Welcome to the next installment of our Home Tours series, where we step inside the spaces of some of our favorite design-world friends to chat all things decor and learn how they’ve turned their house into a home.
This week, we’re taking a look inside the home of the very talented Jessica Brigham—an interior stylist and blogger who resides in a historic Connecticut Craftsman with her husband, dog, and two cats. Her home is one that consistently makes us stop mid-scroll, and it’s not hard to see why. From its vibrant hues, playful patterns, abundance of plants (she has more than 100!), and inventive DIYs, every detail shines with unique character. But enough from us—we’ll let Jessica give you all the deets and the full tour!
Tell us about your style! How would you describe the look of your home?
A modern-eclectic-glamazon that’s filled with character, bold colors, and is cozy to all who enter.
What made you choose to move into this home?
I’m head-over-heels for older homes. Nothing beats the character and charm. Our 1934 Craftsman bungalow is located on a wide, tree-lined street, bursting with natural light, has a fabulous backyard, and is conveniently located just outside the city yet bordered by forest. Truth be told, this home made an impression on my husband and I before we even stepped foot through the front door. We just knew it was ours.
What has the process been like designing your space, and making your house feel like a home?
It’s been an adventure I’ve enjoyed from the beginning. After a few years of a coastal-cottage stage, my home underwent a major transformation when I launched my lifestyle brand in 2017. That year, I began to trust my gut on a bigger and bolder vision—a vision filled with vibrant colors, rich textures, and unexpected collections.
I took a deep dive into making my home feel like places that inspired me. One place in particular was my 86-year-old grandmother-in-law’s southern California home, which is rich with antiques and has a backyard filled with desert flora (which might explain why I have more than 100 plants).
What is your most treasured item in your home?
I have too many, but one worth nothing is a marble and brass console table I won at online auction for $44. My husband and I moved the 350+ pound piece into the house by ourselves and our marriage survived (my chambray shirt did not!). Truly a testament to our love and my gaudy Italian side.
We have to ask about your rugs! What rugs do you have from Rugs USA, and what made them the perfect fit for your space?
Right now, I have the Jute Decorative Circles rug in my guest room and the Hand-Braided Denim and Jute Diamond rug in pink in my living room. I’m drawn to natural fiber rugs for their earthy texture and how they ground a room—especially one filled with bold colors and collections. Plus, it’s just the right level of softness on one’s feet. The braided rug adds an extra element of color and pattern, which helps to tie in furnishings throughout the space.
Let’s talk projects! What DIYs or renovations have done in your home? What’s next on your to-do list?
The list of DIYs are endless! One day I picked up a nail gun and never turned back. From gallery walls, to wallpaper, to painted tile, to styling empty alcoves with custom shelving—if I can dream it, I’ll try to build it. Working to restore period details gives me great joy. I’ve stripped doors, turned a creepy basement into a livable lounge space, built board and batten, rebuilt molding, installed french doors, and am currently repairing and painting the home’s stucco exterior. All risks that have reaped major reward.
It’s not always smooth sailing when it comes to decorating, especially with older homes. What challenges and weird design quirks have you came across?
The biggest challenge is a classic one of older homes: creating a flowing layout around countless cased openings, doorways, windows, and vents! The home is compartmentalized (closed versus open-concept, which quite frankly I prefer). It’s limiting, but easily remedied that by paying close attention to proportion and the placement of furnishings. Not to mention, utilizing the high ceilings with shelving and storage has helped keep the floor plan open and makes each room feel much bigger.
Do you have any design tricks you’ve discovered while decorating that you’re willing to spill?
Of course! Here’s a few ideas:
- To improve flow, if you can get furniture off the walls—DO IT! You may be surprised how much more open the space will feel.
- When styling shelves with your unique collections, stagger heights, inject texture and group items in odd numbers for an aesthetically-pleasing look.
- Avoid stark overhead lighting. Create mood and ambiance with multiple light sources. Keep it inexpensive by purchasing plug-in light fixtures or turning any hardwired light fixture into a plug-in! In other words, don’t buy ugly ceiling fans (the ugliest ones come with light kits).
You’re a stylist and work with clients on design projects. What made you want to go into design, and what do you love about your work?
My deepest roots go back to prancing around flea markets and decorating the home I grew up in with my mom. Come to find out in recent years, we were practicing feng shui principles and didn’t even know it! That being said, the home has always been my sanctuary—a place to retreat and a reflection of who I am at any given time. Styles will adapt and flow and the home is a blank canvas for that energy.
I set out to help clients hone in on their personal expression and craft the cozy of their own. My process aims to make any home style attainable, approachable, and affordable with specific budgets, ultimately creating a space my client can be proud of and crave to share with those they love.
Where do you love looking for inspiration?
Joy rides touring old homes throughout New England. Wandering salvage yards and thrift stores for rare finds. The glammy ‘20s and ‘30s. The boho vibes of my 86-year old grandmother’s home. Bright and bold Instagram accounts: @chiararizzolo, @dazeyden, @gaborestefan, @divinesavages, @jewelmarlowe, @home_ec_op, @dabito, @annalysejacobs… to name a few.
What do you love most about your home?
The beautiful memories. It’s one of my favorite places to be. When my husband and I pick up to move in a few years time, I often daydream of just picking her up and taking her with me.