Designer Snapshot: Something Old…

August 29, 2012

By Paula M. Bodah

Nicola Manganello has a penchant for old things–vintage accessories, antique furniture and, especially, architectural details that she finds at flea markets and antique shops around New England and abroad. Nicola, a featured designer in our July/August issue‘s Perspectives, shows us some of the clever ways she’s found to use old pieces to bring style and personality to new spaces.

“I bought in some weathered barn doors and turned them into interior sliders, instantly transforming a spacious living room into an intimate gathering spot,†Nicola says. Worn leather couches, unique art and vintage textiles add the final touches of texture and interest so typical of the designer’s work.

Photo by Trent Bell

“While designing this little girl’s dream bedroom, I imagined built-in sleeping nooks for naps and sleepovers,†Nicola explains. “This intimate cubby is dressed up with antique hand-turned balusters customized to frame in the area and painted to match the rest of the trim.â€

Photo courtesy of Nicola’s Homes

A custom-carved newel post brings a been-there-forever look to a new stairway. The rope wound tightly above the carving and stained to match adds an unexpected play on textures.

Photo by Trent Bell

“Front doors are like the eyes to a house, a very important part of a house’s first impression and curb appeal,†Nicola says. “I had these exquisite old doors stripped down to their natural wood and finished with an exterior varnish, then added new hardware. The result is a warm and rich welcome into the home.â€

Photo courtesy of Nicola’s Homes

“I love finding a way to use old windows in interiors to help natural sunlight pass through a house,†Nicola says. “I found a pile of these old, half circle windows at a flea market years ago, and have been moving them from one storage unit to the next, waiting until it is their time to shine!†They certainly shine here, in the kitchen of a new house, where the designer put two together to make a circular window above the kitchen sink.


Photo by Brian Threlkeld

For more designer snapshots, check out:

Building Harmony

Sharp Contrast

A Growing Concern


Find A Resource

Search from hundreds of home services, products, destinations, and real estate opportunities.

View All Resources