I have said it before, but I’ll say it again: my absolute most favorite thing about these last five years of blogging is the way it has connected me with so many “kindred spirits,” fellow vintage-loving treasure-seekers who understand the thrill of the hunt and the appeal of old things, and who speak the same language of layers in their home.
This month’s tour comes from an incredibly talented blogger I met through the #YourGatheredHome tag on Instagram! I was instantly hooked by her deep green office walls and navy velvet sofa, and knew I had to ask her to share a full home tour here on the blog!
You can find Jessica sharing stunning lifestyle inspiration on Instagram as @imjessicabrigham and on her site JessicaBrigham.com. Her sense of humor is only matched by her sense of style, and I know you’ll quickly become a fan!
Plus, she lives in New Haven, Connecticut, which just so happens to be where I was born – so we definitely have more than a little bit in common!
Well, hey, howyadoin?! I’m Jessica Brigham, a sassy, gregarious, creative jack-of-all-trades. I’m a photographer by trade and amid growing an online magazine focusing on interiors, cooking, cocktails, diy, home organization and, overall, how to live Magazine Ready for Life, For Less. My husband, Chris, and I live a cozy 1934 Craftsman Bungalow in New England with our three furballs; Murphy 🐶, Marla 🐱 and Sylvester 🐱. We’ve called this humble abode home for three and a half years, sealing the deal two days before we got married. It was a big year, to say the least!! Together we’ve put a lot of TLC into this old gal to keep her bones sound and strong, but it’s only been within the past year her true funk and sense of style began to shine.
Jessica’s Bold and Badass Gathered Home
That’s really my favorite way to describe Jessica’s home style – bold colors and fun and fearless accessories make for one badass space!
And the front entry is so precious I might die:
This is the time of year to hang in our yard. Our spring garden is on point, and it ain’t too shabby in July either, but we’re in desperate need of early June blooms! Any suggestions?! Our front door was installed in October 2016 and my plan is to paint the trim and shudders to match the deep brown. Our stucco needs repair, but then a new house color is in mah mind… we shall see!
Inside Jessica’s living room, you’ll immediately see why the “bold and badass” title is so apt! A navy velvet sofa meets melon-ombre curtains, a vintage brass peacock fire screen found on eBay, a giant dragon bone cactus, and a huge, smiling skull painting with a storied past…
I painted [the living room] white earlier this year and haven’t stopped throwing color at this blank canvas ever since. I thought it all began with my two-tier marble and brass console table I won at auction for $44 (yes, you read that right!), but part of me thinks the tides shifted when Edgar moved upstairs. He’s our eccentric skull painting Chris and I found in an upscale dive bar in Santa Barbara, Calif. Tumultuously finding his way home to Connecticut (long story), he’s caused a healthy ruckus from day one.
A few notable faves: the Cascadia Blue velvet wonder from Article, the 65-year old dragon bone cactus / estate sale score, the three reproduction prints representing where my husband and I are originally from and where we met/settled, and the vintage brass peacock fireplace screen (thanks eBay!). This room has gradually taken on a modern/eclectic/glammy life of it’s own.
Do you have a favorite gathered find or story?
Jessica: Oh man, I have way too many!! I’m debating behind Edgar and my oak filing cabinet so I’ll tell both!
My oak filing cabinet is a Craigslist find. It came from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Library in Philadelphia where it was used from the day it was made! The guy I bought it from picked it up at auction and refinished it beautifully. I only have one side panel (they’re super hard to get as they only needed two for a row of 20 or however many!!) so it’ll always have to live against the wall. S’ok mein.
Oh, Edgar. Chris and I were talking on the plane ride out how he’s never found artwork he wanted to buy. Well, there we were sitting at this sweet, wine-on-tap dive bar (before it was super hip!!) and there goes Edgar. All crazy and frenetic. Chris took a liking to him straightaway. He was $200 bucks. I’m like, “Babe, get that sh*t.” He makes an admirable attempt to talk himself out of it, but I compel him to stay strong. Then he brings up shipping. I’m like, “Babe, I’m an artist. It’ll be $75–100, tops.” He’s massive, like 2’x4’ kinda big. The barkeep charges our card and promises to drop it off at UPS the next day. We’re at the airport returning home when we get the call. “Blah, blah, blah … shipping to Connecticut … blah blah … Sir, that’ll be $273.” Uhhh, whoops! Either we were out two hundo or we had a cool story to boot. That was the day we started saying, “Just rip off the bandaid.” We now have packing supplies for life. Our only regret was we couldn’t give that money to the artist.
On the other side of the living room sits one of Jessica’s favorite thrift scores ever – this 400 lb, two tier marble and brass console table she won at an auction for just $44! It’s topped by a giant Venetian glass mirror handed down from Jessica’s grandparents.
Jessica’s home office is just off the living room, painted a gorgeous deep shade of green, and home to the aforementioned oak filing cabinet that came from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Library.
It took me well over a year to have the cojones to paint this room a moody color. I’d already found success in the guestroom/Indigo room (see below), but this is a regularly used room. It’s where the biz magic happens, knawhatimsayin?! Anywho, I did it, and I LOVE IT. Once I reconfigured the workspace layout to be central, with french doors opening into a contrasting, bright living room, I felt golden. I also utilized all the square footage of this small space by installing a DIY modular shelving unit.My two main squeezes in this room – the paneled secretary oak desk and oak filing cabinet – came to me from my best friend, Craigslist. The Mid Century Modern desk secretly houses a pop-up sewing machine and belonged to my mother as a little girl. The wall space hosts my ever-growing thrift collection – paintings, sculptures, gidgets and gazmos alike. Then, of course, a fan favorite: my set of tropical swivel rockers. I’d like to cordially thank the thriftin’ gods for those those guys.
Why do you gather?
Jessica: It’s intrinsically ingrained! I’ve been collecting with my Mama from a very young age. Her love of antiques and preserving the past rubbed off on me. I’ve always been draw to anything with a story. When I studied photography in college, my focus was in photojournalism. What’s the background? Where did this come from? Who had this last? Why was this left behind? My inherent curiosity is interconnected with my voracious desire to gather.
In the bedroom, Jessica has kept everything light and airy… so far 😉
A work in progress, but a serene and cozy space nonetheless. There’s decent closet space for a bungalow, but my first furniture child – the mirrored oak armoire – captures form and function at its finest. The room is a lovely shade of gray, but I’m thinking of going bright white with an accent wall or wallpaper, a deep purple or rusty colored bedding, and a new bedframe. The mid century dresser was a steal, but she comes with need for rehab. Everything in time!!
This giant oak armoire is everything I’ve ever dreamed about! Don’t ask me where in the world I could squeeze an armoire into our home – I’ll just keep on pining!
Jessica recently completed a dramatic master bathroom makeover and the transformation she was able to accomplish on a tiny budget is nothing short of awe-inspiring!
This wild child came to fruition during the spring One Room Challenge. Meet my modern boho bathroom! This was a budget renovation and I’m still amazed at what a gallon of paint, new textures/patterns, and found objects can do. Without any demo, this previously sage and discount white tile space became a glamazon with a bold shower curtain, thrifted light fixtures, a stupendous stencil, new and old artworks, a few cans of spray paint, and a damn fine set of brass hardware by Pepe & Carols. Not to mention, my hope to make the wood toilet seat cool again. 👊🏻
At first, Jessica was dreaming of taking a sledgehammer to the dated 6″ tile in the bathroom and replacing it with wood floors, but she quickly changed her mind after a date with a stencil and some chalk paint! I love the way the gold pattern on the floor echoes the yellow accents in the curtains and the warmth of the wood toilet seat.
You are totally bringing it back, Jessica!
The biggest, boldest, baddest change in this space was the glossy green ceiling, which gloriously highlights Jessica’s $15 Habitat for Humanity Restore brass light fixture.
Do you have a favorite home decor piece or project that you’ve made?
Jessica: Oh yes!! It’s the newest endeavor: the three-quarter high board & batten I installed in the soon-to-be revealed dining room is off the gosh darn hook.
Just a sneak peek of what the heck’s going on up in hea!! My dining room reveal is scheduled for late-June or early-July, so stay tuned. It’s going to be good. Like real good.
The kitchen ain’t terrible, butttttt 😑. In fact, she’s huge, but she’s just not anywhere I want her to be. The vision is so mind-blowing, it’s silly. That being said, I bring you the one nook that brings me eternal happiness every single morning. If you look hard enough, you’ll find some more kitchen on the bloggity in my kitchen backsplash DIY. The challenge is yours should you chose to accept it.
Finally, let’s take a peek into the space where I’m sure you or I would happily crash when we drop in to see all of Jessica’s fabulous spaces in person…
Blood, sweat and tears when into bringing this old gal back to a proper state. Watching the painted-over, faux wood paneling fly outta the window is one of my favorite memories. Much like the living room, once I procured the room’s statement piece – the antique brass bedframe – the undertaking began. After some major plaster repair, a beautiful coat of Hale Navy paint, DIY wood picture shelves, and an onslaught of my thrifty collection, the Indigo Room was born. She’s begging for fresh artwork that ties in more with our downstairs feel.
This beautiful desk setup right here is inspiring me in all the right ways for setting up my own little home office space!
And you know you’re a good host when you provide an adorable little bar setup for you guests! (Sidenote: guests to my house can not yet expect this level of attentiveness… You guys are lucky if I move the cat box out of the bathroom… 🙈)
What is your best advice to others on creating a gathered home?
Jessica: Sit down and really get a sense of what you’re about, what you really like, what kind of story you’d like to tell in your home. If you find yourself drawn to many different styles, how can you balance those buys cohesively? For example, I love BBB antiques – big, bold, and beautiful. I also like new and handmade. So, as our house began to rapidly develop this year, I sat down and figured myself out. I’m a modern/eclectic/glammy kind of gal. When I see potential find, I have a standard guideline. If it fits, I go for it. If my guts in it, I definitely go for it. Trust your instincts, but spend time honing in on your endgame. Pay attention to color and texture, whether maximal or minimal. And if it doesn’t work, then maybe I’ll make space for it in my attic. Until the next seasonal purge, that is.
Who else is just ready to crash Jessica’s bold and badass home at the drop of a hat? I’ll be the one trying to surreptitiously shove that giant armoire in my backpack… or sneak Edgar out under my coat! 😂
Go for the bold!
With three spaces featuring a dramatic, dark shade on the walls (or ceiling), Jessica’s home is definitely giving me the itch go for a deep and moody color somewhere in my own home!
Brass is always in style.
Don’t let anyone tell you “oh, brass was just another trend and we are so over it now.” The brass pieces in Jessica’s home from a wide variety of eras beg to differ – there’s the traditional antique brass bed in the guest room, the mod 70’s brass lamp and the brass peacock screen from the early 20th century in the living room… Tastes and styles change, but warm metals can definitely stand the test of time! I think the key is mixing up the mediums and patinas, which Jessica does beautifully in her spaces.
Share your gathered home!
1. If you are a “kindred spirit” gatherer with a love for photography and a home full of stories to share, I would love for you to get in touch via email (email@example.com), or by posting pictures using #yourgatheredhome on Instagram! I can’t promise to share every space, but I do promise that I will be absolutely thrilled to hear from you and connect over our shared love of finding and making!
2. If you live remotely near the Dallas/Fort Worth (or surrounding Texas cities) area and you would be interested in participating in the “Your Gathered Home” series and having me photograph your home for a home tour, I would LOVE for you to reach out! We’ll have a blast hanging out in person, taking pics, and I promise I’ll let you laugh at the funny positions I get into when I’m in the photography zone 🙂
A huge thank you to Jessica for sharing her gorgeous gathered home with us today! Can you even choose a favorite part?
I think I have to go with the antique oak – either her desk, filing cabinet, or that stunning armoire – I won’t be choosy!