HOME: South County

A 1945 Colonial gets a DIY makeover from its homeowner, blogger Carli Alves


When Rhode Island-based blogger and DIY content creator Carli Alves and her husband Justin first laid eyes on their 1945 South County Colonial, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. Between the overgrown hedges, the hostas growing from the gutters, and the mildew that shrouded the faded yellow facade, they knew they had their work cut out for them. Having just come off the heels of a 140-year-old Victorian renovation, Carli and Justin had some tricks up their sleeve to turn this 1,700-square-foot forgotten house into a home for their family of six.

For Alves and her family, the kitchen is the place to gather. “While I love a formal dining room, it just didn’t match our more casual lifestyle,” she says. So she instead turned the home’s dining room into a sitting room to enjoy cozy fires in the colder months, and in the kitchen, Alves built an almost 10-foot-long window seat to create a comfy dining nook for her family to settle on at the end of a long day. “It was the perfect way to maximize the space and create a comfy-cozy feeling in the kitchen.” 

The home’s dedicated family room was dark and dated so the couple vaulted the less-than-eight-foot ceiling and installed two large skylights to brighten up the room. A large relaxed sectional completes the space making this family room perfect for movie nights. 

Being just three miles from the beach, Alves drew inspiration from her surroundings for the couple’s bedroom. “I’ve always loved light, bright, and airy spaces, so using natural wood tones, mixed with grays, blues, and whites, was a no-brainer for creating a calm, coastal-inspired bedroom to retreat to,” she says.

The home’s walk-up attic was a bonus. “My daughter has always wanted an attic room, so she claimed the space the moment she laid eyes on it,” Alves explains. Brightening up the attic with crisp white vertical shiplap and freshly painted floorboards created not one but two additional spaces

for the family to utilize. Alves turned one side of the attic into an office/studio space for her four children to create art and music, and the other side became a hangout room for her teenage daughter. “Finishing these spaces added roughly 300 square feet to our home, giving us all a little more room to spread out.”

Although the footprint of the main level bathroom is small, Alves gave it an unexpected treatment by installing shiplap vertically and painting it in a deep charcoal shade that added depth and drama to the small space. “The wall color was inspired by the wallpaper, and I figured if there was a space in our home to be a little dramatic, it was here.” Alves also chose a console-style sink that she modified herself to better fit the scale of the bathroom.  

“There are still a bunch of projects that we want to tackle in this home, including a second-floor bathroom renovation and basement we hope to finish, but for now we are enjoying the fruits of our labors.”


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