“Work­ing on fam­ily houses chal­lenges me in a huge way,”

Southern Living (USA) - - Travel & Culture -

says dec­o­ra­tor Fran Keenan. “You have to bal­ance liv­ing in beauty with mak­ing it func­tional.” In

2012, she and her hus­band, Matt, moved with their three kids into a 2,500-square-foot cot­tage in Birm­ing­ham. The nearly 100year-old home was in the right place but of­fered nei­ther beauty nor func­tion. Luck­ily, com­bin­ing per­son­al­ity with prac­ti­cal­ity is what Keenan does best. She then kicked off a six-month ren­o­va­tion that in­volved find­ing about 200 ex­tra square feet and punch­ing up the in­te­ri­ors. A new gable built on the front of the house cre­ated space for an ex­tra bed­room, and Keenan elim­i­nated a pow­der bath to add a pantry and laun­dry area. She then di­aled the de­sign all the way up with her sig­na­ture style: vi­brant and eclec­tic yet clas­sic and smart. Imag­ine free­hand­painted walls, wild an­i­mal prints, thrifty finds, and knock­out color com­bos. Most im­por­tantly, though, it’s com­fort­able and works well for her fam­ily. “Great dec­o­rat­ing is all about strad­dling that ten­sion,” she ex­plains. “It feels pulled to­gether, but you can still come in and plop down. No room is off-lim­its.” Read on for Keenan’s 10 new rules for cot­tage style.

FRAN KEENAN

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