Cool, Calm, Collected
Andrea Cambern looks forward to relaxing in her one-of-a-kind German Village home
Photos By John Evans
A little bit of luck
Andrea and her husband Brett had the unique opportunity to build a new home in the German Village when they found out their neighbor, whose house was built on a double lot decided to split up the land—Andrea and Brett jumped at the chance. “The challenge of building new was to make it look old, make it appear that it had been here for over 100 years and fit in with the rest of the neighborhood,” Andrea says.
Two years were spent designing the house and going through the approval department with the German Village before the building process began. “We went with a kind of industrial look, because mixed in with the houses in the German Village were some factories and commercial spaces,” she says.
The building plan the couple came up with is open and unique, but they wanted to make sure the space would feel inviting, warm and comfortable. “The kind of space where people would feel at home throwing their feet up on the couch or coffee table,” Andrea notes.
Andrea started the building process with an interior designer but found they just couldn’t get on the same page, so early on she abandoned that route and decided she would try decorating the space herself. “I’m constantly ripping pages out of magazines so there’s really not an original idea in here,” she confesses with a laugh. Keeping files of things she would see—little details or big room spaces also helped her stay organized.
“I just broke out on my own and told myself, ‘I’m going to do this’ and I did,” she says. According to Andrea, she could be happy in any number of styles of houses, but when it’s all said and done she and Brett are most comfortable in a quiet, casual and eclectic environment.
The home consists of a monochromatic palette as Andrea prefers to keep bright colors out of the equation. “I’ll throw color in and it just doesn’t feel right to me,” she says. “I’m not good with color and I think in my colorful world I like to come home and have it be very tranquil and peaceful.”
Not everything in the home is new; in fact, one of Andrea’s favorite design styles is mixing antiques and repurposed elements with new and modern pieces. One special piece in the home that Andrea loves is an old patent file—an old piece from the early 1800s that sits in the office area. “It’s this chest of drawers and I just love it, it just has a great history,” she says. “In the drawers are little logs of people who filed patents and the dates and their descriptions. It has this great patina to it and it’s really the most impractical piece in the house, but I was just drawn to it and I love it.”
But topping her love for the patent file is Andrea’s favorite piece in the house: her kitchen island. She found it in an antique show in Atlanta while looking for something unique to be a focal point in the kitchen. “I came around the corner and there it was—this old, ratty, covered in cobwebs, filthy dirty piece of something,” she describes. The person selling the piece told Andrea it had come off a shipping dock in Belgium somewhere. “It had these big heavy rusty handles and this piece of stone on top and I thought, ‘This is perfect!’” she says. After convincing Brett that it would be something worth keeping they cleaned it up and it quickly became their favorite piece in the house. “We built the kitchen around it using all new cabinets and appliances, but it stands out in the center—this chunky piece with a history that we’re not quite sure of,” she says.
Rooms that bring it together
The living room is definitely a space where the couple can relax, curl up on the couch and unwind after a long day. The scale of the furniture is large, but the room isn’t, so it takes on a cozy feeling, which Andrea really likes. She wasn’t crazy about the fireplace initially because she thought it was too boxy, but she saw something that inspired her and ended up having the fireplace covered in leather which changed her view completely.
Everything that Andrea describes as her style comes together flawlessly in the dining room. The focal point is a chandelier which Andrea first spotted in a design magazine, but decided to have one locally made. A local metal fabricator made the metal tray and Brett hollowed out candles so they could be placed over light bulbs.
It’s clear to see that one of the greatest bonuses to this home is the use of outdoor space. Because the lot is L-shaped, an almost hidden outdoor living room offers privacy and a great entertaining spot. Not to be outdone is the rooftop garden space that offers great views of downtown and is perfect for social occasions during Columbus summers.
Andrea and Brett have worked on all of their previous houses, but something about this one feels organic and comfortable. “This house is most us, we finally got it,” she says. “We don’t spend enough time here and when we are here we don’t want to leave.”
Andrea is very involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Central Ohio, the main reason being her mother was diagnosed with Lymphoma when Andrea was young and it was a large part of her life for most of her life.
She is especially involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, an endurance sports training program. The program provides training to run or walk in marathons and half marathons or participate in triathlons or bike rides. Since 1988, more than 380,000 volunteer participants have helped raise more than $900 million.
“They pair you up with someone who is battling the disease so you have an added motivation to not only raise money but to get you to the end of whatever your goal is,” Andrea says. “It’s a powerful motivator when you have a child battling blood cancer standing there cheering you on. I’m very passionate about it.”
The Nationwide Better Health Columbus Marathon
Sunday, October 18
One of the nation’s top 25 marathons and one of the largest in the Midwest in the fall.
For more information visit, www.lls.org or www.teamintraining.org