Reader Design: Maggie's Sentimental Home Abroad

Hi friends and happy Independence Day, America! Ready to kick the weekend festivities off with us?

As is our customary Friday celebration, we have the pleasure of sharing a beautiful Reader Design home tour with you! But we're celebrating this particular 4th of July weekend with a really special Reader Design today - how's this: An American military family stationed in Germany, creating a home out of their 7th house in the last 14 years.

Self taught Maggie is a genius DIYer, skilled sewer, and sharp thrifter. After going through Maggie's beautiful home photos on her blog, Maggie Overby Studios,  I'm a big, big fan and think you will be too!

From Maggie:

Being married to the military has meant lots of houses to put my stamp on. I am now an expert at setting up house quickly and making a house a home without a high end budget. I have learned that there are so many beautiful things out there for a steal if you know where to look and what to do with them. Our home is full of items collected over time and things bought out of necessity for this particular space. As a military family  home is a place that is always familiar. In a life of constant change my home is a  retreat. Even if the shell is different the contents are items that I have collected and carried with me from place to place.


This room  began as a cold, unfinished basement and slowly transformed into a cozy second living space and office for my husband. 
The only new purchases I made where the Ikea FRIHETEN sofa and the Ikea LAPPLJUNG RUTA rug. The rest of the room is furnished entirely from thrift store finds totaling around $200. Some of the pieces required a little TLC, but the credenza and coffee table looked great as is.


The living room started with a coat of yellow paint since this room is a little darker and needed some brightening up. The layout of the living room/office was probably the most difficult in the house; it is long and narrow and also has several window and door openings along with two wall mounted radiators. A lot to work around!
The mid-century sofa and chair were from the Clare collection at Macy’s and are a great bargain. The chair on the right is a Pottery Barn Brooks chair which I got for a steal, along with the coffee table, as  floor samples. I was using this chair in another room at our old house but I made a new slipcover for it and now it fits perfectly into this room. The rug is a Dash and Albert, Field of Flowers hooked rug which was the inspiration for the whole room.


 I picked a yellow paint for the walls since the German winters would be cold and dreary. I had some great tablecloths from World Market in my fabric stash that worked great with the yellow as curtains and had a retro pattern that would work with the cabinets.
The Stenstorp island, (IKEA), adds a ton of counter space as well as additional seating, and a few baskets add much needed storage. I also bought a Hemnes shoe cabinet, (IKEA), for a bit little creative storage.

This beautiful nook was built in after Maggie realized there was enough space for a banquet - rather than building from scratch, she used two nightstands as the base to build the entire piece around! Genius!! You can check out the deets of this DIY here.


Loving the mix with my new, (old), rug, but what I am really loving are my new curtains. I ended up making a cream-colored valance with navy trim and curtain panels from Duralee JoAnn Blend Coral. The standard treatment for curtains here in Germany is a ceiling mounted track with a thin wooden or plastic valance. I decided to create a larger fabric valance that I attached to the top of the original wood valance using a staple gun before attaching it to the ceiling. 

You can read more about how Maggie made these stunning curtains here!

A gorgeous mid-century modern blush chair that Maggie previously used in the hallway is the perfect piece to tie this blush and aqua room together. She proves that shopping your own home can reap huge rewards! I wouldn't mind shopping Maggie's home... :)


Most bedding is from TJMaxx with the addition of decorative pillows that Maggie sewed herself. Many of the furniture pieces, like the children's beds, are upcycled redos, as well as other key furniture pieces that were needed. You can read more about the specific DIYs of each room here and here!


When I first started sewing I did the whole pull all the supplies out at the kitchen table and put them away when I was done. At our 4th house I upgraded to a converted closet in the guest room. Then as the sewing projects increased at our 6th I set up in an alcove in our large den and then finally decided to take over the dining room. Now at this house in Germany we have a 4th bedroom and not many guests so I actually scored a room with a door that I can close when the mess gets really bad (Big mess means lots of “magic.”)

Fabric anyone? I think I'll take the remainder of the summer off to intern under Maggie's genius. What a magnificent space to get those creative juices flowin'!

For more fabric and craft storage I use a mid-century china cabinet that also has cabinet space large enough to hold my spare sewing machine as well as my huge scrapbook bag. The red chair I got for 20€ at our local thrift store once we got to Germany. I bought it thinking I would slipcover it but when I went through my fabric stash I found I had a fabric that matched it perfectly, and luckily I had just enough to make curtains. Now if anyone wants to come chat while I work they have a nice place to sit.

I'll be right over, Maggie!

Well that's a wrap! Maggie, you've been a lovely host, my dear. Thank you for opening your doors to us and sharing your beautiful, curated home. You can follow Maggie's decorating adventures around the world on her blog, Maggie Overby Studios, or on her Instagram, @maggieoverbystudios.

Thank you all for stopping by and enjoy the weekend!

Friday Reader Designs are all about getting YOUR work seen! Have a room, (or your whole home), you're up for sharing? Just share photos to our Facebook page or tag #stylemuttspaces on Instagram! We'll contact you for further details!