I remember the day we put the offer in, smiling through gritted teeth as I surrendered to the fact that a ranch-style wouldn't offer the larger rooms we needed, and those adorable character-filled homes closer to downtown just weren't in the budget. Don't get me wrong, I've come to love our 1970's split level, but it has taken a lot of trial and error to get where we are- seven years to be exact.
After failed attempts at character via warm colors, accent walls, and even an accent "stripe" (I think the photo evidence of that era is long gone...), I came to the realization that fighting your home's design into the mold of another style is a losing battle. Because of the generally open design that most split levels have, the overall space just looked busy and disjointed.
After a heavy amount of research-i.e. binge watching Fixer Upper, I came away with a few ideas for making each area flow into one another better.
Not every room has to be the same exact color, but using shades within same palate helps with cohesion. I chose Sherwin Williams Eider White for the living room & entry, and mixed just a little warm grey into that for the dining room.
You can't really tell that they are different colors, but the Eider White alone in the dining room cast a strange blueish hue because of the lighting. This is why you test before painting the whole room, people! Do as I say, not as I do.
Frieze carpet was my love language, until we moved into a house with it. So we tore that out and opted for an economical laminate in a go-with-anything, medium tone. It ended up playing really nicely off of the dining room and entry tile that we couldn't afford to also replace. Just like the wall color, your flooring doesn't need to match exactly in order to flow well. We've actually found that we prefer it as a subtle way to define each of the spaces.
Hi my name is Samantha, and I am a "matcher". There, I said it. "Matching" is a condition that I'd learned to live with. It's not necessarily a bad trait, however I'm sure you can imagine the madness that would ensue from attempting to match all three areas. Besides, we were really digging the new boho, effortless-chic movement that started a few years back. So out with purple curtains and the purple pillows that matched the purple accent wall... you get it. Say it with me, "coordinate, not duplicate". The exciting thing about this concept was that it got me thinking outside the box in terms of using what we already had around the house. The colors didn't go away, they simply moved into the bedroom- far enough down the hall to sustain its own color palate.
For the living room, entry and dining room, we instead chose to play with pattern, texture, wood tones, and color mainly through plant life. It's also much easier to grab items from Goodwill, curbside, etc. and slap a coat of white or black on it. OR, leave it in its perfectly patinated state- just be sure to seal with a clear poly. I really like having the ability change things around on a whim, and infuse some fun color around the holidays- more on that next week!
Enjoy the ride and don't be afraid to experiment with something new, even if it's as simple as rotating a few pieces from room to room. All in all, your style and home will evolve just as you do.Who knows, I might bring back all that purple in a couple of years- don't tell Jake!
Do you feel like you've nailed your home's style? What is your next project?