inspiration from the “designers in residence”

by Justine on January 11, 2013

in decor,renovations

When Chad and I bought our first home, it took everything we had to scrape together the down payment. Having handed our last $300 to the closing attorney, we couldn’t even afford a fridge, so we kept our food in a cooler for three months. At that time, all renovations were DIY, and thus I learned the art of drywall, plastering, sanding, and painting.

Then for a few years there, with the purchase of our cottage, we could afford to have professionals help with this work, and so we did. Truth be told, having done so much of it before, I didn’t miss it.

But when we were looking to buy in Newton, where the schools are good enough to send one’s kids all the way through, and the property values reflect this, we realized that we would most likely have to buy a DIY fixer-upper. And that was Ok because truth-be-told, I didn’t like most of the renovations I saw, so I didn’t see the point of paying for something I would change anyways. And by this point I had the example of many blog friends who were operating backhoes in order to carve their yards and brewing their own authentic Swedish paint. But we are not as young as we used to be, AND we now have kids. Did we really have the strength to once again do it all ourselves?

Well obviously the answer is, yes. And though it does hurt more this time, I’m once again enjoying the hands-on connection with my home. But work is progressing more slowly than before, because when one of us paints, the other parents. Sometimes when I get discouraged, I once again turn to my blog friends for inspiration.

Pictured here is a recent project by a very industrious and creative couple, Percy and Tara of Jersey Ice Cream Company. A great admirer of their ability to rethink old things in a modern way, I have featured their work before. For this project this dynamic duo transformed Debby’s Brooklyn apartment from ho-hum to wow, in the span of one-week!!!! And it’s merely a precursor to a larger renovation that these practitioners of live-in design (they are literally designers-in-residence wherever they are currently working) are completing on Debby’s upstate NY farmhouse.

I figure if they can tackle this much, then, even with kids, I can slap on some paint.

Here’s a peak at the newly renovated dining room at Debby’s farmhouse. For the complete before and after see here.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrin January 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Loved your story! I know how frustrating it can be when the renovations are going slooow… and I donĀ“t even have kids! Also, thank you for reminding me of the goodness that is Jersey Ice Cream Company. Loved their house in Philly on D*S and I looove this dining room! xo

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Justine January 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I know, Katrin, doesn’t that dining room make you feel like you’re dining in a snow storm?! The effect is both dramatic and cosy.

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