Home Tours

Carli Alves' Modern, Welcoming Colonial Home


There is something so satisfying and fulfilling about breathing new life into your home. Carli Alves, the Rhode Island-based DIY blogger and content creator behind Made by Carli, understands this dynamic and loves offering insight into how she does the same. Her newest renovation project is of the new home Carli, her husband, and their four children recently moved into a beautiful and charming 1945 colonial. It is from the new home she chronicles the transformation of their Hosta House, from updating their guest bathroom, renovating their outdoor spaces, and refreshing their open-plan dining and living spaces. We were so excited to partner with Carli on her dining room refresh and have a chance to sit down with her. We spoke about her motivation to move into the DIY blogging space, a few go-to styling tips to freshen up a room, and the importance of taking your time when undergoing a DIY project and figuring out exactly what you and your family needs.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you first began in the home decor blogging world back in 2010.

I’m a mom of four, ages 6-20, and I began blogging back in 2010 after the birth of my third child. We had moved to a new state, and while I have always loved creating pockets of pretty around me, starting from scratch gave me the motivation to seek inspiration online, and that’s when I was introduced to the home decor and DIY blogging community. I started my blog to share projects and progress with my friends and family back home.

What drew you into interior design and creating DIY projects and spaces within your home?  

I always say necessity is the mother of invention, so that’s usually what draws me to create. And most of the time, I’m looking for budget-friendly ways to do so, which requires me to learn how to tackle these projects myself.

We love your sentiment on “believing that your home is your refuge—a space that should be calm and welcoming.” What are your three tips for creating a calm and serene space? 

Incorporating neutral items with lots of varying textures is calming to me. I also love my black contrast, as it helps keep things feeling fresh and modern, and of course, I can’t forget plants! I love to incorporate fresh greenery into all of my spaces, and in my opinion, a room isn’t complete unless it has at least one plant in it. 

What do you love most about your home?  

I love our home’s setting, as it sits on a wooded lot. Although the style of our home is colonial, being here makes us feel like we are tucked away in a cabin somewhere, which has influenced my design decisions. I like to call it my modern cabin.

Shop Carli's Home

As a mother of four, how to keep your spaces functional for your whole family and yet not give up a strong design style and aesthetic?

I have this thing where I never want a space to feel too precious, so I tend to design with raw and rustic materials, as they lend a welcoming, non-fussy vibe. When you have kids, I think it’s important to focus on designing with items that serve a purpose and function (bonus points if it is multifunctional). Like incorporating storage pieces that fill a space and hide all of the clutter—this is key, especially if you have small children. With upholstered items, I tend to work with light-colored fabrics, so it’s important choosing performance fabrics or styles that are slipcovered so they can be easily washed.

A few Lulu and Georgia pieces are layered into your space, is there one statement maker you still find yourself fawning over?

I love it all, but I adore the Lawnie Dining Chairs. I love their unique shape and the fact that they are modern but also a little rustic. They’re modern in color and design but slightly rustic with the wood texture that shows through the black finish.

We’ve been incredibly impressed with your home renovation, any tips for future homeowners hoping to do the same thing? 

My husband always tells me, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and as much as it can annoy me, it’s true. When you begin a renovation, you want to rush through and start seeing your vision come to life, but it’s important to take your time, live in the space, and get a good sense of how the home functions as is before making any major changes.

One last question, do you feel as though there are other interior designs or bloggers who inspire your decor aesthetic? 

I am always inspired by the vision and work of Amber Lewis, Heidi Caillier, and Cortney Bishop.

Photography provided by Carli Arlves


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