In Indiana, A Stylist Jazzes Up Cookie-Cutter Construction

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When purchasing your first home, you oftentimes want it all. Your laundry list of must-haves tags along to every showing, a reminder that the potential house has to be in the right neighborhood, look a certain way, and be the perfect price. Finding a needle in a haystack can be challenging, though, and when push comes to shove, sometimes being flexible ends up working out in ways you never imagined. Such was the case in 2013, when interior stylist and blogger Heather Jorde and her husband Connor set out to buy their first home together. Letting go of their hope of owning a quirky, older home in Indianapolis, IN led them to a dream in disguise: new construction.

This disguise came in the form of bland furnishings and little personality, but those aspects actually served up such a rare opportunity that the couple gave it a shot. The home was a blank canvas where they could let their imaginations run wild. Heather and Connor’s greatest out-of-the-box thinking comes to life in the entryway and their daughter Charlie’s nursery. The “cookie-cutter” entry sings thanks to a snazzy, hand-painted graphic. Its modern shape and rustic decorations both combine Connor and Heather’s styles and set the tone for the rest of their Scandinavian-inspired abode. Follow this stylish entryway’s staircase, and you’ll find more one-of-a-kind surprises, including Heather’s DIY pièce de résistance: the stenciled wall in her daughter’s room. This fun tree design is accompanied by a DIY hanging clothing rack. It simultaneously solves the room’s storage issue and gives the home yet another enviable, custom touch.

While this Midwestern home boasts endless pretty moments, it’s the sentiment behind each one that truly makes this house special. Every tweak was designed to bring the family closer together, creating a space that keeps them smiling and laughing. Click through to see exactly how Heather and Connor have made this newly-construced home work for their family and stand out in a sea of sameness. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Heather Jorde

  1. Kristen says:

    I’m so glad to be introduced to Heather and her home. I also live in Indy and struggle to make a builder boring home into a custom design space :)

  2. The result is anything but cookie cutter. The DIY, the mix of styles and eras….it isn’t copied but comes from their hearts.

  3. SEM says:

    Really love what Heather did here. It expands my definition of “dream home” too. I appreciate the effort to make whatever canvas you have…uniquely yours. Well done.

  4. Katie says:

    Your place looks great! I really like your DIY dining table. Did he use plans to build it from or did he come up with the design himself?

    1. Hi Katie! We used plans from Ana White’s site.

  5. Emmy says:

    Love their monochrome living room with all the soothing grays.

  6. Kathrina says:

    I love this home! We also bought a new, cookie cutter house after thinking we’d be buying something with more character and charm. It has been a work in progress to put our own style on it, but it has been a fun challenge and we’re loving every project that moves us toward a unique space that speaks of who we are as a family.

  7. Jalene says:

    So many great details! I love the combination of the dining table, chairs, and chandelier. I just started a blog about customizing our builder basic house. We are in the process of turning our office into a mudroom, and I think it will look anything but basic! We are also in the Indy area. I hope you’ll check it out!


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