An Already Gorgeous Victorian House Has Been Energized With Bold Color

An Already Gorgeous Victorian House Has Been Energized With Bold Color

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Bedrooms
Square feet
3465
Sq ft
3465

Name: Angela Wator, owner/designer of BASH Party Goods, and owner of Festive Collective. Jeramy Webb, with daughters Penelope Webb, age 4, and Ramona Webb, age 2. And Bogie, our grumpy 10-year-old bulldog
Location: Oak Park, Illinois
Size: 3465 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned

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We were squished in a little apartment in the city and independently doing some Zillow daydreaming when Jeramy and I both simultaneously sent each other this breathtaking 1896 Victorian that had been on the market for a while. The interior was a true time capsule, an unrenovated but meticulously cared-for dream, and the house sat on a huge double lot under a canopy of tall trees. I can’t explain the instant, intense attraction we felt to this house, but it was like I could hear our kids laughing in the halls, see the fancy holiday parties we would host… we were obsessed! We started driving out to park in front of it on weekends, and finally, after two months of stalking the house and scraping together money, we wrote a letter to the family that had owned it for 70 years, made an offer, and got it!

Credit: Angela Wator

Our love for this home runs deep, but after spending three months inside during quarantine, the bond is stronger than ever. I spent my days crossing ambitious home projects off my to-do list that I didn’t think I’d tackle for years, learning to cultivate and maintain our large garden, and making Victorian-era crafts from anything we found around the house. There is still a lot of work left to do on this home, but our family loves every little inch of it and it suits us perfectly!

Credit: Elaine Melko

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I love mixing vintage furniture with well-worn heirlooms and bright, modern, unexpected accents. I’m a big fan of mixing patterns and layering on textures, whether I’m getting dressed, merchandising my shop, or decorating a home. By piling on all these elements, the finished look tells a story—in the case of our home, it’s the story of our travels, our family history, and the four families that lived here before us.

Inspiration: Old movies are always a great source of inspiration for me, interior and otherwise! I usually pay more attention to the sets than the story line. Traveling also gets my creative wheels turning, and little bits of every trip I go on creep into my style.  

Credit: Angela Wator

Favorite Home Element: Most original elements of this 1896 home were preserved, so everything from our ornate door knobs to the feel of the creaky, well-worn hardwood on bare feet reminds me of the long history of our home. We also have very tall original windows, and the wavy glass combined with their height results in the most beautiful, moody lighting all throughout the day. OH, and we have a laundry chute, which is convenient for laundry but also fun for sending surprises from floor to floor and yelling to each other!

Biggest Challenge: I’m the kind of person who will stay up all night after moving to unpack every box, paint every wall, and hang all our art. When we moved from our little city apartment to this Victorian with a million rooms, my first instinct was to fill them and finish everything as quickly as possible… but I knew I needed to take it slow, see how we would use each room, and make smart, deliberate decisions. We also hadn’t planned on buying a house, so we had absolutely no money budgeted towards furnishings or projects. I ended up hitting a lot of estate sales to find little things we needed immediately, like lamps, and held off on any larger purchases until we had a better feel for the space.

Credit: Angela Wator

Proudest DIY: This is actually a pretty simple thing, but when we first moved in, all the original hardware throughout the house was black. I suspected some of the hardware was brass, so I tested all of it and then spent a week scrubbing and polishing every handle. The best result was in our dining room, where we ended up with 18 glossy gold handles that really brightened up the room!

Biggest Indulgence: Our huge dining room chandelier was a splurge, but it was definitely worth it for something that makes such a big impact!

Credit: Angela Wator

What’s your best home secret or advice? I can’t relax around clutter, so every single thing that comes into our home has a permanent location somewhere out of sight. Since each item has a designated home, the kids are great about cleaning up and putting things back where they belong, and I can walk around the house without feeling super anxious all the time.  

What to people most get wrong about using color in their home? Let the home guide you in your color choices! All too often, I’ve selected colors simply because I like them, even if they don’t really lend much to the space. Our previous apartments were really bold and vibrant, but when we found this house, I fell in love with its quiet elegance and long history. I was afraid I’d lose the peaceful quality of the house if I went too bright, so I worked out a rich, warm palette that played up the amazing lighting we get in every room instead.

Credit: Angela Wator

What are the biggest tricks/secrets to using color in decor? I like to weave colors from room to room, so peach walls in one room will carry on through a peach bedspread in the next room. This gives the whole space a sense of continuity and is especially nice when you’re viewing one room from another, something that happens a lot in old houses with wide doorways. I always make a color-blocked floor plan to make sure there aren’t any weird color transitions before getting started!

Favorite wall paint color of all time: Sherwin-Williams “Jovial” is the paint color used in our bedroom, and it is the absolute happiest color to wake up to. It glows warm and orange like a summer sunrise in the morning, sweet and pink during the day, and it turns soft and a little sexy at night. It’s a perfect bedroom color!

Resources

Credit: Angela Wator

PAINT & COLORS

  • Living Room — Behr “Uptown Girl” in flat
  • Dining Room — Sherwin-Williams “Westinghouse White”
  • Hallway and Foyer —  Sherwin-Williams “Westinghouse White”
  • Kitchen — Sherwin-Williams “Rosedust” and “Westinghouse White”
  • Our Bedroom — Sherwin-Williams “Jovial” on walls, “Caribbean Coral” on ceiling
  • Ramona’s Bedroom — Sherwin-Williams “Westinghouse White” and “Adrift”
  • Guest Room — Sherwin-Williams “Adrift” on trim and doors
  • 2nd Story Stairs — Behr “Peach Mimosa”
  • Jeramy’s Office — Sherwin-Williams “Rookwood Green”

For the rooms below, anything not named is vintage from craigslist, thrifting, or estate sales.

ENTRY

Brass light fixture — Illuminate Vintage

Credit: Angela Wator

LIVING ROOM

Credit: Angela Wator

DINING ROOM

Credit: Angela Wator

KITCHEN

Credit: Angela Wator

OUR BEDROOM

Credit: Angela Wator

PENELOPE’S BEDROOM

Credit: Angela Wator

RAMONA’S BEDROOM

  • Chair — Crate and Kids
  • Giant flash cards and wall art — Vintage from Dial M for Modern
  • Armoire — Vintage from Craigslist
  • Book storage and shelving — Crate and Kids
Credit: Angela Wator

GUEST ROOM

Thanks Angela!

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