Turning a New House Into a Home

You know that moment right before move-in when you walk through your new but empty home? It’s devoid of furniture or possessions, and maybe there’s an odd color choice on the walls, but all you see is a blank slate and possibilities. Such was the case with a young couple I recently worked with in Myers Park. Their 1940’s home was totally adorable but it needed a little freshening up and a strong dose of style to truly make it their own.


From empty and lifeless…

Cozy and bright

…to cozy, bright and fun

We worked together for about six months, on a mostly DIY basis – I supplied plans, ideas, and color palette – and they did most of their own shopping, with a few exceptions for some custom-made items. The final result is full of personality and warmth, and is a perfect reflection of the kind-hearted and gracious couple I have come to know. Here are a few of the ways they turned their new house into a unique home:


A palette of warm grey, burnt orange and deep blue was built around a set of original antique architectural prints of the house (shown framed). A zebra stripe rug brings a fun and modern touch.


A console table was placed to create a welcoming entry and a drop zone for keys and mail. Wood flooring was re-finished to a darker walnut stain throughout.


The couple opted to refresh the kitchen rather than undertake a full renovation. Pale grey paint freshened up the cabinets (formerly stained oak) and new backsplash tile and countertops made everything crisp and bright.


A custom fitted banquette was built into a nook and filled with colorful cushions for total coziness.


Most of the existing light fixtures were updated, including this beautiful chandelier in the dining room. I love the dark blue-grey wall color against the fresh white wainscot.


This great antique bed was a special family piece that found a home in the guest bedroom. Mixing new and old furniture gives a room interest and character.


Perfect perch: a custom bench cushion and roman shades dressed up this little dormer window and provided kitty with his own lounge spot and place to keep watch over the street.


The yellow, white and grey palette made the master bedroom cheerful and pretty.


Custom-built shelving made the most of a tiny closet with a sloping ceiling. Every square inch is utilized to the fullest!

Since we finished decorating and furnishing their house, this young family has grown from two to three, as they welcomed their son into the world last spring. I know their home will continue to evolve as their family grows, and I’m so pleased to have been a part of their journey.


Photos in this post provided by homeowner and by Emanuela Goldenberg Photography.


Tamara Leicester is a licensed interior designer and owner of Tamara Heather Interior Design, LLC. She designs casually elegant interiors with an artistic sensibility, often drawing upon the talent of local artists and craftspeople in her work. Dreaming about updating your space? Learn more at tamaraheatherinteriors.com.