This Couple Designed Their 1840s Farmhouse Around Antiques Collected on Their First Flea Market Dates

Adriana and Bill Carrig’s 1848 Chatham, New Jersey, home is full of French charm and vintage decor they’ve collected throughout their relationship.

September 08, 2020

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Photo By: Lauren Anzevino

Homeowners Adriana and Bill Carrig Love Vintage Picking

Adriana and Bill Carrig have long enjoyed hunting for antique décor and furniture together.

Their new Chatham, New Jersey, home was originally built as a farmhouse on an apple orchard in 1848. It's made the perfect venue to craft a design-forward home around the antiques the Carrigs have been collecting since the early days of their relationship. They’re even working on opening an online store to resell some of their best finds as a side project. Adriana's primary job is running the Little Words Project, a jewelry company whose bracelets feature encouraging words of wisdom and are meant to be passed along between friends and strangers for years.

Family Heritage

This antique O’Flaherty’s sign is one of the first-ever pieces the Carrigs bought together as a couple. They love that it honors Bill’s Irish heritage, and it has moved with them from apartment to apartment and house to house over the years. "We love to infuse our culture wherever we can," Adriana says. Bill hand-chopped the logs stacked in the fireplace from a tree that fell on the property during a recent storm. As he cut them, Adriana placed them intentionally. They plan to seal the wood to protect it.

Green Is a Favorite Hue

Shades of green tie the home together from almost every room, from this kitchen countertop to the plants to the O’Flaherty’s sign in the kitchen. "We knew the green color was perfect," Adriana says, and they chose it as an accent color to pair with their white walls and more modern furniture. "Sage green has traveled with us throughout the house. Wooden cutting boards are on display underneath glass-doored cabinets.

Shopping for the Times

The Carrigs are regulars at flea markets and estate sales, but shifted their approach as things shut down with COVID-19. They found their dining room table, a solid wood farmhouse table, by scouting Facebook Marketplace. The white chairs and gold-accented lighting add a modern touch that pairs well with the hardwood floors.

Original Charm

The dining room fireplace is made of marble, and is one of the original features of the home the Carrigs fell in love with. To its right, they’ve placed a piece of solid vintage butcherblock from the 1920s to use as decoration to balance the room. "We just love that it stands alone in a corner and really speaks for itself," Adriana says.

Every Picture Tells a Story

Pictures of the family who built the Carrig’s home adorn the non-working fireplace in the dining room, paired with one of many gold-framed mirrors spread throughout the house. The Carrigs wanted to incorporate that family’s history into part of the story the home tells today, nearly 175 years later, and asked for the photos to be included as part of the deal they made on the house.

Display Your Treasures

The New Yorker magazine cover above the brick fireplace in the library is an original print, and they often sell on eBay for over $1,000, Adriana says. But the Carrigs found it at a flea market for about $150 — a steal. “We love finding things that have a story or are original, that we can make a little profit on in the future if we ever decide to sell them," Adriana says. Well-placed books, figurines and framed photos create a curated look without feeling cluttered.

Striking the Right Balance

The bookshelves in the Carrigs’ library are filled with a tasteful arrangement of small collectibles, books and family photos. From afar, the shelves look like works of art in themselves. Up close, each piece has its own meaning and purpose. The alternation of upright and flat-stacked books creates a varied look that invites closer examination.

Mirrors as Decor

The white couch, from Sixpenny Home, was the Carrigs' big splurge. (Their dog agrees that it was worth it.) The full-length mirror behind it is another of Adriana’s favorite pieces. "Gilded and gold-framed mirrors have been my thing forever," she says. "We’ve been collecting these mirrors forever and then finally found a house where we could place them all in a nice way. This big mirror was my birthday present — I really wanted a beautiful, full-length mirror we could lean against the wall and really open up the space."

Don't Let Great Antique Finds Get Away

The Carrigs found this old card catalog that once belonged in a retail store at a vintage market specializing in wood pieces. When they saw it, they knew immediately that it would add just the right amount of color to their otherwise white living room. "That card catalog really defines the room," Adriana says, and it's no accident that its color palette matches the record player.

Keeping the Green Theme Going

A mint-colored record player sits atop the card catalog, and perfectly matches the drawers. The Carrigs rummage for vintage records at flea markets and estate sales and collect favorites for usually just a few dollars apiece. "We wanted there to be a colorful accent in the room that wasn't just whites," Adriana says.

Perfectly Framed Vignette

The green theme is subtle but consistent in this corner, with an iron bust Adriana adores and live plants, fresh flowers and two green-covered books placed just so, all of which pull together shades of green on the opposite side of the room. A gold-framed mirror opens up the space and a green lamp with a neutral shade and wood-accented base completes the look. "We're huge plant lovers so we've got plants all over that room, which has the best lighting in the house," Adriana says. "Using those plants made for a really easy fusion of that color."

Curate Moments Throughout the Home

A low, vintage wooden table underneath this window provides the perfect surface to display a few books and small objects like a crystal and bundle of sage.

Neutral Colors for a Feeling of Calm

"I wanted the bedroom to be an oasis," Adriana says. "It’s very feminine, but it’s meant to give you a sense of calm and serenity." White linens and pillows top an understated wooden bed frame, and a neutral area rug doesn't overpower the beauty of the hardwood floors. The Carrigs installed picture molding themselves and painted it the same color as the walls to evoke Parisian vibes and make it feel "old, but also new at the same time."

Classic Wood Pieces

The Carrigs have placed solid wooden pieces, like this dresser, throughout the home to play up its existing farmhouse charm. Behind it, you can see the picture molding they installed themselves and painted to match the walls to inspire an old world, Parisian vibe. A TV sits atop a longer, lower set of matching drawers.

Pink and Green Are Simpatico

Framing this pink chair — which once lived in Adriana’s office — with dark green house plants works well with the home's primary sage green theme. Pink is Adriana's favorite color, and the subtle shades of it the Carrigs use throughout the home create perfect, balanced accents to the greens. This room gets excellent natural lighting, and that chair is an extremely comfortable one to sink into.

A DIY Mudroom

When the Carrigs first bought their home, the mudroom had Ikea shelving cubes. Deciding to DIY that space, the Carrigs made doors out of plywood to turn them into closets, and painted everything that central sage color to redo the space on a small budget. The table is another piece from early in the Carrigs’ days of antiquing dates — it has white porcelain wheels and Adriana spent days stripping green paint from it after its purchase.

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