After taking a big hit to the security deposit at our last apartment because of all of the holes we left in the wall (and knowing we would only be in our current apartment for a year), we set out to find a solution that would allow us to hang some artwork and make the place feel like home without causing much (or any) wall damage.
image:b6fbf9068d49e6c45a5acfa4215f7f7216e03dbd w:540 s:"fit" class_name:"mt-image-center" show_pin_button:"true" show_image_credits:"true" Home Hacks month has inspired us to undo all of the bad DIYs left in our home by previous inhabitants. For example, the 4-foot-long vintage mirror in the bathroom was callously splattered with paint when someone constructed a questionable homemade shelf next to it. Luckily, removing the paint was easy, non-toxic, and didn’t damage the glass at all.
Name: Jackie, Paul, & their 3-year-old son GrahamLocation: Rochester, New YorkSize: 2,300 square feetYears lived in: less than a year — owned After 15 years in New York City, Paul and Jackie’s small, but gorgeous 5th floor walk up in Nolita was no longer practical for their growing family. But finding a new home upstate in Rochester they could love just as much presented a challenge.
Name: Ira Rakatansky & Lenore GrayLocation: East Side — Providence, Rhode IslandSize: 4 bedroomsYears lived in: 52 — owned This tour is a rare treat — a peek into the home of modernist architect Ira Rakatanksy, who designed and built the house in 1958 and still lives there, more than half a century later. Incredibly, the space seems almost as modern now, both in structure and décor, as it must have over 50 years ago.
Name: Alfred & Rachel Atlas VendittoLocation: College Hill — Providence, Rhode IslandSize: 3 bedrooms + mother-in-law in converted atticYears lived in: 10 — owned The home Rachel & Al share with their two children, ages 3 and 5, and their dog in a former church meeting house is cozy and whimsical — filled with unusual and inspiring collections of natural objects and artwork.
Name: Julie & Richard RoseLocation: Pawtucket, Rhode IslandSize: 1,300 square feetYears lived in: 5½ Richard & Julie’s loft in a former Pawtucket, Rhode Island mill achieves the kind of tasteful sophistication that many of us can only aspire to and though each element is carefully selected and styled, the space never loses the warmth of a home or the personality of its owners.
Name: Chris & Hannah GarrisonLocation: Woonsocket, Rhode IslandSize: 1,900 square feetYears lived in: 9 months The entrance to Chris and Hannah Garrison’s loft is inauspiciously located between a wiener shop and a karate studio in downtown Woonsocket, Rhode Island — a former mill town about 20 minutes north of Providence that has seen its ups and downs. But inside and up the stairs is a breathtaking space, restored using reclaimed materials, many of which came from local sources.
Name: Risa Boyer Leritz, Nick Leritz, their 3-year-old daughter Harper, and two catsLocation: Alameda — Portland, OregonSize: 1720 square feetYears lived in: 2.5 — ownedThe process of buying a house is already tough on the nerves, let alone going into escrow on a serious fixer-upper — sight unseen — in a city almost 1,000 miles away from home.
I’m the kind of DIY-er who imagines elaborate and wonderful furniture re-finishing ideas and is consistently too busy, lazy, or pre-occupied to execute them. But in desperate need of bedroom dressers I dropped $70 for a pair from craigslist that had good bones, but were grimy, scratched and in need of help.
Name: Jen & Rob French, Hank & Dexter French (twin 2-year-old boys)Location: Providence, Rhode IslandSize: 2,200 square feet | 3 bedrooms Years lived in: 1½ They may have dark-colored walls and a few dead things displayed here and there, but Jen & Rob French’s 1920s bungalow is still bright and full of life — thanks to a carefully curated art collection, a whimsical sense of humor, and the happy squeals of their twin two-year-old boys, Hank and Dexter, echoing through the house.
Name: Ben & Aja BlancLocation: Steel Yard/Monohasset Mill — Providence, Rhode IslandSize: 1,900 square feetYears lived in: 2 — rentedCoaxing the cavernous boiler room of a former rubber mill to feel like home is no small task, but sculptor and designer Ben Blanc and his wife, Aja, an educator and herbalist, manage it with ease. They’ve filled the space with large-scale artwork, oversize furniture, and homey details that refuse to be dwarfed by the soaring industrial ceiling.
Name: The Design OfficeLocation: Downtown Providence, Rhode IslandSize: 750 square feetYears occupied: 4.5 — rentedWhile working from home offers many benefits like a short commute and being able to spend all day in pajamas, it can also get a bit lonely.
Name: Elizabeth DuvivierLocation: Providence, Rhode IslandSize: 1,200 square feetYears lived in: 5 months — rented Elizabeth’s 2-bedroom apartment embodies all the those ephemeral qualities that transform an empty shell of space into a real home — it’s artful, personal, comfortable and above all, designed for actually living.
For every home I’ve lived in, there has always been a room that steadfastly defies decoration, opting instead to act as repository for odds and ends and lack of style. Up until a couple of weeks ago, that room was our bedroom. But thanks to a fortuitous score while photographing a recent house tour the space is finally good for more than jumping on the bed.
This headboard was inspired by an Apartment Therapy post on how to combine IKEA Mandal headboards to create a dramatic wall installation, but not wanting to seriously damage the walls of their rental, Jeremy and Joe came up with a solution to create a more temporary setup.
Name: Chancie, Dan, and Clark Meehan Location: Mt. Washington — Los AngelesSize: 2,000 square feetYears lived in: 9 — owned Chancie and Dan have worked hard to update and expand their tiny hillside starter home and the result of their efforts is a surprisingly harmonious mix of modern, traditional, rustic, and quirky — a combination that aptly reflects the home’s inhabitants and its setting.
If there’s one thing Small Cool month reminds us, it’s that even a small space can pack a dramatic punch. Beth Beattie, who owns a PR, branding, and event planning business, tackled her tiny office transformation on a tight budget without sacrificing high style.After!Beth’s aim was to create a space that was comfortable and feminine with just the right amount of glam.
Name: Joel & McKenzie Taplin, and their 14-month-old daughter GereLocation: Monohasset Mill — Providence, Rhode IslandSize: 2,700 square feetYears lived in: 11 — rented, then owned One of over 30 live/work spaces in the Monohasset Mill building on Providence’s West Side, Joel & McKenzie’s loft evokes a feeling of cozy farmhouse minimalism despite its expansive size.
Name: Bruce and Melanie RosenbaumLocation: Sharon, MassachusettsSize: 4 bedrooms, 5000 square feetYears lived in: 10 — owned Steampunk means different things to different people, but to Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum whose home is a perfect whimsical ode to the style, it means fusing a modern sensibility with industrial antiques from the Victorian period to create a space that showcases the couple’s passion for antiquing, history, art, and technology.
Name: Dan & Sarah Herchenroether Location: Newport, Rhode Island Size: 1,176 square feet Years lived in: 1.5 years Dan used all his experience as an architect and whole lot of elbow grease to transform a small cottage on a quiet street away from the tourist hustle and bustle of Newport, Rhode Island from drab and dated (think tons of wood paneling) into a sweet and contemporary family home.
Name: Christine & Vijay ChitnisLocation: Providence, Rhode IslandSize: 1,684 square feet, 3 bedroomsYears lived in: 1 The home of Providence writer, blogger, crafter and Fall Colors finalist, Christine Chitnis and her husband, Vijay, does resemble a typical New England farmhouse: it’s over 100 years old and their fridge is filled with eggs freshly laid by the chickens that roam their backyard — the only thing missing is the rural setting.