Wanna Meet Bo?

I often write about Bo Sullivan. And Bo graciously often comments here. I love this about him.

Curiously, I don’t recall when or how we met. Well, met isn’t quite accurate. We have never met in person. It has all been emails and phone conversations. Bo lives in the upper left corner of the country. I live in the middle.

Bo has at least two business that I know of. One is Arcalus Period Design: From the Gilded Age to the Space Age – Old-House Design Consulting.

In short, Bo know a LOT about old houses. And old lighting. If you have just purchased an old house and have no idea what to do, it would be wise to retain Bo.

Bo also know a LOT about wallpaper. Before meeting Bo I never gave a thought to wallpaper. Now I think about it a lot. Damn Bo.

Bo has bundled his passion for paper into Bolling & Company. I go to the website and drool. You will, too.



Wanna meet Bo? Click here.






  1. Vicki F. on October 13, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Thanks for that-I fell in love with most of those old wallpaper patterns. Wow! So nice to meet you Bo.

    • Ross on October 15, 2016 at 10:24 am

      I know! I was soooooooo lusting after the wallpaper!

  2. Bo Sullivan on October 14, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Ross, you are a very kind man.

    We met during my 20-year stint as the senior designer and architectural historian at Rejuvenation – a natural consequence of our shared interest in antique lighting restoration, period trade catalogs, and eBay prowling.

    Your love of post-Depression lighting and my love of Lightolier came together like peanut butter and jelly.

    And we both happen to have 1894 houses. Which both happened to have originally had Birge wallpaper. How weird is that?

    My anal-retentive passion comes out as creative intensity and a focus on accuracy and integrity, yours comes out as unbridled joy and enthusiasm and fearlessness – we make a nice combination to get the best out of both approaches!

    I think folks like us can often be pigeon-holed as old-house fanatics and our passions dismissed with the old trope “nobody wants to live in a museum” – but those people have it all wrong… The real truth is that nobody wants to live in an ugly, uncomfortable and meaningless environment.

    I happen to believe that old houses don’t have to be uncomfortable to be authentic, and don’t have to be creatively limiting to be inspirational and relevant. I believe old houses get their most impact, meaning and timeless beauty by having their essential original character drawn out through thoughtful restoration and/or enhancement of their unique details, style and story.

    When this is done well (which is rare and very hard to accomplish), it creates what I call “the spell” – a sense of beauty, contentment, well-being and comfort that feels totally right for a place. Like it has always been that way, and always will be.

    I try to encourage decisions that enhance the spell, and avoid choices that break the spell. This is why even little things like countertops, brown electrical outlets, polished nickel instead of polished chrome, well chosen shades and light bulbs, wavy glass, and even slotted screws can make such a difference – the point is not to have everything perfect, but to just minimize the arbitrary and mistaken.

    I believe in the spell, and that the process that creates and sustains it can be a powerful force for good that feeds the souls of the people who live in and experience it.

    So thank you for being a superhero in the battle against the forces of hurry, cheapness, thoughtlessness and banality – keep up the good work Ross! I thank you, the Cross House thanks you, your readers thank you, and I think generations in your immediate community and outside of it will thank you.

    • Ross on October 15, 2016 at 10:26 am

      And thank YOU, Bo!

      I love reading your thoughts!

    • Anne Ruhr on March 21, 2020 at 9:31 pm

      I love an articulate, truly expressive, caring writer and a funny, determined, unapologetic speaker. It’s no wonder the Bo-Ross combination works like a charm. I feel better tonight knowing the both of you exist in this increasingly chilly, confusing world.

  3. Kelly on October 14, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    That was such a fun watch! I’m a little sad every single room in our house is all wood planks, as much as I love them it would have been fun to hang some pretty wallpaper. 🙂

  4. Diane Gibson on February 11, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Bo Sullivan you say things that are at the heart of old house lovers. Thank you for putting into words I can feel.

  5. Sandra Diane Lee on March 22, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Bo Sullivan said it best regarding the meaning and devotion poured into period homes such as both he and Ross have done. I love how he termed “avoiding breaking the spell” with the choices made while restoring or repairing. It is so special and gives such a wonderful feeling being in beautiful period homes and other buildings. It makes me envision those people who lived before us but during the era of the building. My church was built in 1888 and I often daydream about those parishioners of that time in their period clothes attending services.


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