Pam & Bryan’s Comfortably Creative Family Home

published Jan 27, 2011
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Name: Pam, Bryan, their sons, Sawyer and Zane, and dog, Shayna
Location: Arlington, Virginia (Clarendon)
Size: 4 bedrooms, 4 ½ bathrooms
Years lived in: almost 11, owned

Pam is an intuitive decorator. Rather than adhering to any strict design principles or striving for complete cohesion, she’s designed each room with elements that she and her family love regardless of whether the spaces have a strong stylistic connection to each other. The result is a series of comfortable rooms, each with a distinct character. Some feel warm and earthy, others cool and modern, making the tour a bit like an aesthetic treasure hunt— you never know what decor surprise the next room will yield.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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Pam and Bryan created an addition where a deck once stood. The addition houses an alternate entrance, a mudroom, and a sizable family room. (Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

However, more surprising than the room to room decor changes was the creativity and enthusiasm of Pam and Bryan’s eldest son, Sawyer, the resident artist, who served as my tour guide. He had an explanation for nearly every accessory’s placement and every room’s color. His artwork graces many rooms, and each piece involves a distinct combination of mediums from coffee grounds and acrylic to recycled windshield shards and hot glue. His parents have designated a craft studio in the basement for his creations, but have also used his work as the artistic feature of many “grown up” rooms which provide a personal spin in each space.

For more details and a better sense of the house’s flow, check out the captions in the gallery tour.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Style: Independent cool

Inspiration: Everything and anything

Favorite Element: I really like our family room. It’s the first room I “designed” and every thing in it, for the most part, was new.

Biggest Challenge: My kitchen

What Friends Say: Everybody loves it. We get a lot of comments about our river rock mudroom floor.

Proudest DIY: I’m proud that I’m able to buy things for my house and they just work. Different things that shouldn’t work together and they do.

Biggest Indulgence: We’ve been pretty responsible so far but I’m hoping that when we re-do our kitchen that we can indulge in some great appliances.

Best Advice: Do it yourself and think outside the box. If you believe it works, then it does.

Dream Sources: Jonathan Adler

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:

Furniture: Room and Board, Crate and Barrel

Accessories: Jonathan Adler, Anthropologie, West Elm

Lighting: Design Within Reach, school house electric

Rugs and Carpets: Flor

Artwork: Jenny Gifford who is my good friend’s sister in law, and my 9 year old son, Sawyer

Paint: Benjamin Moore

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Pam, Bryan, Sawyer, and Zane!

Images: Leah Moss

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