If you could sum up the home of Connecticut-based designer Chauncey Boothby in just a short phrase, it would be “perfectly imperfect.” The mother of two young boys and a designer who studied under Charlotte Moss, Boothby knew she needed to strike a balance between an exquisitely designed home and durable space to raise her young family. “I set out to design a house that was a reflection of us and our lifestyle,” she says. “Things might not match perfectly, but they work.” And work they do. Her Connecticut home is a grandmillennial’s dream—filled to the brim with both IKEA and inherited “brown furniture” classics.
“A house has got to be livable, and that was the real mission for our home,” Boothby says. Her characteristic blend of high design and hacks is what makes her house so endearing. In the living room, she places a plain IKEA coffee table next to an antique wicker chaise. She repeats this juxtaposition throughout the house, using Farrow & Ball paint on dining chairs that sit around an IKEA table and hanging a pendant light from Pearl River Mart right over it.
“We have flying dinosaurs in our house,” she says. “Until we learn to harness them, my jury-rigged Pearl River pendant does the trick.” When they paint Easter eggs or carve Pumpkins for Halloween, Boothby can rest easy knowing that the table is prime for a little wear and tear. “I realize what having a young family entails, so I’m not above embracing a good old IKEA piece in very well-used areas of our home.”
All her experience living in a beautiful space with small children makes her the number one guinea pig for her clients. “I’ve done my research,” she says with a laugh. “I can recommend things to my clients and say that I’ve actually tested it. I haven’t just done the spill test in a showroom. I own this sofa with this fabric, and I can tell you in real life what happens.”
When she isn’t going with Crypton fabrics or IKEA hacks, Boothby is breathing new life into her well-loved pieces. “My husband and I are fortunate to have so many family heirloom pieces,” she says. “I love mixing them in with our newer items. Some I’ve recovered, refurbished, or repainted. Others I’ve left as is, patina and all.” The resulting design is a space filled with personality and patterns in a world of durability.
The formal living room is a study in mixing old and new. “Some pieces may be just a little off from the overall scheme, but they are well-loved,” she says. Boothby recovered an old sofa with a stripped Rogers & Goffigon fabric and paired it with a new Amanda Lindroth rattan coffee table. Vintage slipper chairs were paired with a stool from Pier 1. She also paired a new Lee Industries sofa with vintage side chairs recovered in a Robert Kime fabric. Sofa: Vintage, Covered in Rogers & Goffigon Linne in Aziome. Table: Amanda Lindroth. Slipper Chairs: Vintage, Boothby’s own. Footstool: Pier 1. Pillows: Striped Sofa, vintage Schumacher; Slipper chairs, Vanderhurd Pillows; Blue Sofa, Robert Kime’s Susani in Red.
“I’ve always loved this Robert Kime fabric,” Boothby says. Subtle pops of blue and red add a classic touch to the formal living room in this Connecticut home. Chair: Vintage, covered in Susani in Red by Robert Kime. Slipper Chair: Vintage.
“The kitchen was in desperate need of a facelift,” says Boothby. She gave the space a fresh look with a new coat of paint, new butcher block countertops, and a bright, white backsplash. “All those changes made it feel like a whole new space without any dramatic changes.”
A clever set of hacks make Boothby’s dining room family-friendly and oh-so-stylish. She covered a plain IKEA dining table with a simple block print tablecloth from India Amory. Her vintage chairs got a modern facelift with the help of Farrow & Ball paint and vegan leather. She use a recessed lighting convertor to hang a pendant light from Pearl River Mart and hung Etsy baskets on the wall. Paint: Benjamin Moore, Ecru. Table: IKEA. Tablecloth: India Amory, Sage Fleur Provencale. Chairs: Vintage, painted in Farrow & Ball Pigeon. Pendant Light: Pearl River Mart.
Boothby’s family room is a love letter to her past. Like many of the pieces sprinkled throughout the house, both chairs flanking the sofa are family heirlooms. The rattan chaise was her grandmother’s, which she repainted in Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green. The chair opposite is covered in the same fabric that filled her childhood home. “This is one of my happy places,” she says.
Sofa: Lee Industries, covered in Thibaut’s Bailey in Seafoam. Pillows: Muriel Brandolini, Smoke Grey 2. Rattan Chaise: Vintage, painted in Farrow & Ball Studio Green. Chair: Vintage. Coffee tabe: IKEA. Ottoman: Vintage, covered in Smoke Grey 2 by Muriel Brandolini. Floor Lamp: Consignment. Window Trim: Farrow & Ball Studio Green.
Boothby was given this dining room set from her parents when they downsized. “I was the lucky recipient,” she says. Paired next to her antique table is a classic New England ship, inherited from her husband’s grandfather. She brightened up the brown furniture with light blue paint and wallpaper. Table: Vintage. Wallpaper: Thibaut, Weston Stripe. Trim Paint: Farrow & Ball Lulworth Blue.
Boothby went for a pop of color in the bathroom, adding a fresh, youthful touch to the home. Wallpaper: Waterhouse Wallhangings Growing Nasturtiums in Green. Sconce: Circa Lighting Graves Pivoting Wall Sconce in Polished Nickel by Suzanne Kasler.
The retro color combination in Boothby’s bedroom is one of her favorites. “I’m not one to have a calming, soothing bedroom,” she says. “This is probably as calm and soothing as I’ve had over the years,” she laughs. Headboard: Custom, covered in Ethel by Charlotte Moss for Fabricut. Euro Pillows: Kate Spade. Bedside Table: Miles Redd Mitford table for Ballard Designs. Lamps: Vintage. Trays: Etsy, painted Farrow & Ball Vert De Terre.
The bed in Boothby’s son’s room has been passed down through her husband’s family for four generations. The Drexel side table is another vintage find, this time from her mother. She paired the classic brown furniture with a fun nautical wallpaper, perfect for a growing child. Rocking Chair: Consignmen. Wallpaper: Photowall.
Bootby pulled her guest room together with yet another IKEA hack: She paired vintage beds with an IKEA desk, which served as an impromptu work space during quarantine. Pillows: Muriel Brandolini, Peach 1.
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