Name: Marie, daughter Zavia, son, Tayvonne, and youngest, Jakai. And two awesome dogs, Raleigh and Rocky.
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Size: 1750 square feet
Type of Home: Ranch house
Years lived in: 5 years, owned

When Marie, who works in finance, bought her home five years ago, it was in rough shape. [B]ut I fell in love with the bones, the backyard has this lovely creek in it, and I knew I could make it my oasis,” she explains. “I have redone almost every single room, the bathroom, and the kitchen, as well as finished the basement and added a cute patio with a cedar hot tub. I’ve done many of the home improvements myself to save money and I just love how perfect my home is for me and my family.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic, modern and layered with a global feel

Inspiration: I get inspiration from so many places, but mostly from when I travel. I see things differently and love to incorporate found objects from places I visit.

Favorite Element: My most favorite element is my African masks. I have an entire wall dedicated to them, and I call it my diaspora wall. When I see that wall in my home it just makes me happy and it gives me a connection to a land my ancestors were stolen from. It keeps me grounded.

Biggest Challenge: My budget. I swear I have expensive taste so I have needed to be more creative in what finishes I selected because I have had to basically renovate the entire home with my savings. So instead of marble — which I adore — in my kitchen, I went with quartz. Small changes like that really extended my ability to renovate the entire home.

Proudest DIY: My gym is my proudest DIY. I did everything myself. The hardest part was installing the wallpaper because it was the sticky kind, which is not as forgiving as traditional paper so that was a trial.

Biggest Indulgence: My cedar hot tub was my most expensive one-time purchase and it was totally worth it. It really gives me the natural tropical vibe I was looking for.

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? My most favorite product is my Breville espresso machine because I am an avid coffee drinker and this just makes such amazing lattes that I have actually saved money.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: I will say that because my home is small I have to be more intentional about what I bring into my home. I have started to do this thing where I have to take something out of my home if I bring something new in. It really makes a new purchase intentional.

What’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Art!! Buy the art. I truly believe that filling your home with art gives it its own personality and separates great homes from good.

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.

Adrienne Breaux

House Tour Editor

Adrienne loves architecture, design, cats, science fiction and watching Star Trek. In the past 10 years she’s called home: a van, a former downtown store in small town Texas and a studio apartment rumored to have once been owned by Willie Nelson.

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