With a heart for the timeworn and an eye for embracing it, Blue Egg Brown Nest blogger Christen Bensten has shaped an inviting, livable, and ever-evolving home. To see more DIY projects and personal style tips for your home, order the Small Space Home Style Special Issue!
Years before she became a household name as the creative artist and blogger behind Blue Egg Brown Nest, a young Christen Bensten looked forward to her Saturday ritual of rearranging her bedroom furniture. She also spent her days in the pages of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters and dreamed of eventually dwelling in the English countryside. Though she and husband Brent landed closer to home, in a charming two-story cedar house in Arlington, Virginia, those English-inspired leanings still have their hold. “I think my style is a bit shabby-chic, a bit cottage, and a bit European,” says Christen, who has garnered a faithful online following for her outlook on design and her expertise on rescuing castoffs with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. “The painted furniture fits right into this aesthetic. It has a storied look that adds character and interest to a room.”
From rescuing and painting to updating the blog, it’s all a family affair, a close interaction Christen appreciates and finds important. “They know me as ‘mom’ but they see me being creative, too,” she says.
The Benstens’ master bedroom is a true retreat, filled with sunlight and layer upon layer of creamy furnishings and textiles. Next to the bed sits one of Christen’s favorite Chalk Paint projects—a vintage armoire she painted in Old White and heavily distressed. She also loves the boxing rabbits pillow, one of several motifs she found at a British Etsy shop called Helkat Design.