Name: Johnelle, Brian, and Sylas
Location: Temescal — Oakland, California
Size: Approximately 1200 square feet, Built in 1903
Years lived in: 4 months together, Brian bought the house in 2007 — owned
Four months in and Johnelle, owner of Mignonne, and Brian have done amazing things with their new home. Despite the numerous projects Johnelle lists as a 'work in progress', the place is inviting and cozy with a lot of character. It reflects her love of textiles, color, and her passion for taking something that has been neglected and making it beautiful again.
Johnelle, Furniture Revamper and Artist, and Brian, Master Carpenter, are a power couple when it comes to home repair and design, yet a lot of what they have done to make their home unique can be done by any DIY'er. Switching out lightweight hollow doors with solid, antiques, swapping generic lighting for unique, vintage fixtures, and repainting kitchen cabinets are all changes the couple made in the first few months to make it their own. They still have a laundry list to do but getting some small changes made right away and staying focused on one task at a time has helped them manage the workload while still feeling accomplished.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Sophisticated Bohemian
Inspiration: My inspiration is finding beauty in furniture and decor that is dated or forgotten, that i can transform and give a second chance. The thrill of transforming and reinventing pieces is my love! I am inspired by the accessibility of amazing objects that are tangible in estate sales, second hand stores, etc. Brian has a love of creating reclaimed pieces with his own two hands, and being a jack of all trades and pours his heart and soul in to the house's transformation. Together we help inspire each other!
Favorite Element: My favorite element in the house is our light fixtures, and the dimmer switches we added. (Thanks Brian!) Swapping out new and obvious fixtures with unique vintage ones, transformed our rooms. Our house is old, 1903, so I have to admit that the flexibility we have to be more eclectic is there and present! i think for all those being on a budget, you can create sophistication with a bit of imagination. Sometimes an old light fixture, like one you may find at the Alameda antique fair, needs re wiring... so you can purchase it at an extremely affordable rate. I have found ones for $25!! Re-wiring a fixture can range from $100-$200 in my experience, so compared to the cost of a new chandelier this can be a steal!
Biggest Challenge: Accomplishing the final look on a budget, and being patient! Things like replacing tile, painting the exterior, expanding and finishing our master bedroom upstairs attic room, have to get attacked in phases and we are finding love and inspiration in each step... like our recent kitchen repainting of cabinets and walls. It's our new favorite room, and all we want to do is cook and entertain in this room!
What Friends Say: Where do find all these goodies?! Our art, and decor is constantly rotating in and out of the house. I never want our house to feel cluttered or have too much, so having the store is so fun. When i crave a new look, my shop is where i go to swap out things/furniture!
Biggest Embarrassment: Our backyard. it hasn't even been touched:) It sits there with a BBQ, and screams plant me!!! Landscaping, building a deck, organic garden, and lounging area are on the agenda!
Biggest Indulgence: Reupholstering our sofa, and redoing our kitchen!!
Best Advice: Be patient and resourceful if you can't make all your homes dreams come true at once. Enjoy the transformations that you can achieve as they come. Start small, room by room!
Dream Sources: I do love new things too and a current dream that we are saving to make a reality is Tabarka tiles as our kitchen backsplash. I love the painterly vibe these tiles exude, and how they play in a crisp clean kitchen! Resources of Note: Alameda antique fair, Mignonne decor, road trips to far off lands, travels to France, Brian Hill's workshop where he continues to make our house's dreams come true, like our dining room table!!
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
• Benjamin Moore, White Dove I like a clean palette, where the furniture and collectibles can be the punch!
• Dental Cabinet, first piece I purchased on layaway at a vintage shop
• Reupholstered couch and chair; Mignonne Decor, I found a 60's vintage couch with loads of charm and reupholstered it with a flecked navy and white denim, chartreuse and canary velvet.
• Painting next to denim couch; Nicole Buffet
• Dining Table, Brian Hill, an old bay area redwood door, with vintage table legs created our source for meals, and entertaining!
• Pop Color Painted Pillows, Mignonne Decor
• Antique doors, Urban Ore
Thanks, Johnelle and Brian!
Images: Lilias Pettit-Scott
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