Five years ago, Chelsea and Matt Bieber welcomed three kids into the world within 16 months — boy-girl twins Colin and Shire, and a sweet surprise baby boy right behind them. When they moved into this 1,800-square-foot split-level home 25 miles outside Washington, DC in Herndon, VA, little Mason still hadn’t yet hatched. Chelsea, who co-owns a furniture refinishing and design business called StyleMutt Home, has spent the years since experimenting with decoration that suits her childrens’ untamed energy, as well as the parents’ more sophisticated tastes.
Developing their own aesthetic took some time. After living in the house and realizing its potential, Chelsea set out to create a peaceful place in which she and her husband could relax, but one that would also be fun and functional for their brood. She believes parents owe it to themselves to create adult homes that aren’t totally focused on raising offspring. “Kids can learn to respect furniture, spaces, and pieces,” she says. This family has struck a compromise between the two approaches. For example, the patina of a large wooden coffee table becomes more interesting as it gets dinged up, and the dining room’s pipe shelves add an industrial statement to the main floor while providing easy access to craft and activity supplies. A creek on one side of the property encourages wildlife to come through the wooded backyard, and on a nice morning, Chelsea will open the sliding glass door to listen to the birds’ symphony. Bouncing off the vaulted ceilings, their sounds echo through the home as if in a bird sanctuary. This unexpected feature is also one of the most beloved, as is the ability for Chelsea to watch her own wild ones on various floors, the layout of which allows everyone to spread their wings, but not too far. —Annie