Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Paint Colors - An Ode to Anxiety

 This past weekend we spent a day shopping - ordering shower bases, a tub, looking at replacement windows, shower fixtures, and paint. Let me say that picking a paint color always seems easy and I feel so sure and then immediately afterward, pulling out of the parking lot with the 5-gallon bucket in the back of the truck, I have intense buyer's remorse. Always. Ohmygod - did I pick the completely wrong color? 

For the 1850s Homestead, I went into the design planning on a color I'd seen a well-known interior designer use recently in her own home. It looked great in her Instagram stories. Then I saw the swatch in person and had a physical reaction. Way too yellowy-taupe. And I love taupe, but this was the absolute wrong color for this house.

Currently, the 1850s Homestead has a bright yellow parlor, a dark red dining room, and now that I'm thinking about it I don't even remember what color is upstairs in the bedrooms - white? Taupe? It's not important because it's all going to get painted and feel reinvigorated. I don't want to remove the charm, because the history is what makes this house special, but the paint color was never part of the charm. And because so many rooms in the house get fantastic light I want to incorporate that throughout with a light paint color.

What I ended up choosing is Sherwin Williams Fleur de Sel (SW 7666). The color is below but even that doesn't look like the swatch currently before me on my desk. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it looks once it's on the walls, which I believe is happening this week or next. What I will say is that a few days post-purchase, I am feeling confident again in the color choice. Especially once the white trim is done.

I especially cannot wait to see the red dining room transformed. My nana informed me on Sunday, after walking through the house to see our progress, that you should never paint a dining room red because it induces over-eating. So keep that in mind when you're picking paint colors. Red = glutinous eating. 

~ Stephanie


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The 1850 Homestead - First Look

 This past weekend, if you follow Blackburn Family Design on Instagram, you probably watched multiple time lapse videos of me doing various demo around the house. With any house, you're going to find things you weren't expecting. Like in the Harvard Ranch where I demoed a wall and found a very old Schlitz can, rusted with age, standing between each stud for the entire length of the wall.

So far in this house I've found unexpected wallpaper. There is a room between the front hallway and the kitchen that had green walls but we could tell it was that faux wood paneling that seems to pop up in every house we renovate. So I started taking those down and found this wallpaper (below) hidden behind it. It's horsehair plaster and it's crumbling so we're going to have to demo more of it and replace it with drywall, so that was unexpected.



Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Welcome to the 1850 Homestead


It's been seven months since we sold our last renovation house. In that time, we went under agreement on two properties but ended up backing out over various issues, put numerous offers in on other properties always losing out to higher bids (for an example of house crazy the housing market outside of Boston has been during Covid, we went 100k over asking on offer and STILL lost out), and then finally in November had an offer accepted on a house I never thought we'd get. And now in February it's officially ours. 

This property was built in 1850 (so our oldest house to-date) and the previous owners had it for 42 years. You can tell that even though it's rough around the edges and outdated,  this home has been loved. None of our previous houses has felt uniquely New England to me, but this house sure does. I mean it still has the original well house (see top picture). I haven't peeked inside there just yet because of the snow but I promised a friend I would post a video of what's inside when I do.

What I love most about this house is the history and charm (and also how it's not as gross as every other house we've renovated). The floors are gorgeous and have been so well-maintained. And that banister - one of the houses we lost out on in the fall had a gorgeous banister and I realized that's all I really wanted in our next house. So, wish granted. The wrap-around porch has so much charm (I'll post that later) and the attached carriage house is going to be turned into the family room, while keeping much of it's current charm (like the gorgeous sliding barn door). 

There will be a lot more to come as we get going on this renovation. I'm so excited to share it with you as I think this home is so lovely and charming (and the kitchen is going to be huge, which my dad always makes sound like a bad thing, but honestly, when has having a huge kitchen ever been a negative thing?). Follow along on Instagram for real-time updates (@blackburnfamilydesign). I think you're going to love this house as much as I already do.

~ Stephanie


Monday, September 21, 2020

Staging: A Cambridge Condo

At the beginning of the month I was brought in to consult on and then stage a 2bed/2bath 2nd floor condo in Cambridge. The location was great but the interior needed just a touch of work. Mainly, painting. One of the bathrooms (below) was mint green, the other (not pictured) was a deep pink. 


Thursday, June 11, 2020

Staging A Somerville Studio

I was asked to stage a condo in Somerville for a couple who were moving to Colorado. I get it. In a pandemic, with no end in sight, I am constantly thinking about how much I wish I was in Wyoming instead of Boston. To be fair though, they also have a new baby and a boisterous dog, so a studio no longer made sense for them. For a single person or a couple though, this home can absolutely work, quarantine or not. Because on top of the beautiful interior there are two porches.

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