For some people, closing on a house two days before your wedding might sound crazy, but for photographer, blogger, and designer Jessica Brigham, and her soon-to-be husband Christopher, it just felt right. It's that same adventurous spirit that guided Brigham as she decorated over the past five years. The house, a 1934 Craftsman bungalow in New Haven, Connecticut, was spotted by Brigham's mother, a realtor, and had everything the couple was looking for, including lots of land and period details. "We knew before we stepped foot in the house that it was ours," says Brigham. "We looked at one other house for good measure (and only because my Mom insisted!)"
When it came to decorating the house, Brigham went for bold colors and graphic prints. (She describes the style as "modern eclectic glamazon.") "I'm an avid thrifter who collects statement pieces (and plenty of tchotchkes, too!) in which I'll design an entire space around," she says. "It takes time to build a home on vintage finds, but I love the process and the unique stories each piece tells." She scoured local estate sales and online sources — including Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, estatesales.net, Letgo, and eBay — to find just the right pieces. While there's still work to be done — Brigham sees a kitchen and basement renovation in her future — it's all part of the home's gradual evolution. Fortunately, these homeowners enjoy the process as much as the results.
The Craftsman Bungalow, which Brigham shares with her husband, two cats, and a dog, is on a double lot and borders a city park with wooded trails.
Brigham painted the walls of the living room in Benjamin Moore's Super White to create a blank canvas for the colorful accents, including the Article sofa, vintage tropical rattan swivel chairs, and assortment of seascapes. One of her favorite thrifted finds in the home is the almost 400 pound marble-and-brass console, which she bought for just $44.
Brigham has become a self-taught carpenter during the decorating process and installed the board and batten in the dining room. The removable wallpaper tiles by Justina Blakeney for Hygge & West are complemented by the array of plants in the space. (Brigham has over 70 plants in the house.) Article chairs are pulled up to a custom table built by Mason Dixon Handmade.
The couple's cat Marla sits by the well-stocked Hollywood Regency bar car. Vintage plates decorated with monkeys are displayed on the wall.
Geometric shelves were backed with wallpaper from the master bedroom and guest room.
Removable banana leaf wallpaper from Etsy adds a tropical touch to one of the guest rooms, which is decorated with a midcentury modern bedroom set purchased by Brigham's grandparents when they got married in 1957.
The bathroom's tile floor was actually painted by Brigham using a stencil. The Tommy Bahama shower curtain gives a nod to the guest room and dining area.
The skull painting in the hallway, which the couple found in an upscale dive bar in Santa Barbara, is nicknamed "Edgar."