Every woman wants a room of her own. The basement and shed of Amanda Meindl's Sellersville home were taken, so the 30-year-old beautician and her husband did what made the most sense in their converted Cape Cod: They turned the master bedroom into a room for her.
Climbing up a steep set of stairs that opens into a spacious bathroom, Amanda said it was the most logical move, as the bathroom and adjoining master bedroom were an addition. The room, or mom cave, is furnished with a hair-styling station, a makeup vanity, a wall of essential oils, and a comfortable couch.
"Everyone needs a place to escape," she said.
The family, which also consists of their 7-year-old daughter Hailey, and their three dogs, Mickey, Myra, and Sedona, previously lived in a townhouse in Doylestown and a two-bedroom apartment over a restaurant in Chalfont. They wanted more space and fell in love with the three-bedroom, 1,800-square-foot home with an arched front door and surrounded by farmland.
"We looked at so many houses," said Amanda, who also works as a client relations manager for an auto repair shop in Doylestown. "I liked it because it was a Cape Cod. There is one flight up, one flight down. Those four flights of stairs [in the townhouse] were a pain. It's perfect for the three of us."
Over the last year, they have outfitted the 1951 home with a new fence for the half-acre yard, stairs for the back porch, and a slate walkway. They also turned an old playhouse into a doghouse and built an 8-by-17-square-foot pallet garden, where for the first time they are growing squash, zucchini, watermelon, asparagus, peppers and carrots.
"We are going bigger next year," Amanda said.
Amanda handles the vision and decor while her husband, Jim, takes over the construction.
"I do what she tells me to do," he jokes.
"He usually likes it, too," she said.
Jim, who works as a tow truck driver for Fred Beans car dealership, grew up in a Southwest Philly rowhouse and has always been handy. Amanda got her green thumb from her mother, who decorated their Chalfont split level with plants and Burpee seed catalogs while Amanda was growing up.
The yard, which also boasts a tea garden, is one of their favorite spots.
"It feels great. The whole thing," Jim said.
Inside, the couple transformed the front living space, which used to be a formal living room, into a family room complete with a shiplap wall to display photographs. They painted the original door a canary yellow and played up the original hardwood floors and glass doorknobs. Their decor ranges from shabby chic to bohemian with a touch of rustic.
In the basement, Jim constructed a 4½-foot-tall wooden bar with a poured concrete top. Behind the bar sit rows of collectibles, including hats, shot glasses, and Hot Wheel cars. The room is finished with a pool table and a refurbished table hand-painted with an insignia of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. "My grandpop loved them. My parents loved them. It's the team I grew up with," he said.
Next up, the couple plan to redecorate their daughter's room, add a back deck, and eventually build a two-car garage. With dreams of butcher blocks, white cabinets and a farmhouse sink, Amanda has her sights on the kitchen, as well.
For now, she said, standing in front of her herb shelf and near a linen closet she turned into a pantry, she will make the best use of their space.
"This is our last house. It's going to be never-ending until it's perfect," she said.