This trashed rental has transformed into a vintage home that’s a treasure trove of beautiful antiques and found pieces.
Can a new house learn old tricks? That’s what café owners Bruno and Diantha Lima have learned in the last five years as they’ve fixed up their home. The 1,700-square foot structure was a rundown rental the couple has livened up with plenty of vintage collectibles—all while running their café By Lima and raising their two children.
When they bought the house in 2017, the interior was an eye sore. The first owners, who had built the house in 2000, never lived in it. Instead, they had rented it out for 17 years. That meant that, apart from the structure and utilities, it had received very little TLC.
Both the house and the garden were pretty neglected. “We were able to see beyond the superficial problems, and knew that this property had the potential to become exactly what we wanted: a gorgeous bungalow on a substantial plot of land,” Diantha says. “Even though it was the stepchild of the neighbourhood, we knew we could transform it.”
This property suffered as any rental property does. All the appliances, architectural details and other elements were very basic, and hardly anything had been updated. The floors were cheap and worn out, the walls needed new finishes and the kitchen needed a remodel. The window frames and doors also needed a fresh coat of paint.
Although the house needed a lot of help, it was a blessing in disguise. The Limas now had a chance to make sustainable decisions and make their mark on the house. They opted for solid oak floors and a custom farmhouse style kitchen. Using an old baker’s counter for the island enhanced the farmhouse look and complemented the Shaker style cabinetry, farmhouse sink and antique tiled backsplash.
Here and there, Diantha added to the light, romantic feel by using delicate-toned floral wallpaper. “Flowers are a theme, not only in the garden, but in the house too,” she says. “I wanted the house to have lots of appeal when you walk up the driveway. So I had white indoor shutters custom made, and created a bed of hydrangeas under the living room windows. It makes the house look really cozy and inviting.” Using old-fashioned cobblestones for the path adds to the effect.
The other area of this property that was special was the garden. It was originally overgrown, but large and full of potential. “We’ve put a lot of work into the garden,” Diantha says. “We repaved everything, built raised beds for herbs and vegetables, and divided the whole garden into manageable sections. It’s great to find new ways of using what we grow in the products we sell at By Lima.”
Like most home décor enthusiasts, the Limas want to build on what they’ve already accomplished in the coming years. “I’d like to convert the mantel into a working fireplace, but that will only happen when the children are older,” Diantha says. “It’d be too risky now.”
They also want to turn the sunroom off the kitchen into a living kitchen, as well as add onto the structures on the property. “At some point in the future, I’d love to have a small guest house,” Diantha says. “I’d also like eventually to have goats and sheep!”
Love vintage? So do we! Read on for Vintage Spotlight: Eastlake Furniture, Collecting Vintage Gardenalia, Vintage Organization Charm. Of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!