Emily & Alex's Quirky Craftsman

Emily & Alex's Quirky Craftsman

Caitlyn Cartlidge
Aug 26, 2014
(Image credit: Caitlyn Cartlidge)

Name: Emily and Alex Champagne
Location: Hamilton; Baltimore, Maryland
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 15 months; Owned

This young newlywed couple's craftsman home radiates with endearing energy, even before stepping through the front door. Emily, an artist and educator, and Alex, a musician and co-founder of Scenic Route Records, have painted their home with small bits of themselves.

(Image credit: Caitlyn Cartlidge)

They moved in just over a year ago, immediately embarking upon the ongoing process of updating dated finishes. Gradually, the couple continues to transform the house they share with their dog, Luke, into an inspiring and folksy home.

Much of their furniture is vintage: found in local second-hand shops, Craigslist, or family heirlooms. Pieces handmade by Emily are mixed in, from art to the dining room table. The result is comforting, quirky, and young. Vibrant colors and warm woods create atmosphere, and the couple's string instruments, band posters, and Jadeite can be found in collections around the house.

(Image credit: Caitlyn Cartlidge)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic Vintage. Modern, rustic, industrial, retro, atomic; we're both like magpies with vintage goods. Our house grew from Danish Modern furniture, Craigslist finds, and antique medicine jars.

Inspiration: I'm not sure we have a specific inspiration, actually. We generally just find what feels right and go for it, so I suppose it's more instinct and influence than inspiration.

Favorite Element: The way the rooms speak to each other. The house has a traditional layout, but the rooms open out to each other pretty generously and each room has a slightly different mood; the house definitely has a rhythm. It's great for entertaining.

Biggest Challenge: Budget. I'm a teacher and my husband is a musician, so we've become incredibly creative making our home.

What Friends Say: People generally say it's inviting and has our personalities, which was really one of our main goals. We love having a homey place rather than a museum needing curating.

Biggest Embarrassment: The kitchen. It has a galley layout with builder-grade everything, and clearly hasn't been renovated in years. I'm really looking forward to updating it.

Proudest DIY: Absolutely my dining room table! I had something very specific in mind, so I spent my school break building a four foot by eight foot monster table with a herringbone patterned wood top. I hadn't built anything that big before, it turned out beautifully, and I built it myself.

Biggest Indulgence: We've collected a lot of local art, and have most of it framed now after years of collecting and simply pinning it to the walls. That feels very luxurious to us!

Best Advice: Respect your instincts. Most people seriously doubted our color choices at first, but I knew they would represent our style well, so I stuck to my guns, and it worked out.

Dream Sources: Schoolhouse Electric and Supply, West Elm, and having magical first dibs at second-hand furniture.

(Image credit: Caitlyn Cartlidge)

Resources of Note:


- Living room is in Plumage by Martha Stewart

- Dining room is in Ruby Ring by Behr

- Mint room is in Aqua Bay by Behr

- Bedroom is Lost Atlantis by Behr

- Bathroom is Raging Sea by Behr

- Reading room is in Faded Denim by Behr

- All other colors came with the house


- Chandelier is from West Elm

- Chairs are family heirlooms or from estate sales

- Sideboard and Mirror are thrift-store finds

- Wood salad bowl is from Macy's

- Dining Table is custom-made by Emily Champagne from plywood and stained craft wood


- Antique hutch was found on Craigslist

- Wood drawer unit, succulents, and yellow plant pot are from Ikea

- Balloon Animal prints are artwork by Emily Champagne

- Vintage metal pitcher, antique glass jars and cookie tin are family heirlooms


- Floor lamp and Sofa are from Ikea
- Letters and red armchair are thrift-store finds


- Band posters collected over many years by Alex Champagne

- Mounted scorpion and gold framed nautical mirror are pieces found in Emily Champagne's classroom


- Bed frame and Area Rug from Ikea

- Floor fan from Target

- Bureau and nightstand were found in second-hand furniture stores

- Trunk was a yard sale find


- Shower curtain from Urban Outfitters

(Image credit: Caitlyn Cartlidge)

Thanks, Emily & Alex!

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