A ‘Traditional’ 1942 Ohio House Looks Anything But Thanks to Bold Color and Wallpaper
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Name: Stephanie, her husband, and their three children, and their dog, Ace
Location: University Heights, Ohio
Size: 1500 square feet
Type of Home: Colonial
Years Lived In: 11 years, owned
Stephanie’s three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom home was built in 1942 and is located just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. “Our home was very well taken care of, so the original wood floors, wood trim, fireplaces (we have two), and plaster are in great condition,” she explains. “We’ve lived here for 11 years, so all three of our children know this as their only home,” she adds. “Even though we are outgrowing the home, we are so very attached to it.”
Over the years, the family has only made minor updates to the space, tackling changes such as adding new flooring in the kitchen and new carpet in the basement, but all other changes have been purely cosmetic.
Though Stephanie is not an interior designer by trade, she says she’s always had a passion for decorating. She frequently shares glimpses of her vibrant, pattern-filled space on her Instagram account, @stephaniemichelle_athome. “I’ve loved to decorate for as long as I can remember,” she reflects. “I am very much a homebody.” Below, Stephanie shares a look inside her “borderline maximalist,” color-filled family home.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I’d like to describe myself as a borderline maximalist with eclectic taste. I love to mix traditional and vintage pieces with trendy modern accents. I am not afraid of color and I have had black walls since 2009 (before we moved into this house). I have a love for all things black and white, so I use that as a starting point and then I add my colors. I tend to lean more towards jewel tones. Color makes me happy. I want to be able to look at every inch of my home and smile. Every corner of this place brings me joy.
Inspiration: I find inspiration everywhere I go, but the majority comes from my childhood. My mother was very much into interior decor. We spent many weekends at furniture stores and Sherwin-Williams looking through all of the wallpaper books. I couldn’t wait to grow up and decorate my own home. I have always been fascinated with Hollywood Regency style, so I definitely draw inspiration from that. Being a realtor has allowed me to see some really cool interiors, but I get most of my inspiration from my day-to-day activities. There is color everywhere you go.
Favorite Element: My favorite element is color! Color has the ability to affect your mood and evoke emotions. I filled my home with bold beautiful colors so no matter which room I am in, there’s always a good vibe.
Biggest Challenge: My biggest challenge was bringing this 1942 home up to date without doing a single renovation. Being able to mix modern and nontraditional furniture with the original trim, fireplace, stair rails, etc. — which are all very traditional — was a challenge. My style is all over the place, but I think I’ve successfully blended it nicely with the traditional style of this home.
Proudest DIY: My proudest DIY is my china cabinet. I painted it green, wallpapered the inside, and tinted the windows so that you can’t see inside. The tinted windows are what make me proud! We use the china cabinet as a pantry in our kitchen.
Biggest Indulgence: My biggest indulgence is frequently going to HomeGoods and switching up my accent pieces whenever I feel like it! I never leave HomeGoods empty handed, and I think that’s definitely reflected in my home. I find joy in swapping out pieces and shopping my home to revamp different rooms but it’s even more fun finding that unique piece at HomeGoods.
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? I think my home is just unique in general. Every single person that has come to visit has always said the same thing — the house makes them happy. I’ve heard this from random people as well (repairmen, the cable man, etc!). My main goal was to create a happy home, and it is wonderful to know that people can feel that vibe when they walk in.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? Most of my favorite pieces are vintage pieces of furniture purchased from Facebook Marketplace and thrift stores, but other than that I’d have to say all of my wallpaper. Each wallpaper print makes me smile.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: I keep my home organized by utilizing the dressers in my living room and dining room for toy storage. Each drawer has a purpose. I have storage benches and storage ottomans in every room. I use them for blankets, toys, or other things that need to be tucked away. The blue cabinet in my entryway is stylish and functional; it stores my children’s shoes. I think it’s important to have as much storage as you can, and even better if the storage is stylish.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? My absolute best advice is to stay away from trends, ADD COLOR, and buy secondhand. I take pride in the fact that most homes don’t/won’t look like mine. It’s important to be original. Your home should not look like everything was purchased from the same furniture store. Thrifting is the best way to find unique pieces. Color is everywhere in nature, so it’s only right to bring it inside our homes. Your home should reflect who you are as a person, and it’s absolutely impossible to do that if you only copy what is trending. What’s trending is not always cute, LOL!
PAINT & COLORS
- Living Room, Dining Room, and Kitchen — “Anonymous and Stealth Jet” Behr
- Stairway Wall — “Skinny Jeans” Behr
- Bedroom and Daughter’s Bedroom — “Black” Behr
- Kitchen wallpaper and Livette’s wallpaper — Modern Black & White removable wallpaper
- Entryway wallpaper — “Opal House Panther” Peel & Stick wallpaper
- Bedroom wallpaper — Wallpops “Grey Zebra Safari Scalamandre”
- Daughter’s bedroom wallpaper — Milton& King “Overgrown”
- Most furniture — Facebook Marketplace
- Art Print — Desenio
- Gallery Wall — Desenio
- Dresser and wardrobe — IKEA
- Bed— Modway Noelle Velvet Bed
- Bed — Twin Daybed by Home Design Inc from Wayfair
- Overgrown print pillows — Kitty McCall
This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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