First-Time Homeowners Have Reinvigorated This 1930s Colonial

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White bohemian living room with brick fireplace and tan leather sofa

Hannah Petrera, her husband, and three kids have lived in this house for two years: My husband and I bought our first home as a flip project after moving back to our home city of Syracuse, New York. We loved the character in this 1930s Colonial, and knew that after many decades of questionable craftsmanship at the hands of uninvested landlords, we could bring this home back to life with some dedication and pragmatic design choices. We both are pretty handy and between the two of us have a range of design experiences in our background, so we decided to jump in and give live-in renovation a shot!

It took us two years to refinish the home from top to bottom, and we did 100% of the work ourselves with support from family on some of the bigger projects. There were many nights when we changed into painting clothes after putting our two boys to bed, and worked through the house room by room to create a home that we were so proud to call ours.

Our babies grew to little boys in this house, I established myself as a designer, and we learned so much about our personal style and renovation skills along the way!

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Modern bohemian.

What is your favorite room and why? The kitchen! The space is so beautiful and bright and it holds so much joy for our family on a daily basis. We both love to cook, and we love to entertain, so the kitchen and dining area has hosted many beautiful dinner parties with friends and family gatherings for celebrations.

There were many projects in the kitchen renovation process that included restoration of historic details that we fell in love with the first time we walked through the house. The vintage butler pantry is still my favorite transformation!

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The vintage rug in the living room! After months of searching on Facebook Marketplace I finally found what I was looking for and I was so glad that I didn’t rush and purchase something I didn’t love in order to finish the space. It really pulled the room together and was definitely worth the wait!

Any advice for creating a home you love? Take your time to collect things you love rather than moving quickly to fill the space with impulse purchases.

Thanks Hannah!

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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