I love taking a look inside old homes. There’s a level of charm and quirky character that newer builds rarely have. Things like parlor doors, original hardwood floors and built-in details get me every time. It’s not to say, though, that older homes don’t come with their own set of issues — they absolutely do. Necessary updates, original structures that are smaller than current standards, and creaks and squeaks are all part of owning a century-old (and then some) home — but for the right people, it’s a dream. This 1830s farmhouse in Natick, MA was exactly what the Alfanos were looking for.
Emily Starr Alfano is an event/wedding designer and stylist and Bill Alfano is the marketing and outreach director. Emily, Bill, and their dog Bruno found this gem in July 2014 in the sweet town of Natick. They toured the home the same day it went up for sale and put in an offer the next day. This house was move-in ready with a beautifully redone kitchen, which made finding such a great, historic home even more exciting. “Since I spend so much time here, and use various rooms for work and staging pictures, it was important the house either had certain existing elements or could be transformed,” Emily says. “We just straight up lucked out with this house. I don’t think either of us ever dreamed we could have a house with such character but many modern updates…especially in our first house!”
Their good luck hasn’t come without work and adjusting to the home. “Despite many updates and upgrades over the years, at the end of the day the house is almost 200 years old — there are obvious challenges! Among them are super small doorframes which make moving couches, tables and other large items fairly difficult. We’re pretty sure our staircase is the original and it’s essentially a straight line up. We’ve got wonky walls and ceilings that aren’t straight!” says Emily. “We found this perfect-for-us piece of real estate. I think more than anything we wanted to create a space that reflects us a family and honors the original design…quirks and all.” I love the way they have embraced their house, with the wonderful things and the challenging things, and have made it uniquely their home. —Lauren
Photography by Joyelle West