Jay & Melissa’s Neutral Mid-Century Reno

published Mar 16, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Jay & Melissa
Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
Size: 1,250 square feet
Years lived in: Owned – 6 years
Who else lives there: Dogs Brady and Cali and Cats Mama, Tony, and Pepper

Jay and Melissa made an offer on this two family on Manchester’s South side six years ago only to find out through Melissa’s mom that the home had been built by her grandfather in 1950. They started renovating the second floor unit first to attract a tenant, and moved in to the first floor “as-is” opting to renovate their unit while living there.

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

Only the brave take on a complete renovation while living in the space, but Jay, a professional painter and general handy man, is wired for these types of projects. Their home is made cozy by their choices of plush furniture, throw blankets, and vignetted nooks, and is unified by neutral creams and natural wood. The fresh baked cookies and colorful cut roses adorning all rooms pay tribute to their bed & breakfast inspired feel.

Melissa is a graphic designer and likes incorporating typography. The DIY triptych in the living room exemplifies this as well as the burlap coffee sack curtains she made using simple black ribbon.

All flooring other than the back living room (which is still on their to do list) has mix-matched original hardwood floors and no two rooms are the same. There are polyurethane boards in some rooms, while others are left sanded and dull, making a quilt-like pattern in the space, complimenting their aesthetic.

In their kitchen they removed an L-shaped corner counter top and added a center island from IKEA. In order to integrate the modern island into the space, they covered it with bead board and added a matching laminate counter top. They made the island big enough to fit up to 8 people and use this intimate setting for dinner guests, rather than a formal dining room.

Now that the work is nearly completed, they are looking for another fixer-upper two family and hope to have at it once again.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: Cozy chic with a feminine, vintage flair.

What is your greatest inspiration? I find inspiration everywhere I look. Jay and I are always on the lookout for unique items from flea markets and consignment shops or even our neighbor’s lawns.

Favorite Element: The open concept and overall character of the space

Biggest Challenge: Very little storage.

What Friend’s Say:“It’s always so cozy in here…”

Biggest Embarrassment: Can’t think of anything we don’t like.

Proudest DIY: The remodel of the entire house, top to bottom.

Biggest Indulgence: Beds and bedding, no question.

Best Advice: Make your own curtains and slipcovers, it costs half the price.

Dream Source: Anthropologie and Pottery Barn

Other Inspiration: Bed & Breakfasts, Elle Décor, Architectural Digest, Country Living and design websites


Appliances: Kenmore Elite

Hardware: Home Depot

Furniture: Yard sales, Craigslist, hand-me-downs, HomeGoods, antique stores, Pier1, Purely Wood, Bob’s , OPUS in Manchester

Lighting: Target, Pier1, HomeGoods, Consignment

Rugs and Carpets: Building 19, Home Depot and HomeGoods

Window Treatments:Coffee sacks from Ebay, and Target

Paint: All Sherwin Williams

Flooring: Original to the house

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
Thanks, Jay & Melissa and good luck on your next project!

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