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A DIY New Jersey Farmhouse With Vintage Charm

A DIY New Jersey Farmhouse With Vintage Charm

Living room with gren and mantel and cozy decor with a vintage mirror

 A small New Jersey farmhouse gets a DIY renovation, complete with a mixture of vintage and modern for a charming, family-friendly take on farmhouse style.

It’s often said that necessity is the mother of invention. When Instagrammer Chrissy Cignarella of Cignature Style with Chrissy Cig moved with her family into their New Jersey farmhouse, she knew it would take time and work to make it the perfect fit for them. 

In homes with less square footage, it’s important to ensure each space is distinct. “I like to break up these rooms with furniture and décor to make them feel separate without being closed off,” homeowner Chrissy Cignarella says. The brick detail is another DIY project. “We used joint compound and tape to make the bricks, and hand painted them to look real,” Chrissy says. “I love the character it adds.”
Chrissy’s home is a testament to love. “It was a lot of work—literal blood, sweat and tears,” she says. “We worked tirelessly, especially me during the time when Vinny was home for two years out of work.” With her passion for design and décor, Chrissy documents all the DIYs they’ve done on her Instagram account, @cignaturestylebychrissycig.

Chrissy has been passionate about home design since she was a girl. “I would rearrange my room and always loved making my spaces my own,” she says. Now a wife and mom of two small children, her focus is to make her house feel like home. For the last six years, Chrissy and her husband Vinny have worked together to renovate their New Jersey farmhouse completely on their own. “Literally everything in our home that you see on my feed now is a DIY done by us,” she says.

Chrissy got creative and fashioned her entryway area to function as a mini mudroom. “I needed somewhere to place coats and bags as well as shoes, so the shelf and bench are nice to look at and decorate but also serve a purpose,” she says. The shiplap walls are another example of the DIY work Chrissy and her husband did in their home.
In the living room, Chrissy emphasizes her white palette with green contrast to make the space feel larger. “This room is tiny, so I wanted to use every square inch purposefully,” she says. Because the fireplace is non-functional, she DIYed the insert to add farmhouse charm. Lots of blankets and pillows on the sofa give the room a cozy and inviting feel. “We love to gather and watch TV, so having a soft rug was a must,” she says.

Getting to Work in the New Jersey Farmhouse

DIY home renovations are not for the faint of heart. Built in the 1930s, Chrissy’s house had already experienced several remodels and renovations, including an updated kitchen and bathroom. However, it still needed some TLC. “The floors had cracks and were lifting everywhere,” she says. “We started from the bottom and worked our way up in each room.”

“The kitchen is truly the heart of our home,” Chrissy says. “I spend most of my time in here, so I wanted it to be functional and pretty.” Granite countertops and vinyl flooring are practical choices that also bring warmth to the white palette. “We refinished the cabinets white from a dark cherry,” she says. They also DIYed the backsplash. To keep the counters free of clutter, Chrissy stows away small appliances in the cabinets. Another personalized touch, the sign is a reference to the nickname Chrissy called her husband when they were dating, as well as her dream of someday opening a deli.

When Vinny suffered a life-threatening work injury, Chrissy continued the home renovation project on her own. “It felt amazing to do so much myself during such a difficult time, and it gave me a sense of purpose,” she says. Once Vinny was better, they worked together as a team to continue and complete the vision for their New Jersey farmhouse. “I love tackling projects with him—we work so well together,” she says. 

In the cozy dining room, Chrissy made the most of the space through her use of color palette and functional furniture. “My goal for this room was beauty and functionality,” she says. “Since it’s the first room you see when you enter, I wanted it to be inviting.” The ceiling is original to the house. “It was a dark brown and just totally closed off the room, so we painted it white,” she says. They replaced the original flooring with luxury vinyl plank—a nod to both style and practicality. The table was a roadside find. “I saw potential in it, refinished it, and it’s one of my favorite pieces,” Chrissy says.

From House to Home

An important aspect of Chrissy’s home design is her emphasis on creating cozy, collected spaces in her New Jersey farmhouse. “I love when people come over and say how warm and comfortable they feel,” she says. “I guess I would say my inspiration is making my house feel like home.” The palette in the main living areas gives each space a classic farmhouse vibe, while the bedrooms bring in a modern twist. “I love the warm look of woods and whites,” she says. 

Cozy layers and textures give the primary bedroom a warm and welcoming feel. Chrissy was intentional in choosing elements for her décor, as the room is in the basement. “When [our daughter] Lucianna was born, we decided to give her the upstairs bedroom, so we revamped the basement to be our room,” she says. “A soft area rug and a cozy, fluffy bed make it feel more like a bedroom rather than a basement.”
Chrissy’s remodel of the nursery included changing out the floor, painting the ceiling and adding shiplap. “The brick to the left of his crib is a panel from Home Depot that we placed joint compound over to give it that authentic feel,” she says. The rug and wood details add some warmth.

The total square footage of the home is only around 1,000 square feet, which was another factor in how Chrissy chose her palette. “Especially with such a small house, we need it to feel and look bigger, so white is the best choice,” she says. Chrissy chose minimal, functional furniture to prevent a cramped feel. To create a sense of coziness, she uses elements with texture, like blankets, rugs and baskets. 

For her daughter Luciana’s room, Chrissy decided to opt for a more whimsical take on farmhouse style. “It was so fun to design,” she says. The wood detailing behind the bed is peel-and-stick reclaimed wood, and adds texture and farmhouse charm.
The rainbow wall prints are a DIY. “I fell in love with rainbow wallpaper but not the price tag, so I hand painted every single one of those rainbows,” Chrissy says. For the project, her husband Vinny made her a stencil from scrap wood. “It was a lot of work, but seeing [Luciana’s] face after I was done was worth it,” she says.

Style + Function

Dealing with a smaller square footage can be challenging, especially when considering the practical needs of a family with small children. However, Chrissy uses clever and creative storage solutions without sacrificing her design. “It’s important that everything looks pretty of course, but it also serves a purpose,” she says. Throughout the home, furniture serves both style and function, and many pieces are antique finds she refinished to match the rest of her décor. With her smart storage and minimal and practical furniture, she makes the most of her small home. 

Chrissy and Vinny converted this previously-unused loft into a playroom for their children. “We didn’t have a designated playroom, and as the kids’ toy collection grew so did our need for one,” Chrissy says. “I love being able to send the kids up there to play while still being able to see and hear them.”
When Chrissy and her family first moved in, the deck was in complete disrepair. Together with her father and uncle, her husband Vinny completely replaced the deck. “We went with composite decking as per my dad’s suggestion, and we love it,” she says. “We spend every summer night out on it. It was important for it to be large and safe for the kids.”

Though small, this New Jersey farmhouse is full of love and is personalized. Chrissy and Vinny continue to update and renovate to meet the needs of their family. “We’ve never hired out and truthfully, I love that,” she says. “It makes all the hard work we’ve done even more rewarding.”

Love this look? Check out our Pinterest board full of farmhouse style inspiration! Of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook too! 

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