Name: Nick, Kelle, and Bailey Dame (and dog Bennie)
Location: Kenosha, Wisconsin
Size: 1,400 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 years; owned
Kelle and Nick's home is eclectic in the best sense of the word. Bold, modern, graphic patterns greet you at the front door — a striped hallway meets a trellis-stenciled living room wall. But as you progress through the home, the spaces get softer and more classic, with touches of country and glam. New meets old, clean lines meet ornate pieces, rustic meets luxe — in short, the whole space is filled with surprise and wonder.
Their house is from the 1970s, and one of the elements that attracted Kelle and Nick to it is the easy flow of the floor plan. The rooms are built in two circles, making communication between the various spaces easy. (The living room, dining room, kitchen, and family room comprise the first, and the master bedroom, guest room, two bathrooms, and Bailey's room round out the second.) Not only does the layout of the house facilitate movement, but the decor also keeps the eye active, following the stripes that connect one room to the next, an element that makes the home feel alive with energy. "I know some people find all the pattern a little crazy," Kelle says, "but I need that."
It's precisely this type of sincerity and insight that makes one feel at ease in Nick and Kelle's' home. It's clear that all their design choices were made with their personal inclinations and needs in mind. Kelle appreciates Dan Ho's philosophy of relishing imperfection, of simplifying and finding your personal style by thinking deeply about the things that you really want or need. She and Nick fervently believe in living to the fullest in the space that you have instead of constantly dreaming of trading up, and for both of them, making their home deeply personal is paramount.
There's nothing here that the family feels lukewarm about. Audrey Hepburn, one of Kelle's main inspirations, makes repeat appearances throughout the house. The couple proudly shows me the art they've collected from local artists, and when I visited Kelle's office downtown, she showed me a beautiful starburst mirror that she made using inherited silverware. Kelle and Nick's home is certainly stylish, but it's style in the service of love. Every object has a story, and many of their favorite items were pieces handed down to them from family, vintage items restored and re-made by friends (notably, Tori at Embellished Heart), or vintage objects to which Kelle immediately formed attachments.
While Kelle's particular passion for color and pattern comes through clearly, everyone in the family has followed their own style, pouring their energies and love into the home. Nick's passion for woodwork, mechanical projects, and other DIY endeavors has, among other things, provided the family with a number of meaningful furniture pieces, like Bailey's built-in bed and a custom oak media cabinet (pictured above). He has personally completed many of the renovation projects that they tackled upon moving in, and most recently, he installed the fireplace, the tile surround, and the built-ins in the family room. Nick's dad has helped with many of these projects, and Kelle's mom has stepped in a number of times as a seamstress. Bailey, the couple's precocious and friendly four-year-old, has also added her creative insight; within five minutes of my arrival, I was informed that pink was her favorite color, and I was given a grand tour of all of her favorite spots in the home. Even Bennie, their dapper dog, seems to have carved out a place of his own in the family room, right in the thick of the action.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Upbeat and fresh, classic with hints of vintage whimsy.
Inspiration: Always Audrey Hepburn's classic style and the fun, whimsical style of Tricia Guild. Kate Spade and Jonathan Adler.
Favorite Element: Vintage finds and meaningful family heirlooms. Of course, I am ALWAYS, always, ALWAYS a sucker for art!
Biggest Challenge: The fireplace renovation.
What Friends Say: You really love black and white, don't you?
Biggest Embarrassment: The exterior of our house. One would never guess that it is our house, and of course, our sad display of Christmas lights every year is made worse by the fact that we live on "Christmas Lane". We'll get better, we promise!
Proudest DIY: Our daughter's big-girl room.
Biggest Indulgence: Ummm… it seems that I always indulge in everything! I guess the hardwood floors through most of the house — and when it comes to art, antiques, framing, and lighting, I rarely compromise. They are my drugs of choice.
Best Advice: If you love it, go with it. No compromises for the sake of matching!
Dream Sources: Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Houzz.com, Apartment Therapy… I could go on!
Resources of Note:
FRONT LIVING ROOM
- • Paint color: flat black by Valspar and Mystique White by Valspar
• Curtains: Linen fabric with ribbon trim, sewn by Mom
• Light fixtures, vine lamp: repurposed from backyard and built by Nick
• Lamp shades from LeEsthers of downtown Kenosha
• Media cabinet, solid oak: designed by Nick and Kelle; built by Nick
• Vintage New Yorker magazine covers: estate sale finds, framed by ArtWorks
• Painted pedestal game table: Embellished Heart of Kenosha
• Apartment Sofa: Pottery Barn Carlisle collection in natural brushed canvas
• Black tufted ottomans: Target
• Painted emerald green end table: Embellished Heart of Kenosha
• Vintage Crystal chandelier lamp: Embellished Heart
• Silhouettes: painted by Kelle, framed by ArtWorks
• Trellis stencil: Cutting Edge Stencils on etsy.com
• Crystal stacked lamp and black shade: Target
• Vintage round floral pillow: Embellished Heart
• Black pillows: made by Kelle
- • Cherry dining table: Haus Amish Furniture Store
• White upholstered chairs: Hudson camel back from Restoration Hardware
• Chandeliers: Lowes
• Accessories: vintage painted tray from Gurnee Antique Mall, milk glass vase from Goodwill, glass dome from Embellished Heart
• Pillow collection: sewn by Mom
• Cottage window collection: antique store finds
• Draperies: faux linen in winter white, sewn by Mom
- • White cabinets: Kraft Maid in Canvas White
• Counters: Corian solid surface from Dickow-Cyzak Tile Co. of Kenosha
• Kitchen artwork: Green apple acrylic painting, unknown artist, framing provided by ArtWorks; Peony photo by Kelle with metal thrift store frame; Framed Artprin from Third Drawer Down; "Love that tie!" by Richard Kruse with bowtie noodle frame
• Apothecary jars: various Home Goods locations
• Silver container labels with chalkboard inserts: Crate&Barrel
• Ruffled fruit bowl: Pier1 Imports
• Monogrammed towel: Mark & Graham in apple green
• Vintage looking cordless phone: Amazon.co.uk
- • Wall color: Mystique White by Valspar
• Accent wall color: Meadow Green by Sherwin Williams
• Built-ins accent color: Greenfield by Sherwin Williams
• Sectional: Pottery Barn Pearce sectional in Oat
• Coffee table: painted thrift store find
• Hammered Iron Console table: Pottery Barn
• Floor lamps: Target Threshold collection, painted black
• Lamp shades: Estate sale finds
• Fireplace stone: Carrara Marble subway tiles
• Side chair wicker/rattan: Malabar from Pottery Barn
• Built-ins Stencil Trellis: Cutting Edge Stencils on Etsy.com
• Pillows: Formosa floral from Whitlock and Co on Etsy.com; Xu Garden by Windsor Smith in Veridian from Lynn Chalk.com sewn by Mom
• Faux bamboo tray table: Baker Furniture from Leggy Bird Designs, Libertyville, IL
• Bamboo framed sketches: unknown artist, framing and matting by ArtWorks
• Accent wall stencil: basketweave from OMG stencils
• White Moroccan mirrors: Target Threshold collection
- • Built-ins: designed by Kelle and built by Nick
• Built-in hardware: repurposed vintage doorknobs
• Painted Moroccan style headboard: by Kelle
• Collage and frames: thrift
• Bedding: Polka dot sheets from JCPenny; floral shams made with Shalini Ivory Raspberry by Annie Selke from housefabric.com; Euro shams from Marshalls and Home Goods; square pink accent pillow from Embellished Heart
• Painted green dresser: family heirloom with hardware from Anthropologie
• White oval mirror: Home Goods
• Green and gold floral plates: Leggy Bird Designs of Libertyville, IL
• Bohemian glass chandelier: Amazon.com
• Painted black armoire: Target with hardware from Anthropologie
• Framed Madeline pages: from actual book, framing provided by ArtWorks
• Small owl accessories from Embellished Heart of Kenosha
- • Wall Color and ceiling color: Babbling Brook by Valspar
• Black shaded chandelier: Amazon.com
• Euro shams and floral pillow shams: various Durlaee fabrics from LoomCraft, sewn by Kelle
• Black and white damask comforter and shams: Target
• Black headboard: repurposed thrift store find with a black slip cover sewn by Kelle
• Vintage pink Audrey with Cat: Embellished Heart
• Vintage 60's chrome side chair with Mongolian wool hide: Leggy Bird Designs of Libertyville, IL
• Side tables: family heirlooms
• Black urn lamps: Target, sprayed black
• Lamp shades: Target
• Abstract watercolor: Miss Bailey at age 3, framing provided by ArtWorks
• Small kidney shaped desk: vintage find from Schoolhouse Antiques of Somers, WI
- • Ceiling color: Morning fog by Valspar
• Wall color: Babbling Brook by Valspar
• Capiz Shell pendant: West Elm
• Moroccan trellis design: hand-painted by Kelle
• Upholstered headboard in P.Kaufmann Suzani in Jewel: designed by Kelle, made by Nick
• White duvet cover: West Elm
• Aqua and white medallion sheets: Target, Threshold Collection
• Coral Pink City Maze pillow in Caitlin Wilson fabric: sewn by Mom
• White quilted shams: Pottery Barn
• Bedside table; Repurposed Kent Coffey piece found at Community Thrift of Gurnee, IL
• Crystal bedside lamp: Target
• Orchid and chinoiserie pot: Steins
• Handpainted jewelry box: Schoolhouse Antique Mall of Somers, WI
• White bow front dresser from Community Thrift of Gurnee, IL painted in Snowbound by Sherwin Williams
• Mirror: Pottery Barn
• Small crystal stacked lamp: Target
Thanks, Nick & Kelle!
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