Hello, friend.

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.”

— Dr. Brené Brown PhD MSW

I won’t lie, I’ve deleted and rewritten this post at least five times. ‘About me’ sections are the hardest for me to write because of this long-standing and incorrect belief that me talking about, well, me, comes across as egotistical and arrogant. Working on that, y’all.

Tintype by Kate of Wild in Love Photography

Anyway! I’m Abbey. I’m a millennial (and proud of it!) who loves color, DIY, and the Oxford comma. There isn’t a project that I won’t at least *try* to tackle. I’m a college dropout, a volume-up-to-ten talker, and mental health awareness advocate. Oftentimes, you’ll find me re-arranging my house with headphones in my ears, feeding me an audiobook or one of my favorite podcasts. I live in Nashville, Tennessee in a renovated 1960’s ranch home with my husband Jake, our rescue cat Gracie, and our miniature Australian Shepherd Jet.

Jake and I mere minutes after we got married.
Photo taken by Sarah Ice Henricks

I married Jake, the boy I had a crush on for my whole adolescence, in 2014 at the ripe old age of 21 in a historic church in my small hometown of Yorkville, Illinois. Sounds a whole lot like a country song, right? It feels like that sometimes. He’s my partner and my best friend. He is the guy who sings silly songs with me, stays up late drinking whiskey watching Lady Gaga music videos with me, and tells me he loves me whenever the mood strikes. I hold him and our friendship and relationship so close to my heart and feel lucky to be navigating life with him.

Our first Nashville home on closing day, June 2014

Our renovation story began a few years ago when we purchased our first home in June of 2014, just a few weeks shy of tying the knot. It was a small, 3br/1.5ba home built in the mid-1960’s. It needed cosmetic work, but was a pretty solid place. We gave ourselves a two-year timeline to renovate and profit off that house. We met that goal almost exactly two years to the day in June of 2016 and the funds we generated from good old-fashioned sweat equity helped us move onto our current home: another fixer-upper in Nashville. Again, we purchased a quaint early-1960’s ranch. It was bare bones: no major renovations, no landscaping, original everything. Now, it has a huge cottage garden in the front and an almost half acre out back, tucked away in a heavily-wooded corner of the city that confuses everyone when we describe where it is. Even native Nashvillians scratch their heads when they pick us up for rideshares, saying things like “I’ve lived here my whole life and never knew this neighborhood existed.” We love it here.

Our second and current home in Nashville.
Before and after exterior makeover.

We renovated both houses completely on our own (save for paying a contractor to mud the drywall in our kitchen — we didn’t trust ourselves to make that one look professional). Initially, I would think up a design, and Jake would make it happen. As time went on though, I became more comfortable around tools, began asking questions, began googling them for myself and using them myself. Most home projects are easy to do and I’m one-hundred percent certain most people can do most of the project we’ve completed over the years. We’ve done it all from popcorn ceiling removal to a kitchen remodel to hardwood floor refinishing. Prior to owning and refinishing homes, I had a huge interest in art, and having a home as a canvas has allowed that interest to bloom into a passion.

A thousand DIY projects later, I finally decided to start a blog. I think we’ve got a lot more to share than just DIY’s and I can’t wait to see where we go from here.

Thank you for following along as we figure this out. I hope I can continue to inspire other people to dive head-first into a new project.

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Posted by:Abbey Chiavario

Abbey is a DIY enthusiast and artist based out of Nashville, TN.

3 replies on “Introducing: The Chia House

  1. I love your style and I am so excited for more posts to come! My boyfriend and I just moved into our first home,a 1960s bungalow in need of a little love but FULL of popcorn ceilings. I would love to hear more about how you DIY’ed the removal of them!!

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