Rustic Simplicity Modernizes a 200-Year-Old Home

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Undesirable kitchens, ancient furnishings and broken-down parts can all cloud your judgement when looking for a home, especially an older one. I say “can cloud,” but let’s be real. They’re relentless! These no-go’s refuse to be overlooked and oftentimes get in the way of an old home’s greatest asset: its bones. If I’ve learned anything from the homeowners we’ve talked to over the years, though, it’s how rewarding it can be when you look past these surface flaws and embrace the charm and quirks of an elder home.

April Lawrence, interior designer and owner of plant shop Lil’ Bit, is one such creative gal. When she first laid eyes on this 1780s-era house in Deerfield, NH it was sort of a mess. The heat didn’t work, the ceilings were low and years of dusty renovations hid what she knew was great potential. Potential no other home buyer saw but her. Even her husband Sam thought they may be getting in over their heads with the clunker. But that was three years ago. Since then, Sam and their family and friends have rallied around April and helped tear down walls, sand floors and install new windows and flooring.

After having put so much sweat into bringing the home into the 21st century, the last thing April wanted to do was cover up all of the home’s fabulous bones with mounds of decoration. In order to let its core shine, she’s instead outfitted it in uncomplicated rustic wares. Nearly all of them are from nearby secondhand shops, and they each add a simple charm no matter the room they reside in. Guest bedrooms with paint-by-numbers art, a small collection of pennants above the fireplace, a dining room decked out in farming equipment, you name it. And it doesn’t stop there. Click through to take a deeper dive into this New England renovation. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Mike Quill

  1. sunshine says:

    There’s a lot here to like! That orange against the floral wing chairs(what a score!!!) makes me want to jump straight to summer. The muted wall colors are wonderful. Job well done.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I’m not always the biggest fan of older homes, but I love the style of this one and I love how it has been decorated. It looks gorgeous throughoutout!

  3. This home offers something unique and amazing in every room. The fact that the home decor they chose has a story behind it, makes every space so special.

  4. Erin says:

    I hope she at least kept the old stair railing. What a shame it would be to throw away something original to house.

  5. Nomi says:

    That is not a sickle, that is a scythe.

    1. Avaline says:

      Thank you, Nomi. I was itching to make the same comment.
      Hard to believe DS doesn’t know the difference between a scythe and a sickle.

      1. Grace Bonney says:

        Avaline

        Is that a joke?

        Grace

  6. S says:

    Where are the before photos?

  7. Gosia says:

    fantastic house. So simple, yet so classy x

  8. Margot says:

    Beautiful old home. This doesn’t look like an interiors designers home at all. It’s not overly decorated. That is a compliment by the way.

  9. Woodlucker says:

    Such a spectacular home! It nods to the past yet is current and is a classic.

  10. Nina says:

    Love the minimalism. I strive to live like this, with little clutter, yet it’s so hard to part with so many favorite keepsakes. This house is so gorgeous and perfect. The birch railing on the staircase is perfect!

  11. Heidi the Hick says:

    Looooove this! I feel like the tour wasn’t long enough!

    I especially love the door latches. My mom’s house has latches instead of doorknobs upstairs in the bedrooms. It is so authentic and special.

  12. Christina says:

    So fun to see a Deerfield, NH home featured. It’s where I grew up. Lovely job with this house! Can you share the paint colors? I’m particularly interested in the blues on the second floor.

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