Joan Aldrich might be best known for her web-designing skills, but her knack for interior design should not be ignored. It shines in all the rooms in the 1930s home she shares with her husband, Craig. Located in Greenville, SC, the home features a ton of character and maintains its historic charm in so many ways while also including modern elements throughout. The mix of old and new proves to be the perfect combination in this gorgeous home, and we can’t wait for you to check it out for yourself. So, step inside and get ready to feel right at home.
Your home is lovely! Can you tell us a little bit about how you landed there?
Thank you! A work transfer moved us from Savannah, GA to Greenville, SC and we landed in a 2-bedroom, 1-bath duplex that came with noisy neighbors…but it wasn’t all bad! We lived across the street from beautiful Cleveland Park and fell in love with the area. The neighborhood was very much in transition, but we had over a year to take in other parts of Greenville all while living in what ended up being our current neighborhood. A local developer/renovator was kind enough to introduce us to an owner interested in selling around the corner. The house (of course) was the stretch number in our budget, but after one walk-through, we knew it was meant to be.
Craig and I got engaged just a few months before purchasing this house, and we decided to host our wedding in the backyard the following summer—a small, intimate ceremony with our immediate families. With less than a year to get the house and yard prepared, we had our work cut out for us! Thankfully, my husband is very handy, and neither of us mind getting our hands dirty.
Your home has a very serene feel to it. What was your goal for the home when designing the space?
Our house was built in the 1930s, so it has lots of character—original hardwood floors, crystal doorknobs, and quirky nooks and crannies. It’s been important to us to maintain that historic charm, while making the space more functional for the way we live.
White and gray slipcovers and cushions are my go-to—they balance the warmth of the wood floors and furniture and make a neutral base to build upon. The best part? They’re washable! Life’s short, you shouldn’t be afraid to eat chips and queso on your own couch!
The biggest project we’ve taken on so far is the renovation of our downstairs bedroom and bathroom—moving a wall to make room for a shower in our (former) half-bath and adding a modest walk-in closet. Working within our current footprint, we were able to create a downstairs master suite that fits us and complement the rest of the house nicely. Most of our other projects have been cosmetic. It’s amazing the impact things like sanding, painting and replacing dated light fixtures can make without a major investment!
What are three words you’d use to describe your design aesthetic?
Clean, collected and comfortable.
Is there any particular space in the house you tend to favor?
I work from home, so I was thrilled that this house had an extra room that could be used for an office. Having a comfortable, light-filled space to work in is such a game-changer, especially when you spend 8 to 10 hours a day staring at a computer screen.
While I feel fortunate to have such a cozy home office, I think the living room is where our house really shines and where I like to kick my feet up.
Your home has a lot of beautiful furniture. Where are your top three favorite places to shop for home goods?
Before we bought our house, I had several pieces of vintage hand-me-down furniture in storage that I couldn’t wait to find a home for (lucky for me, my grandmother had amazing taste!). I used my favorites, including the mid-century armchairs, campaign dresser, and dining table to anchor the space and filled in around them to create a cozy, collected look.
Estate sales, Craigslist and online marketplaces (like Charish) are great places to source timeless vintage pieces! And IKEA is still my favorite spot to snag affordable upholstered furniture and storage pieces (like my desk and bookshelves) without breaking the bank.
Do you have any budget-friendly places that you particularly love to shop at?
The house is accessorized with a combination of old and new—antique trinkets, books and art mixed in with budget finds from places like HomeGoods, Target, World Market and RugsUSA. I like to add color with things that are easy to switch up when I’m ready for a change, like pillows, throws and rugs, and add texture with natural elements like wood, stone, woven baskets and lots of houseplants!
What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?
My perfect Sunday starts with a good cup of coffee on the back porch with Craig before walking downtown through the park for brunch (and maybe cocktails), spending a lazy afternoon on the couch snuggling our kitty and reading a good book or binge-watching “Law and Order,” and then making something delicious for dinner on the grill (and Sunday leftovers set up lunches for the next couple days perfectly).
What items are currently on your nightstand?
A jewelry dish with my rings and favorite gold hoop earrings, hand lotion, a vanilla-scented candle and Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown, assuming it all hasn’t been knocked onto the floor by Marvin (our cat).
“Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life.” – Brian Andreas
Shop Her Home:
Velvet pillows (similar)
Vintage arm chairs (similar)
Vintage dining table + chairs (similar)
Faux marble clock (similar)