Almost Anything Goes

Mike Schwartz’s eclectic collection of found objects comes together in a uniquely fabulous way.

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[Family Room]  a vintage beautician’s chair helps dress up the family room, which is also decorated with a vintage coca-cola machine, raised-paneled shutters and many other items the homeowner has collected. Photograph by Jared Castaldi“It’s breathtakingly beautiful to me, which is why I am hanging it as art,” he says.

The two-story stone house was built in Greenville in the 1970s in the traditional Colonial style. A walk-in brick fireplace and pegged wooden floors, architectural elements of fine homes in the 18th century, were part of the design. A large addition was built about 20 years ago.

“The vision was to build a house that looks and feels like an old house,” he says.

To that end, the builder incorporated massive, aged beams in the construction. The beams were left exposed in places to reveal the marks of the adz, a sharp-edge wood-cutting tool used to shape logs before the advent of power tools.

Schwartz embraced that rugged and enduring skeleton when he bought the property last year. It would be the framework for his own design, in which he would peel away some elements and layer on others to produce his ideal of a relaxed and rustic haven. He bought pieces at auctions and antique galleries and shopped for materials at salvage yards and on the Internet.

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