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Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021

An ‘Idea House’ for decorating on a budget

The Young Patrons of the Historic Macon Foundation started their program’s first fundraiser on Oct. 5 at the Macon Idea House. The formerly dilapidated residence at 1116 Ash St. was renovated and decorated with flea market furniture to showcase small space living on a tight budget.
The structure at 1116 Ash St. was built in 1911 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house was owned by the Oliphant family who lived in the 1,311-square-foot residence until 1924. The house changed owners several times over the decades until it was purchased in 2011 by the Historic Macon Foundation from BB&T.
Work on the Idea House began last September. The house has two bedrooms and two full bathrooms.
The Idea House’s interior was designed by nine decorators all under age 40. Each decorator was appointed an individual room to furnish and paint, but the decorators were given a budget limit.
“[They] wanted to show what you could do with a fairly small house,” said Lois Mclain.
Mclain is a member of both the Board of Trustees of the Historic Macon Foundation and the Sidney Lanier Cottage Committee. She has worked with the Foundation for 25 plus years.
Every student, regardless of living situation, can get inspiration from the furniture and decorations inside the Idea House. Most pieces are simply salvaged for cheap from flea markets and then reupholstered and painted.
The foyer has several up-cycled pieces of furniture including a newly stained china cabinet and a table made from an old glass window. The curtains are sheets of burlap
The kitchen is furnished with stainless steal appliances and honed Uba Tuba granite counter tops through the rehabilitation program. Decorations include a wicker basket, plastic stools and chalkboard paired with a unique picture frame.
“The dining room table was actually two separate pieces. The base was standing without a top and the tabletop had a different base. I removed the base from the tabletop and applied a crackle finish. The paint cost $50, but I was able to create a table no one else has,” said Betsy Campbell. Campbell was in charge of decorating the dining room.
The headboards in the master bedroom and guest room are made from an old flea market mantle and an upholstered plywood board respectively.
The Historic Macon Foundation has rehabilitated five historical homes in the Beall’s Hill area. These houses are then placed back on the market to raise money for the Historic Macon Foundation.
For further information about the Idea House and tickets, visit or call (478) 742-5084. Admission to the Idea House is $12 per person. Tours will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 13, and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 14.
Most decorations and furniture in the Idea House are up for silent auction between now and Oct. 14.
The Historic Macon Foundation is hosting their annual flea market on Oct. 30. Furniture from the Idea House that is not sold at silent auction will be sold at the flea market.
The Idea House is currently under contract with Mercer University’s Executive Director of Athletics.


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