An Historic Oasis

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” That could be the theme of Danny Seo’s newest home. It’s a classic Victorian on the outside with a sleek, modern look on the inside.


In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, thousands of city-dwellers were fleeing their urban homes to find country quarters where they could quarantine safely. In other words, the market for rural abodes turned red-hot.

For our own editor-in chief, Danny Seo, the temptation to sell the Bucks County, Pennsylvania house he shared with Kerry Thompson, his boyfriend of 3 years, was too great to pass up. “There was so much activity of people moving into our river town, we thought we’d see if someone would love to buy our home furnished,” Danny says. Turns out, it sold quickly, leaving the couple in urgent need of a new home.

Luckily, Kerry is obsessed with real estate and constantly on the look-out for new listings in their area. “He sent me a link to this home the morning it went on the market,” Danny says. They immediately went to see the place and were so charmed, they made an offer right away.

Situated high on a hill, the Creek House, as it is known, is just a few stone steps above the center of an historic town along the Delaware River in Bucks County. Originally a secondary home to a nearby mansion turned bed and breakfast, the 19th-century Victorian had been owned and renovated by a couple—one, a well-known architect—with impeccable taste. “The funny thing is,” says Danny, “the sellers were also two gay guys, one white, one Asian, just like Kerry and me. So, it really felt like this home was meant to be.”

Another coincidence? The couples share an aesthetic for clean, contemporary interior design contained within a classic centuries-old building. “They had this vision to take the traditional Victorian home and make it modern, shiny, and efficiently-designed inside,” Danny explains. “All I had to do was switch out some light fixtures and touch up the floors with paint.”

The Creek House boasts classic elements from the era: bright white wooden exterior walls, tall, lean windows, and a welcoming wrap-around porch. Open the glossy white front door, however, and you’re in for a surprise. Come along as Danny gives us the grand tour. Plus, he shares his five must-haves for 2021.

What do you love about Bucks County? We live in a cluster of river towns built along the Delaware River when it was used to transport goods. We’re surrounded by nothing but local businesses. You deal with the owners of the shops so your money is going straight back into the community. There are also tons of galleries and working artists. There’s such a strong sense of community. The creative spirit is everywhere.

Did you have any special requirements when looking for a new house? Well, Kerry is 6 foot 6 inches tall, so one of the big considerations was making sure he could literally fit in the house. Fortunately, this home fit!

How many rooms are in the home? It’s a three bedroom with an open-concept dining/kitchen/living room. It’s small but not too small. There’s also a separate building that was once a garage but was converted to an art studio and gym, so if someone wants to work out at 6 a.m. and blast music, it’s all good.

Everything looks so shiny and new. Did you add anything? It was all here. The former owners did a great job. The reason I really fell in love with this house is the open kitchen. It has a cooktop right in the island. The smartest thing in the house is that island with its deep, wide, perfectly-sized drawers. Everyone should have them.

The kitchen almost looks camera-ready. It is! I do a lot of cooking on TV shows and with COVID, I had to Skype into shows like “The Drew Barrymore Show” or the “Today Show.” When you have a range or cooktop that’s not in an island, your back is to the camera and that doesn’t work for TV. There’s plenty of room in front of the island for cameras, lights…there are even outlets in the floors! I have a new collaboration with QVC and I’ve been filming here for them, too.

Did you have to redo the flooring at all? Nope! They painted them glossy white using Farrow and Ball. I say that because Farrow and Ball is so expensive, it’s not something I would spend that type of money on. But I love that they did.

Tell us about the outdoor fire pit area. It has a Stonehenge feel about it. I love that area. It’s plumbed in, so you just flip a switch and light it up. In the fall and winter, we’ll bring out heavy blankets and stay cozy for the fire.

What’s your favorite room? I love my office. The desk is a Ralph Lauren piece that is actually the same desk Mr. Lauren has in his office. We used the furniture re-sell site Kaiyo to get a STEAL on it. Honestly, it feels like such a ‘boss office,’ it makes me love working from home.

What room does Kerry gravitate to? He’s everywhere! In our previous home, he had nowhere to work but now he has his own office. And he had total free rein to design it. He’s collecting art now and I think he’ll soon have a collection that rivals mine.

Any other room you particularly love? The attic space is really fun. It’s a big loft and we thought, why not make a surprise hangout lounge. We love having guests up there for wine and games.



Super-Clean Water

A whole-house water filtration can be pricey, and I didn’t have the budget for that. But it does makes sense to do “spot” water filtration. An under-sink filter from Pentair called the Freshpoint Easy Flow was a cinch to install—and it does a fantastic job of filtering the water into pure, crisp, truly clean water.  


A Mix of Old and New

The trick is to bring in a staple that’s a good investment, such as a well-made sofa in a neutral fabric, then layer in a vintage find, like a coffee table, to give a little character. Then, add one thing I call ‘something weird.’ It could be a vintage faux taxidermy, a collection of trophies, or just a giant piece of agate rock resting inside a bowl. Flea markets are great places to get a touch of ‘weird.’


Well-Crafted Beds

It’s true that you spend a third of your life in bed, so you should have a great one. Spending a few hundred more on a green and clean mattress not only is better for the environment and for you, but they also use handmade methods to craft beds that will last a decade. Two brands I like right now are Avocado Mattress and the Smart House collection from my pals Amy Smart and Carter Oosterhouse.


Cordless Cleaning

I love to vacuum but I hate the cords. The Dyson Cordless Vacuum is truly the best one out there. And being untethered makes running around the house sucking up dirt, dust, and debris a breeze…even fun! You can also grab it to do a quick vacuum inside your car.


A Wellness Drawer

My kitchen drawer is full of supplements and nutritional powders I can’t live without. I have everything in there: MegaFood turmeric vitamins; Tru Niagen NAD+ supplements that help repair damaged cells; Bulletproof MCT oil for my coffee; Vital Proteins collagen; SerumKind Chaga mushroom sticks (also for my coffee); Olly Melatonin gummies; and Boiron ArnicaCare gel for bruises and sore feet. I even keep a charged Theragun in there to give my sore back and muscles a quick massage.