The Donnelly Residence from Ayla Christman
May 20, 2013
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I'm convinced that Courtney is some kind of a miracle worker. Captured by the talented Ayla Christman, I've been told that this home - yes, this gorgeous, classic, timeless piece of beauty that you see right here - used to be covered in blue shag, with full height spindled walls, pink toilets and the like. Basically a designers nightmare (or dream, really, as long as you're brave enough to tackle such monstrosities!) After setting sights on the gorgeous transformation, I find it terribly hard to believe. Click right here to see more!
From Courtney... We live in a sweet mid century cape, small and cozy, yet still open and filled with light.  When we moved in a few years ago the floor was covered in blue shag carpet, had a floor to ceiling spindle bar right in the middle of the dining room, a direct view of the pink toilet in the bathroom at the top of the stairs... you really had to have a clear vision to be able to see the potential in this charming cape.
My husband and I worked together ripping up the carpet, tearing out the old spindle bar, finding a terrible case of termites in our sun porch and discovering a gorgeous hard wood floor below it all, which made it all worth it.  We closed off the pink and blue bathroom and gave each of the three bedrooms their own bathroom.  We added beautiful molding and new fixtures, but kept the basic original footprint of the home.  It's been a constant work in progress that finished with the conversion of a guest room into a nursery for our first baby! But as a designer, the list will never truly end for me.
Whenever people were kind enough to offer us furniture the answer was always YES!  I figured I could make it work with a little elbow grease or paint, and if not I would then pass it on.  I scavenged flea markets, my mothers basement, my grandmother's homes, garage sales and weekly trips to Homegoods.  It has been a process, constantly changing and evolving as new items became available and our budget grew a bit more here and there.  I love mixing textures, cultures, prints and patterns... I love the stories behind the objects, remembering who they came from and looking at sentimental items from my childhood now scattered around my house. 
I used a neutral palette throughout so that each room flows from one to the next, keeping everything very light and airy.  The living room is in Restoration Hardwares Silver Sage which is a fabulous color that changes with the light and works well with so many accent colors. In the dining room I splurged on the ghost chairs from One Kings Lane. The cream and metallic wallpaper is one of my favorite things in our home, but it being a bit on the pricey side I decided to just do the accent wall behind the table.  I love the contrast of the dark wood table with the clear chairs, traditional crystal chandelier and Buddha statue that is reminiscent of our many trips to India.
The brass candle sticks in the living room came from an old friend of my moms who brought them back from Vietnam in the 70s and now flank the simple traditional fireplace.  The chandelier in the living room is my favorite item in our home and the most AMAZING flea market find.  It is a mid-century chrysanthemum chandelier - we paid a mere $200 for it only to find out that it's worth 10k!!  I adore the rare piece and it worked not only in our huge loft, but also in my cozy cape, now hanging above my brass Vietnamese spider table. I love having pieces around the house that have a history and meaning behind them, almost any piece can be worked into your home if you love it!
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Photography: Ayla Christman | Styling and Design by: Courtney Donnelly
Get the Look Roundup: 1 Fern Wallpaper from Wallpaperking | 2. Buddha Statue from The Buddhas Face | 3. Wood Mirror from Cooper Classics | 4. & 5. Candles from CB2 | 6. Dining Table from Zin Home | 7. Knockoff Ghost Chairs from Wire Home | 8. Tufted Chair from Terrain | 9. Tassel Throw from West Elm | 10. Throw Pillow from Overstock | 11. Lanterns from Jamali Garden | 12. Coffee Table from 1stDibs