DE­SIGNED TO BE DIF­FER­ENT

Keys to cre­at­ing a co­he­sive look full of char­ac­ter.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Contents - BY MERYL SCHOENBAUM

Learn how to cre­ate a co­he­sive look over­flow­ing with char­ac­ter.

“The sun porch is my oasis.

I ’m on I feel like

va­ca­tion

in my own home when I’m there.”

You might think all in­te­rior de­sign­ers have their fa­vorite dé­cor style

that per­me­ates their projects, es­pe­cially when it comes to dec­o­rat­ing their own home. But that was not the case for in­te­rior de­signer Lauren Wil­son when she and her fam­ily moved into their new home.

“I’m in­spired by all styles, col­ors, tex­tures and pieces to make my own style,” Lauren of Lily Jace De­signs says. So she kept an open mind as she set out to dec­o­rate her house in Farm­ing­ton Hills, Michi­gan, a sub­urb of down­town Detroit. The 3-bed­room, 2.5-bath tra­di­tional Colo­nial, built in 1967, ap­peared to be frozen in time, vis­ually weighed down by old, heavy draperies, and out­dated wall­pa­per and walls—lots of walls. Lauren knew she wanted to have a large open space where her fam­ily could gather, so knock­ing down the walls com­menced.

“[The floor plan] was very chopped up with the walls, small kitchen, din­ing area and liv­ing room,” Lauren says. “But I was able to vi­su­al­ize the out­come and know that I can make any space my own, so we cre­ated one big, open-con­cept kitchen/liv­ing room/gath­er­ing place from the three rooms.” As a re­sult, the fam­ily of five—Lauren; her hus­band, Mike; their two daugh­ters and their son, Jace—can now en­joy each other’s com­pany in the main part of the house with­out be­ing sep­a­rated by walls.

“I love the look of a dark

floor in a large space.”

BLACK, WHITE & WOOD

Once the re­mod­el­ing was done, Lauren was able to fo­cus on flex­ing her dec­o­rat­ing mus­cles. The open feel of the lay­out is also re­flected in her open ap­proach to feath­er­ing her nest. “I shop around; I don’t want my house to look like a cat­a­log,” she says. “I want it to look lived-in and to feel like it’s my own.” She uses the term “eclec­tic” to de­scribe the var­ied dec­o­ra­tive el­e­ments that fill the rooms. How­ever, Lauren does have a tried-and-true for­mula to cre­ate a co­he­sive eclec­tic ef­fect.

“I love to use black, white and wood against a neutral back­ground,” she says. So she starts out with a can­vas of light-col­ored walls, then lay­ers in black, white and wood fur­nish­ings with pops of color from fabrics and fo­liage. “I love to bring the out­side in with green­ery, flo­rals and na­ture,” she says.

Lauren’s fa­vorite room in the house is the sun porch. “I go there when it’s sunny or when it rains. It’s so re­lax­ing,” she says. “I look out into the woods and see a lot of na­ture, deer and wildlife. The sun porch is my oasis. I feel like I’m on va­ca­tion in my own home when I’m there. It’s my happy place.”

|ABOVE| ECLEC­TIC EN­TRY. Lauren found the barn door and had it fit­ted to fill the space in the en­try­way. She painted over the orig­i­nal mul­ti­col­ored floor with white for a bright and wel­com­ing look. She wanted a mir­ror that wasn’t round, and she liked the odd shape of this mir­ror. Lauren loves hats and has them on dis­play in the en­try as a charm­ing way to wel­come guests.

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