amy azzaritointerior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: maria garuti of vintage simple

by Amy Azzarito

after featuring maria garuti’s kitchen before and after last july – which she and husband bill did completely on their own – we all clamored for more! nearly every inch of their greenville, south carolina home has been the recipient of some tender loving care. when not working on home improvement projects, maria works for a local conservation nonprofit, upstate forever. maria has recently been offering interior design consulting service to clients to often have some DIY skills but need a bit of direction, ideas or inspiration. (see the full set of maria’s photos on flickr!) {thanks maria, bill and noah!} amy a.

[Iwanted our house to be a soothing, peace-filled space.  I guess my style finds its roots primarily in country and cottage styles, but it’s fairly clean-lined (I think) and attainable, too.  It’s simple and straightforward, and to me, it feels like your favorite pair of blue jeans: comfortable and lived-in.

photo above: The  street sign and the bistro chairs came from Oddfellows Antique Warehouse, in Ahseville, NC, which lucky for us, is owned by good friends.  We found the farm table at a little store in Landrum, SC – the kind of store that is right over the train tracks, only open on Saturdays, and where the owner only accepts cash (in my mind, a great place to get a great deal!).]

[photo above: This little corner of the kitchen was an overlooked corner. After we bought the house, we put beadboard up and added the built-in bench – and now we eat practically all of our meals in this nook.  I got the chandelier on ebay and painted it with soft blue paint that was leftover from the ceiling, and the table is the Docksta, from Ikea.  The mirror, and most of the other beveled, frameless mirrors around the house came from Oddfellows.]

[photo above: The kitchen was a ton of work – and we did it all ourselves!  (see maria’s kitchen before and more details of the after here!)]

CLICK HERE for the rest of the Vintage Simple peek and all the images on one page!

[photo above: The beautiful patchwork pillow is by talented Rebekah of Little Byrd Vintage.  The coffee table was a curbside find – I sanded it down, stained its top and gave the legs a coat of white paint.  The windows to the right (just outside of the frame) for some bizarre reason were covered with mirrors!  Each little craftsman glass panel had been meticulously covered by a piece of mirror glued to it and as a result, this room was very dark when we first moved in.  The house I think gave a little sigh of relief when we freed those poor windows and let some much-needed, beautiful light into the room.]

[photo above: This is the only room in the house that we painted a dark color, in part because we didn’t tackle the aforementioned windows right away, so we painted it a dark color to make it feel like a cozy den.  When we took the mirrors out, I actually still liked the color in there, but I needed some crisp, clean white to balance it out, so we put up the beadboard and hung that vintage coat rack.]

[photo above: The pie safe came from Oddfellows. (if you’re ever in Asheville, you really need to stop by that place – those guys are awesome and have really great stuff!) and the bookshelf on the right was a hand-me down that got a couple of coats of paint.]

[photo above: These closet doors used to be rental-grade, slatted bi-fold doors (my guess would be circa 1992 or thereabouts).  We turned them into much more functional (and pretty, I think) little french doors.  (For the details, see vintage simple.)]

[photo above: This bathroom was a gut remodel we also tackled ourselves, down to the plumbing!  (When I say Bill is quite the handyman, I am not using the term lightly!)  The only thing that we had a professional do was reglaze the formerly pink tub. WWe went with classic subway tile for the tub/shower area, with gray grout.  I contemplated laying down white hexagonal tile on the floor, but the truth is, we have a pretty active (read: almost always muddy) little boy, and that is the main bathroom in the house, used by all guests.  So, instead of white, we went with tan tile and gray grout for the floor. Even though it is not what you would have found originally in a bungalow from the ’20s, it works because it mirrors the brick pattern of the subway tile on the wall.  We also added old tin tile to cover lovely popcorn ceiling.]

[photo above: This is a little glimpse into Noah’s bedroom. The small quilt on his bed is his baby blanket, which Bill’s mom made when I was pregnant.  He was the first grandchild of his generation, so he got a really great quilt – lucky boy! ]

[photo above: This is Bill’s office – where he edits his movies, plays music, and dreams up big dreams for his little start-up and a place where he can get away from the madness of family life when he needs to.  The rocking chair was given to us by Bill’s mom when Noah was born; it was the chair Bill was rocked in as a baby, and later Noah was rocked in it, too.]

[photo above: The second floor of our house is an attic expansion, and we use this room in the back of the house as the master bedroom. When we removed the wall-to-wall carpet, we discovered old floorboards that had been painted brown at some point.  It only took about four coats, but the floors are now white and I love them – they make the space feel much brighter and expansive.]

[photo above: The dresser was in the free pile at the Habitat store.  With a fresh coat of paint and a couple of new knobs on the bottom drawer, it was as good as new!]

[photo above: This is the bathroom upstairs.  I was lucky to get a visit from the woman who grew up in our house (Read about it at vintage simple) She told me that our bedroom and bathroom used to be her space when she was growing up.  All of the frames made from chippy, recycled trim seen around the house I got through a great ebay store called Fragment Freaks.]

[photo above: We just gave this bathroom a facelift.  We resurfaced the vanity with beadboard and new drawer fronts (just an 8×10 pine board that we cut to length), and we also put a new wood top, which we got at Lowe’s – we just stained it and gave it a coat of poly, dropped a new sink in, put a new faucet, and added some more tin tile as a blacksplash. The tub and shower are behind the curtain and, believe it or not, the tub surround is also covering a window!  If we stay in this house long enough, we will free up those windows as well.  Mark my words.]

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  • I love the whole look of the house! The floor in the main bathroom would be great, where did you get those tiles?

  • Nina – the color is the same in all spaces: Silver Sea and you can get it at Lowe’s.

    Laura – Bill and I made that bench from scrap wood! So glad you like it! And the picture in Noah’s room is actually a pamphlet (I think) from the Auckland Art Gallery in New Zealand. It has the alphabet and a picture of artwork of an animal that represents each letter. A friend of ours brought it back from a trip and then Bill’s Aunt framed it for us.

    Thanks again for all the encouragement..! You guys have made my day!


  • You’re house is absolutely beautiful. Love the color. Love the furniture. Love everything. Where did you get your living room chairs?

  • Such a beautiful home! I love the kitchen redo. Ours is awful but could work very well with your layout. I’d love to know the dimensions of the room if you could share. I’m such a visual person and would like to see it done before we even start.

  • Maria,
    I am in love with your style. You are amazing. There is so much to list that I love. First of all how do you pick your wall color. I have tried so many times to find a color that looks like that and it turns out so bright. Love the tin ceiling! Your colors all flow so nicely together. LOVE your
    Take Care,

  • Laura – the living room chairs were hand-me-downs and I believe they were originally from Pier 1.

    Ellen monfredi – the kitchen is roughly 15.5 x 14 feet, with a little bumpout for the breakfast nook (maybe a couple of extra feet). Hope that helps.


  • great house I can’t get over the closet door makeover ~ slatted doors are so easy to find, restore or getting thrown out – thank you you have inspired our closet makeover!

  • we love Maria’s nest AND we really, really love Oddfellows Antique Warehouse where she bought some of her decor … what a beautiful partnership …

  • Absolutely gorgeous — a labor of love, and it shows! We are buying an older home in need of some serious love and your home is a great inspiration. Thank you for sharing it!

  • I just love this home. Just the right blend of colors everywhere. Where did you all get Noah’s headboard/footboard from?

  • I love your house! I live in Asheville and have spent many an hour walking around Oddfellow’s. Some of my favorite furnishings are from there. If only my home looked as clean and thoughtful as yours:)

  • Oh, so dreamy. I love the soft colors! And all of the old/vintage details. Makes me want to curl up with a book and relax, like, forever :)

  • – love the pretty glass pane that hangs in front of the window in the bathroom.
    – We also have 3/4 high wainscoting. I wanted to hang some pictures on it, but was a bit hesitant, thinking that they should only go above it on the painted portion. Now, I think I’ll have the confidence to do so! Thanks.

  • Absolutely stunning. I have so many favorite things that I don’t even know where to start so I will just leave it at that: stunning!!!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • This is such a great sneak peek! I love Maria’s home and it’s so nice to see so many views of it here! Maria, you are one talented lady!

  • Well I do not have anything magical or new to add but I also really love your home and all the hard work and thoughtful touches in it. Thank you for sharing it.

  • I may not have specific enough about which tiles I was looking at, were the subway tiles on the bathroom floor from Lowes?

  • This house is just beautiful. Such attention to detail! The colors and textures are wonderful. Looks so peaceful! Love, love, love it !!!!!

  • Hi, it’s Maria again, just answering the last few questions.

    Missy – The subway tile on the floor in the bathroom is the Home Depot link I posted above. If I’m misunderstanding, feel free to email me directly.

    Laura – Ha! And speaking of misunderstandings… I now realize you were talking about Noah’s BED frame. Hee. Okay, that we got at a yard sale and it’s actually a bunkbed set (the other one is in the attic at the moment) that was originally one of those unfinished furniture pieces and we painted it black. I’d try your local craigslist or unfinished furniture place… Or a good neighborhood yard sale. ;)

    Thanks again for all the wonderful comments. You all made my week! And thanks again, Grace and Amy!


  • oooohhh! i love your place!!!!!!!!! its sooo spacey and so light! feels like clouds or feathers. Great choice of neutral colors and omg! what an outstanding bathroom ceiling!

  • I love your place. I have a lot of the same things in my home: The bathroom sinks, lamp over dining table, and kitchen farm sink. Love your kitchen! I like the idea of painting the kitchen cabinet with chalkboard paint. I was thinking of doing that on my laundry room cabinets. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Oh Maria!! I absolutely adore your home. Your home is absolutely charming! If I able to pick a new (older) home it would be one just like yours!! Your home has so much character and your thoughtful details make it so inviting!! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talent!!
    Tricia :)

  • Hi,
    I’m from Brazil, I found your blog very good, I think it’s super cool American decoration, the use of furniture, the use of wood, simplicity. Congratulations, I have already become a fan of the blog!


  • Your house is so pretty. I love the white. Can you share what color white you used? And was it a high gloss or satin? Thanks so much.

  • How beautiful! Just wondering how big the ceiling tins in the bathroom are, and where you got them. Also, in your opinion, do you think molding is necessary with ceiling tins? I am currently redoing my bathroom and am using yours as a huge inspiration!

  • Hi Maria,

    I used the bathroom featured in ‘best of’ as inspiration for my own bathroom remodel. Where did you purchase the canvas sacks holding the towels? I’m thinking of using something similar for toilet paper.


  • How long did all your work take? I’ve been working on my 1940’s converted barn to farm house for a year so far, and I get so burned out! Fabulous work. I have many idea to bring to my house.

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