Home Style Tour with Cynthia Harper

Name: Cynthia Harper
Age: 32
Who do you share your home with: My husband and children
Year home was built: 1996
Square Footage: 1800 sq. ft
Location: Pennsylvania

Shop Succulents


img_1038img_1037img_1039img_1042img_1041img_1036Kilim Rug

Tell us about your day to day life and the journey of starting your business, Harper and Arrow Marketplace.

My day to day life involves caring for my young children and providing a stable loving environment for them. That is the first priority. And I am learning how to balance that with my growing business, Harper & Arrow Marketplace. My shop was born out of my passion for incorporating authentic vintage & antique pieces into our modern homes in a stylish way. I took something that was a passion of mine and turned it into a creative outlet and viable business.


When did you find your home and what was your house hunting process like? What was important when you were looking for your home?

We initially found our current home back in 2009 but were unable to buy it at that time. However when our first home finally sold in 2012, we had the opportunity to buy this home which we’d first looked at in 2009. When looking for a home, I like to joke that I simply wanted a front door. It sounds funny, but our first home did not have a traditional front door so we had to enter through the back or side of the home. Humble beginnings. So when we were house hunting several years ago, I wanted a home with a front door. Plain and simple. It was also important to me to have a home in a good school district for my children’s sake. Other than that, we really kept a very open mind while house hunting. My husband and I both have the ability to see beyond what exists in a home, and we can see what it can be. So we knew no matter where we ended up, that we could make it our own.



What was the most challenging space to decorate in your home? How did you overcome your design dilemmas? 

I wouldn’t say there is a challenging space because I believe with a little creativity, you can make anything work! The most challenging thing is being patient and saving up for all renovations in advance of any house projects.

Which space is your favorite? Why?

My favorite space in my home is my kitchen because my husband and I worked really hard last year to bring our vision to life. He made my dreams a reality and was willing to allow me to go all-white and even to cover all the walls in subway tile.


Which room are you constantly changing?

All of them. I like change, and to me, my home is my canvas. It’s a reflection of what meets our needs and suits are tastes at that given moment in time. And with a young family and a growing business, our needs are constantly changing, and therefore so is our home.



What is the boldest design choice you’ve made?

My boldest design choice was painting the wall in my master bedroom an almost-black color (Noir by Valspar). I am often drawn to light colors, but I found myself craving a dark moody color and felt like my master bedroom wall could handle that color because the room gets a lot of light. I love the contrast of my white shiplap headboard (which my husband and I designed and built) against the black wall. It was a risky bold choice, but one that really paid off and I love it. It’s important that we push our own boundaries and take style risks because that’s how we grow and learn to trust our individual style instincts.


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Where do you usually start with when designing a room? How long does it typically take you to come up with a design for a space? What is your process? Where do you find inspiration?

When designing a room, I find that one item or one idea will spark the whole process. It may be an item I purchase from a shop, or a paint sample I see in a store, or a photo of a beautiful space in a magazine or on instagram. And that one bit of inspiration drives the design of the rest of them room. It’s like one drop of inspiration unleashes a flood of design ideas. I find that designing a room is the easy part, but waiting patiently to implement the design is what takes time.



How do you balance your aesthetic with your significant other, children and pets?

I believe that style also needs to suit real life, so I strive to create a home that is beautiful yet functional. Stylish yet practical. It’s not always an easy balance, but I truly believe homes should be lived in. And it doesn’t bother me when things get dented or dinged a little bit. They’re just things, and at the end of the day, having a home full of happy memories is the most important part.



What is the most sentimental or favorite piece of decor in your home?

My most sentimental piece of décor is an antique enamelware pitcher & bowl that I bought on my first anniversary with my husband. It is the piece that sparked my interest in authentic antiques. And it was the first piece in what would become my authentic enamelware collection that was featured in Country Living magazine last year.

What have you splurged on?

Last year when we renovated our kitchen, we splurged on our farmhouse sink and quartz countertops.

Where are your favorite places to shop for decor?

My favorite places to shop for décor are small shops run by creative ambitious entrepreneurs. I am continually inspired by those who work hard in the pursuit of their dreams and who have chosen to share their talents with the world. Many of my favorite small shops are ones I’ve discovered through instagram!


What’s something on your project list you’d like to do in your home?

On the top of my home project list is to replace the flooring on the first floor of our home. I currently refer to it as my ‘patchwork quilt’ of flooring since it is a combination of different types of tile and hardwood too. One day it will be one consistent type of wood floor!



What current home trend are you loving?

The current home trend I’m loving is the increased popularity of greenery hung in macramé planters!

If you could live anywhere where would it be and what style of home would you want to live in?

If I could live anywhere right now, I’d love to live near Nashville in a modern farmhouse style home.


5 Random Facts….

I love chocolate chip cookies. I cannot get enough of them. I lived in North Carolina for a few years and loved it, and I hope to get back to the South one day. Two years ago, I didn’t even know what a hashtag was, so I googled it. True story. I am an interesting combination of extrovert and introvert. I believe in dreaming big and surrounding myself with positive people!

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