Reader Design: Adam's Charming Tudor

Today, we're off to visit a historic 1940's Tudor home in Knoxville, Tennessee. It's the loving project of Adam, a photographer, and his wife Amber and, as their first home together, is a major labor of love. 

With such a labor of love, Adam & Amber are taking their sweet time with this place, making sure things are done right the first time in a way that feels true to them and is true to the character of the home.

We have tried to spread our design process out over a longer period of time to allow us to wrestle with the overall design of the space, trends, and what the space actually needs. Our philosophy throughout the process has been to try our very best not to cut corners. I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for, and we really attempted to do it right the first time. Obviously, we have been blessed to be able to do this, and it has often meant waiting on certain purchases.

They started the process with a focus on what they were trying to achieve. Is it a specific look? Mastery of a certain trend? Or something more elusive - a feeling, perhaps? For Adam & Amber, that was it. They wanted to their home to feel joyful, calm, and captivating. 

The journey to capture those feelings also guided their style decisions. 

We do not concern ourselves with following one particular style, outside of trying to integrate the design in a seamless way with the architectural bones of the house. In our home, you will see elements of mid-century, Scandinavian, traditional, minimal, etc.

Adams & Amber composed their home piece-by-piece. In the dining room, they started with a custom, handmade table from Vermont Farm Table. 

It is perfectly proportioned, has such clean lines, and feels modern and timeless all at the same time. We wanted a table that would age well over time and become a family staple. The finish Vermont Farm Table uses strives to highlight the natural beauty of the wood and stand the test of time.

In the bedroom, they proudly display two of their favorite belongings. 

The first is our midcentury dresser, which belonged to my wife’s great-grandparents. It fits so seamlessly with the aesthetic of the rest of the room without being too matchy-matchy while also adding some extra soul. My wife remembers pulling clothes and jewelry from the piece to dress up in when she was young, and we often talk about how fun it is to think of her great-grandparents using the piece each day when they were young so many years ago.

My second favorite piece in our bedroom is our print above the dresser by Anjuar Patjane. The photo actually won the National Geographic Travel Photo Contest a few years back and captivated us so much that we new instantly we would integrate it some day into our home. We often find ourselves staring at it mesmerized.

I simply adore everything about this home and the method by which it was created - lovingly, carefully, and slowly over time, as if it were mirroring the process used almost 80 years ago to build it in the first place. 

I also adore these parting words of wisdom from Adam.

It is so easy in the age of Instagram and Pinterest to be overly critical of your work, which we find ourselves guilty of from time to time. While it is hard to know what the future will hold, we see ourselves staying in our home for a long period of time. Therefore, we try to not worry too much about what others would do, but instead choose what fits us the best as a young family.

Thank you so much for letting us in. And if all you mutts are feeling the same way I do, RUN to follow Adam along on Instagram @azford. 

Next week, I'm off for my jet set across the pond, so we'll see you in two weeks for more reader designs! 

Reader Design: Kelsey's Viral Vision

Her home has taken Instagram by fire. I've been following along since day one, and it's clear to see that Kelsey has filled her Dallas, Texas home carefully, lovingly, and authentically. She's an engineer, newlywed, and new homeowner and is taking every opportunity to make this place her own. 


From Kelsey: 

I would describe my style as modern-collected-eclectic. Most of my accessories are vintage pieces I had been collecting long before we owned our home. I’ve also developed a deep appreciation for worldly décor from my travels to the Middle East and other parts of the globe, and I love creating juxtaposition between exotic textures and clean-lined, modern furniture.

Her collected but modern style is something I seriously strive for. 

Let's take the kitchen for instance: the all-the-way-to-the-ceiling marble hexagon tiles; the baby blue lower cabinets; the brass hardware. It is EVERYTHING - on trend without being too time-specific. Kelsey's managed to make a pastel baby blue feel like a neutral. 

When it comes to trends, there have been a few struggles. As a closet artist and lover of color, my knee jerk reaction is to say yes to all things bright, bold, and colorful in décor, but when designing our home, I knew I wouldn’t be happy with the end result if I didn’t find a color balance. My new obsession is natural textures and exotic textiles which has allowed me to create a more neutral palette without losing interest.

Since she's tried to tone down overt colors, Kelsey also adds interest through the one-of-a-kind pieces she proudly displays. 

In our living room, my favorite pieces are our vintage brass Moroccan tray and the art above the fire place. I found the tray while antiquing during college at one of my favorite shops. I gasped the first time I spotted it, but discovered the price tag was a little too steep for a broke college student and sadly left it behind. Months later, I returned to the shop and found the tray wedged between some old, dusty boxes in the back of the store (maybe someone else was ‘saving’ it for later) but at that point I knew it was meant to be and I snatched it up – the rest is history! The painting above our fire place was one of the only items we bought back from our recent honeymoon in Hawaii. We wandered into an art gallery owned by the sweetest couple, and although we had a smaller budget, they were so excited to help us commemorate our new marriage with a painting. After an hour of great conversation and multiple phone calls to the artist, we were able to purchase our first piece of art as husband and wife.

Kelsey's taken those lessons from college and her honeymoon to heart and is committed to spending that hard-earned cash on things that are unique and bring you nothing but the purest joy: art and rare vintage finds. 

In those moments, I usually ask myself ‘will I always regret if I walked away and never found an item like this again’ and that helps me decide whether to move on or make a splurge worth it.

Kelsey, we are so grateful for the opportunity to get inside your home & get to know you better! Can't wait to continue to follow along and see how your home continues to evolve - you've got some serious talent! Follow Kelsey along @leftandlevel for more! 

Now, let's all go about our days and just try not to be too envious of this stunning Texas home.