A Fiber Artist Has Transformed Her ’90s Era Home with Paint, Wallpaper, and Color

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Name: Mandi Smethells, husband, Jack, and daughters Madeline and Ruby
Location: Eagan, Minnesota
Type of home: House
Size: 2,800 square feet
Years lived in: 4 months, owned

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I am a fiber artist, and I have a studio in my home. We moved from a significantly smaller home, which was also an older home with a lot of character. We had simply outgrown that home (a few years ago), and the pandemic convinced my husband and me that it was finally time to make a move.

This home was built in 1989, so the character is OAK, OAK, and MORE OAK. After living in two previous homes that were 100+ years old, I was looking forward to something with a few fewer “quirks” that come with an older home. I have been spending the past four months finding a balance of infusing my aesthetic into paces but also embracing some of the ’90s elements that are everywhere.

When it comes to my home, my wardrobe, and my artwork, I listen to my inner voice, which verbally tells me to use color, pattern, and have fun. I am very much inspired by nature, and my home is filled with plants and animal figurines, and I will always be adding more.

Living room. The fiber art is a custom piece I made for myself.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Collected Colorful Modern Eclectic

I did a mini makeover on this bathroom and did paint the oak, but I don’t plan to paint much oak in the house.

What is your favorite room and why? We have a little den for TV watching, and I just went for it as far as color and pattern goes. Teal is one of my favorite colors, and I used it to the max in there. It’s a space I spend a lot of cozy time with my two kids in.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? A brass steamer trunk that I found at a local consignment shop. I am using it as a cocktail table.

Bathroom with hand-painted wall.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Listen to your inner voice rather than trying to replicate what you see. Use websites like this to find spaces that inspire you, and try and pinpoint what it is that you like about those spaces. Is it the color? Scale of the furniture? Use of artwork? Once you start to understand deeply what you love, you will know it when you see it when you are on the hunt. Buying secondhand will also always lead to more unique and delightful home decor.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.