09.10.2014 / Crash! Charming Antique Cape

In this, the second installment of “Crash!” I invaded the beautiful home of a former coworker from days of yore.

Susan's antique cape exterior via Year of Serendipity

Susan, her husband Andy and their adorable daughters Jenny and Laura have called this home for just about 4 years.

Susan's antique cape living room via Year of Serendipity

Built in the 30s, each previous homeowner has added on to it a bit, leaving their personal stamp and making this house truly unique.  Cape style homes around here built 40s and after are pretty cookie cutter, so the distinct non-cookie-cutterness of this older cape is quite refreshing.

Susan's antique cape living room via Year of Serendipity

Susan, being an architect by profession, definitely has the architect’s eye with a designer’s touch.  Every piece feels like it’s telling a story.

Susan's antique cape living room via Year of Serendipity

Susan's antique cape living room via Year of Serendipity

Does the china cabinet look familiar?  If you’ve ben reading here for a while it should- it’s the very same china cabinet that I bought and painted for my dining room before realizing that it just didn’t work.  I’m so glad that it found a perfect home in Susan’s dining room!  And the yellow is far superior to it’s interim gray- so cheery!

Susan's antique cape dining room via Year of Serendipity

One of Susan’s stamps on the home so far (aside from her awesome decor) has been to open up the kitchen to the sunken sunroom below.  The sunroom has much grander plans for the future so I won’t be sharing that today, but it totally helps the kitchen feel ridiculously open and bright.

Susan's antique cape kitchen via Year of Serendipity

Susan's antique cape living room via Year of Serendipity

This home is a great example of how kids and their accompanying clutter don’t have to dictate your style.  The IKEA expedit bookcase (now Kallax) really is ideal for this no matter your budget.  Susan uses the lower bins to hide all the Disney princesses within little hands’ reach and draws the eye up to adult level with more sculptural elements on top.

Susan's antique cape family room via Year of Serendipity

It’s the little details that most wouldn’t notice that always catch my eye.  Isn’t the striped carpet runner mitered at the landing a striking touch?

Susan's antique cape staircase via Year of Serendipity

Susan's antique cape hallway via Year of Serendipity

Even the girls’ rooms have an adorably vintage flare.  And as we all know, I’m a sucker for built-ins.

crash-cape-20Susan's antique cape little girls room via Year of Serendipity

crash-cape-20Susan's antique cape little girls room via Year of Serendipity

Throughout the home, you’ll also find beautiful collages made from vintage prints that Susan’s artist mom creates.  This one from the master bedroom was my personal favorite.

crash-cape-20Susan's antique cape artwork via Year of Serendipity

Susan's antique cape master via Year of Serendipity

I know I swoon over antiques regularly, and this home was no different.  A few of my favorite pieces of furniture were the bench and chair found in the master that had been passed down through her family.  Cool antiques just become even cooler when they have meaning behind them.

Susan's antique cape master via Year of Serendipity

Thank you, Susan, so much for letting me into your gorgeous home!!!


Are you in the Boston area and want me to come Crash! your home?  Shoot me an e-mail here with a few photos and a little about your home.


08.27.2014 / Sofa!!

The excitement really only needs a one word title.  After 3+ years of lamenting our too-large-for-the-living-room lumpy (but oh so comfy) couch….

Living room before with out of scale furniture

We finally have a sexy adult sofa that will hold up for more than a couple years.  The word ‘sofa’ just sounds so much more sophisticated than ‘couch,’ don’t you think?

MGBW Diane's Sofa via Year of Serendipity

We splurged for the Diane’s sofa from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams in the stock velvet (aka unable to be ruined by little kitty paws), and I.am.in.love.

Living room with new  stylish but neutral sofa via via Year of Serendipity

I’m also so amazingly happy with how far the living room has come this year!  From the highly artistic and totally accurately perspectived sketch that I showed you back in January, I think I can say- mission accomplished.

Living room plan sketch

Living room sketch turned reality via Year of Serendipity

All the puzzle pieces have finally come together and I’m giddy!  Just a few last finishing touches needed *coughpillowsandrugcough* and I will soon be able to put the Done(ish) stamp on this room.  When is a room in my house ever fully done?  Well, done enough to take some new pics for my Home Tour.

Living room with new  stylish but neutral sofa via via Year of Serendipity

Hubby’s still rather neutral on pretty new Diane- I think because the color is almost identical to our old one, but OMG, I personally think having the right scaled sofa for the space is a breath of fresh air!!

eclectic living room with stylish but neutral sofa via via Year of Serendipity

Since my sketched out plans in January, the living room has gotten:

So, are you as in love with Diane as I am??


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07.28.2014 / CL Mission: Dresser

I had been afraid it would take us a while to find our next flip since the summer real estate market is pretty hot, but apparently that was an unfound fear.  I’ll share all the details Friday, but this one’ll be a totally different type of project and I’m super excited!

Another project I’m super excited about is designing my soon-to-be-neice’s room!  Cutest Nephew Ever is going to be a big brother right around Halloween and it’s Auntie Karen’s job to make sure she has a beautiful room to come home to.  It’s not a very spacious room, so a big part of the design is the dresser/changing table.  If you’ve been around here long enough to remember my nephew’s nursery you may recall that I refinished 2 mid-century pieces for him (2 years later they’re still going strong!)

midcentury dresser

midcentury cabinet



The crib and the rocker will be making their way into my niece’s room, but that’s all she has currently!  Her room will be directly across the hall from my nephew’s and will practically mirror his lay-out wise.  Lucky for her, though, it’s just a smidge bigger, so I’ll be able to fit a full-size dresser/changing table.  The craigslist hunt is ON!

Since the rest of the room has yet to be designed, I’m open to any style of dresser that I can get a good deal on.  As you might be able to guess, I’m partial to antique.  I’ve got my head stuck on painting a piece gray and white which will compliment the soon-to-be sunny yellow walls perfectly, but if I find a piece in the right condition stained, that plan could certainly be revised.

This first dresser would look delightful painted, but I have a feeling it’s just a bit too large for the room.


This next one caught my eye.  I can’t quite tell how damaged it is, but I am intrigued for $50.  This one might be a partial-paint to cover blemishes, but that graining is just so pretty!  Another thing about this one is that I can’t tell the age.  If it’s newer, it might not have the best construction and not be worth refinishing, but if it is antique I’ll bet it’s solid as a rock.  With an e-mail out to the seller, we shall see.

cl dresser 2

I love the shape of this one.  It has a fresh coat of black which looks nice but would be WAY too dark for the room.  The good news here is that it’s already painted so I wouldn’t have to worry about ruining beautiful wood!

cl dresser 4

I’m also keeping my eye out for a more mid-century piece.  Might be nice for it to relate to her brother’s room a bit?  It’ll all come down to finding something in solid condition at the right price (aka cheap).  Which one would you pick?

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