You’d Never Guess This Gorgeous Home Was Once a Boring, Builder-Grade House
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Name: Danielle Groome, my husband, Chris, and my hairless cat, Alice
Location: Spruce Grove — Alberta, Canada
Type of home: House
Size: 1926 square feet
Years lived in: 11 years, owned
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I live in a builder-grade production home with my husband Chris and my hairless cat, Alice. I love interior design—I love unique homes in interesting neighborhoods with good bones and one-of-a-kind architectural details and incredible roof lines but, alas, these are foreign elements to the place I call home.
I live in a basic “single family attached garage three bedroom two and a half bath” home, and even though it (like all ticky tacky homes) leaves something to be desired, I am on a perpetual quest to give this home its own unique charm. Adding character to a production home is certainly a challenge, and one that doesn’t get enough attention in my opinion. There are countless production homes—neighborhoods with row after row of vinyl siding and boring builder-grade windows—and I can’t help but think that there are people inside who are just like me: people who passionately obsess over beautiful design while residing in a lackluster copy+paste style abode. Lord knows I love articles on a downtown loft or a mid-century gem, but production homes are aplenty and deserve a spotlight every now and then, too!
By looking at the outside of my home you’d never guess that the inside looks the way it does. I am a fanatical DIYer and I’ll attempt to do anything and everything myself. I’ve built furniture (including the media cabinet in my bonus room), created art for my walls (all but one of the paintings in my photos were done by me, I even made the wooden wall sculpture above the stairs), sewed slip covers for a set of amazing mid-century sling chairs I got secondhand (pictured in my living room), hand cut and mounted all the wainscoting and molding in my house, and scraped down heinous popcorn from every inch of this ceiling (a project that took me almost a year to complete)!
I am so compelled to do things myself and even though I’m sometimes overconfident (not pictured: 500 failed projects), I’ll always think “how could I make that?” before buying. There’s a sense of ownership and personalization that is inherent when you build or create something that didn’t exist before… a connection to the space. I love it. I often think production houses are underrepresented when in reality they make up a huge portion of the homes we live in, in North America. I love my home, I think it’s so important to love where you live, and I get genuinely excited when I see a house like mine featured or even mentioned because it’s so rare.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: California Casual Minimalist Calm
What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is my living room! It’s an open concept house and you can see the living room as soon as you walk in the door; you see it when you’re cooking or working in the kitchen. It’s the room I look at the most, and for that reason it’s the room I’ve worked on the most. I love that it always looks put together but is comfortable and relaxed. If I need a pause in my day, it’s the room I’m headed to.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last big PURCHASE I made for my home is the huge overstuffed sofa in the living room (It’s the cigar sofa from Article). It’s so comfortable, the leather is so soft, and it looks like it’s inflated. The back rest is the perfect height for resting an arm and it’s long enough to stretch out on. The last ADDITION to my home, however, was the little art piece I have hanging above my bed. It was a DIY (of course) inspired by a large scale art piece I spotted on Instagram.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Don’t feel restricted by the exterior of your home or the vibe of the neighborhood, the inside doesn’t have to match the outside—the inside can be whatever you want it to be! This realization was so liberating to me, as someone who loves unique styles of architecture and design but lives in a production home. Also, buy framed canvases from big box stores and paint over them! This is such a fun way to introduce art into your home in the exact style and colors that your space needs. In a year when you get bored of it, paint it over again!
This submission’s responses were edited for length and clarity.