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Colonial Gems at Olde Bulltown Village

Over the holidays, we took a quick trip to Pennsylvania to visit my family, who live in suburban-rural Chester County.  It’s a gorgeous area that mixes areas that are clearly Philadelphia suburbia with shopping centers and typical communities of tract homes with regions of farmland and colonial homes that are several hundred years old.  I had mentioned the DIY Network show, Stone House Revival to my parents since it is often filmed in Chester County and neighboring Bucks County.  I love some of the old stone homes featured on this show that have large fireplaces, chunky wood beams, wide plank floors and weird little outbuildings like springhouses and icehouses.  Of course, most of these 200 year old relics need special workarounds for modern conveniences like large fridges, air conditioning, and dishwashers.  Turns out there is a place in Chester County where history-lovers can have the best of both worlds with old historic stone house looks with the convenience of modern amenities; it’s a community called Olde Bulltown Village.  The small community of homesites, several of which have already been built on is situated among the rolling hills of Chester County’s farms, woods and a manicured golf course.   The custom-built brand new homes are 18th Century Americana architecture with all the modern conveniences of this century.  We drove through the community and imagined what kind of “shop” we’d set up in Olde Bulltown.  My husband wants to build one that looks like the town pub on the outside but that serves as a home on the inside.  I’ll let the beauty of this community, built by Chester County’s Stoltzfus Enterprises Ltd. speak for itself in the pictures (more available at Olde Bulltown’s website, here).

This barn style home is hands down my favorite! I wish I could see the inside.  I’d love to know what the light situation is in there.

 

Just look at the view from this rustic beauty.  Not sure who the builder’s photog is but they do excellent work.  This could be a Christmas card.

 

Humongous fireplaces, chandeliers and ceilings… three of my favorite things.

 

Think stone, brick and siding can’t all go together on one house, guess again.  This is how to mix materials right.

 

Elegant, long chains draw your eye up right from the simple fixtures to the open ceiling.  Perhaps we could add a few huge turnbuckles in our pub ceiling 😉

 

This could be straight out of Willaimsburg.  I can picture a cute little Scottish Terrier hopping around inside the adorable picket fence.

 

Again more mixed materials just as they might have done hundreds of years ago, weathered wood,  brick and stone and traditionally painted trim, is perfect!

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I’m Casting My Vote For Cement Tiles (and their lookalikes)

First we had slick granite, then tumbled and honed travertine, then the ubiquitous white subway, and it seems like the latest tile trend to be taking hold are printed cement (also called encaustic) tiles.

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You might think, cement, huh, so it’s cheap? Uh, well no it’s not. So then you think, oh it must be super resilient, uh, well it’s not really that either, actually if not sealed properly, they can stain and the pattern can be worn off the surface. So, ok, well then it must look great, and the answer to that is yes, yes, it does.  And if the price and durability issues are too much, then there are other options to get the cement look in a porcelain or ceramic variety.
Certainly cement tiles must be used dubiously, or else they may either look dated or their bold patterns could be too much for your space. Here are a few great cement tiles as well as a few great imposters.

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  1. Pencil Salon Tile
  2. Liria Negro Encaustic  Cement Tile
  3. Cle Tile Cabin Quilt
  4. Ikat C Washed Denim
  5. Tugboat Four-Color Cement Tile
  6. Malmo Zebra Native by Commune

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  1.  Faenza Azul 13 in. x 13 in. Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile
  2. Villa Lagoon Tile for Zazzle Ceramic
  3. Tile Bar Instinct Karioca Ceramic
  4. Merola Tile Twenties Vertex Ceramic
  5. SomerTile 9.5×9.5-inch Vendimia Kubic Porcelain
  6. SomerTile 17.75×17.75-inch Royals Flatlands Ceramic

Wondering how to best use cement tiles and their imposters?  Here’s some gorgeous rooms that have leveraged the encaustic excellence.

This black and white bathroom by Byrd Design is so bright and that tile, those shower doors, that tub!

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If you’re afraid to take the full-on plunge with a whole floor of cement, how about a charming fireplace hearth?  This little slice of perfection is by House of Jade.

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Can you imagine how boring this kitchen would be with regular ‘ol white subway?  This cement tile backsplash adds just the right amount of personality.

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The peek of pattern on the risers of each of these stairs draws your eye upward and adds a ton of interest to this residence featured on the website for Grenada Tile.

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Are you bold, daring?  Then go all-in for a eyecatching look like this one by Wit and Delight

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