Inspiring Decorator: Autumn Stauffer of Steel City Farmhouse

Picture perfect in Pennsylvania, Autumn Stauffer of Steel City Farmhouse puts a modern spin on a vintage style by creating a home that’s a culmination of old and new. She is frequently writing her home’s story, expertly crafting the contents and chapters in “Pursuit of a Pretty Home in Pittsburgh”.

We recently collaborated with her for a huge window shades project, and were so interested in her designer style that we asked her to be our next Inspiring Decorator! So grab a sammich from Primanti Bro’s and read our interview with Autumn below!

Meet Autumn of Steel City Farmhouse!

1. How would you explain your style and aesthetic?

When designing our home, we wanted a retreat, a gathering point, and a space that inspired our passions. That has slowly unfolded into a timeless yet clean eclectic style as we design and decorate our newly built home.​ ​I love a blend of old and new, pieces that tell the story of time mixed against the backdrop of​ a newly constructed home. This, for me, is what has given our home some soul. ​​​​ 

2. Where/Who do you get your home inspiration from?

Most recently I was very inspired by rummaging through my grandmother’s attic. While she is no longer with us, I love incorporating meaningful treasures that remind me of her into our home. ​Think beautiful sea glass jugs, designer vintage rattan chairs, and intricately designed dishware. ​It has given a nice balance of old in a new home. 

​Traveling the world has also served as a huge point of inspiration ​for my designs ​and perhaps why my style is a bit eclectic.​ And this is why you’ll see a side of travel on my predominantly home blog

SelectBlinds.com's Roman Shades lend to the clean and sleek look!

3. What personal project are you proudest of and why? 

Right now, my head is still in the clouds on the completion of our custom built home. It was something we dreamed of doing, and it​ ​was such a special experience to be able to design our home and build top to bottom what works and serves our lifestyle best.​ 

Welcome to Autumn's custom home!

4. What’s your favorite trend right now? 

I love how color ​and pattern ​is making a bold, new come back. ​​For me, I want to be wrapped in a happy, cheerful space so I’ve been finding ways to pack a little punch throughout whether it’s the backsplash, wallpaper, rugs​ ​​or furniture.

Just as in our lives we are all multi-tasking and juggling all of life’s little demands, we need our homes to do the same. I love how more and more the expectation is for a space to flex and be multi-functioning. Doubling benches as storage, or transforming what would normally be a home office into a multi-purpose room all through the design and layout of furniture. This reflects a major shift in how people want usable spaces for their families.   

Bold colors and a subtle pattern make a great marriage.

5. What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn more about interior design/decorating?

Let’s learn together! ​By day and trade I work in Corporate America in business. ​Unlike others I can’t sit here and tell you I’ve been doing this for a decade. It’s something I stumbled upon and realized I loved after I got my first place. ​I guess my best advice is to experiment on your own home/space ​or take some pro bono projects to build your portfolio​ (queue mom and dad, or friends.) 

Barn door fit into many different kinds of decor!

Thanks so much for letting us take a closer look at your home, Autumn! We love learning a little more about all of our influencers and hope to work with you again in the future! If you love the window treatments in Steel City Farmhouse, here’s a couple links to the products in this post:

Classic Roman Shades in Simply White (Bedroom, Bathroom)

Classic Light Filtering Cordless Cellular Shades in Perfect White (Living Room)

For more details on her custom window treatments, amazing DIY installation walk-through and even insider some tech tips, you won’t want to miss her Select Blinds blog post!

“It was top of my list to get a quote or two for blinds, and we knew it would be expensive but never did we think our quotes would come back between $12-15k for 22 windows. And then I found Select Blinds.”

-Autumn Stauffer of Steel City Farmhouse

Wait till You See This NASCAR Fan’s Monster Collection!

Ultimate NASCAR fan shows huge collection in basement man cave

This is just one of two rooms NASCAR super fan Glenn Zabransky and his father have transformed into living shrines to the sport. From die-cast mini car replicas to actual full-size tires and car hoods, their monster collection of all-things NASCAR numbers in the thousands. Photos courtesy of Glenn Zabransky

Glenn Zabransky lives and breathes NASCAR. And we mean LIVES. AND. BREATHES. IT.

Just take a look at the formidable collection he and his father have amassed over the last 28 years since Glenn saw his first race at Pocono Raceway (now a super speedway) in Pennsylvania, when he was just five years old. Hard to believe he could squeeze anything else in, but we were pretty honored that one of his most recent additions were two #38 SelectBlinds.com Ford Mustang hero cards autographed by driver David Ragan with Front Row Motorsports.

Signed David Ragan #38 Nascar Hero Card with SelectBlinds.com Gear and Wrap NASCAR action photo signed by driver David Ragan in Select Blinds car

With a passion for the sport passed down by his grandfather and father, Glenn, who hails from New Jersey when he’s not traveling the country from track to track during race season, started collecting die-cast cars as a kid. His dad, he says, would order a 1/64 scale car for him for every 1/24 his dad ordered, most of which were replicas of Dale Earnhardt Sr. cars (his dad’s favorite driver). The first thing Glenn bought on his own was a Terry Labonte Corn Flakes replica for $10,  snagged at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1996. The collection truly started, though, he says, with a set of 1/24 scale Richard Petty cars from Franklin Mint.

“We have more than five hundred 1/24 scale cars, as well as a few hundred smaller cars.  In recent years we’ve expanded to sheet metal and other pieces of cars from actual races,” Glenn says. “I think I have ten or so pieces of metal (fenders, bumpers, trunk lids, etc.), about eight tires including a Dale Sr. 1994 Daytona 500 tire, as well as other odds and ends like valve covers and rims.”

The collection also includes  “odd-ball pieces like Davey Allison chili and Dale Sr. suntan lotion” Glenn says his mom has contributed.

His most prized items?

“We were able to obtain the actual seats my dad and I sat in at our first Daytona 500,” he says after the famed World Center of Racing underwent a remodel several years ago.

Now that’s cool!

No matter how cool his collection is, though, for Glenn, the coolest thing is that racing is a real family affair.

“The bond that racing has formed between my father and I is something that I’ll always be grateful for,” he shares, “and while my mom doesn’t really follow or care for the lower series, she’s probably been to at least 60 cup races or so.

“My wife knew when dating me that if she ever wanted to see me, she would have to  put up with the NASCAR aspect,” Glenn continues. “Turns out she’s super into it now. She even participates in my fantasy NASCAR league. The fact that she’s so on board and into it makes it even better.”

His now brother- and sister-in-law have also gotten into the sport. Together, the family has traveled to most of the tracks (Indianapolis Motor Speedway, surprisingly, is one pit stop still on Glenn’s bucket list), meeting every NASCAR driver at least once, including favorites Austin and Ty Dillon.

“Actually met them both and their dad, Mike, at Volusia County dirt track during speed week. My wife had on a few-years-old Austin Dillon dirt hoodie and was too nervous to ask Austin for a photo, so I asked and he was happy to do so. He knew we were pretty big fans.  Mike even offered us a beer.”

They also met Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace that night, both of whom had beer to share, too.

“That was a fun night,” recalls Glenn with a laugh, adding that he’s also been impressed meeting Jimmy Johnson and “even” Kyle Busch. “It’s a great thing with NASCAR. You have the ability to interact with the drivers during the event, not just at some sports store signing autographs.”

NASCAR fan's black dog wearing blue #88 scarf at racetrack

The Zabransky family includes three, four-legged members, including Ralph, who was named after Dale Earnhardt Sr’s. father and racing patriarch Ralph Earnhardt.

It’s not just the drivers he loves; it’s the fans he meets, too.

“I love talking about [NASCAR] with other people, trying to ‘recruit’ new fans, and just every aspect of the sport,” he says.  To help in his recruiting efforts, he often gives away duplicate die-cast cars to young fans.

“I was lucky enough to attend a ton of races and have a dad that also collected. Those first cars that a young fan gets can shape their fandom for years to come. ”

He loves sharing stories of his most memorable races, too. His favorite? The 2001 MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400  at Dover Downs International Speedway following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Glenn’s uncle, who had worked in the Twin Towers at the time, was with Glenn and his dad for the race. Glenn’s favorite driver then was Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won that day and after, went around the track with an American flag hanging out the window.

“An image,” reminisces Glenn, “that’s burned in  my memory. I’ll never forget it.”

Join Glenn this Memorial Day weekend and watch the No. 38 SelectBlinds.com Ford
Mustang and David Ragan recognize Corporal William G. Taylor
of the United States Marine Corps, who was killed in the line of duty while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Twenty-six-year-old Cpl. Taylor of Macon, GA, was killed on Nov.
30, 2005 by small-arms fire while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Fallujah, Iraq.

Taylor’s name will be displayed on the windshield of Ragan’s SelectBlinds.com Ford for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 26, where the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will pay tribute to the fallen men and women of the U.S. military. Ragan’s car will also feature a red, white and blue patriotic paint scheme as part of NASCAR’s tribute.