Dreamy Lit­tle House

Once upon a time... dis­cover Daniel Blagovich's fairy tale haven

Chic & Country - - In Bloom - In­ter­view: C&C Pho­tos: LWH

A few years ago, Daniel Blagovich was no or­di­nary high school stu­dent. In­stead of aim­ing for Sil­i­con Val­ley or busi­ness school, he spent the sum­mer dream­ing up a cre­ative project that would truly change his life. His vi­sion was sim­ple: to build a unique gar­den stu­dio in his par­ents' prop­erty. Al­though they needed some con­vinc­ing, he fi­nally man­aged to get the go ahead and he im­me­di­ately got down to work. The ef­fort paid off and now the 23 year old fine art grad­u­ate proudly owns ‘My Lit­tle White House’, which is the most charm­ing lit­tle haven you can pos­si­bly imag­ine. Rem­i­nis­cent of an en­chanted Vic­to­rian sum­mer house, the new build­ing looks as if it has al­ways been there, for­got­ten by time among the maple trees, but it was en­tirely built from sal­vaged ma­te­ri­als and dump­ster finds.

Daniel grew up work­ing in an an­tique store since he was 13 and so he was keen to find his trea­sures in auc­tions, garage/es­tate sales, and Craigslist ‘free stuff’ clas­si­fieds. Fol­low­ing months of hard work, in­side and out, the re­sult is stun­ning and now the

170 square foot stu­dio, which is lo­cated in Seat­tle, has been the set­ting of glam­orous mag­a­zine shoots and has a large fol­low­ing in In­sta­gram.

As we were so im­pressed by Daniel’s vi­sion for beauty and his love for an­tiques, we were in­trigued to find out more about his jour­ney and his dreamy home:

What in­spired you to cre­ate My Lit­tle White House?

I wanted to cre­ate a lit­tle gar­den sanc­tu­ary to en­joy a fire in­doors in the win­ter time. I came across Sandy Foster's Shabby Stream­side Stu­dio and I com­pletely fell in love with the dreamy all white con­cept.

How did you go about the project?

I drew out some rough plans of how I wanted the stu­dio to look and I then be­gan by pour­ing a ce­ment foun­da­tion, erect­ing the walls, and fi­nally lining the in­te­rior and ex­te­rior with sal­vaged win­dows, doors, and wood that I had col­lected from garage sales and dump­sters around Seat­tle.

What chal­lenges did you en­counter along the way?

The chim­ney was a large un­der­tak­ing. I had col­lected hun­dreds of bricks from dif­fer­ent de­mo­li­tion sites around Seat­tle over the pre­vi­ous 5 years or so to use ‘some­day’ and I was ex­cited when this project came up so I could fi­nally use them! I had no pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence with ma­sonry work, but af­ter hours of help­ful YouTube videos and re­search­ing Vic­to­rian chim­ney pat­terns, I be­gan build­ing the dou­ble-sided fire­place and chim­ney. This is the part of the build that cer­tainly took the most time and plan­ning.

Why was it im­por­tant for you to use sal­vaged ma­te­ri­als and dump­ster finds?

I have al­ways had a fas­ci­na­tion with old houses and an­tique items be­cause of the mys­tery and sense of per­ma­nence that they rep­re­sent. When I de­cided to build My Lit­tle White House I knew that I needed to bring some of that old ‘soul’ into this newly con­structed shell in or­der for it to feel grounded in its en­vi­ron­ment.

How would you de­scribe your dec­o­ra­tive style - the style that

you have used for My Lit­tle White House?

For My Lit­tle White House, it was my goal to col­lect and cu­rate ob­jects in a way that make the stu­dio into a reli­quary of sorts. I wanted the things that fill the space to be full of cu­rios­ity, in­tri­cacy, and his­tory, while be­ing uni­fied by their mono­gram­matic colour pal­let. I am a sucker for chippy paint, French gothic carv­ings, white mar­ble, old linen, her­ring­bone floors, old English fire­places, 19th cen­tury win­dows, and iron urn planters. I tried as much as I could to in­cor­po­rate these fa­vorite things of mine into this space!

What is the most sur­pris­ing fea­ture about My Lit­tle White House?

That the teeny-tiny fire­place is ac­tu­ally func­tional! I found this an­tique Vic­to­rian iron bed­room fire­place on eBay.co.uk and I had to have it! It was a dif­fi­cult task ar­rang­ing a courier to de­liver such a heavy, odd­lyshaped ob­ject from over­seas. But af­ter sev­eral weeks of back and forth missed phone calls from a dif­fer­ent time zone, the fire­place ar­rived and was in­stalled in the chim­ney breast shortly af­ter that!

What ad­vice would you give to some­one who would like to cre­ate a haven such as yours?

If you have a good un­der­stand­ing of what items bring you the most joy in life, by all means as­sem­ble a space that al­lows you to be sur­rounded by them!

If you don't pos­sess the skills to build a struc­ture from the ground up, find an ex­ist­ing space in your home or yard that you can con­vert into a spe­cial refuge for your­self. If you are feel­ing ad­ven­tur­ous, draw up some plans and take them to a lo­cal builder, or some­one you know who could help you fab­ri­cate a space. It doesn't have to be large to be beau­ti­ful.I live by a very sim­ple phi­los­o­phy: find things that bring you joy, and sur­round your­self with them.

Wel­come to my sanc­tu­ary: Daniel Blagovich (left) in front of his dreamy Lit­tle White House built and dec­o­rated with sal­vaged ma­te­ri­als

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