Reader Design: Oksana's Charming Home

A home is nothing if not a place of love, and love is clear in Oksana's home in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The family home, which Oksana shares with her husband and their baby girl, is full of European charm in the middle of the South.

Oksana fell in love with interior design in July of 2015, when she and her husband bought a 1930 bungalow that was previously abandoned for 20 years. Since then, the couple has worked to bring the house back to life, tackling DIY projects like nobody's business and documenting the fun renovation adventures on their blog, Foxy Oxie

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From Oksana:

I wouldn’t say I have a particular style, but I am drawn to an aesthetic of clean lines and geometric elements juxtaposed against more traditional silhouettes. The key, for me, is balance. I want our home to feel sophisticated but also real and honest and truly reflective of our everyday life, especially now that we have a young daughter and another little one on the way. I find that playing up opposing styles – feminine and masculine, soft and edgy, modern and traditional – is a great way to showcase personality in design.

I am a compulsive redecorator by nature, and my style is ever-evolving. But I always, always gravitate towards a neutral color palette with lots of texture. Every now and then I’ll add in a pop of color – the latest being a moody teal – but it never lasts.

More important to me than a specific style, however, is the overall feel of our home – and that’s something that is based on individual design intuition and varies greatly from person to person.
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You’ll find a lot of European design influence in our home – from our Italian cantilever dining chairs to the French-inspired dining table to our Chesterfield-style sofa.
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I know first-hand the transformation nature of a well-designed room. Our surroundings have the power to instantly lift our spirits, increase productivity and improve our quality of life. Beyond the aesthetics, I strive to make our home feel relaxed – and a big part of that is maintaining a clutter-free environment. You have to give rooms breathing space. For example, I am one of those rare individuals whose countertops are (almost) always empty. Decluttering sprees are a regular occurrence in our home. And as much as I love arranging pretty vignettes, I am not a fan of displaying decorative tchotchkes for the sake of filling a space.
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Instead of knick-knacks, Oksana gravitates toward more permanent fixtures.

I am very particular about our light fixtures and am always willing to splurge for just the right one. Lighting is truly the jewelry of a room, and just like a well-designed piece of jewelry can instantly elevate a rather simple outfit, light fixtures have the same effect on a room.
 
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Every room is full of love, yet simple; graphic and bold, but timeless. Perhaps it's the combination of Oksana's career as a graphic designer and her family life as a wife and mother that brings balance to bear. Regardless of the reason, it sure has created a beautiful home!

Oksana, thank you for the tour today! 

Follow Oksana and her family along on Instagram at @foxyoxie.

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Reader Design: Kendra's Gathering Spot

We're off to Texas today, mutts! Kendra is a musician, photographer, and superb community maker. It all starts with her own home in Houston, Texas, which she shares with her husband.

From Kendra:

My husband and I are big on community, so we wanted our space to be one that is not only cozy and inviting but also one that allows us to intentionally cultivate our growing community. An open floor plan, gathering spaces, and a large dining table were must-haves for us. I’m also a musician and creative, and I want the space I live (and sometimes work) in to be aesthetically beautiful, inspiring, and creatively inviting.
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We bought our house one year ago in June and, before that, I wasn’t super passionate about design nor did I know what i really liked. In the last year I’ve learned more about myself through my design style, and it’s turned into a hobby as well as a passion. I love being able to express myself in my own space. When friends, family, and even strangers come over to our house, I feel like they are getting a glimpse into my soul just by seeing how I’ve designed each space, and the attention I give to even the smallest of details. It’s truly special to be able to make a house a home.
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Part of the design process has included some self-realization on what styles and trends are truly authentic to Kendra's soul; and like most things in adult life, it took a bit of trail and error.

I would describe my style as a touch of bohemian meets mid-century modern with ALOT of plants. I love the layers of clean-lined, mid-century modern furniture mixed with the elegance, nostalgia, and texture of hand-made items, hand-me-downs, and thrift finds. I think it unintentionally has a desert/western feel.

I think the whole “mid-century modern” trend was a struggle at first. It’s so fun and unique, and i see it EVERYWHERE so that caused some initial hesitation. When we first got married and moved into our first apartment together, I went all out on a specific design style that I completely grew out of a year later (So much regret). In order that I don’t make that mistake again, I keep that in the back of my mind when I’m making big style decisions. I want to be able to keep up with trends, but also make smart design choices that I know and believe will outlast a trend and not break my bank every year!
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A sure-fire a way to gracefully sidestep trends is to stick to what you know. And what your family has known for years before.

The piano was passed down to us from my husbands grandma and grandpa and inside the bench seat holds many original songs written by Steven’s grandmother and vintage piano lesson books.

Each room has a special something that makes them interesting and different. The one common denominator? I bet you can guess now that you've seen Kendra's home.

PLANTS! I Keep a fairly minimal color scheme, so I absolutely love the vibrance, color, and life that plants bring to a space. It’s a constant learning curve because you never know how a plant will survive in one space versus another, but I love the challenge and the accomplishment that comes from helping a plant thrive in a space. My mom always had plants in our homes growing up, so it’s something that we can connect on and a hobby that was passed down from her to me.
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Kendra, thank you so much for the big Texan welcome! We love what you've created in your home. 

Follow Kendra along on Instagram at @kj.bates for more.

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Reader Design: Ashlee's Calm & Comfy Home

After a bit of a hiatus on these reader design features, we're back and headed to sunny California! Ashlee is a sweet mother-to-be and talented interior design who draws inspiration from the calm and comfortable Sacramento surroundings.

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From Ashlee:

I’m a true California girl, and my personal style and interiors style, I think, are a reflection of that. I would have to say one geographic place that describes my homes aesthetic would be Venice or Ojai, just that simple modern California feel. I love evoking feelings of calm and comfort. I want my home to be a place where people just want to hang out for long periods of time and can truly zen out.
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The home is classic and soothing, but still entirely on trend without it being too much. That's the California way, isn't it?

I have to admit I have dabbled in a few trends myself. Brass being one that is seen in my space. When making the decision to add some more trendier elements in my house that I know may not be around forever I kept it to a few select things (lighting, coffee table). It is easy to get carried away, but if you keep them to a few select items you can always switch them out later.
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Amongst the brass and plants are plenty of older and vintage touches. Take the dining room for instance.

While not a piece of furniture, the built-in element of our apartment is a total favorite. The building we live in is over 100 years old and recently went through a complete renovation. They kept the charm of the molding, built-ins, and doors that I truly love and appreciate. Plus I fill it with treasures that represent us as a couple.
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It's a home that's as classic today as it would have been years ago - and will for years to come. Ashlee, thank you for letting us in and showing us around!

Follow Ashlee along on Instagram at @ashlee_berry. And for more gorgeous photos, follow photographer Nicole at @nicoledianne.

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