Name: Lesli DeVito
Location: Greenwood — Charlottesville, Virginia
Size: 3624 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 12 years
Lesli, a painter, and her family first rented this Charlottesville home—originally built in 1880. But after only a year of living in the space, they bought it from the owner. They are only the second family ever to own the house.
Lesli, who runs the blog My Old Country House, has put a lot of heart into this home for the past 12 years. Pastel colors on soft, plush furnishings mix with a lot of white wood, vintage finds and antique accents. The result is a classic, elegant space. But it's not stuffy in the slightest! You can see a sense of humor in this home in the quirky accessories and color palette.
Unfortunately, with the second of Lesli's three children heading off to college, they are selling the house; they feel like they could manage with less space with only one kid at home.
Lesli writes: "It will not be easy to say goodbye but I will embrace this change the same way I embraced this home—which we poured our TLC into for 12 years."
Get the look! → Simple, Traditional & Functional Country Style
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Simple, colorful, fresh and traditional with a twist! I love rooms that are visually easy, eclectic, personal and functional…but not cluttered. And timeless. I love timeless vintage pieces…they add life!
Inspiration: I am inspired by light and color. The biggest overall transformation happened when I saw a home in the old Domino magazine (August 2008) owned by Katie Ukrops. She employed lighter colors and pastels in her older home and it was just classic and beautiful to me. Now I keep my walls neutral as a backdrop to all of my colorful art, furniture and accessories!
Favorite Element: I love lamps! And the large mirror over the fireplace in our living room. I will never forget the moment when I first saw it…rounding the corner into that room, it took my breath away. Sadly for me, it stays with the house.
Biggest Challenge: Time. Prioritizing. Juggling life and kids and an old house. Keeping everything in perspective.
What Friends Say: My friends say the house is "so you!"
Biggest Embarrassment: In 140 years, our stucco home had never been painted. It was just bare gray stucco. And it never really bothered me. Two years ago, we had the exterior painted (Benjamin Moore Simply White)—and NOW when I look at old photos I think, "Eeesh…our house looked a little like a haunted house!" I think when you live in a very old house you get used to and live with things that you might never tolerate in a newer house.
Proudest DIY: The whole house is one giant DIY...but I think the proudest transformation might be the painted vinyl kitchen floor. It was a decent vinyl floor that we had installed when we first moved and was intended to buy us time until we could do a complete (gut) makeover of the kitchen. But over time we decided that the kitchen was solid and rather than gut it, we utilized the original footprint and cabinets…replacing the doors and drawer fronts, upgrading appliances, lighting and hardware. We could not layer another floor on top of the vinyl without making the floor too high in relation to the cabinets. So I did some research…cleaned it for days and then…I painted it! You can paint vinyl!
Biggest Indulgence: Probably my Rohl kitchen faucet.
Best Advice: It does not have to be perfect to be home. And what is perfect anyway? We all like different things.
The number one question/comment I get from readers is …"I don't want to regret my decision…".
My biggest triumphs have been born of my biggest mistakes and smallest budgets. Making something work. Be smart consumers, educate yourself…price shop, read reviews and blogs and magazines and ask anyone that will listen…and then..have a little faith..in yourself. Or hire someone you trust. And remember that while everyone has unique opinions…at the end of the day...it is your home.
Dream Sources: I have a million but if I HAD to choose one…it would be Jonathan Adler…but truly… The list is endless….