of looking finally found a little red brick cottage with a blue door in the middle of downtown Florence, Alabama only a few blocks from the University of North Alabama. The interior of the home was painted pink, yellow, and purple with hand-painted drapes and lined with bulky furniture. However, the bones of the house were beautiful, with the right amount of space for their family, original hardwood flooring, incredible natural light throughout, and they loved the location. They put an offer on the property the same day and got ready to transform the space as the third owners of the home. 

After purchasing their home they removed the popcorn ceilings and immediately painted every room in the house white, including the base boards and trim. The result was a breath of fresh air and a clean slate to begin decorating the walls with retro art and filling the rooms with memories of their own. The decor style is an intentional mix of modern and retro-vintage, with many pieces handcrafted by Brenton and Rachel who are both artists and own their own business: Clark + Fawn. Rachel designs and hand-paints pieces created and cut by Brenton who began woodworking 5 years ago. Their house is the perfect space for their business with a full, finished basement for Brenton’s woodworking and a spacious bedroom and office that is set up for Rachel to paint and create. 

Throughout their home are pieces created by Brenton including their dining room table made of Purple Heart wood from South America, with legs handmade from Poland and ordered off of Etsy. In addition, he made their breakfast table from Ambrosia Maple, which is the type of wood he most often chooses for its natural look that includes unique curls and holes. When they moved in the mantel was updated with an Ambrosia Maple piece and he created additional shelving and a record stand in the dining room. The gorgeous natural wood and personal touch throughout the home has transformed the spaces into inspiring rooms to live and work, and is complimented by the natural light that pours in through all of the windows. 

However, their decoration style extends past hand-crafted and includes hand-me-downs from grandparents, who let them raid their attic and collect green and blue retro dishes, a mid-century sunburst clock, and ceramic pieces crafted by her grandmother and great-grandmother. These heirlooms are proudly displayed and paired with new mid-century modern lighting from West Elm and Houzz—all perfectly mixing to create dreamy rooms with conversation pieces and pops of color. Rachel is constantly collecting trinkets to display that are both fun and nostalgic, and is consistently rotating and redecorating to keep her rooms feeling fresh and new. 

Next on their to-do list, is updating their kitchen with new appliances, and landscaping their front and back yard for the Spring. The little red brick house with the blue door is bursting with personality and potential— and is a perfect example of the kind of fresh perspective and care that needs to go into these beautiful old homes throughout the Shoals. 

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