Marty's Warm & Inviting on a Budget

Marty's Warm & Inviting on a Budget

Gregory Han
Dec 9, 2009

Name: Marty 
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Size: 1,859 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years

Although a great deal of Apartment Therapy's content and reader submitted material skews toward the modern or contemporary, not all of our readers are modernists, nor do the majority live in modern dwellings. Today's house tour illustrates the point: a reader submission hailing from Phoenix, Arizona and showcasing a traditionalist's flair for colour, texture and and carefully curated interior decorated with deep woods, glowing surfaces and rich leather. Join us as we take a decor departure detour and into Marty's Warm & Inviting house tour…

AT Survey:

My/Our style: Traditional

Inspiration: To take a small builder basic without any architectural features and turn it into a warm and inviting home on a budget.

Favorite Element: Neutral background with beige carpet and creamy beige marble floors. This gives the home a feeling of spaciousness and allows all the areas to flow seamlessly into each other. The home also has a lot of windows and lets in a lot of light that helps create a flow from the indoors to the outside.  This expands the feeling of the rooms and makes them seem larger.

Biggest Challenge: We downsized from a much larger home, so taking my favorite pieces and making them work in a smaller space was a challenge. Also all of the windows sometimes presented a problem since I didn't want to block the light or the view outdoors.

What Friends Say: Very warm and inviting. Open and airy with cheery colors that make you feel welcome. 

Biggest Embarrassment: A plaid family room sofa. This piece fit, but is a little country looking. I've tried to make it work with pillows and accessories.

Proudest DIY: Living room and family room drapes.  I used two complimentary fabrics in the living room to creat interest and in the family room I used a fabric that is neutral to the walls and carpet that would still frame the windows.

Biggest Indulgence: Mini remodel of the kitchen by replacing the formica island counter with granite and adding a new stainless steel sink and faucet. We also put corbels under the breakfast bar area for some additional architectural interest and character. 

Best advice: Keeping all furniture pieces as neutral as possible to give the illusion of space and then accessorizing with pops of color.

Dream source: I browse decorating magazines for ideas and then take those ideas and try to apply them to my own style.


Furniture: Thomasville and Ethan Allen are where most of the pieces came from.  Other pieces are found at auction, thrift stores and consignment shops.

Accessories: All of my accessories have been collected over time. They came from a variety of sources including major dept. stores, thrift stores and goodwill. When I find something that I love then I find a home for it. It's also fun to repurpose items.

Lighting: Most of the lamps in my home came from Lamps Plus.

Window Treatments: The home came with 2 inch wood blinds that I have kept to control light and privacy.  I made all of the window treatments from fabrics that I purchased from a discount designer fabric store called Home Fabrics.

Artwork: Collected over time from mainly local artists or auctions. 

Paint: This is a soft cocoa beige that is a tone of the carpet and tile to help create a cohesive neutral background.

Flooring: Carpet is builder grade.

Rugs and carpets:I am using two area rugs that I have had for years. One came from World of Rugs, the second came from a discount fabric and carpet house.

Tiles and Stone:The builder had installed a creamy marble in the kitchen, breakfast area, baths and hallways.

Other: Large mirror in Living room came from a designers showcase clearance sale.

(Thanks, Marty!)

Photos by Marty

We've had amazing response to our Apartment Therapy House Tour Submission Form. While we will work with homeowners of our favorite homes to feature full tours, we will also share the best as House Calls — short, quick tours of readers' homes. Submit your home here.

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