sneak peek: carla + tim


Carla Caruso lives in the tiny town of Ashfield, tucked into the rolling hills of Western Massachusetts. She and her husband, Tim, bought the house just over two years ago (it’s the couple’s first home after 18 years together), and in the short time they’ve lived here, they’ve renovated almost everything. The result is an eclectic mix: a 1900s farmhouse with additions built the ‘70s and ‘80s. After graduating from RISD with a degree in glassmaking, Carla found herself gravitating toward jewelry, and she is now the designer/maker behind Carla Caruso Jewelry, creating all the jewelry in her home studio. Since she spends a lot of time at home, it was important that she have a comfortable, relaxing living space to “go home to” at the end of the day. Carla says, “My favorite things about the house are taking outdoor showers in the summer and sitting in front of the wood stove on winter evenings with Tim and our dog, Lola.” Thanks to Tim, Carla and Lola, and a big thank you to Jo Chattman for the lovely photos. — Amy Azzarito

Image above: The kitchen cabinets are painted in Benjamin Moore “Graphite.” We found the star in a junk shop in Vermont. I think it may originally be from a Macy’s store. The three encaustic photographs are by Dorothy Imagire, another RISD alumnus. Our dog, Lola, was scared of our steep, narrow stairs, so I sewed six Dash & Albert area rugs together to make a runner for her.


Image above: This is a great photo of both the living room and entrance hall. I’ve collected all the furniture over the years from thrift stores and junk shops. There’s another Dash & Albert rug in the hallway. The scarf on the chair is from Jane Diaz. My friend Sara Bressem made the ceramic hearts on the wall next the mirror. The hallway is painted in Benjamin Moore “Razzle Dazzle.”

See more of Carla and Tim’s Western Massachusetts home after the jump . . .


Image above: I love photography. On the far wall is a photograph by Paul Teeling. The black and white photograph behind the couch is by Susan Mikula. This room is so soothing to me . . . I spend a lot of time on weekends reading and napping on the day bed. The lamp by the day bed is by Tracy Glover; we were in the glass department together at RISD. The coverlet is Dwell Studio at Target. The coffee table is from Room & Board, and the couch is by Norwalk Furniture. Everything else is vintage. Everyone loves the paint color. It’s “Wish” by Benjamin Moore.


Image above: We don’t have room for our dressers and clothing racks because the bedrooms in our house are quite small, and I love that because it cuts down on all the clutter. We have a tiny bedroom that we basically use just for clothes and laundry. The linen duvet cover is from West Elm. There’s another Tracy Glover lamp on the bedside table and a copper and steel clock on the pedestal table by Steven Bronstein of Blackthorne Forge. Everything else is from junk shops and antique stores. The vintage “yes” plaque above the window is my daily affirmation; it’s the first thing I see when I wake up. I even made a necklace with it! All the whites you see in my house are “Cloud White” by Benjamin Moore — eggshell on the walls and high gloss on the wood work. It’s my go-to white — it seems to work with everything.


Image above: As a gift one year, my husband Tim’s mom hand-embroidered these beautiful “His” and “Hers” pillowcases for us.


Image above: This room really needs to be gutted and freshly sheet rocked, but for now I just punched it up a bit with contrasting patterns and colors. I painted the striped wall (Benjamin Moore, “Black Bean Soup”) last Christmas Day. I always coveted the dining table and chairs at Tim’s family’s house. His mom graciously gave them to us as a housewarming gift. I reupholstered the seats this spring. The Moravian star light was a gift from a friend who’s from Pennsylvania. The poster is from the Evolution Store in Soho. Everything else is vintage.


Image above: The house came without any cabinets, so we bought the cheapest Ikea cabinets we could find. We went with white on top to keep it light and black on the bottom to match the icky stove. I got the light hanging over the sink in a trade with Perch! Design. A lot of the art and objects in the house are from trading my jewelry with other crafters. The other hanging lamp is the Ivanhoe™ Sinclair Porcelain Pendant in Jadite by Barn Light Electric. The chairs at the café table are part of the dining room set, and pretty much everything else is vintage.


Image above: I wasn’t sure I could live with a slightly rusted almond-colored refrigerator, but it seemed crazy to buy a new one when this one still worked. I used white stick-on star decals to cover the rust and bring it more into the white walls; it makes me happy. Then I spray painted the handles DayGlo orange. I can’t decide if I like it. The kitchen island is painted in the same Benjamin Moore “Graphite” as the cabinets. I can’t remember where the stools are from, but everything else is vintage.


Image above: This is our favorite spot to sit in the winter. The Jøtul wood stove has a glass window, so it feels like a fireplace. The painting over the mantel was my parents’ first art purchase way back when. It’s by Bruce Ackerson, who by chance lives near me in Western Massachusetts and is still painting. The chairs are by Robin Bruce. I picked the blue fabric, and Tim picked the flowered one. The walls and trim are all “Cloud White,” and the door is painted “Deep Royal” by Benjamin Moore.


Image above: My studio work bench, where all the magic of Carla Caruso Jewelry happens! The nook is a new addition to my studio. I added a shed roof dormer to let in more light. In the springtime, lilacs bloom right outside the window. I made the task table using a really old table base (painted in “Graphite” by Benjamin Moore), lifted it with couch legs and screwed a hollow core door to the top.


Image above: This is my vegetable garden. I built these raised beds this spring with leftover wood from the studio build-out. This photo was taken during a drought; it’s much greener now, and we have tons of tomatoes and kale. We have Adirondack chairs around the fire pit, which looks out over a neighboring farm and the hills of Ashfield.


Image above: I love this shower! I designed it around the carved screen I found at a dump. The front wall of the shower is cut out so we can see the view. It’s magical any time of day.


Image above: That’s me and Lola at the front door. Walls are “Razzle Dazzle” by Benjamin Moore, rug by Dash & Albert. I found the paintings of the two girls in the foreground at a thrift store in Utah.

Azil

The pops of color are great, the refrigerator handles in orange look fun, but I must say what i loved most was all that outside space with the outdoor shower. Would be very practical having that in TX, still in the 100 degrees!

melisa

beautiful inspiring colorful home!! SCREAMS LOVE! What is thw wall color in the hallway? Love it! It’s the perfect fuscia..

Nancy

What a warm, beautiful, colorful house! Could you please share the color of the blue cabinets (under the pink wall) in the entryway? Thanks!

Brooke

I want a daybed! I like someone who admits to reading and napping on the weekends. It’s my favorite hobby but gets a bad rap with all the “super busy” people.

Beth Addison

I love the stair runner! Would you be able to tell me how you did it?

Melody

Such a great post! I love the pics you put up, and I especially love what they did with the attic. :)

Courtney

What a gorgeous home! That’s such a special area of Massachusetts. It’s so nice to see such a beautiful and creative space that totally exemplifies the feel of the area.

Lauran

This house is so refreshing. I love to see a kitchen that’s not “re-done” in granite or marble and stainless. This home has so much soul, and I love the chances you’ve taken with color. The work table you made is genius. I wish I could come hang out (and nap) on your daybed. Love it all!

Kukana

Your home is beautiful! The color and style are just amazing, simple with just the right amount of pizzazz. I will be selling and downsizing soon, THIS is going in my inspiration file.

Miss Heliotrope

Very nice.

But always funny to see how green some peoples’ droughts are…

Bérangère Bouffard

Love it! The graphite coloured cabinets, the red star, the improvised runner for your dog! The shower must be such a treat especially if you get such a spacious view of the great outdoors! The last picture with that warm, inviting, glowing entrance is the best! Such a colourful note to wrap things up.

Melisa, it’s “Razzle Dazzle” (Benjamin Moore). She mentions it twice in the sneak peek! ;)

Holly

That Razzle Dazzle in the entry is awesome. This looks like a cozy house that this couple put their stamp on – well done!

Jessica

with a few bold colors throughout this home (furniture, walls, etc) and all the little accents (blankets, pillows, rugs etc) play beautifully off of eachother and create such a cohesive cheery space! awesome sneak peak!

CJ Dellatore

What’s not to love?? I’m particularly wild for the striped runner up the staircase… stairs are usually such a missed opportunity for bringing life to a mundane space!

Emily Amey

Looks awesome Carla! Kudos!! Love the studio and all the pops of fuchsia!

MB@YarnUiPhoneAppv2.5

I think it’s fair to say the stair runner (such brilliant colors!) is my favorite. Such beautiful autumn hues. And the embroidery is so charming, a brilliant personal touch.

Sofia

What a beautiful home! I grew up in Conway so this is especially lovely to see:)

JillBetty

So pretty and cozy! Love the colors and the daybed-@Brooke, I agree that everyone should spend time reading and napping on the weekend. I’m not sure what it says about me, but I immediately though “Macy’s!” as soon as I saw the star.

Celia

Great blend of color and love the homey feel! LOVE the stair runner – my dogs are also having trouble with my new wood stairs. PLEASE give a little hint about how you applied to the floor – staples, tacs, in all the creases? it has to be our solution after searching for months! thanks.

Rachel

Being from Western Mass originally, I really enjoyed this home. thank you for giving WMass some love, and showing how warm, colorful and friendly it’s residents are. Great sneek peak, thank you!

Tracy Glover

Beautiful house Carla and I love your studio room and workbench. I agree with everyone, that runner is awesome, great solution!

Amberly

Wow!! Your home is absolutely wonderful. There is so much to love but the colors and patterns in that first shot and the black and white cabinets are what really caught my eye. You have some beautiful things and fantastic style! Thank you for sharing!

andrea

So beautiful!! I’d also love to know the midnight blue color on the cabinets under the Razzle Dazzle. They go so well together. Must copy!

Carla Caruso

Thank you everyone for such nice comments!!

The runner is made from six Dash & Albert floor mats (http://www.dashandalbert.com/product/view/da-bomb-woven-cotton-rug–RDA113) sewn together (with dental floss, I think) and stapled to the stairs. I couldn’t use a runner because my stairs are so narrow. I also used non-slip rug pads under the rugs and I think that really helps hold them in place.

Sadly, I painted the cabinet in the front hall so long ago I can’t remember the color but it’s was a Rust-oleum paint.

Amy Adams

It looks great Carla – thanks for including my Kitchen Light!

The earrings that I got in that trade are still among my faves!

Dennies John

Love all those different colors and pics :) very well written too!!
awesome furniture!

but nothing suits in my budget :'(

Sara

Such a charming home! (And I also love that they have a couch from Norwalk Furniture: the pride and joy company of my Ohio hometown!)

Megan

Great eclectic feel and I simply LOVE that out door shower!

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