With family pieces and some DIY work, Shelby and Jim Boozer are turning their first house into the coziest of homes.
Newlyweds Shelby and Jim Boozer share a knack for giving old furniture a second life. If you walk through their North Shelby home, you’ll see at least one piece in nearly every room that’s a product of their handiwork—which, more than anything else, has made their first house as a married couple undeniably theirs.
They bought the house, originally built in 1988, in March 2019, just four months before they were married. Jim says one of the biggest draws for them was the spacious, fenced-in backyard, which has quickly become a haven for Bailey, the couple’s young black Lab. They also saw the home’s potential with some time and sweat equity on their end. “It was cute, but we knew we wanted to do some stuff to it,” Shelby says.
Their big-picture to-do list included replacing all of the windows, repainting the whole interior with more neutral tones, changing out old sink fixtures and redoing some of the landscaping in the front yard. “It still needs some work,” Jim says, and Shelby ticks off unchecked items on their list, such as painting the basement and tilework in the upstairs bathroom.
Their room-by-room to-do list, however, is where the creativity and fun have come into play. “I started redoing furniture when I got to college,” Shelby says. “I just like to stain and paint.” Exhibit A: The kitchen table where she sits, a special piece because it once belonged to her great-grandmother. And, for Jim, working with his hands is a skill he developed as a child helping his father on projects on their 12 acres of land in Selma. “My dad has always been the handyman,” Jim says. “Watching my dad and helping him out, I just learned from him.”
Now, when they walk through the house, they see the progress they’ve made, from redone heirloom pieces to freshly painted walls. “It’s been an adventure,” Shelby says. “It’s pretty good for our first go-round.”
Shelby filled the space right inside the couple’s front door with just enough pieces for it to feel welcoming but not cramped.
Shelby and Jim repainted his grandmother’s hutch white and were also given her dining room table and chairs. They won the large cabinet from a raffle at Urban Home Market.
Shelby and Jim were excited to find granite countertops already in the kitchen when they moved in. White cabinets and subway tile give the room a clean look.
Back to that kitchen table. Once it left Shelby’s parents’ attic, she got to work on revamping it and the chairs, a process she says was “a big undertaking.” Meanwhile, Jim built three floating shelves to display Shelby’s grandmother’s 1800s-era books and other knick-knacks.
Shelby applied her preferred color palette of blues and grays in the living room, all the way down to the coffee table, which she painted and distressed to give it an antiqued look.
Shelby used an window from Jim’s parents’ old farmhouse and photos of her and Jim to make a piece to display at their wedding, not knowing it would eventually hang above their bed. It coordinates with the white and gray color palette of the room and bathroom, too.
Shelby curated a mixture of old and new pieces she hopes make guests feel cozy and welcome.