Sapphire Anderson Crafts Character & Charm in Her Historic Home

From vibrant updates to vintage treasures, Sapphire Anderson’s home teems with personality

Photos courtesy of Sapphire Anderson  

A house will never truly feel like home without some personal touches and a little bit of character. This is something Sapphire Anderson (@sapphirejameliahome) discovered soon after moving into her 134-year-old home, which she has since personalized and updated to serve well for her family of four. “I’ve always dreamt of having the ‘white picket fence,’ cottage-y vibe home,” she says. “I had been manifesting it for so long.”

Prior to landing the charming abode she now calls home, Anderson made her way across the world. “I’m originally from Trinidad and Tobago but have been in the states since I was 7,” she says. “I moved around throughout my early 20s-30s—living in Idaho, Washington, Alaska, Florida, and Chicago. I met my husband, Tyler, while in Chicago, and [we] moved to Wisconsin shortly after.” But with a yearning to be close to family and a stroke of luck, they came across the home they reside in today. She continues, “Tyler gets to ride his bike to work daily, and I work as a stay-at-home mother.”

Sapphire’s unique design style, described by her as “somewhat maximalist, traditionally based and accented in British and European ‘cottagecore,’ with hints of primitive and modern eclectic,” has attracted a loyal base of Instagram followers that remains eager to see what she’s working on at every moment. “I always have my camera with me, and in general, [I] love capturing beautiful moments,” she explains. “It’s been fun documenting the process of updating and styling our home, and just interacting with like-minded folks has been a joy, too.”

While Sapphire has always had interest in interior design, it wasn’t until purchasing their home that she truly dove in. “I have a huge appreciation for vintage and antique furniture,” she exclaims. “I adore the history that comes with old pieces and the character they dress a room in. I could talk about thrifting and antiques all day!” Luckily, this vintage style fits seamlessly with the home’s age and originality, allowing her to maintain the integrity of the historic structure.

The biggest project they have tackled thus far has been the kitchen. She notes how “it was such a dark space. There was only one slender window in there and all the cabinetry was a deep brown color. I wanted to brighten the space but also open it, so we found a contractor in town and had them build open shelves.” From there, they updated the countertops and sink, painted walls, upgraded flooring with peel-and-stick tiles, and created an open-shelf coffee bar.

Although the transformation journey is far from complete, Sapphire and her family are thriving in the home, as she continues to document her ever-evolving list of projects on Instagram. She says, “It has been a blessed and lovely life thus far.”

What’s your favorite room in your home?

Our front room is my favorite! I used to call it the “formal front room” [because] the actual living room near the dining area holds the TV and a more relaxed sofa. Now, I refer to the front room as the library and my safe space. I originally wanted a library there, but [I] didn’t know how to go about it yet. It’s such a cozy space with amazing natural light during the day. I’ve started creating a corner in there for myself, filled with books written by Black authors, books about Black culture, and joy! I’m inside a lot, mainly just being a stay-at-home mom to twins but also because the outside world leaves me greatly anxious, so having this space I can retreat to is important. [It’s] my refuge.

What are some of your favorite thrift locations in Minnesota? 

Loft Antiques in Edina is a favorite! It’s such a beautifully curated space. While The Foundry Home Goods is not a vintage/antique shop, I do love going in there, too. I always feel a sense of calmness, [and] it helps that the owner is super kind. Saint Vincent de Paul in Minneapolis and St. Paul are favorites, too. The Mall of St. Paul is a fun one that I typically go to just to look at all its interesting things. The Antique Emporium in Eau Claire is dreamy. Luckily, one of my best friends lives there, so I always have an excuse to randomly go. There is also a sweet thrift shop in Kenyon that I pop into sometimes on the way to my in-laws’ house in Mankato—it’s called SIFT (Save It From Trash). SIFT purchases whole estates sometimes and the prices are better than fair.

What is your biggest interior styling tip for someone looking to achieve a similar style to yours in their own home?

Firstly, you are allowed to change your mind and try something new. Secondly, I’d say to not pay attention to all the “rules.” At the end of the day, you want to feel happy and comforted by your space, and for those feelings to happen, you’ve got to do what you want to do. If you like it, get it! Vintage or antique [items] can both be included in a modern space. The mixture of patterns and colors can be really beautiful, and having more than one decorative item does not make you a hoarder! This is something I’ve learned within the last couple years, and ever since realizing it, I’ve had so much more fun with the spaces in our home! Lastly, it’s OK if you haven’t started yet. Sometimes you need the space to stay in its current state for you to really gauge what direction you want to go in.

What projects are you currently working on? What’s coming next? 

I’m currently working on our TV room. For a long time, it was a deep red color, but my husband painted it, so it has finally given me ideas and direction. I’d like for it to be a “snug room” feeling. We will also be starting a small update in our pantry, and we can’t wait! I think a lot of people would say the same if their current situation was like ours. There is a deep closet in the mudroom [where] we have a tall metal shelving unit with everything on it. The two doors don’t fully close and it’s just dark and dingy. We’re hoping to create a butler’s pantry style with some French doors, and [we’re] crossing our fingers to start on it this summer!

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