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Interiorssneak peeks

Inside a Century-Old, Contemporary Colonial

by Garrett Fleming

Four years ago, Kelley of Hunt & Gather and her husband, Troy, were both done with grad school and ready to settle down. Grand Rapids, MI was the clear choice, as it would not only provide the inspiration Kelley needed to run her shop, but it would also allow Troy to make his mark at a local nonprofit group. “I wanted a home that had at least one special characteristic, and in this house we found a lot of gems,” Kelley says. The 1915 colonial located in the historic Heritage Hill district of the city had great bones. The stained-glass windows, tall ceilings, wood floors and a fantastic yard were what immediately bewitched the couple. It did take some work, though, to bring out the old looker’s full potential.

The process started with identifying the key areas that the two wanted to update the most. “We started with the main floor — kitchen, dining and sun room — as they were where we entertained most, plus it made the most visual impact.” While the overhaul was fairly drama-free, it proved to be a test of the couple’s perseverance. Over 100 hours went into sanding and refinishing the kitchen cabinets and built-ins alone. Tack on a custom daybed for the sunroom, new carpet and fireplace, and you’ve got a family with a newfound appreciation for the DIY process. All of this hard work was undertaken to achieve one simple goal: To create a space that the couple, their dog, and guests felt was beautiful, yet comfortable. “We have had numerous house guests stay with us for varying lengths — from one month to one year — in the two guest bedrooms. We love having a place where people can come short- to longterm and feel welcome… a place to really express who [we are] creatively and to share meals and experiences with friends and family.”

The construction phase was just the beginning. Then came styling and choosing paint colors. Frequently one of the most irksome of design decisions, picking a home’s hue can quickly eat up some serious time and leave you with a bothersome case of design overthink. Not for these two. Having an extensive collection of quirky accessories inspired Kelley and Troy to paint the entire home white. Leaning on their treasures’ details — and adding a personal touch through styling — provided a major boost of personality to the fresh, white base. “We have a lot of art/special pieces that we like to pop and speak for themselves,” Kelley says. A shift in the couple’s taste from “industrial and vintage to a more refined, polished look,” has created a space that’s welcoming and casual, yet refined and easy on the eyes. Look out for their gorgeous lucite bookshelf and a mixture of cultural styles, both of which make this peek one of my all-time favorites. —Garrett

Photography by Jill DeVries

Inside a Century-Old, Contemporary Colonial, Design*Sponge
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When Kelley and Troy first moved in, they centered their old sofa in front of the fireplace in hopes that it would serve as the room's focal point. "This actually cut the room off too much and just never flowed right," Kelley says. "As soon as I let go of this idea of centering around the fireplace, my options were so open! I am happy now with how the room makes good use of space and provides ample seating for entertaining, conversation, etc."
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"Styling is one of my favorite things to do, so these bookshelves were so much fun for me. The entire built-in was an oak color at one point. We sanded and painted [it] numerous times with a semi-gloss to get [it] whipped into shape. I don’t usually like knick-knacks unless they have a home, and these shelves provide that home to display them without feeling too over-the-top."
Inside a Century-Old, Contemporary Colonial, Design*Sponge
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Kelley was very particular when it came to her home's curtains. It took her over a year to find just the right ones, but Crate & Barrel ended up coming out on top. The portrait is a Craigslist gem.
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"I like to keep plants/greenery around to remind me of good weather and memories - especially during the hard winters. This lucite coffee table is a big contender with our dining room light fixture for 'favorite'." Sofa by Room and Board. Rug by West Elm.
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"Our dog, Harper, is one of the most important aspects of our lives. Our house is her house, so we make sure everything we have is also comfortable for her, too. Nothing (besides the dining table) is off limits."
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Troy and Kelley traveled all the way from Grand Rapids to Chicago to carry this large piece home with them. It was quite a trek, but they haven't regretted it for one minute. Portrait by James Lacroix.
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"Our dining room has always been a work in progress. That storage unit traveled over 500 miles from Ohio to make it to our home (on the top of my aunt’s SUV). Eventually this room will feel a little more glamorous, but currently it has a slight industrial touch..."
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Even though they are from different eras and schools of style, the dining chairs and this vintage buffet's off-white tone help them live harmoniously.
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"Having our dishes on display [makes them] feel like a little collection – like displaying china. Our Jonathan Adler light fixture is my favorite major purchase for our home. I love how when it’s lit, you can see it from the street through the living room." The rug and table are vintage finds.
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"I love vintage landscape prints. Although vintage frames can be beautiful, I wanted the room to feel more clean and modern, so I reframed the prints in simple, white IKEA frames and hung them on the wall."
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Since the second guest room is on the smaller side, Kelley and Troy kept the colors light to help it appear larger and more open.
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Turkish rugs and kilim textiles can be seen throughout the space. The rug's details are what the homeowner's adore.
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"Our attic loft houses the only television of the house. It’s fun to get cozy upstairs and watch TV or play games with friends. This space, however, is where our furniture goes when we’ve had it for a while. These couches used to be in my apartment in graduate school. Regardless, since we only buy things we love, furniture can be moved around and still 'work' in our house." The lamp is from Target.
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This vintage campaign poster came with Kelley all the way from Nashville. The subject's rosy cheeks, the neutral tones and its combination of vintage and graphic styles are what she loves most about the 5-foot-tall piece. The pillows are available at Kelley's shop, Hunt & Gather. The rest of these pieces are vintage.
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Having her workspace in the attic and out of sight means Kelley can freely work on projects without the worry of creating a mess. Since everything is out in the open, her tools are always readily available when inspiration strikes.
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The master bedroom.
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"The vintage macramé piece above our bed is simple, but my favorite piece in the room. The room didn’t quite feel 'finished' until I found this pillow."
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"Our bedroom is a mix of DIY (headboard/bed frame), West Elm, Pottery Barn, IKEA, and vintage." Kelley and Troy love how that mix creates a natural, lived-in look.
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This mounted lamp from OneFortyThree keeps the side table free for books and accessories.
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"Each bedroom has some custom element. In this case, we wanted the guest room to feel very zen/spa-like. We white washed some common board and added them to the wall for a feature with matching, floating side tables. It was a really inexpensive way to get a custom, built-in look."
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The couple's home truly is designed with guests in mind. They even deck out their guest room's dresser with cotton balls, q-tips and all the little accessories that their visitors may have forgotten.
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Those small black squares are chalkboards that the homeowners use to write each house guest's name on. "People always think they are iPads, though, so not sure it was a great idea. The floors in our guest room used to have carpet. After removing the carpet, we noticed the floor wasn’t in good enough shape to spend (the money to refinish it). Instead, we painted it white and sealed it with a strong floor polyurethane. It was an inexpensive fix and actually fit quite well with the zen-like room we wanted to create." Curtains and lamps by JCPenney. Bedding by Ralph Lauren. Headboard by Pottery Barn.
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When the two moved in, the kitchen was in need of a total update. The cabinetry was salvageable, but needed some serious sanding and repainting.
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Kelley chose all-white appliances so they would blend into the cabinetry and backsplash.
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"One of the most calming rooms of our house is the sun room. The built-in day bed has a twin mattress as opposed to a cushion, so we can also accommodate more guests if necessary. In the summer, we spend most of our time out here as it looks out to the backyard. The bright whites and fresh space is definitely a step up from the beige walls and beige tiles the room had to begin with. This room is where my houseplant collection started."
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The sun room's curtains are from IKEA.
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