See Why a Room in This Ohio House Is Described as ‘Beetlejuice Goes to Florida’

See Why a Room in This Ohio House Is Described as ‘Beetlejuice Goes to Florida’

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Name: Brad Walsh
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Type of home: House
Size: 3300 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: The house was built in 1948. The original two-car garage has since been converted into extra living space, and a newer three-car garage was built as an extension. I am a musician and art collector; I bought this house last fall with the intention of making it my forever home. I am an art collector, a hobby painter as well, and I love color in interior design. My house is populated by a mixture of vintage and antique pieces as well as new. And I like to draw on the walls.

My sensibility and affinity for color as an artist definitely shows through my interior decor. Since I live in a particularly snowy part of Ohio, I like to propagate a perpetual spring indoors.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Mid-century maximalist artist’s playground

What is your favorite room and why? The green room, which was inspired by Tony Duquette’s Dawnridge. You’ll see images of it a bit down the page on my interior design website. I refer to the style of the room as “Beetlejuice goes to Florida.” It’s my favorite because it’s the only lounge space in the home that doesn’t have a television. Just a record player, and many places to get comfortable with friends and a drink.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last thing I bought was a pink fluffy rug for the upstairs guest bathroom. When I moved in, the splendor of the original 1940s bathrooms had been muted by “updates” from the ’70s-’90s. There were yellowed linoleum floors, walls painted gloss white that hadn’t been cleaned in some time, but startlingly well-preserved tile and fixtures. So I restored the bathrooms to their mid-century glory and embraced the pink in the guest bathroom with the wall colors and the fuzzy rug.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Explode yourself all over it. If you make a mistake, you can fix it. If you regret something later, you can change it. But you won’t regret it.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.

A Small UK Rental Is Full of Clever, Temporary, Personality Adding Hacks

A Small UK Rental Is Full of Clever, Temporary, Personality Adding Hacks

Name: Laura Bradford, partner, and cat, Rodney
Location: Brighton, United Kingdom
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 875 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: After having lived in a studio flat after my divorce with the contents of a two-bedroom house, I was desperately looking for somewhere with more space. It was the high ceilings and the bay window [of this apartment] that won me over. In my last flat I was lucky in that my landlord let me paint, but I knew I wouldn’t be as lucky this time around so I started thinking up clever ways to put my stamp on the place without changing anything permanently. I also work within a 15-minute stroll so the location couldn’t be any better, 10-minute walk to the beach, too!

I’m definitely a maximalist. Less is absolutely a bore to me. I run an interiors account on Instagram under the name @lessisboreinteriors where I share upcycling projects and different rental hacks I have used in my own property. Anyone else who’s lived in a rental knows what an oppressive magnolia prison they can be. As someone who loves color and bold prints, I really have to get creative and think outside the box. I only really started posting regularly to my Instagram page when lockdown started and I’m amazed at what a great little community it is. Everyone is so encouraging and supportive.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: An eclectic maximalist upcycled jungle

What is your favorite room and why? The living room, as I love the amount of light I get from the bay windows. It also houses my favorite gallery wall, with awesome prints I have collected over the years and some new ones I have discovered since being on Instagram.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I just found a glorious piece of wicker furniture that someone had left by the bins. I’m going to use it as plant stand in my bedroom. People throw the best stuff away in Brighton!

Any advice for creating a home you love? Don’t be afraid to try things! Get some vinyl to cover those tiles you hate. Paint your furniture a bold color — at the end of the day, it’s only paint and you can always go over it again. Don’t worry about doing things to a place that you don’t own. If you find cheap ways to update it then you can feel like it’s your home and you’re not spending for nothing.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.

This 1910 Long Island Home Has Fun with Color While Exuding Sophistication

This 1910 Long Island Home Has Fun with Color While Exuding Sophistication

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Name: Kate Pearce, husband Billy, kids 3-year-old Josie, 8-year-old Eva, and rescue dogs Figs and Ripley
Location: Long Island, New York
Size: 1800 square feet
Type of Home: House
Years lived in: 4 years, owned

Kate Pearce is so good at designing a home with gorgeous vintage finds, she was able to use her home — like this large Long Island house she and her husband have owned for four years — to launch her business, Kate Pearce Vintage. “I work with home decor and design brands to promote their products on my blog and social channels. I occasionally take on design consultations, as well as social media consultations, and am always talking design and old home reno on my blog,” Kate explains. This isn’t the first time Kate’s home has been featured on Apartment Therapy (we toured it when they first moved in, and have shown a few sneak peeks earlier this year). But for this month (which is Color Month on Apartment Therapy), I wanted to feature the house’s current, most recent iteration. It’s the perfect mix of color and neutrals that may inspire your own home’s color palette.

Kate and her husband, Billy, actually bought this house while awaiting the arrival of their second daughter, 3-year-old Josie. “Our previous home was a small beach bungalow that we lived in with our first daughter and our two dogs, but we knew we needed more space,” Kate begins. “The problem was, our budget wasn’t any larger. When we found our home, we knew immediately it was the one. It checked all the boxes: 1. Larger footprint 2. Old (our home was built in 1910 and I have always wanted to live in an older home). 3. Fixer upper (which meant the price was right, but we could also put our own imprint on the home).”

“We bought our home four years ago almost to the day, and we’ve been working on it ever since. Billy does all the electric, plumbing, and nearly all the construction. I am the painter, the designer, and occasionally I’ll throw down some tiles and bang a hammer. It’s been a collaborative effort, but our home is finally looking like how we imagined it would when we moved in.” You can see more of Kate’s home by following on her on Instagram, @katepearcevintage, as well as TikTok and her website.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style is eclectic and what I like to describe as a “restrained maximalism” that is rooted in vintage and art. I love being surrounded by my estate sale and thrift store finds, so I embrace a lot of open shelving. That said, I am constantly editing my spaces to make sure they feel interesting without feeling cluttered.

Inspiration: I take inspiration from everywhere; nature, art, and other designers such as Justina Blakeney, Sarah Sherman Samuel, and many others. But the place I find the most inspiration is from my vintage finds. More often than not, an entire room is spawned from an unexpected estate sale or thrift store find.

Favorite Element: Ironically, my favorite thing about my home is one of the only things that has remained unchanged since we bought it: the large Japanese Maple on our front lawn. I’ve designed all the rooms that look out onto the tree with the tree in mind, culminating with our attic bathroom. When we renovated the attic I placed a large picture window looking out onto the Japanese Maple tree top and placed the clawfoot tub directly in front of it. By far, my favorite spot to be in my home is in that tub, looking out to that tree.

Biggest Challenge: Our biggest challenge was our kitchen renovation. We had to take down walls, FOUR layers of old flooring, and we even had to take down the ceiling. It was our first major renovation and we tackled it all on our own, so it was a huge learning curve. We worked on it with every free minute we had for four and a half months. It was hell. But in the end, it was worth it!

Proudest DIY: I think our proudest DIY is one we are just finishing up now. We are in the midst of completing a speakeasy space in our previously unfinished basement and we created a custom banquette from scratch. We did channeled upholstery on the entire thing, and we had never upholstered before!

I come up with the DIY ideas, and Billy is the one to implement them. I think one of my favorite ideas was when we took a vintage library card catalog and turned it into the sink in our primary bathroom. Billy was able to make it a floating console and I love how it came out!

Biggest Indulgence: Our biggest indulgence was our attic renovation. It was a completely unfinished space and we transformed it into our primary bedroom and bath. We worked with a lot of brands to get sponsored content, and did all of the labor on our own, but even WITH those things offsetting the cost, it was still more than we probably should have spent on an attic space. I also  don’t think we were fully prepared for that cost heading into it. That said, it was TOTALLY worth it. It’s one of the most used spaces in our home, and by far my favorite. And having our own bathroom and not sharing a bath with two young girls has been absolutely life-giving.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? We are mere days from finishing our most recent project — a basement speakeasy/brewery space. Billy loves brewing his own beer, but never had enough space in this house to set up all his equipment. Our basement was entirely unfinished, cold, damp, full of bugs — basically the stuff of nightmares. We decided to carve out an area of the basement to build walls, add plumbing, electric, heat… all the things, and build the brewery from a space that previously felt unusable. We’re very excited about how it’s coming along, and this space may even eclipse the attic as our favorite yet!

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? Anything vintage! I love buying vintage pieces because not only are they the best way to make your home unique, it’s also a win for the planet. It’s really an all-around win: lower prices, saving pieces from landfills, and creating a home that is personal and unique. Just be sure to shop directly from the thrift or estate sales for the lowest prices. Facebook Marketplace is another favorite.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Pare down your belongings and buy less is a big one. When we renovated our kitchen I was set on having open shelving, but that meant less cabinets to hide things in. I ended up bringing about half of what was in my kitchen to the thrift store, and storing another ¼ in our basement and only keeping the things we use at least once/week in our kitchen. Another small space tip is to buy furniture with built-in storage. For example, our sectional sofa has storage in the chaise and we have a couple of storage ottomans.

What most people get wrong about using color in their home: I think most people think you need to be all in or all out when it comes to color. When I peruse Instagram I always feel like a bit of a misfit. Most other design accounts I follow are entirely neutral, or very colorful. I like to think that my designs show that you can have some fun with color, while still maintaining a feeling of sophistication. But also to be mindful that color often demands more attention than neutral pieces, and you don’t need much of it to make a big statement.

What are the biggest tricks/secrets to using color in decor? The first thing I’d say is to maintain consistency with what types of color you want to use in a space. It’s OK to use different colors, but keep them in the same family. For example, make a room all pastels, or all jewel tones, etc. The next trick is to use the same color at eye level, below eye level, and above eye level. It helps carry your eye around the room and makes pops of color feel more intentional. The last tip I’d give is to be mindful that your room is your canvas. This is simply my own opinion, but I think color is most effective when it complements neutrals. Most of my spaces have about ¾ neutrals and ¼ color, but many people still strongly associate my spaces with color.

What’s your favorite wall paint color of all time: Graham & Brown’s Highcliffe Rock — it’s a light blue that reads as a neutral, but with just enough saturation to make it stand out. I love it in a matte finish. It’s both calming and versatile.

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? You can make a room look twice as good for half the cost by buying secondhand. Instead of spending hundreds on a framed print for wall art, check out your local estate sales and thrift stores to score some original art for the same price or less. Instead of dropping $80 on a coffee table book at a retail store, keep your eye out at garage sales to score the same book for just a dollar or two. I’d say about 85 percent of the decor in my home is secondhand, and I think it is the sole reason I can afford to make my house look the way it does, but also the reason why my home feels like it represents me as an individual.

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.

Adrienne Breaux

House Tour Editor

Adrienne loves architecture, design, cats, science fiction and watching Star Trek. In the past 10 years she’s called home: a van, a former downtown store in small town Texas and a studio apartment rumored to have once been owned by Willie Nelson.

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This Maximalist House Has a Blue Kitchen, Wild Wallpaper & Hidden Storage Ideas

This Maximalist House Has a Blue Kitchen, Wild Wallpaper & Hidden Storage Ideas

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Name: Carissa, Adam (husband), Waffle (black dog), Queso (yellow dog), and Hotdog (the cat). (Yes we love food too much.)
Location: Richardson, Texas (outside of Dallas)
Size: 2,090 square feet
Type of Home: House
Years lived in: Almost a year, owned

Finding our home was such a blessing in disguise. After losing out on what we thought was our dream home (but was over budget), we ended up stumbling on to our current home by deciding to give the “uglier” homes on MLS another look. When I revisited this home, I realized it actually had everything we were looking for, but was just so ugly that I never realized it before. There was A TON of remodeling that had to be done (which meant it was a blank slate for some creative design), but it had the bones to be amazing. Plus, it was so much cheaper. When we pulled up to the home, we discovered that it had a huge walking trail along a duck-filled creek. There were even ducks just wandering in the neighborhood. It was a happy, warm environment. That was the moment we knew this home was going to be something special for us.

I am a self-taught designer that recently quit my job of six years to pursue starting my own interior e-design business, so my days are typically filled with cozying up on the sofa and getting my creative juices flowing while I work on design projects or think up new ideas for our own home. My husband also works from home as a video editor, so he hogs the desk most of the day. I am also a singer and perform in a ’90s cover band, so our huge shower is used as my practicing spot to bust out some Spice Girls or Alanis Morissette. Lots of singing and booze has been consumed in that shower. When I am not doing something related to work, we love spooning our doggos on the couch, eating lots and lots of pizza, and binge-watching a show. We also have morning coffee chats on our patio under the pergola while our dog Queso stares off into the blank void of his mind while he sun bathes on the deck.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Colorfully dramatic maximalism that fuses unexpected genres and styling elements together to create a layered and statement-filled home.

Inspiration: I have previous experience in graphic design, so pattern is a huge source of inspo for me. I love to incorporate bold patterns into our home, especially on the walls or tile elements. I am also passionate about color and drama, so a lot of my inspo comes from UK based Instagram accounts! There are so many homes DRENCHED in creative color blocking from the UK that are so cleverly executed.

Favorite Element: Our color-blocked backyard is the space that brings me the most joy in our home. It has all of my favorite colors and feels like you are transported to a Miami bungalow. I was especially thankful for the escape during lockdown!

Biggest Challenge: Not only had our home not been remodeled since the ’70s, it was also all poorly executed. Every inch needed to change, at least visually. This, on top of my need for over-the-top design on a somewhat modest budget, has been quite the experience. It has really challenged me to figure out how to make the biggest impact in the most practical way, or how to work around the current built-in pieces to create a room that looks completely different. For example, in our guest bath, we didn’t have the time or the budget to have a fully custom wood vanity made, and due to timing issues, the countertop had to go on before a new vanity could be put in. So instead, we gutted the original vanity down to just the bones, opened up the bottom cabinets, lined the inside with plywood, and created a new wood face frame. All it cost us was the price of wood and some hardware, but looks COMPLETELY new.

Proudest DIY: My proudest DIY is actually our recent kitchen remodel. We were lucky enough to be working off of our original remodel from when we moved in. So we already had the nice countertops and built-in bench, etc. But in order to make the kitchen feel current and more me, we made all new flat front overlay doors, added fluted paneling using half rounds, did a DIY hand-painted mural instead of wallpaper in the breakfast nook, used leftover terrazzo tile from our bathroom as an accent on our island, created a DIY channel-tufted bench pad for our breakfast nook bench, and repainted everything to be a combo of a bold cobalt or a warm pinky beige. The most clever part of the DIY project was that we did not have enough of the terrazzo tile to use as the backing for our upper cabinets, so instead, I simply printed off a picture of the tile on thick printer paper, making sure it was colored exactly like the tile in person, then used gorilla glue spray to apply it to the cabinets. It literally looks exactly like the terrazzo on the island and cost zero dollars. Our kitchen feels so much more me, and totally new now!

Biggest Indulgence: Our main bath remodel was quite the splurge. We did not want to DIY that room because we really wanted something custom, nice, and that will stand the test of time. It was the biggest pain to have people in our home for six months, but now we have a shower that I can sprawl out like a starfish in, so that alone makes it totally worth it, haha. We would not have been able to accomplish such an amazing and intricate bathroom design by ourselves, and it has really added so much value to our lives and home. 

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? I love adding secret storage into designs, and being able to use every inch of space. We have a modern floor-to-ceiling wood slat wall at the end of a hallway that is actually a hidden sliding door to a closet. Most guests don’t realize it is a door at all.  The wood slat wall in our main bathroom also opens up to be our main closet and the wood slat tower on the vanity has a medicine cabinet inside. I hate doors that look like doors apparently, haha.

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? Although a lot of the bigger furniture pieces are store bought, the vintage ones are the ones that bring the most impact and character. My house would not be nearly as cool without my giant shell chandelier hanging in the living room, or without my pink cantilever chairs. The blue boy painting in our breakfast nook was found by accident when I was just trying to find an ornate vintage gold frame, and it came as a set with the pink girl for only $35 TOTAL! That painting brings SO much unexpected character and charm to our nook. Side note — we also discovered that it looks exactly like my husband as a fancy little boy, so it makes it that much better.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: If you are a maximalist like me but are limited on designable space and also need to be functional, then try to go double duty as much as possible! Add wallpaper to a fridge or door; remove a closet door to create open shelving that can be styled. Go for pieces that are more open at the bottom like a waterfall table or bench. You can add cute storage ottomans underneath for a layered look, extra seating, AND extra storage. ALSO remember smaller rooms means less square footage for remodel materials, so they are a great place to splurge on the nice wallpaper or tile you have been lusting over!

What’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Follow your heart, go the extra mile, and don’t forget the power of scale! When designing a room, I typically start by seeing what design elements have been exciting me recently and I start there as a jumping off point! Don’t just jump on a trend because you see it everywhere, do it because it makes your heart skip a beat. Trends don’t last long, your home does. Typically it’s about three different elements that I start with. Then I try to think how I can put all of these elements together in a way that feels cohesive and balanced. It’s okay to have multiple statement pieces in a room as long as you are playing with the power of scale and balance! If you have a patterned tile but also want patterned wallpaper, then make sure one is a larger scale print and one is a smaller scale or a lighter weight, or one is angular, one is softer, etc. This will allow you to really put everything you love into the space and brings a ton of drama.  And at the end of the day, if the ideas aren’t sitting quite right, then keep at it until it really feels like YOU. Don’t settle. And lastly, YOU GOT THIS! If you want that magazine-worthy home, all it takes is time and effort. Believe in your abilities and don’t give up. I don’t have any training in design; I just do everything I can to make my ideas come to life, even if it means figuring it out as I go.

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.