Marcelline Balfour lives in a 500-square-foot condominium on the Higher West Facet along with her two daughters and a grumpy orange cat. After shifting in a couple of years in the past, Marcelline joined her native Purchase Nothing group on Fb. “It’s a group of neighbors who give issues to one another free of charge,” she says. “My complete place is mainly a ‘purchase nothing’ condominium!” Right here, she exhibits us round…
Paint on partitions: Sherwin Williams, Meander Blue. Cubby shelf: Goal. Baskets: Dokot (paint and tassels added from Purchase Nothing group). Rug: Wayfair, comparable.
On constructing group: I really like my native Purchase Nothing group. There’s no cash exchanged, no expectation of commerce. The gorgeous factor is that you simply’re seeing the perfect in your neighbors. And whenever you witness that form of generosity, it compels you to do the identical, so the kindness compounds. Nearly every little thing right here got here from that group: the sunshine fixtures, paintings, the cellular in my women’ room, their enormous teddy bear.
Tray: Purchase Nothing group. Sheepskin throw: WaySoft.
On avenue smarts: I’ve gotten a whole lot of items proper off the road. Individuals in my Purchase Nothing group will usually publish ‘curb alerts,’ once they see one thing cool that’s been put out on the sidewalk. I additionally observe two street-find accounts on Instagram: @stoopingNYC and @scoopthestoopnyc. They blew up when COVID first hit and everybody was shifting out of town. You do must odor and examine issues earlier than bringing them residence (and a few stuff I’d by no means do — no rugs or mattresses). However, actually, most issues are in good situation. You’ll be able to inform when anyone needs another person to take it residence.
On a household of readers: We’re a HUGE e-book household. We’re all the time studying, and we’ve 4 bookcases. The women want hands-on, bodily copies, however I save area by utilizing a Kindle. I really like thrillers, like Douglas Preston and Lincoln Youngster and Rebecca Cantrell’s Joe Tesla sequence.
On a room inside a room: My women love portray, so I wished to create area only for that. I already had this little desk and chairs once we moved right here, after which cobbled collectively every little thing else. I discovered the shelf on the road and obtained a whole lot of provides from my Purchase Nothing group. It’s a small area, however they use it each single day.
Ceiling fixture: Craigslist. Couch: Ikea. Slipcovers: Bemz. Espresso desk: avenue discover.
On a strategic couch: It’s an Ikea sofa, however I obtained customized slipcovers, as a result of I knew my children would trash it. So, now I can actually wash my sofa every time I have to. It’s superior. The women can pull off the pillows and use it as a bouncy home.
Wallpaper: Goal. Portray: by Marcelline. Body: Thrifted. Desk: Walmart. Vases: Anthropologie, comparable. Chairs: Nicemoods.
On a worth-it splurge: I discovered this wallpaper on-line at Goal — it’s peel-and-stick. This area is the very first thing you see whenever you stroll within the door, so I wished to make it really feel particular and glad.
Play kitchen: avenue discover. Cabinets: Purchase Nothing group.
On cooking collectively: This play kitchen was one other nice freebie. I didn’t prepare dinner a lot earlier than my women have been born, so I’m nonetheless studying, and most of what I do know is customary little one fare: breaded fish, spaghetti and meatballs. We additionally bake collectively. LOTS of cookies.
Rug: Ruggable. Deer and body: Purchase Nothing group.
On joyful cabinets: One in all my favourite suggestions is to ‘merchandize’ your closets. I’ll arrange cabinets to function issues that may make me smile after I open the door: fairly reusable baggage, one in every of my daughter’s stuffies — we even grasp a few of their favourite work within the closet. Above the cupboards, it was wanting so naked and empty. So, I did the identical factor. The birdcage belonged to one in every of my neighbor’s grandmothers. It’s fairly outdated however so charming.
On a fast improve: One of the simplest ways to enhance the vibe of a room is to vary the ceiling mild fixture. It has the most important impression. Somebody in my Purchase Nothing group posted a curb alert with a photograph of a chandelier, and I instantly went to search out it. It was filthy, however I cleaned and rewired it. So long as you recognize the place the ability packing containers are, you possibly can learn to rewire a fixture. You’ll be able to be taught something on the Web.
Mattress: Dwelling Depot. Rug: Anthropologie.
On an enormous shock: It’s a dream mattress, proper? I wished to get the Pottery Barn model, nevertheless it was a fortune. This one is a knock-off from Dwelling Depot and fewer than half the worth. And it’s fantastic! I assembled it when the women have been away with their dad for per week, after which it was an enormous shock once they got here again. They’re all the time nonetheless looking for a manner into mother’s mattress, however they find it irresistible.
Fox pillow: Goal, comparable. Bedding, lamp and inexperienced chair: Purchase Nothing group. Dresser: Fb Market.
On making it particular: The entire intent with this condominium was to create some magic for my youngsters. Paint can get very costly, so I requested my Purchase Nothing group if anybody had leftover paint mendacity round — I wound up with over 10 cans! And the provides! I’d by no means finished a wall mural earlier than, however I believed, okay, let’s give it a shot. I did a pair arches, which progressed into some timber, which developed into some mushrooms — and I obtained carried away.
On the coziest nook: Somebody from the Purchase Nothing group gave me the felt and stuffing I used to make this ground cushion for the women’ studying nook. It was my first stitching challenge, however I simply appeared up some tutorials on-line and went for it. Fairly actually it’s so crooked. But it surely works!
White rug: Ikea.
On the cow leaping over the moon: I really did that small portray from Goodnight Moon that’s hanging on the wall. I used to be experiencing postpartum despair, and I wished to have an outlet to concentrate on what I liked about motherhood. So, I painted that for my women. It helped get me by means of the despair — writing issues for them, portray issues for them.
Wallpaper: Goal. Bathe curtain: Goal.
On a theme: This rest room’s theme started with the cactus! My women and I have been out in the future and noticed it on the road. They completely insisted we take it residence: ‘We have to!’ I used to be like, ‘Oh my God.’ It’s over 5 ft tall. However we put it within the stroller and obtained it residence.
Framed wallpaper: Drew Barrymore Flower Dwelling/Walmart. Far-wall wallpaper: NuWallpaper. Chandelier: Craigslist. Desk: avenue discover. Desk chair: Purchase Nothing group. Rug: Wayfair, comparable.
On accent wallpaper: I liked this yellow floral wallpaper, however I couldn’t afford to wallpaper a complete accent wall, so I simply obtained one massive piece and framed it with paneling I obtained on Amazon. It’s one in every of my favourite residence tasks.
Mattress: Vintage (through Apt Deco). Bedding: Purchase Nothing group. Artwork above mattress: thrifted.
On sidewalk treasure: I discovered this stunning display screen on the road. I had no thought what I used to be going to do with it, and it weighed like 50 kilos, however in some way I managed to pull it residence. Then it magically match on this area beside my mattress. It makes the entire room glow.
Dresser and armchair: avenue finds. Cupboard: Fb Market.
On a favourite discover: One of many coolest issues I obtained from the Purchase Nothing group is that this Kartell lamp, which often run for about $500. The bottom was damaged, however I believed, ‘Hmm, I’m fairly good at fixing issues.’ I mainly MacGyver’d it: I obtained the bottom again collectively utilizing wire and sizzling glue. I didn’t know if it will work, however I figured they have been going to throw it out anyway, so why not strive?
On rediscovering downtime: I’ve needed to bear in mind and re-learn all of the issues I appreciated doing, as a result of when my children have been youthful, I form of forgot all about me! When I’ve time to myself now, I spend time outdoor. I’ll go for a run or spend half an hour in our neighborhood tulip backyard. And I’ve to do one thing inventive every single day: portray, pictures, any small challenge.
Wallpaper: NuWallpaper. Mild fixture: avenue (remodeled with supplies from Purchase Nothing group). Bathe curtain: Anthropologie. Bathmat: Purchase Nothing group.
On a little bit escape: Whereas I wished the women’ rest room to be enjoyable and stimulating, I craved a extra tranquil escape. Nature is a large affect for me — birds, flowers, timber. So, this wallpaper referred to as to me. Once I put it up, I noticed the birds resembled those on the display screen in my bed room, in order that they form of coordinated. I believe that’s how a house comes collectively. When you maintain gathering issues that you simply’re drawn to, they’re find yourself complementing every little thing else in your house.
On discovering your manner residence: This condominium was initially a sublet I stumbled upon after I was newly separated, alone for the primary time, with two toddlers. Very daunting circumstances. I used to be so fortunate to search out this place and finally have the ability to tackle the lease. I wished to create a particular haven for myself and the women. They encourage a lot creativity in me, every single day. I get emotional speaking about it, as a result of it’s been a very laborious journey, being alone, going by means of a contested divorce. That is residence, lastly. This was a recent begin for us — and it exhibits.
Thanks a lot, Marcelline!
P.S. Extra home excursions, and 9 girls speak about their divorces.
(Images by Christine Han for Cup of Jo.)
Word: When you purchase one thing by means of our hyperlinks, we could earn an affiliate fee or have a sponsored relationship with the model, without charge to you. We suggest solely merchandise we genuinely like. Thanks a lot.