September 12, 2013
Most homeowners want comfort in their dwellings, but more than that, they'd like their houses to stand out as something special in their neighborhoods. It's the same philosophy that guides the choice of residential features like hickory hardwood flooring. It offers durability and beauty like those in Anderson's Chestnut Hill collection without giving up either quality.
That approach worked fine for a young couple from Michigan who wanted comfort without sacrificing style when they set about a home-wide makeover.
What Alli Michelle and her husband were really looking for was character, a quality that seems to be abundant in older period homes, but elusive in modern houses. But creating one-of-a-kind room designs can be accomplished by homeowners who invest time, energy and imagination in their decorating.
As Michelle told Houzz.com, "We love simple design, but we also want a home that feels lived-in."
Taking a practical approach
The couple began with a new paint job throughout their small home. They wanted to keep the walls neutral, with spurts of color around them. For instance, in the kitchen, a bright green and white striped fabric is used for a window covering.
Better Homes and Gardens recommended that homeowners illuminate dim corners with small accent lights to create a soft glow. If there's an awkward area of a room that they don't know how to decorate, it can be transformed. A small game table can fill an empty space and two windows at right angles to each other may be just the spot for a reading nook.
Other practical matters include maintaining the energy efficiency of one's home, while addressing air quality and heating.
Blending vintage and modern
One of the best ways to create a unique home design is to combine well-loved furniture with stylish new items. Michelle, who has a decorating blog called Hooray, blended a selection of modern and vintage furnishings that gave her rooms a cottage style that's warm and cozy.
A large rattan basket topped by cushions that she made provides additional seating in her living room. The nightstand in the guest room is a small stool topped by a few books, a glass jar filled with sprigs of greenery and a simple wood-framed mirror hanging above it.
Michelle's idea is to create a series of vignettes throughout her house. They provide a way to display collectibles, family photos and other accessories in specific locations so the house retains the theme of simplicity.
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