Interiorssneak peeks

Experimental Decorating Enlivens a Missouri Craftsman

by Garrett Fleming

I recently came across two tapestries that actually made me gasp. Yes, audibly gasp. While gorgeous, neither makes sense in my home. I bought them anyway. I tend to do that. I call it “buy before I try” decorating, and it’s sort of fun! You should give it a try. Next time you come across a piece of furniture or a decoration you aren’t sure will work in your home, just give it a go. Maybe you’ll be surprised at the combinations and styles you create?

Brittany Kingery and her husband Justin gave this experimental style of decorating a whirl when they moved into their Springfield, MO home. Sure, the 1920s Craftsman’s high ceilings, abundance of natural light and open floor plan were ideal, but that old carpet and outdated kitchen? They had to go. As did most of the home’s other furnishings. While a bit daunting at first, the couple quickly realized the old home’s setbacks had presented them with the opportunity to try out various decorating styles, trends, patterns and colors in a way they never had before.

The space’s bold flooring is perhaps the element of their home that most embodies their give-it-a-go approach. When they pulled up the home’s carpet, Brittany and Justin were sure they’d find beautiful wood below. Nope. The wood planks were in such bad shape, the couple decided to take a risk and paint them instead. In the face of this challenge, most homeowners would have chosen a nicely noninvasive hue, but the Kingerys aren’t most homeowners. They boldly took a risk and painted their bedroom’s floor jet black and the kitchen’s a punchy green. They had their doubts, but they reminded themselves that this home was about rolling the dice and going for it.

In the end, they couldn’t be happier with the results of their experiments. While these trials are obviously visually stunning, each one has also come with an unintended consequence. Brittany and Justin have learned a thing or two about themselves, how they work as a team, where each of their talents lie — and they’ve discovered “skills and perhaps even talents” they hadn’t realized they possessed. That’s what stepping outside the box can do, and this couple and home are a fabulous testament to that power. Click through to take a look at their handiwork. Enjoy! —Garrett

Interior Photography by Brittany Kingery | Portrait by Climer Photography

Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
The dining room is the most-used area of the Kingery home, so it's been outfitted with some extra-special features. For example, Justin built this gorgeous window seat himself. It even features built-in dog beds for the pups. Brittany's contribution was the dining chairs' new cushion covers. They give the chairs a new life while still maintaining their 50s charm. Brittany says, "The dining set belonged to the mother-in-law of the woman who sold it to us, and she cried when we took it away. It's extra special to me knowing that it has been so loved."
Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
Brittany, Justin and their pups Fatty, Jellybeans and Pepper have called this Missouri Craftsman home for a year now. It truly merges their two styles, both of which they inherited from their respective mothers. Brittany got her mom's passion for DIY and decor, while Justin got his mother's love for vintage "junk."
Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
Justin's amassed an incredible record collection, and the IKEA unit perfectly shows it off in the most organized way possible. In the evenings, Brittany often puts one of the records on, chooses one of the three pups to dance with, and gets down. The giant "K" was thrifted, and the pendant light is from IKEA.
Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
Jellybeans (top), Pepper and Fatty soak up the rays in the dining room. The Kingerys are extremely grateful their home has enough space for their "three very lazy dogs" to chill out.
Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
The "happy-and-cozy living room" is decked out in vintage and flea market finds, including this pair of mid-century chairs, Justin's first major "get." The vintage rug served as the inspiration for the rest of the home's color palette.
Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
An expensive kitchen overhaul wasn't in the cards for this thrifty pair. For only $350, however, they were able to cleverly give theirs a totally new look. The refresh encompassed new plexiglass cabinet doors, new backsplash, light fixtures and hardware. The most commented-on change, though, has to be that gorgeous green floor. Sherwin-Williams "Green Kale" gives it a one-of-a-kind look that even has the skeptics telling Brittany and Justin how much they adore it.
Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
Brittany and Justin's home has an abundance of counter space. It even extends from the kitchen into the sunroom as we see here. This vintage paint-by-numbers is one of Brittany's all-time-favorite flea finds.
Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
The downstairs guest room is decorated with a piece of art the two bought to commemorate their first wedding anniversary. The complementary green hues of the Olympic "Geyser" mint paint and emerald Pottery Barn throw work wonderfully together.
Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
The guest room's decor was almost entirely thrifted. Brittany fell in love with this chair when she saw it on Craigslist. Unfortunately, the seller lived three hours away. In a lucky twist of fate, her brother happened to be nearby and generously drove over to snag it for his sister. The sheepskin is from IKEA.
Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
The plant on the desk is a clipping from the previous owners. A year after they moved out, it's still going strong.
Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
In hopes of revealing beautiful wood floors, the couple ripped out their bedroom's carpet. Unfortunately, the wood floor below wasn't in great shape, so they timidly painted it Sherwin-Williams "Tricorn Black." Luckily, they love the look more than they could have imagined. The rich hue makes their IKEA bedding and eBay rug pop.
Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
The room boasts a few interesting nooks, each of which provide the couple with a unique decorating challenge. Brittany came across a trunk in the trash that fits perfectly into this one here. By pairing it with the jewelry hanger, she's flipped the awkward space into a functional dressing area.
Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
Decorating Experiments Enliven a Missouri Craftsman, Design*Sponge
The 1,800-square-foot bungalow's floor plan. It seems made for the couple with its high ceilings and open layout. It also required just the right amount of DIY that intrigued -- but didn't intimidate -- the couple.

Suggested For You


  • I love the floors! We recently painted our floors as well, but it hasn’t been holding up very well. What type of paint did you use? And did you use a poly coat?

    • Thanks, Amber! We used Sherwin Williams Porch & Floor enamel and we *did* use poly as a top coat. I think the poly is essential to the durability. We painted the kitchen floors about a year ago and they have held up great. The kitchen is a very high traffic area and the floors are constantly being abused by some klutz (ie, myself) dropping things. If you didn’t poly at the outset, I would recommend it from my experience.

      • Awesome! Yeah, I’m thinking a repainting and poly coat party will be happening in the near future at our house. Do you happen to remember what brand of top coat it was? Thank you so much for the response!

  • What a fun place, with tons of personality! Painting beat-up wood floors seems like such a smart solution.
    Those dog names slay me–they seem perfect for them. :-)

    • Thank you so much, Rachel! Painting the floors was cost effective + we love how it looks. Thanks also about the dogs’ names. Fatty’s was an accident, but he grew into it admirably. :)

    • Cassie! Thank you so much for your support–it means a lot to me, friend! Let me know if you ever need me to lobby on behalf of colored floors in your home. :)

  • Imagination and real heart make this home a beautiful, comfy and loving place for pets, plants and peeps!

  • Beautiful! Did you find the rug in Springfield? I’m also from Springfield, and would love shopping tips.

  • This home is so inspirational. I love all of the color and rugs and interesting furnishings. My favorite home tour in a long time. Thanks for sharing!

  • This house is fantastic and the green kale floor to die for. Can I ask about the kitchen cabinet re-do for under $350. Where did they come from? I’m doing mini kitchen remodel on house that i am putting on the market very soon. TIA

  • Gorgeous, gorgeous colours used throughout but it appears it was only the kitchen and main bedroom where the floors were too far gone to sand and reseal? The rest of the house appears to have lovely floor boards or were they replaced? Just curious.

    • Thanks for the kind comment, Margot! Floors have been interesting in the house. All the floors are original Douglas Fir and have been refinished except for the green kitchen floor–that floor was actually placed on top of the original kitchen hardwoods to better merge the sunroom, which was an addition to the house, with the kitchen. The original hardwoods are still in the kitchen under the green hardwoods, and we may reveal and refinish those someday if we do a more extensive kitchen remodel. You can read more about the floors we painted black on Britt’s blog here: http://brittkingery.com/category/one-room-challenge/

  • How fun to see sweet Britt’s gorgeous home on here! Her collected vintage style is always gorgeous and I love following along with her finds! That green kitchen floor hooked me from the get-go and I’ve been a devoted follower ever since :)

  • This is such an inspiration!! I love the colors and the vintage decor – so cool!

  • I have been scouring internet/stores for weeks to find an oversized emerald blanket like the one shared here. Thank you for posting where it’s from! I found it on Pottery Barn’s website and it was on sale. Yay!

  • Brilliant use of colour. Those rugs definitely are gasp-worthy! And that green floor! So unexpected and works so well.

  • Wow…that rug in the dinning room is amazing. The color palette is just amazing and I go to this site at least once a day to look at it. I read on your blog that it’s from Iran. I had to go to Pakistan several years ago for work. My co-worker had a strong addiction to rugs and we spent many hours in shops. I ended up getting a Iranian rug and one from Tajikistan. When I came home, my wife said I needed to go to rug rehab…it’s in my veins.

    If you don’t mind me asking, where did you get yours. It truly is amazing….I really want one in that color palette!!

    • Hi Chris! Thanks so much, from one rug lover to another. Your trip sounds amazing! Wish I could say I brought this one back myself, but I bought it on eBay. :) It’s a Tabriz rug. The colors are what drew me to it, too!

  • About the green floor…..no disrespect intended, why didn’t you paint further underneath the cabinets? It shows in the photo some natural wood. I love the green too!

  • So lovely! Thank you for sharing your inspirational home, your ascetic is something I’m striving for in mine. Just love the rugs, hoping to luck out and find some beauties of my own.

  • I love that lots of the windows don’t seem to have any curtains or blinds! It’s true of my house, too – anywhere I don’t feel I really need the privacy, I want to have every bit of sunlight possible. :) This house is beautiful!