Name: Audrey and Matt with Simon, Bennett, and Cora
Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Size: 1,700 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years; owned
When you visit Audrey's clan at home in Lawrence, Kansas, it's an unassuming beginning: Their place is tucked into a relatively new housing development where the houses have a tendency to look similar to one another. Then you come inside and the family's penchant for DIY projects greets you in the entryway with wide, can't-miss-'em stripes on the walls. And the evidence of their seemingly-endless energy doesn't let up from there.
In every room, you'll find projects undertaken by Audrey and Matt to give their home a personal touch. Add to that a portion of Audrey's parents' collection (they travel the country acquiring antiques at estate sales and auctions), and the home is anything but cookie-cutter.
It's like flipping through pages of the family's scrapbook when you pay a visit: As you walk from room to room, you encounter stories about the early days of the couple's life together, Audrey's father's world travels, her grandmother (after whom Bennett is named). Most everything decorating the home will lead you through a personal story and into the family's past (whether that past is as old as a grandfather's childhood hobby or as new as a 2012 plumbing accident!).
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: We have a mix of old and new. Matt worked at Pottery Barn for a time and we were lucky to get some great basic pieces there. My parents are also antique collectors, so we’ve managed to snag a few items from their garage. (It’s always an argument with my sisters on who gets what piece of furniture.) We have also liked mixing textures, woods, plants (I have a small addiction), and metals together. So I would place our style safely between Warm Industrial and New Traditional.
Inspiration: When my Dad isn’t collecting antiques, he is busy traveling the United States to bow hunt. For the past 9 years, he has also been traveling to South Africa and Namibia. All of the animal hides and skulls are from him. We are really lucky to receive such amazing gifts and are inspired to use them in our home. We are also inspired by various DIY websites.
Favorite Element: The kitchen. It really is the heart of our home - from after school homework with the boys to family dinners at the table to Cora racing her tricycle around the circle - it is where we spend the most time together. We also love to host and have people over - especially during University of Kansas basketball season. We strive to have an open door where both children and adults are comfortable.
Biggest Challenge: Not having enough bedrooms. I still call Cora Jane the baby, but now that she is 2 years old, it would be great to give her a room of her own. Another challenge is not having unlimited funds. I can easily think of 10 more projects I would like to complete.
What Friends Say: Is that zebra skin real?! How do you sleep with those skulls on the wall? Did your Dad really shoot all that?
Biggest Embarrassment: The crown molding above the kitchen cabinets. If you look too closely, you can tell that the corners aren’t perfect. From far away, it’s not too bad. Just take a step back, please. Young House Love lied when they said it only took 3 hours.
Proudest DIY: Definitely the hand scraped maple floor. We had an unfortunate accident with our cloth diaper sprayer that resulted in a flooded first floor. While we paid to have the walls and studs professionally dried, we did everything else ourselves. We started by ripping out the old carpet and tile, choosing new flooring, then measuring and ordering, and finally laying the hardwood down and completely replacing all the trim and door frames. It took almost 10 months to complete and Matt did 98% of it on his own.
Biggest Indulgence: Again, the wood floor. It certainly wasn’t cheap.
Best Advice: Don’t be afraid to try something new or to do it yourself. There are thousands of tutorials online to help. Sometimes it takes a bit more patience to complete, but it's worth it in the end.
Dream Sources: We mostly rely on images that we see online and in magazines that we can duplicate in our own home. Who wouldn’t want a little more Restoration Hardware though?
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
- Living room and kitchen: Macchiato, Behr Premium Plus Ultra
- Trim, kitchen cabinets, and board & batten: Artist Canvas, Behr Premium Plus Ultra
- Dining room and entry way: Pale Wheat, Behr Premium Plus Ultra
- Simon’s bedroom: Walden Pond, Porter Paint
- Bennett’s bedroom: Celery Sprig, Behr
- Master bedroom: Cavern Moss, Porter Paint
- Hardwood floor: Hallmark Hardwoods
- Arrow art: Etsy
- Frames: Target
- Grain bin: 1875ish/turn of the century antique
- Bench and shelf: Pottery Barn
- Rug: Company C
- Coffee table and end table: Ethan Allen
- Standing mirror, lamps, pillows, and heathered chenille rug: Pottery Barn
- Child arrow-back rocking chair: 1840’s antique
- Arrowheads: found and mounted as a gift from my Dad’s childhood
- Hides and skulls: Dad's bow hunting trips
- Carved animals and dough bowl: African market
- Mirror: handmade Christmas gift
- Table, chairs, and rug: Pottery Barn
- Basket: Project Lydia
- Antlers: from the plains of Kansas
- Chandelier: Home Depot
- Wooden bread board server and spoons: antiques
- Table: Craigslist
- Red metal chairs: Target
- Counter stools: Ballard Designs
- Black office chair: original office chair from my Grandpa’s construction company
- Family tree art: Etsy
- Rug: Dad's bow hunting trips
- Cora’s Play Kitchen: handmade
- Curtains: Ikea
- Kitchen table light: Pottery Barn
- Headboard: handmade using an old door from the ReStore
- Dresser: Habitat for Humanity ReStore
- Side table: Eldred Wheeler
- Red side-table: found on the side of the road
- Lamps and duvet cover: Pottery Barn
- Trunk: antique from my Great-Grandmother
- Bed: Restoration Hardware
- Bookshelf: Habitat for Humanity ReStore
- Bedding and lamps: Pottery Barn Kids
- Cherry cupboard: antique reproduction
- Seashells: coast of Florida
- Shark picture: Pottery Barn Kids
- Bed, bedding, lamps: Pottery Barn Kids
- Dresser: 1860’s Pine antique dresser
- Bookshelf: handmade
- Fish tank stand: handmade
- Warthog skull and rattlesnake: gifts from Grandpa
(Images: Aaron Lindberg Photography)
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