In Ohio, Trading in Traditional for Mid-Century Modern

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Cleveland, OH isn’t home to an abundance of mid-century architecture, according to enthusiasts Charity and Ben Crawford — and this pair would certainly know. When they decided to move in together, they had a very difficult time tracking down a 1950s abode. Their luck changed overnight, however, when a friend decided it was time to pack up and move to California. In his departure, their friend left behind 1,600 square feet of prime, mid-century real estate. Before the couple knew it, they were trading in their traditional, colonial homes for his retro, blank slate.

Since moving in, the couple has gone out of their way to keep the original design intact. With the exception of a few coats of paint and colorful accessories, minimal updates have been made to the home. As you’ll see, both of these design choices help delineate rooms from one another — a clever technique for anyone living in an open-concept space. The newly-painted walls have also been decked out in layers of artwork by many of the couple’s favorite makers. The pieces seem to float in place atop the painted, original panels, proving that mixing eras creates visually-arresting vignettes.

While the home’s inherent, retro vibe clearly influenced the couple’s design decisions, another factor also came into play: the prospect of raising a family. In hopes of one day welcoming home a baby, the couple dressed each room with decorations that would amp up the coziness and comfortability of each space. That way, when kids did come into the picture, they would feel right at home right away. Fifteen months ago, all of their hard work was put to the test when Charity and Ben brought home baby Maxwell. So far, their design has hit the mark, and Maxwell is thriving — and the vibrant styling pales in comparison to the light he has brought into his parents’ lives. Click through to see the rest of this joyous and brilliant home. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Lauren Parsells

  1. What a wonderful, welcoming home! Cosy without being fussy, retro without being self conscious, and all the pattern mixing. Love it!

  2. Julie says:

    This home has so much personality. I can hear their laughter echoing though out. Nice work, guys!

  3. Shibani says:

    So fun to see people I know (and a home I’ve been to) featured on Design Sponge! Charity and Ben are wonderful hosts and even better friends!! Their home is such a great reflection of them as people: warm, welcoming and filled with light and love!

  4. Shannon says:

    Bravo friends! What a splendid write up on a home that is as welcoming as its owners. I know for certain Max’s design expertise plays a part in the easy going, fun look;)

  5. Rachaeldaisy says:

    I love all the colour and pattern used in this warm welcoming home.

  6. Jane says:

    What a beautiful home. Love their use of bold colours and patterns, works perfectly!

  7. I absolutely love that orange desk!

  8. Laura says:

    I hope this isn’t terribly inappropriate… I found this article while looking for help with appraisal of my parents’ Heywood Wakefield furniture. Their home is in Sandusky, Ohio and I’ve no idea where to seek an opinion. Thanks so much!

  9. Sonny says:

    Love the colours, love the patterns, love the orange desk :)


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