Christine & Vijay’s Charming Urban Farmhouse

published Feb 2, 2010
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Name: Christine & Vijay Chitnis
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Size: 1,684 square feet, 3 bedrooms
Years 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.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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Entryway (Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The house is located right in Providence’s east side and the colorful, yet refined, interior is filled with a sophisticated mix of treasures from their world travels and carefully refurbished thrift store finds.

We weren’t surprised by Christine’s incredible eye for mixing bright colors — her previous apartment deservedly came very close to winning the east coast division of our Fall Colors contest two years ago. Moving from that tiny 1-bedroom into a 3-bedroom house last year meant that they needed a lot more furniture and Christine rose to the challenge, repainting and reupholstering inexpensive vintage and found pieces to fill the space without blowing their budget.

Last spring brought some new additions to their family when they decided to take up urban chicken farming and their two hens have become their pride and joy. And yes, the neighbors love them: giving away a few backyard fresh eggs has been the perfect way to smooth relations. Christine chronicles her adventures in chicken wrangling, crafts, and her many other projects on her blog, Lavender and Limes.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: Midcentury, ethnic, colorful, eclectic

Inspiration: My travels, trips to flea markets, tear sheets from magazines (I keep a binder just for that purpose!), design blogs

My mom has a gorgeous sense of style, she is also extremely handy, and so whenever she is in town, she helps me with my latest DIY project. She really helped me pull the house together in the beginning. Since I was used to living in apartments and smaller spaces, she helped me understand how to work in a larger space.

Favorite Element: I love that our home was built in 1906. It has so much character, the kind of character that you just don’t find in new homes: intricate moldings, a random stained glass window, antiqued door handles, amazing built-ins

Biggest Challenge: As mentioned above, our house is over 100 years old. While it has been meticulously maintained, my husband and I joke that it is like owning a sinking ship. There is always something in need of our funds and attention!

What Friends Say: It’s so colorful and inviting, unique and tidy! I am an obsessive organizer, so they are always asking me for organizational tips!

Biggest Embarrassment: The backyard…it desperately needs some love and attention. That is our summer project this year!

Proudest DIY: Most of our furniture came from the side of the road or Salvation Army. Almost none of it cost more than $50. I sanded it all down, stained or painted it, spruced it up…all with my own two hands. I am very proud of that fact.

Biggest Indulgence: We hired painters! After painting two rooms by myself, I broke down and hired painters to finish the rest of the house. It was the best money I spent on our home!

Best advice: Allow your personality to come through in your home. And don’t be afraid to try new things…a bright color of paint, a funky vintage chandelier. If it doesn’t work, you can always try again!

Dream source: ABC Carpet & Home, Terrain at Styers, Anthropologie, local Providence shops; Butterfield, Arhaus

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note (furnishings, hardware, appliances & materials):

All of our paint is C2 LoVo paint from Adler’s Hardware.

    • The green in our entryway and hallway is Behr Grass Cloth (400D-5)
    • The living room is Martha Stewart for Valspar Vintage Map (MS337)
    • Our bedroom is Behr Tide Pools (480E-2)
    • Our dining room is Ralph Lauren Atlantic Winter (TH01)
    • The pinks used throughout the house are Martha Stewart for Valspar Flower Petal Pink (MS035) and Paris Pink (MS037)

Original to the house and Anthropologie (for select door handles, drawer pulls and light plates)


    • Craigslist, flea markets, Salvation Army, thrift stores.
    • The only piece that I bought new was the shelving unit in the living room, which is from Arhaus.
    • The desk and shelves in my studio are from IKEA.

Everywhere and anywhere…everything that we have in our home has some sentimental value to it, so I don’t really pick accessories from stores, they kind of just show up in our home as gifts, flea market finds, travel souvenirs, hand-me-downs, etc.

Most of the fixtures are original to the house, except the one in the dining room, which is from Terrain in Pennsylvania.

Many of our rugs are from our travels in Turkey, the jute rug in the living room is IKEA and the large rug in our dining room is a hand-me-down from my mom!

All homemade! Whenever I go to NYC, I stock up on pretty fabric at Purl Soho. Most of our window treatment fabric is from there.

Master bedroom frame: Crate and Barrel and linens: India, ABC Home and Carpet, homemade pillows, Guest Bedroom frame: Craigslist, linens from Anthropologie, Dwell, homemade quilt and pillows

Most of my artwork is from friends, craft shows and Etsy. My favorite artist (I have two of her originals in my living room) is Janet Hill of Janet Hill Studio. We also have some original paintings from our travels in India and I treasure those!

All of the flooring in this house is original, hardwood flooring. We are so lucky because it has been meticulously maintained.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Christine & Vijay!

Images: Sarah Rainwater

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