Melyssa & Ted’s Colorful Carriage House

published Sep 11, 2012
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Name: Melyssa & Ted
Location: Arlington, Massachusetts
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years; Rented

Entering Melyssa and Ted’s home, I expected to walk out back and see the ocean. Not quite a reality for this 19th century carriage house north of Boston, but that vacation vibe mixed with bright colors and quirky touches creates a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere that’s not afraid of a little sand.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Tara Bellucci)

The crayon box hues of Melyssa and Ted’s space bring out your inner child, and helps inspire the couple and Ted’s daughter, Sadie. Throughout, calming whites and woods act to balance the bright, creating a harmony between creativity and rest that is the pair’s priority.

While Ted curates the artwork, as a visual merchandiser, Melyssa creates solutions for the stuff. She stacked some books in that oft-neglected space above the kitchen cabinets and hung a curtain in the nook under the stairs for some cat box privacy.

Marshall, the couple’s dog, is curled up on one of the sofas, hugging a pillow. He’s claimed his rightful place, just a short while after I vacated his spot. With Sadie, the cats, and Marshall, Melyssa and Ted’s home is more playful than precious. And as a space that’s made for making memories, not a museum of them, it’s a work of art.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Type A + Type A = Type B. We both swing heavily on the Type A side of the spectrum but are creative souls at the core and are finally owning this piece of ourselves. The overall outcome and design of our home is more colorful and eclectic than either of us would have predicted!

Inspiration: Love, humor, art, music. These are the key elements we strive to bring into our home. Our intention is to create an environment that feels like a warm, happy retreat to all who enter. We believe that rest and creative energy go hand and hand and hope to provide a space for ourselves and for Ted’s daughter, Sadie, where both can be experienced regularly.

Favorite Element: We live in what was once the carriage house to the home next door (built in 1860) and we find the old bones of our place charming.

Biggest Challenge: Working within the constraints of a rental property. We’d love to make some updates other than simply painting the walls but it just isn’t cost effective (or even allowed?) in a rental property.

What Friends Say: “It feels like a vacation home!” or “It’s….so…bright!?!” We suspect there is a 50/50 split between compliment and confusion.

Biggest Embarrassment: The exterior could use some (major) work.

Proudest DIY: The photo wall in our kitchen. We love the overall visual element of it provides but more importantly is the fact that it represents a combination of our family members.

Biggest Indulgence: CB2 bed, Eames chairs, music studio equipment

Best Advice: Don’t rush the process, let your home speak to you organically over time. We have rearranged our layout on multiple occasions and finally feel that, for us, it is the right balance of beauty and function. Once you recognize that a home cannot and should not be stagnant, it opens up a whole new realm of exciting possibilities!

Dream Sources: We span the spectrum in our tastes and have quite a few dream sources combined. Our everyday, go-to sources are: etsy, craigslist, independent artists, local vintage shops, Pier 1, Home Goods, Target and Ikea. A few splurge sources we love to investigate now and again are: Jonathan Adler, Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams, Design Within Reach and Anthropologie.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    • Living room: ACE: Waterflow A40-4
    • Kitchen: ACE: Sunnyside Up A23-6
    • Bedroom wall: ACE: Perennial Border A33-5
    • Upstairs hall: ACE: Grey Patina D46-4
    • Upstairs bathroom: ACE: French Lavender A46-4


    • 2 Klippan Sofas (lame natural covers): IKEA
    • Yellow pillows: Pier 1
    • Eames Chairs: Design Within Reach
    • Arc Floor Lamp: Target
    • Wall decal: Etsy/Single Stone Studios
    • Skateboard above door: Frank’s Chop Shop, NYC
      • Stay Gold Pony Boy: Union Press, Somerville, MA
      • Thing Maker: Official Manufacturing Company
      • Comb/six-shooters: Human Shaped Robot
      • Woman on bicycle: Etsy/Screens N Spokes


    • Table: Crate & Barrel (no longer available)
    • Stefan chairs: IKEA
      • No White Girls: Steady Co.
      • Woody Allen: Etsy/Judy Kaufmann


    • Bed: CB2
    • Lamps – silver discs and clear acrylic/white shade: Target (no longer available)
    • Buddha light: Buddha Buddha Life
      • Bicycles (4): Adam Turman (limited addition)
      • 74 Sound System (skeleton): half tone def studios
      • Modest Mouse Berkley (bicycle): The Decoder Ring
      • Photo on headboard: John Savone

BEDROOM #2 (Sadie)

    • Norden table: IKEA
    •Brown velvet Parsons chairs: Mohr & McPherson (no longer available)
    • Malm dresser: IKEA (pink no longer available)
    • Small turquoise tables: Target (color no longer available)
      • Girl on bicycle: Adam Turman
      • Sadie: Repeat Press, Somerville, MA


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Melyssa & Ted!

(Images: Tara Bellucci )

• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.