Inside Joshua & Deidre Stone’s 19th Century Home
Peeking out behind a boxwood hedge in College Hill is a whitewashed stone cottage crested by a green metal roof and accentuated by black window shutters. A black and white cat sunbathes on the stoop, acting as the unofficial guardian of the home. On a still, quiet morning, the faint sound of a record can be heard emanating from behind the arched glass transom and, if you stand up on your tip toes and hold your nose just right, you may catch the subtle whiff of sandalwood.
It’s an idyllic scene to stumble upon—the exterior of the home giving the impression of a place frozen in time. But if you step through the front door, you’ll be greeted by its current owners, Deidre and Joshua Stone, and realize that the space isn’t frozen in time at all. Rather, it’s a work in progress—a constant evolution of creativity, eclecticism, and whimsy.
Deidre, dressed in a thrifted kimono with a large bronze ankh necklace draping from her neck, lights incense in the front living room while Joshua, shirt buttoned behind a bolero tie, switches the record on the record player. The two move about the home in sync with one another, with the ease of a couple who has been together for 17 years. Their energy is effortless, with a spark of expressiveness and curiosity that is infectious but unrepeatable. Within the walls of their 200-year-old home, everything is a canvas, everything is an opportunity, and everything is art.
“We purchased the house in 2018,” said Deidre, “after living in an apartment that had flooded multiple times. We knew we needed to move.”
“We weren’t looking for a house,” Joshua continued, “instead we were looking around at other apartments. The flooding happened on a Sunday, and this house was listed on that Wednesday. We looked at it, loved it, put an offer on it that Thursday and it was accepted the next day.”
“We closed and moved a month later,” Deidre concluded.
The house was move-in ready, though it had been vacant for ten years. But while it was move-in ready in the practical sense—replacement windows, central air conditioning—the Stones knew they were embarking on a journey to marry their aesthetic with the circa 1815 home.
The front part of the cottage—the living room, front bedroom, and second floor—are all original to the home, which is one of the oldest remaining homes in Lynchburg. The kitchen and bathroom were added sometime in the early 20th century. When the Stones purchased the home, they immediately ripped up the carpet and painted over the pale blue walls.
“I was hoping that there was goodness underneath all they had covered up,” Deidre remembered. “There were drop ceilings everywhere and layers and layers of wall and wallpaper.”
And goodness was in fact discovered as the Stones started stripping away two centuries worth of renovations. The original fireplace was unmasked after hiding behind plaster walls for decades. Sweeping ceilings and stunning wood beams were unearthed beneath drop ceilings. Original heart pine floors were waiting, perfectly preserved under beige carpet. In each room, the Stones meticulously rediscovered the original beauty of the home.
“I still think there’s a lot that we haven’t uncovered,” Deidre acknowledged.
Then, the Stones got to work making the home their own.
“Admittedly, all of this work and this vision is hers,” Joshua said, nodding toward Deidre.
“I love darker, moodier vibes. I like to think the house is an extension of my personal style. I fit in well with the decor,” Deidre laughed.
The Stones wanted to create a space that felt cozy, moody, and dark, but remained welcoming.
“It’s a marriage of style and aesthetic, but also comfort and livability,” explained Deidre.
Throughout the home, inky walls offset velveteen and metallic textures. In the living room, a plush brocade sofa from Gold Tusk Vintage sits amongst scented mystical candles. Geodes, tarot cards, and plants line metallic shelves. Celestial brass wall hangings dot the walls while dried flowers hang like fragile banners across windows.
Every element is a nod to Joshua and Deidre’s life and tastes. Deidre, the owner of Storm + Stress—a shop devoted to mystical jewelry, candles, art, and home decor—peppers her pieces throughout the home.
Her original artwork trails up the tiger print lined stairs. A brass tarot card from her shop hangs against an ebony wall. Joshua, who owns Stone Spice Company and sells his rubs and seasonings at the Forest Farmer’s Market, brings home a bouquet of flowers to dry each week—each one unique and delicate. When a corner of the home isn’t styled with elements from the Stones own hands, thrifted pieces take their place.
“It’s rare that I purchase anything new, unless it’s handmade,” said Deidre. “I think of myself as an intuitive thrifter. I let pieces come to me. I have an idea in my mind of what I need and I don’t try to rush it. I just wait until it presents itself. You don’t always get instant gratification that way, but when you do find the right piece it’s amazing.”
Much like their mentality with decorating and embellishing their home, the Stones are intuitively letting their home show them what’s next. It’s a constant evolution of projects—from the smallest of paint upgrades to plans to build out a commercial kitchen so Joshua can run Stone Spice Company entirely from their home.
“There’s no need to rush things,” Deidre concluded.
Follow along as Deidre and Joshua continue to transform their home. Find them on Instagram at @blackmoonstonecottage.