Undesirable kitchens, ancient furnishings and broken-down parts can all cloud your judgement when looking for a home, especially an older one. I say “can cloud,” but let’s be real. They’re relentless! These no-go’s refuse to be overlooked and oftentimes get in the way of an old home’s greatest asset: its bones. If I’ve learned anything from the homeowners we’ve talked to over the years, though, it’s how rewarding it can be when you look past these surface flaws and embrace the charm and quirks of an elder home.
April Lawrence, interior designer and owner of plant shop Lil’ Bit, is one such creative gal. When she first laid eyes on this 1780s-era house in Deerfield, NH it was sort of a mess. The heat didn’t work, the ceilings were low and years of dusty renovations hid what she knew was great potential. Potential no other home buyer saw but her. Even her husband Sam thought they may be getting in over their heads with the clunker. But that was three years ago. Since then, Sam and their family and friends have rallied around April and helped tear down walls, sand floors and install new windows and flooring.
After having put so much sweat into bringing the home into the 21st century, the last thing April wanted to do was cover up all of the home’s fabulous bones with mounds of decoration. In order to let its core shine, she’s instead outfitted it in uncomplicated rustic wares. Nearly all of them are from nearby secondhand shops, and they each add a simple charm no matter the room they reside in. Guest bedrooms with paint-by-numbers art, a small collection of pennants above the fireplace, a dining room decked out in farming equipment, you name it. And it doesn’t stop there. Click through to take a deeper dive into this New England renovation. Enjoy! —Garrett
Photography by Mike Quill