With the help of design consultant Jourdan Fairchild, a refurbished historic bungalow fuses eras for a cozy, comfortable style. by Ayn-Monique Klahre | photographs by Anna Routh Barzin
In this historic Boylan Heights bungalow, the homeowners were starting from scratch.
Well, not exactly scratch: the young couple had good architecture to work with, a Pinterest board full of ideas, and a collection of hand-me-down furnishings that dated back to their college years. The key was to filter through it all, edit what they’d grown out of, and meld their taste with the existing space — all on a reasonable budget.
“I have always enjoyed interior design, and had some idea of what I wanted, but I was having a really hard time making decisions,” says the homeowner. “Every room was going to need an overhaul, and it felt overwhelming.”
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To help put her vision together, she enlisted Durham-based design consultant Jourdan Fairchild of Spruce Creative Studio. “The bones were great, but the finishes were off,” says Fairchild of their starting point. “It had great fireplaces and high ceilings — very charming, but not thoughtfully done.”
The 1,300-square-foot home was built in the early 1900s, so the homeowner wanted to respect its original character while making the rooms feel spacious and adding storage. Together, she and Fairchild tackled four rooms: the bedroom, kitchen, living room, and dining room (with another small bedroom still on the to-do list).
Fairchild worked with the homeowner through a combination of mood board building, phone calls, and in-person consults. “When we put together my first mood board, she pulled an inspiration image from designer Emily Henderson, and it was a picture I’d already pinned on my own,” says the homeowner. “I was floored — it felt like this was meant to be.”
A former magazine editor, Fairchild has a knack for helping her clients create a narrative within their homes. It was exactly what the homeowner had in mind. “I like things that tell a story, an eclectic mix of old and new,” the homeowner says. “We wanted the design to reflect both our style and the style of the home. It’s such an old house, but we have a modern sensibility.”
Budget was key, since this young couple wasn’t in a position to decorate top-to-bottom, all at once, or to spring for to-the-trade furnishings. “The reason I started this business was that I saw a need for people who can’t afford traditional interior designers to still be able to have homes that are both pretty and practical,” says Fairchild. “I think good design is for everyone.”
Together, they honed the vision, created a color palette — minty greens, terracotta reds, and sherbert oranges —and selected what to purchase, pulling together the look with a mix of new furnishings from affordable retailers, vintage finds, and a few of their original pieces. “I helped her create a guidebook for how she wanted their home to look so she and her husband could bring it to life as time and budget allowed,” Fairchild says. Starting with the bedroom, she and the homeowner worked room by room to update paint colors and add furniture, art, and other details over the course of about six months.
The result is a home that’s cozy and comfortable, with furnishings that meld eras and patinas to give the new decor a sense of history.
“Jourdan was really, really fantastic to work with,” says the homeowner. “She helped us tell a story about the character of the home with the pieces she brought in. We think the world of her.”