For Isabella Sparrow’s Hillary O’Carroll, cozy comes from many different walks.
Photography by Matthew J. Rhein
You have to really love nature to see the beauty in it right now. Hillary O’Carroll does and can. But, then, she seems to find allure in all kinds of unlikely places: stuffy estate sales, backcountry flea markets, under dusty sheets in attics and barns. If you don’t know her Chestnut Hill home goods shop, Isabella Sparrow, you’re probably still familiar with the name by way of Clover Market. Isabella Sparrow has become the standard-bearer of farmhouse chic around here. But its wares don’t simply fit the fashion, they fill a function, too. Rural life, after all, is utilitarian. Here, O’Carroll shares a few pieces she’ll be settling in with for the frigid days ahead, some repurposed, some as they were always intended. —Scott Edwards
All the pieces featured here are available at:
8511 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill
Salvaged bottles | $2 to $40
Load up a windowsill and filter the pastel wintertime skies through them for a kaleidoscopic light show. Or line them up along a mantle with a bare branch sticking out of each.
Glass cloche | $32 Fill it with bulbs and dried botanicals or hydrangea heads and mushroom caps to bring a piece of the outside in while it’s still too cold to stand actually being outside.
Vintage factory cart
Just a pop of extraordinary color, like the patina from this old factory cart, is enough to brighten a room’s stagnant palette.
Repurposed storage | $16 to $150
Old caddies and suitcases, antique grain boxes, it all comes in handy as we begin to gradually sort and organize ahead of the spring clean.
Dishware and accessories | $4 to $99
It’s a great time to simplify your dishware. I like to stick with white porcelain, whether it’s antique ironstone or new china, because it creates consistency, even when the collection’s piecemeal.
Max, Isabella Sparrow’s resident Bernese Mountain Dog.
Wool and wovens | $49 to $199
These hand-loomed and handcrafted quilts in traditional textures pair perfectly with a mug of
Earl Grey on a cold, gray Sunday afternoon.