With a little vision, some hard work and a lot of passion, a homeowner builds a home one cast-off at a time.
If there is one thing Rebecca Bosch has in abundance it’s a vision for what could work. Her home is filled with the kind of gems that were once destined for the trash. But with her keen eye, propensity for paint and a few helpful connections, she’s created one-of-a-kind treasures that infuse her home with style, charm and personality.
“I describe it as Shabby Cheap,” she says with a not-so-subtle note of pride in her voice. After a look at some of her thrifty finds, it’s not hard to see why. Walking through her home is a storytelling experience: the closet-door mirror a neighbor was tossing that she reclaimed and transformed into a grandiose mirror above the fireplace and the dingy chairbacks she acquired at a flea market that became fretwork for her fireplace are examples of her ingenuity, creativity and hard work.
“I don’t mind working on it to get it where I need it to be,” she says. “That is part of the fun. In fact, when I’m done with a project I get sad because I want to keep going.” Rebecca has kept it going ever since she realized what kind of home she wanted to create and that, moreover, she could do it on a budget.
“My niece had just been born, and when I visited her in the hospital and saw all the pink in the room I just felt so happy and light,” she recalls. “I knew then that was the feeling I wanted to have when I walked into my home.”
She set out for the big-name designer shops for shabby and chic wares but found the price tags prohibitive. Instead, she
focused her attention to home-design magazines, where she began to learn the value of DIY. Now, sweat equity is old hat, and she spends most of her free time on the hunt for something to transform.
“I go to estate sales and garage sales all weekend,” she says. “I am constantly looking for treasure. I see potential in things; items look different in my eyes now.”
It’s a talent that has afforded Rebecca many treasures. The home is filled with bargains, sourced at discount shops and garage sales or acquired for free, like the aforementioned mirror that had made it to the trash heap before it came to Rebecca’s rescue. Chandeliers, passed on by others for the state of their disrepair, are a goldmine for Rebecca; there’s not one in her house that didn’t begin as a rusty brass monstrosity that she later transformed into delicate, elegant commodities. She also has good relationships with a local carpenter who she often enlists to help her tackle larger, more complicated projects and an affordable upholsterer who can handle any of her requests. This not only helps her get things just right, it also opens up her options, allowing her to bring more potential treasures home.
“I try to keep only the things that I truly love. If there is a not a spot for something, my philosophy is to not force it to fit,” she says. “I don’t have a hard time getting rid of anything because I am replacing it with something that I love more.”
Sometimes though, as her husband, Brendan, can attest, the rules are meant to be broken. On one particular flea market trip, she happened upon a steal. A seller was offering an oversized, slipcovered sectional for a mere $100. A rare perfect-as-is item, she bought it on the spot before her husband could remind her that the large piece wouldn’t fit into their small car. Rebecca opted to run back into town to rent a U-Haul. The sofa is now a perfect fit in their upstairs loft. In order to prevent such snafus in the future, Rebecca and Brendan now own a minivan.
By Jickie Torres
Photographed by Jaimee Itagaki
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel