Reader Design: Meredith's Simplified Space

It seems like the whole country is experiencing some crazy sunshine this week! But no place gets more sunshine than the location of today's reader design location: Denver, Colorado. Allegedly, this city gets a whopping 300 days of sunshine, and you can tell by the lightness and brightness of Meredith's home.

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When we bought this home, it was filled to the brim with bold paint colors, glossy finishes, and bright accent walls. My first goal was to lighten everything up and make the rooms feel more cohesive. We used the same light gray paint color (Silver Drop by Behr) in almost every room, and it’s done wonders for making our home feel light and bright and so much bigger! From there I tried to arrange furniture and decorate so our home feels welcoming and cozy but still simplified and clean.
— Meredith
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My style and DIY skills have definitely evolved over the past 10 years of home-ownership. Our first house was an 80s ranch in Arkansas, where we learned to scrape popcorn ceilings, add recessed lighting, and paint lots and lots of wood trim. I started collecting mid-century modern furniture pieces there because they fit the style of the house, but over time, mid-century furnishings became part of our style, too. Now those same pieces seem to fit our very non-ranch second home in Colorado because they are a reflection of us.
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Our family room is full of more favorite pieces. The credenza was a $40 Craigslist find that I spent hours sanding down to bare wood and refinishing. That thing will probably outlive me! The gold arc lamp was an estate sale find that took three adults to load into my car (with two carseats installed). And of course, our West Elm leather sofa is the most durable, comfortable thing ever. It was our only brand-new furniture purchase after moving to Colorado and it was worth every penny.
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One design element I will always be willing to splurge on is good lighting. In both of our homes, we replaced horrible wood-framed fluorescent lighting in the kitchens with recessed lights. We’ve also updated almost every single light fixture throughout our home. I don’t necessarily need something high-end if it’s a good design. I tend to prefer simple globe pendants and sconces, except for in our girls’ shared bedroom where I added the most girly floral chandelier ever!
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Over the past year, my husband and I have strived to simplify the way we live. We’ve emptied out our unfinished basement, decluttered our kids’ toy collection and our closets, reduced the number of decor items out at any given time, and even put half our dishes and flatware into storage so our kitchen stays cleaner. Our home feels lighter and bigger and we spend much less time cleaning and tidying! I’d love to be a true minimalist, but I have to balance a love of adding interesting textures and pops of color, too. Lately I’ve learned that keeping the pieces you feel most passionate about and letting go of the rest is a pretty great recipe for a home you love.

Meredith, thank you so much for giving us a tour! Follow Meredith along on Instagram @welcometoheardmont for more!

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Reader Design: Erin's Fresh Family Home

I'm so excited today to be featuring Erin, who has a stunning family home in Raleigh, NC. Now, I remember when Erin's home popped up on Instagram a couple of months ago. At the time, I remember thinking to myself "wow - I've uncovered a seriously hidden talent. We have to share this!" Of course now, Erin's home has captured the hearts and eyes of many - and for good reason!

Erin's home is many things - bright, happy, homey, welcoming... and the perfect representation of "style mutt-hood." I'm coining that phrase now. 

I love all different types of styles, but I’m most drawn to classic mid-century modern pieces, clean and simple lines, and I love the Scandinavian aesthetic as well. I live in a more traditional home, so it has been a bit of a challenge mixing all the styles together to work in the house. I’m still working and revising (always), but overall, I just love what I love.

What Erin loves feels new while still feeling totally nostalgic. And I don't mean new as in "just purchased" or "this month's West Elm 'it piece.'" I mean it feels new - interesting, different, nuanced in a way we haven't seen, but still familiar. Am I making sense? Stay with me...

I can only guess that it is because of where Erin draws her inspiration. It's not Pinterest boards - though I will never detract from the inspiration a curated Pinterest board can bring.

It's her own inner compass. 

I think I found my style in my 20’s (vintage dresses galore), which more or less found its way into my home. Over the years, my style has evolved into more of casual look as I have two kids and work from home. I still love to dress up (if only some of those dresses still fit!) and have vintage in my home, but I like to mix it with newer pieces. I want my home to certainly have character and soul, but also I don’t want to be living in a time capsule.

In her office, those vintage elements are clear.

I love my vintage teal chairs in my office. They were a total impulse purchase many years ago in our old home and I still love them to this day.

And why fix what ain't broke, right? Erin, please keep on doin' you and stockpiling that stunning art, finding those perfect vintage rugs, and buying all the vintage furniture - chairs in particular. 

What a home! Thank you for letting us in, Erin. It's a delight. Follow Erin along on Instagram for more and stay tuned for her soon-to-arrive site!

Until we meet again (next week, don't worry!),

Reader Design: Lindsey's Paint-Perfect Updates

I am particularly tickled over today’s #stylemuttspaces feature.  A while back, fellow CNU alum Lindsey asked me over for a re-upholstery consult by sending me this photo:

Obviously I knew I just HAD to share her home with you and boy-oh-boy are you all in for a retro treat!

From Lindsey:

Andrew and I bought our first home in June 2014. We got a great deal on a lovely 1970s townhouse because, well, it didn't look dramatically updated past then. Carpeted stairs, carpeted bathrooms, gold glitter seashell sinks--oh my! We have lots of down-the-road dreams for our new home, but for the time being, paint is the upgrade we can afford. And paint alone brought things a few decades into the future :)

The Before

The After

The Lounge [is] the small room adjacent to the kitchen is the dining room. The living room at the front of the house is spacious and sunny, and was a much better size our grandparents' dining table. We swapped out the wooden chandelier in the original dining room for the ceiling fan from the living room to better suit our sitting room. But as we compiled our hand-me-down lamps, chairs, and turntable, the room became an undeniable retro lounge. 

Before & After


Lindsey’s house is full of authentic-retro personality and she is constantly evolving it’s retro-liciousness.  Since setting up when the family (Lindsey, husband, and dog Hannah) moved in, she has cleverly swapped out her lack-hack coffee table for this awesome West Elm clover one and updated her IKEA end table and couch with custom tapered legs from  Brilliant!  She’s completed the room with unique family pieces: a brass record stand (Lindsey’s mom’s from childhood), her parent’s original Stiffel lamps (circa 1970s), Grandma Peggy’s mod green lounge chair, and Grammy’s orange and aqua succulent planters.

I love the high end look of the white eames-inspired chair and acrylic side table juxtaposed with the mod green lounge chair.

Both Lindsey and her husband Andrew are fans of Henri Matisse, so when they found “The big Parakeet and the Mermaid” Matisse print in antique store in Delaware it was a no brainer.  Plus it was framed in Belvedere Square, Towson, Maryland (just near where Lindsey and Andrew got hitched!) and it was only $20.  BOOM.

Lindsey’s other art is a combination of other Matisse prints from the Moma exhibit, prints from used art books, postcards from vacation and quirky prints that make her smile like this Etsy find, “The Houseguest” by Janet Hill.

A record collection to swoon for wouldn't you say?

That slate blue wall color really plays up the sunlight (and Hannah Girl’s intelligent icy blue eyes).

I love the combination of the Crate&Barrel Bucato Yellow Rug, warm wood tones, olive upholstered chair, and little pops of redsy oranges!

Every corner has a story: Lindsey bought this “Wild Thing Your Make My Heart Sing” wooden clock from a whimsical clockmaker in Kalispell, Montana when she was 15.  

I asked my parents to hang onto it for me for when I got married and had a house one day. Grateful my taste has not changed too much! Sure enough, they held onto it for me and Andrew and I adore it. It's such a fun pop of red in the lounge.

The iron plant stand in the corner is an antique find which Lindsey updated from a white worthy of “Grandma’s porch” to a sleek black.

And the transformation doesn’t stop there.  Lindsey deploys her secret weapon (a coat of paint) in the basement powder room for amazing impact.

The Before

You can see the before, carpeting on the floor, medicine cabinet protruding far into the room, full length towel bar (why??) and porcelain toilet paper holder. We pulled up the carpet (Which, it turns out, had not been glued down) to find simple tile in decent shape. 

The After

A little paint plus some Andy Warhol art of my childhood boyfriend (Elvis, I'm an old soul, what can I say?). The bathroom has a very low ceiling, which stumped me, since I dreamed of a bright red bathroom next to our basement movie room. I found a creative compromise by painting the low ceiling a soft white. Though we still have the same sparkly sink, the fun pop art is a nice distraction in the meantime ;)

 Paint Colors: Behr's  Ballet White & Allure || Andy Warhol's Double Elvis Poster || Double Han Solo Print || Poster Frames: Michaels

Rug: Target  ||  Freestanding Toilet Paper Holder: Target

Guys this doesn’t even cover half how awesome the rest of Lindsey’s house is.  Give her some extra love and maybe, just maybe, she’ll let us share some more ;)  Thank you Lindsey for opening up your home to us and showing us the amazing wonders a little paint can do! 

Don't forget we are always looking for more readers to feature on Fridays.  You don’t have to be a world renowned designer to get some real estate on our SPACES page – you just have to love your home and want to show if off.  Post your proud pics to our Facebook wall or tag #stylemuttspaces on Instagram.