Name: Bethany and Zachary Hway
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Size: 1,600 square feet
Years lived in: 3 — owned
Bethany is a graphic designer who knows her way around clean and classic blog design. In addition to creating her own stylish blog, Bethany has designed the sites for many other bloggers. The home she shares with her husband, Zachary, is proof that her design talent goes well beyond the blogosphere.
I'm a relatively new reader to Bethany's blog, b*spoke, but I was hooked right away. In addition to her posts about creating sites and blogs (a subject that is near and dear to me), Bethany also shares the projects from her ever evolving home on her blog.
I love Bethany's simple color palette. As she says in her survey, the word "neutral" doesn't need to be synonymous with the word "boring". Quite the contrary, actually. Bethany's simple earthy palette appears quite luxe in her home. It also makes way for the whimsical touches, like the airplane propeller she picked up at an antique store in Wisconsin.
I think it's also noteworthy that the gorgeous kitchen you see in this tour was achieved after a $500 makeover. We all know how expensive kitchen re-dos can be so I am amazed that Bethany was able to create such a gorgeous space on a minimal budget. The chalk board painted refrigerator is one of my new favorites and it looks right at home in this kitchen.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Clean, classic, crisp, coastal, and cottage!
Inspiration: Growing up in northern Minnesota gave us both a sincere appreciation for the lakes and woods. I think our fondness for nature has inspired our style in our home as well. We like light, airy and open spaces. We prefer clean, muted colors and simple accessories. We also love to travel and decorate our home with items found on our adventures (like the vintage plane propeller scooped up at an architectural antique store in Door County, Wisconsin).
Favorite Element: They may not be energy-efficient, but the windows in our home are original, and we really love them. Every one is a different size, and they were all custom-made for the home in the mid 1930's. When we walked into the house for the first time, we were struck by the abundance of natural light, and the charm of the paned windows... two things with which we are still enamored.
Biggest Challenge: The living room... trying to make it function as our entry-way, tv-watching and entertaining space. The layout is a bit awkward, we don't know how to fill the built-in's without them looking too cluttered, and we still haven't figured out our ideal style and layout for this room.
What Friends Say: "Is your house always this clean??" (the answer is no... but the honest truth is that we aren't "stuff people" so there isn't much clutter)
Biggest Embarrassment: The mismatched trim and the carpeting in the upstairs. When we moved into the house, there was some white trim and some wood trim. The variation makes the house feel disjointed to us. We are slowly working our way towards all white trim, but it's a long process. Also, the carpeting in the upstairs is pretty ho-hum. It's durable and in decent shape, but it's beige and blah. We are planning on ripping it out to reveal the (hopefully) gleaming wood floors beneath!
Proudest DIY: Our kitchen! With $500, a little elbow grease and plenty of creativity, we completed a kitchen "refresh" that ended up landing on the pages of a magazine (Spring 2011 Kitchen+Bath Makeovers, a Better Homes & Garden special interest publication).
Biggest Indulgence: The bedding in our master bedroom. We generally aren't likely to spurge on expensive extras if we can find, make or thrift them, but I have a major soft spot for high quality feather pillows, comforters and linens. I love the layers that we have on our bed now... from the cushy mattress topper, to the huge Euro pillows and parachute duvet cover.
Best Advice: Don't be afraid to go monochromatic. The word "neutral" doesn't need to be synonymous with the word "boring". We like to work with a neutral palette and then play with contrast. Our office, for instance, features tones of gray, with pops of white and black, making for an interesting, graphic space.
Dream Sources: Bedding and bath linens from Area or Aura. Accessories from antique stores and markets across the globe (so I guess the travels to these places would be part of the dream too).
Resources of Note:
Antique stores, flea markets and thrift stores have been one of the major sources for many items in our home. The staple items are from Ikea, West Elm or have been hand-me-downs from parents.
Images: Bethany Hway
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