Story and photography by Chelsey Ashford
Combine a ton of thrifted items including 300 golf clubs, two baseball bats, golf balls, porcelain birds, trains, civil war soldiers, matchbox cars, 38 US Presidents, alphabet blocks, two hub caps off a 1940’s Cadillac, squirt guns and four plastic chicken trophies and if you’re Scott Johnson the outcome will be a chicken coop like no other. The lavender poultry palace is a menagerie and was painted the hue as a nod to the artistic community off Old Buncombe Road.
Johnson and his partner, Michael Greene, opened their antique store, cleverly named Artifacts, a little over a year ago and also turned part of the building into three working studios, currently for artists Annie Koelle, Robyn Aiken and Libby Baxter. In their shop, you’ll find high-quality eclectic antiques of all kinds that work in tandem making the space unique and especially inspiring with its staged vignettes. Between gravitating towards antiquing, growing up in antique shops and later managing them, Michael says he couldn’t throw a dead cat without hitting one.
After getting three chickens for the backyard of the shop, Johnson and Greene wanted a chicken coop to be the focal point of their garden. What makes up the coop feels a bit crazy, but with the lavender paint unifying the structure it becomes one Greek Revival cottage, raised up off the ground and has turned into an interactive Folk Art installation when seen in person.
Some of its architectural touches include a Victorian-era clock, a crystal chandelier, old windows conveniently turned into pocket sliding doors, a period cobalt stained glass transom and these chickens walk on reclaimed pine flooring, of course. Each chicken has its own distinct personality and a quirky name; “Omelet” was my favorite chicken. Greene says he thinks the name is pretty and if he had a child, he would likely name her Omelet. To say these chickens are living their best life may be an understatement (they certainly seem right atHome).