Oftentimes we’re led to believe the bigger the home, the better. Grand staircases, chef-worthy kitchens and walk-in closets are what we’re all supposed to long for, right? I’ll admit I’ve occasionally fallen victim to this “keeping up with the Joneses” virtue of more, but I have to say it’s absolutely exhausting. So much so, I’ve begun to prioritize something totally different. Lately, I long for a house I can craft into my very own and a space that feels safe — no matter the size.
Like me, Shavonda Gardner is one homeowner who isn’t afraid to trade in a sizable home for one she can inject with some soul. Two years ago she convinced her wife Naomi to cut their square footage in half in order for them to snag a new house with more character, a cozy vibe and projects she could sink her teeth into. Luckily, right before closing on a house they admittedly weren’t crazy about, a 40s-era bungalow in Sacramento, CA that needed the perfect amount of love popped onto the market. They snagged it real quick.
Soon after moving in they kicked off the rehab, totally gutting the kitchen and updating the den. Black-and-white tile, new butcher block countertops and shiny new fixtures sit pretty in the cottage-inspired space now. Open shelving even shows off some colorful accessories, and a unique stair-step tile backsplash gives anyone cooking something eye-catching to gaze upon. Like the kitchen, the home’s outdated den was also given a new look. With little use for a second living area and in desperate need of more bedrooms, Shavonda and Naomi claimed it for themselves. It now serves as their owners’ suite and features a global mix of colorful, thrifted finds including stellar drapery and rich textiles.
As you’ll see, their bedroom isn’t the only space to be peppered with eclectic, patterned goods. Every other room in the quaint home — from the living, dining and even the back porch — is adorned with something unique. At the end of the day, the couple tells us that decorating and layering with these little additions has made an undeniable difference in how at home they and their two children feel in their new house. It’s been so successful, in fact, the couple works every day to find new ways to beautifully fit double the square footage, twice the number of bedrooms and three times the number of bathrooms worth of style into their new Golden State abode. Click through to take a peek and enjoy! —Garrett
Photography by Shavonda Gardner