MARIA MARCUSSE SHARES HER CREATIVE DECORATING APPROACH AND PERSONAL FAVORITES FOR CREATING CHARMING AND PERSONAL ROOMS ON A BUDGET.
INSPIRATION: Salvage pieces and anything that can be reworked and given a new purpose.
BEST-LOVED ELEMENTS: Family heirlooms, vintage textiles, French items, utilitarian pieces and red accents.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Finding ways to make furnishings steady on uneven floors and fitting large pieces in limited space.
PROUDEST DIY: The rustic entry bench Karl fashioned from an old barn beam.
DREAM SOURCES: Salvage yards, flea markets, secondhand and antiques stores.
two-story farmhouse of her own. When she and Karl married, they moved into a rental cottage until the right home came along. “I knew when I saw this house that we had found the home to make our family life together,” Maria remembers. “It was built around 1900, and it sits on the top of a hill and the views are spectacular. I am drawn to wide-open spaces. There is nothing like looking out of our tall windows at the fields that surround us.” Maria and Karl quickly discovered that the house has just the right balance of charm and character. “That means the floors aren’t straight, and when climbing the steep narrow stairs, we have to be careful not to bump our heads,” Maria explains. “That’s the character of the house. And there is always something to fix and a project to start. Our old home has many quirks that might merit complaint, but the odd things about it add up to its special charm.” Maria’s calls “vintage farmhouse” is a combination of inherited treasures, wedding gifts, and accessories that she and Karl have found and reclaimed. “I love all things vintage,” she says. “If it speaks to me, I take it home and make it work.” She is particularly fond of weathered pieces, architectural salvage, monogrammed linens, and grain sacks. “We find most of our furniture at antique stores, flea markets and even some online sources,” she explains. The couple chose antique white for walls. “It sets the backdrop and makes colors pop,” Maria says. “And, I want the open and airy feeling that white brings to the rooms.” Curtains are kept simple and furniture topped with blankets and quilts to increase comfort and add splashes of red. Each room is a welcoming mix of elegant and periods stretching from the 19th through the 21st centuries, united by distressed finishes and vintage textiles. Though Maria loves the feel of her home, she is quite happy moving things around and incorporating new items. “I’m always rearranging and redecorating, but I think the best arrangements and the prettiest vignettes are those that tell a story,” she says.