Charlotte's New Life on a Budget

Charlotte's New Life on a Budget

Janel Laban
Mar 15, 2013

Name: Charlotte
Location: Southport, Connecticut

We bought our circa 1900 house a couple of years ago from an older woman who's idea of upkeep was locking the door behind her. (The only 'repair' she would admit to was the leaking skylight in the foyer...). Once the oh-hum repairs like a new roof, waterproofing the basement, swapping out leaky faucets, and repairing a crumbling chimney were taken care of, we could focus on the more glamorous task of giving the old girl some color and some life!

Like most homeowners, we've always been on a tight budget, so much of the work has been done by us at night or on the weekends. We don't realize how far the place has come until we look back at those sad-sack pictures from our original house tour. Dirty off-white wall-to-wall carpeting? Check. Flat white wall color in every room? Check. Drywall covering a dining room window? Check.

Many of our 'improvements' have been merely cosmetic (paint, furniture, wallpaper), and those are evolving as our confidence and vision develops. This is our first house- before this purchase we were NYC apartment dwellers always limited by a landlord and our security deposit!

Making the space comfortable for our three small children has limited some of our options (no glass coffee tables here, folks), but thanks to consignment stores, Craigslist, and a mild obsession with all things DIY, we're slowly making this bland dated home our new suburban breath of fresh air.

I tend to gravitate to a more eclectic, mix-and-match design style. My biggest challenge is reeling it in and there are definitely some spaces that need a better editing eye. But the chance to create a space with found and repurposed objects appeals to both my creativity and my cheap... er, thrifty... sensibilities!

Thanks, Charlotte! You can see more of Charlotte's style on Ciburbanity.

(Images: Charlotte Smith)

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