Oh hi! This post is long overdue!
Earlier this year Katy approached me about helping with her new home. She, with her husband Josh and their two young daughters, had recently relocated back to Omaha, purchasing and settling into their house just in time for the birth of their newest family members, twin girls! After a welcomed adjustment period, she was itching for the chance to tackle some projects and start making their house feel like home.
Built in 1955, their statuesque brick Colonial is the perfect blend of classic traditionalism by way of mid century materials – stately columns, dentil crown molding, coffered ceilings... and truly incredible marble slab floors trimmed in terrazzo! I jumped at the chance to work on it.
The previous owners had recently refinished the hardwoods throughout, including the curved entry stairs. And while the irregular shaped marble flooring with its pink veining might be questionable to some, I was smitten! Those yellow walls, though, weren't doing the room (or the floors) any justice.
The goal was to keep the design classic, but breathe a little levity into the mostly traditional space, amping up the personality in a manner befitting their young family. In addition to her appreciation for colonial and farmhouse design, Katy favors clean lines and simple styling; however she definitely has a playful streak and didn't want anything too serious or formal. It was important that the more traditional elements always be accompanied with a subtle side of quirkiness. Yes!
My plan was to incorporate classic fixtures, cozy texture, and keep the space primarily neutral, with a shot of color on the door and via the area rug. But the biggest design element I earnestly campaigned for was wallpaper – the main contenders being this and this. With such a simplified color palette I felt it was the most effective way to still make a bold impact and grand first impression. However, though we went back and forth and came close to pulling the trigger, in the end Katy had understandable reservations about such a big commitment. In leu of wallpaper I moved to incorporate enough punchy art and accessories to keep it interesting. Here's the final mood board:
The walls got a fresh update via Benjamin Moore's Cloud Cover, instantly brightening the space and better highlighting those dreamy floors. And a classic herringbone runner was installed on the stairs both for safety and some much welcomed texture and pattern.
As perfect as the runner works in the space, it definitely wasn't an easy task sourcing it. We worked through a local carpet store boasting a large showroom; but finding something so simple amid the hoards of over-designed, often dated rug offerings proved to be a tall order. Eventually after several attempts we uncovered this option... which was backordered for months. Then after all the waiting, when it finally was installed we discovered they trimmed it in grey binding instead of the black we'd ordered. Not a huge deal, but the black trim would've intentionally tied in so nicely with all of the other black elements throughout the space. I opted not to wait to photograph the room, but I believe after another months long wait Katy finally got what she ordered.
That art is from Minted and I'm crazy for it. It's bold and adds such playful color without feeling too showy or aggressive.
On the other side of the room the front door was painted Polished Slate from Benjamin Moore. Also therein lies the vintage accent rug of my dreams. Found on Chairish, I chose this one for its vibrant coral color and how it would relate to the subtle pink throughout the marble. Plus antique rugs are built to last so they often standup to high traffic well, and the small-scale allover patterns have the added benefit of expertly camouflaging dirt and stains – perfect for both an entryway and a house with small children!
One of the first and easiest design selections I made for the space were those Rejuvenation sconces. They just scream Modern Colonial, don't they? I love how they feel like they could've come with the house, but at the same time still seem incredibly current. Paired with a simple thin black framed mirror, the black shades are the perfect touch.
Finding the right table for the entry ended up being one of those tasks way more challenging than expected. And it was pretty much all my fault. I used this Crate & Barrel credenza in my first draft of the mood board and Katy and I both fell hard for it. The washed wood and textured caning on the doors seemed so right. Sadly, when it came down to it, the proportions weren't. And for that price it needed to be perfect.
This set us on a crusade to find a suitable replacement, but nothing truly measured up. Though there were definitely a few pieces out there with that modern caning look we were after, none had the measurements right for the space. Ultimately, we moved forward with an affordable option from Target because it was well suited for her young family's lifestyle and (equally important!) still cute with its clean brass and walnut styling.
Ok, ok, I have a thing for umbrellas stands. I know they're basically obsolete and unnecessary considering most people just use the small collapsible umbrellas anyway. But what's a finished and styled entryway without some artfully arranged aged canes and classic curved umbrella handles poking from atop an elegant stand? Especially when that stand is brass with an embossed pineapple!
It was such a blast working with Katy and her sweet family. Having the opportunity to design and create personalized spaces for clients like her is an honor.
And now I'll leave you with one of my favorite views, a peek into their dining room, which you can expect to see more of soon!
Photography by: Bethany Gilbert