Eclectic Home Tour – Drinking with Chickens

Would you buy a 114 year old house in foreclosure that had been abandoned for five years? (“We are talking vines-growing-through-cracks-in-the-walls-smashed-windows-and-doors-collapsing-deck-raccoons-living-inside kinda abandoned.”). Today’s Eclectic Home Tour of Drinking with Chickens takes us on an inside and outside tour of this charming story book cottage that took over 10 years to transform into a personality-filled, colorful and definitely one-of-a-kind home. Oh and did I mention the chickens?

Eclectic Home Tour Drinking with Chickens - love the red stair runner, the built in bookcase and of course the chickens, dogs and cats!

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Tour this charming California bungalow - love the blue house with red door and pergola covered in vines

When Kate Richards and her husband saw the run down, neglected house in Los Angeles, they didn’t let the fact that it had no front door deter them from making an offer!

The before …

Before house

They created a front door and added a deck and a pergola because according to Kate, “the front of the house needed some damned personality!”

The picket fence, climbing vines and colorful flowers add curb appeal.

Charming 1908 cottage with picket fence, and vine covered pergola

Both the front and side doors get a pop of color thanks to Behr Farmhouse Red (one of Kate’s favorite colors that you will see sprinkled throughout the house).

Love this cottage with navy blue paint and red door

Beware of dogs! A fun sign, and three adorable pups, greets visitors at the side entrance.

Farmhouse with soaring ceilings in shiplap and a red front door

Kate says, “We definitely did not keep the drop ceilings and boy what a difference the vaulted shiplap ceilings made in what is not the world’s biggest space. For what it’s worth, we did these ceilings about 13 years ago, long before the fairly recent shiplap craze, and it’s my dad’s fault. See, he’s a Navy veteran and a salty sea dog of a sailor all his life, and he came to take a look at our house progress right after we ripped all the drop ceilings down, right when I was having an existential crisis about putting drywall up there. It just didn’t feel right in a 100+ year old “farmhouse” to have drywalled ceilings. He took one look at it and, in his special, curt GET-TO-THE-POINT-KATE voice, he simply says to me, “Shiplap”. As though I knew what the hell that was and it was so obvious. I didn’t, and it wasn’t. So he marched me down to the lumber yard and lo and behold: Shiplap. It was, indeed, a thing. So we put it on our ceiling. Thanks, Dad.”

Cozy cottage family room with colorful rug and art

With three dogs, two cats and a flock of chickens, Kate says that “Every design decision we make caters to them. From tried and true pet-friendly rugs, to furniture choices, to the selective abundance of carefully curated houseplants, to even the art on the walls, our house is a living, breathing celebration of our crazy animals. It’s their house, we just live here. And clean up after them. Constantly. So while there’s a definite colorful-quirky-cottage-crazy-chicken-lady design aesthetic happening here, first and foremost, it’s all got to be pet-resistant. Also needs to hold up to occasional cocktail spillage, too, if I’m being honest.”

Large sectional sofa that is pet friendly

The galley kitchen feels larger thanks to the soaring ceiling and double French doors let in lots of light.

Farmhouse galley kitchen - love the red French doors

Kate says, “I really wanted soapstone counters in here. Badly. But we could not afford them. Not even remotely. Luckily for us, our contractor buddy had always wanted to try to make concrete countertops and agreed to help us experiment with that instead. So that’s what we did. With the full intention of replacing them eventually with some sort of stone. Here we are 13 years later, and do you think we have replaced them. NOPE. They’ve held up great. AND IF IT AIN’T BROKE….

Can you believe this backsplash is wood cut in a chevron pattern

When tile was not in the budget, Kate says, “We decided on a “temporary” backsplash of bead board paneling laid in a chevron pattern. 13 years later have we replaced it with tile? NOPE. Hahahahaha. I still love it.”

Love this red French door in the kitchen

White walls let colorful furniture, art and accessories be the stars.

Farmhouse kitchen with banquette at kitchen table

A banquette adds extra seating space around the kitchen table.

Farmhouse kitchen with soaring ceilings covered in shiplap

The Barmoire! Love this old armoire turned bar cart

Kate calls her giant TV cabinet from her childhood bedroom the “Barmoire!”

Love the colorful bird wallpaper in this powder room with red door and a chicken!!

The whimsical wallpaper in the “Terlit” is perfect for creating drama in a small space.

Basement stairs with beautiful banister and colorful runner

“Our little house started its life as a simple 2 bed 1 bath cottage. We’re not sure the history, but two doors down is a slightly older, bigger home that was built by a business tycoon around the turn of the century, and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to wager that our house started out as an outbuilding, carriage house, or dare I say, barn, of some sort on that property. So it was once a little single story thing that sat on a gently sloping lot, and at some point in the 60’s or 70’s, someone cut a hole in the floor, popped in a staircase, and put in two more bedrooms, a bathroom and a laundry room downstairs,” explains Kate.

Love these built in bookcases on the staircase wall

Since this old house doesn’t have much storage, Kate carved out space for a bookcase which is the perfect place to display books and cats!

Home office guest room with whimsical wallpaper and red door

The home office has a French door that leads out onto a covered patio.

Cute vintage chicken figurine collection

She’s got all her vintage chicken figurines are in a row!

Shiplap walls and dramatic dark green paint in this bedroom

The primary bedroom has a dramatic dark green paint color.

Love the hat collection on the wall

A collection of hats hung on the wall is both display and storage.

Bedroom with dark green walls and red door

The bedroom and bathroom are unified by the same dark green paint.

Dark green paint is so dramatic in this bathroom

The guest room wallpaper is a fun and colorful addition.

Love the floral wallpaper in this guest bedroom

A classic black and white bathroom is the perfect backdrop for colorful accessories and a chicken, of course.

Black and white bathroom with colorful shower curtain and stained glass window

The cats even have their own little hideaway when they need some quality “me time.”

Cat door in interior door

The laundry room doubles as a home base for the cats … no dogs allowed!

Love this little cat room with cat wallpaper and litter box

Lest you think this house is all about the chickens, this alcove decked out in cat wallpaper proves otherwise.

Beautiful deck with privacy screen covered in plants

The Deck of Death, as Kate refers to the old structure that was attached to the house with just one screw, was replaced and a pergola and privacy screen added.

Deck with pergola and privacy screen covered in plants

Below the upper deck is a covered patio which offers more entertaining space that is used year-round in sunny Southern California.

Covered patio with colorful rugs and accessories

Now let’s see where the chickens live.

Cute chicken coop in bright colorful stripes

No chicken loving home would be complete without an epic chicken house complete with its very own rooster topped weathervane.

Colorful chicken coop with weathervane

The whimsy continues inside because every chicken diva deserves floral wallpaper in their coops.

Adorable chicken coop with floral wallpaper

Kate says, “There’s a funny thing that happens when you get chickens, and pretty much all backyard chicken-keepers will attest to this: you start spending an inordinate amount of time sitting and watching them. It’s rather Zen. They’re fascinating and they’re funny, and I can’t really explain it, cuz it’s kind of a sickness, but you just wind up hanging out and staring at them like a total psychopath.”

Drinking with Chickens outdoor bar - love the neon chicken sign

“I started incorporating a cocktail into this scenario. I mean, it’s pretty pleasant to sit in the garden in the evening, with a freshly made cocktail, your feet up, watching these ridiculous birds chickening about. It became an inside joke between my husband and I whenever we were having a bad day, we’d lament about how we just wanted to home drinking with the chickens,” says Kate.

Drinking with Chickens book

That’s right, Kate wrote a book called Drinking with Chickens and it incorporates two of her favorite things … cocktails and chickens!

Colorful granita with floral garnish

She has a cocktail garden where she grows all things necessary to make the perfect, pretty cocktail!

So pull up a colorful chair under the grapefruit tree and enjoy a drink while watching the chickens hunt and peck.

Colorful boho garden party - love the colorful chairs and mismatched rugs

After 14 years of turning this house of horrors into a welcoming home, Kate sold this house and is on the hunt for a place with more space for her dogs, cats and of course her chickens, to frolic.

Disclaimer: Kate has fun with her chickens and is constantly disinfecting surfaces. She warns, “Do not let chickens on, near or in your drinks or food. They are filthy animals and they will get you sick. Use your common sense and sanitize surfaces and hands after coming into contact with them.”

Visit Drinking with Chickens Here

Drinking with Chickens Book Here (affiliate link)

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  1. I have never cared for white walls before, but this? The patterns and colors she used against those white walls are fantastic. She’s right, it makes a great backdrop for everything else to pop. I’m definitely considering painting my kitchen white. When my kids come to visit, they might think they’re in the wrong house.

  2. Wow, this was so fun! I have to say all the house plants were my favorite! I also loved the uniqueness of this home. The backsplash is very nice too. Great tour!

  3. This is a delightful cottage throughly enjoyed. This home and yours Kelly is like a bowlful of M&M’s …… colorful and yummy 🙂

    Kris G.

  4. Lol…Love it! We had chickens too!, and did the same exact thing, every afternoon, we had happy hour with the girls, (named after my beloved S.F. Giants) we would feed them pieces of corn tortillas and chicken crackle as a treat. Kate is right, you just stare at them, watching their antics. She has (had) a very charming,cozy home. Would love to see the new one.

  5. What a colorful and fascinating place. I love the animals they have and am sure they are so much company and fun to watch. Thanks Kelly for another wonderful tour.

  6. I love the first picture with the dogs, chickens, and cats on the stairs! That probably took a few takes. Although, I would not want chickens inside my house; I did enjoy seeing them running around this house. Who knew? I also love all the plants, color, and of course the “cat wallpaper.” What a special and unique house! Thanks so much for sharing it.

  7. I don’t know how she was able to leave this amazing piece of heaven after so much work! This home is my dream space right down to the animals.

  8. What a fun home! I loved all of the photos with the fur and feathered friends. It’s the same at our house. What she says about watching chickens is so true (we had them for over 10 years in our suburban backyard)!

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