A Fearlessly Colorful 100-year-old Family Home in Cleveland
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Name: Heidi and Erik Salo of Salo Design and their daughter Frankie
Location: Lakewood — Cleveland, Ohio
Size: 2,000 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 3 years
Homeowners Heidi and Erik Salo mix periods, styles, textures and colors to get the best possible match, blending retail trends (like a Sputnik dining room chandelier) with personal trends (like thrifted destination plates) and travel items (like from their honeymoon in Thailand). They’ve created an overall design that is pretty to look at and comfortable to live in. “I see what I like, I buy it, and I hope it works well together,” Heidi says.
The two Northeastern Ohio natives met at Ohio University while studying interior architecture; Heidi’s an exhibit and event designer and Erik’s in exhibit and event technology sales. They spent several years in Atlanta and Chicago before moving back to Cleveland, where they stayed with family while wedding planning and house hunting. “I wanted a house that I owned so I could do whatever I wanted,” Heidi says.
Their home must-haves list: walk-ability, room to grow their family and a dedicated space for their offices, as they both work from home. They managed a walk-through the night before the first open house and didn’t hesitate to make an offer. “This house has good energy,” Heidi says of their century-old, colonial-style Lakewood home. “I just felt right, like this was our house.”
The house was in good condition, so the majority of their design efforts have been on the furnishings and their arrangement. They’ve done some minor cosmetic renovations, including refreshing paint and wallpaper, swapping drawer handles and replacing the kitchen backsplash.
“Our house is always evolving, and it always will be,” Erik says. “Almost everything Heidi purchases is piece-wise. It creates a comfortable environment that’s cool to live in.” It’s a designer home that feels homey.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Eclectic, bohemian, modern
Inspiration: Heidi’s mom’s (Rozzy) fearless style and eclectic collections, Nature, mid-century modern, Kelly Wearstler, Emily Henderson
Favorite Element: Woodwork, beams, and built-ins in the dining room. Also, the care that every family has had while living in this century-old house. (I believe we are only the third family!) It was and still is so loved; you can see that and feel that.
Biggest Challenge: Plate rails in dining room. Smack-dab in the middle. I’ve changed the walls around those a hundred times. Where to hang, how to cluster, how to arrange in a way that incorporates the rails while at the same time isn’t too busy with the woodwork in the room, etc, etc, etc! But, without them the dining room would lose so much.
What Friends Say: That our home is a true example of our unique personalities, simultaneously one of the warmest and most inviting environments. An effortless combination of their unique style, impeccable taste, and love for design. Heidi’s home is her actual heart. Like if you could cut it open and look inside, it would look like this. We’ve kept the classic integrity of our house while adding our brand of creative design.
Biggest Embarrassment: The third floor AC unit on the roof. We have radiators (no HVAC), so the previous owners installed an AC unit on the top floor. They cut vents in the third floor floor / second floor ceiling for the cool air to drop. It is actually genius and works perfectly, keeping our top floors cool in the summer, but that unit on the roof is a bit of an eyesore from the backyard. Wouldn’t change it though. Staying cool while sleeping is a must!
Proudest DIY: Refinishing the floors in our office space on the third floor (all Erik). Heidi went out of town and came back to a total transformation. The dark wood really contrasts with the white walls in the light-filled space.
Biggest Indulgence: Lighting, wallpaper in bathroom, chairs, plants
Best Advice: Buy pieces that speak to you. If you aren’t inspired, it is not right. If you question it, it’s not right. Rearrange, change things up. Don’t be scared of mixing patterns and colors. Mix metals. Find one-of-a kind pieces. Follow your own rules. For example, if you want to hang a picture lower or higher than the “rule of thumb,” do it. Take risks, juxtapose, contrast. Love where you live.
My decorating and design personality has always fallen between Mies van der Rohe’s famous quote, “Less is more,” and Robert Venturi’s, “Less is a bore.” Both are so true.
Thanks, Heidi, Erik, and Frankie!
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