Interiorssneak peeks

A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX

by Garrett Fleming

There was a time when it was in vogue to cover your sofas in plastic, keep the formal dining room spotless, and strive for perfectly-visible vacuum lines. It was the age of tupperware and pastels, when keeping things preserved was obviously the way to go. Times are changing, though. We are seeing more and more homes built to be truly lived in. No rooms are off limits, decorations are less precious and kids are more free to be creative and (dare I say it) mess things up a little.

There’s such freedom and joyfulness that comes with this feeling of letting go. And that’s exactly what Katie Sarokhanian of Rus in Urbe Home and her husband Nicholas strive to infuse into the Dallas, TX home where they’re raising their three daughters. By setting a certain tone with the decorations they bring home, Katie and Nicholas let the kiddos know that messing up a little something there or getting something dirty here isn’t a big deal. Instead of being focused on how they’re making a mess, they want their daughters to focus on things that bring them joy. In order to keep themselves from stressing when stuff gets broken or blemished, they eagerly pick through vintage shops and browse Craigslist listings. Not only is it fun, but since these thrifty finds don’t break the bank, their wear and tear is much easier to take. “My most important goal is to never be attached to any thing in my home. I want my friends’ kids to run around and have fun. I like having the house full of people, and I never ever care when wine is spilled or things are broken,” Katie tells us.

Just because these affordable finds aren’t shiny and new doesn’t mean Katie and Nicholas have sacrificed their personal style. On the contrary, their collection of pillows and textiles seems right out of a bohemian dream. Rich red blankets, patterned pillows and an eclectic mixture of layered textiles help guests and the family alike feel at home from the second they walk in the door. Click through to see just how well the couple has managed to craft a pretty home that isn’t afraid to get a little dirty. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Kris Ellis

A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
Every morning, the Sarokhanian family wakes to the sound of birds chirping outside the windows of their lofted bedrooms. These pretty planters and side table -- which Katie found at an estate sale -- may seem like just decorations, but they actually discourage Katie and Nicholas' daughters from climbing on the walls.
A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
Katie and Nicholas met in law school and moved to Dallas, TX after graduation. "We are so thankful to have a safe place for our kids to live and grow. Katie's mother was born in the Philippines, and Katie's grandfather grew up in a remote village there. Nick's father is an immigrant from Iran whose own father lost his leg being tortured as a political prisoner. We never forget all the sacrifices our families have made and the sufferings they [have] endured [in order for] us to live in a safe home in a city we love," the couple tells us.
A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
The bedrooms in the home are far apart, so Katie and Nicholas turned their lofty bedroom into two rooms in order to be closer to their little ones. You can see a peek at the nursery on the far right.
A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
Initially, the couple imagined sipping on morning coffee or enjoying a bit of quiet time in the loft's lounge. Instead, it quickly evolved into their go-to space for reading bedtime stories and a little family time. The chairs from Wisteria and Restoration Hardware are paired with a pouf from Instagrammer Jennifer Harrison's shop Flea Market Fab.
A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
To give Rosie's nursery a bohemian vibe, Katie opted for this vintage shell chandelier as opposed to a more traditional crib mobile. She also cleverly used a vintage headboard to give it even more flair. "I try to pick pieces with character: vintage over new, handmade over mass-produced, genuine over replica. Those things give your home soul!" Katie says.
A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
The living room was an ever-evolving, thrifted mix of harmonious textiles, patterns and colors before Katie landed on this look. Now -- on the rare chilly day -- the southerners curl up on their Z Gallerie sofa amidst warm decor with a glass of wine in hand and a fire blazing. Abstract art by Jenn Thatcher.
A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
Typically, we see trim painted white. The thought is to make it stand out against walls painted in a darker tone. Katie has flipped the script in her home by splashing hers with Benjamin Moore "Revere Pewter." Its darker tone makes the trim a decor element and gives the living room a unique touch. The painting above the fireplace is by Charlie Sisson. Katie tells us, "It was painted standing on a tall ladder over canvas, which force[d] the artist to let go of control. To me it represents that: the [realization] that you must accept your inability to control things in order for beauty to happen."
A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
Luckily an abundance of light streams into the family room, so the couple knew bold black walls would work to enrich (and not engulf) the space. The table is a Mexican antique, and the accompanying chairs are from Poly + Bark.
A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
Finding the right way to mix florals for the family room was a fun project for Katie to tackle, and she got lucky when she snagged two vintage sofas in this striking pattern. She and Nicholas spend most of their time here reading and listening to music while the kids chase the dog around and around.
A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
The kitchen needed a major overhaul when the Sarokhanians moved in. To get the galley-style space into tip-top shape, they worked alongside Rusty Perkins of Perkins Construction. His team installed new cabinetry from East Dallas Carpentry and fresh countertops by Konkrete Designs. The couple loves how easy cleaning and cooking is in their new kitchen.
A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
Part of the three-month-long renovation was the installation of this striking backsplash made from Moroccan Mosaic & Tile House pieces. It was a bold choice, but a decision they'll never regret. The sconce was handmade by Sazerac Stitches.
A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
Katie has strategically offset the dining room's glitzy chandelier and table from Amazon and Craigslist with rustic accessories like a cowhide rug from One Kings Lane and a vintage statue from Mexico.
A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
"What do we love about our home? Its joyful spirit. Our home is full of beautiful things that bring us joy, but most importantly, those things are never the source of our joy." -- The Sarokhanians
A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX. Design*Sponge
The two-story home's floor plan.

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  • How stunning! And such a lovely perspective on their home. I’ve looked through this several times and find something new to love each time!

  • Beautiful article!! I know first hand the joy of being those sweethearts’ grandmother! They are three lucky girls! I love Katie’s style and how there is something new to see each time I visit! She has a great sense of style and a relaxed attitude about all the wonderful treasures that she finds! So proud of my daughter-in-law and it’s nice to have her input on my own ideas.

  • This article captures their home and personalities perfectly. My daughter loves playing there because anything goes! Great article and beautiful pictures!

  • What a beautiful tour! This house is the epitome of style meets cozy. I think many of us with young families aspire to have a beautiful, ADULT home that doesn’t feel like a museum to our children. Katie has nailed it. Bravo!

  • This is one of my favorite home tours ever. I keep going back to photos, again and again, to look at the individual elements. It’s luxurious, but bohemian, super stylish without being “designery.” Love.

  • My goodness those are three beautiful little girls! I love the house too. I can respect the idea of not getting bent out of shape when the kids break things–we have three of our own (kids, not things). Although, this home would still need a fair amount of boy-proofing before I would trust by wreaking balls in it for one second.

    • You are so right! Boys are a whole different story. We are expecting our first boy in January–Yikes! I’m told I have to start strapping furniture to the walls ha!

  • This house and this family are an inspiration. I couldn’t love this special space any more. It’s chic yet casual, thoughtful yet organic. I adore the color and the creativity. Love!

  • This is beautiful in every way! Beautiful family philosophy, incredible home, gorgeous family members (those 3 girls – too sweet!). Thanks for sharing – you’ve inspired me in more ways than one.

  • Holy mother I love this house. I love the mid century + boho vibe a ton, but what really sets this house apart is the inclusion of traditional shapes and materials, like that floral sofa and the artwork around the fireplace.

    I’ve been toying with the idea of painting our family room a very dark color and I’ll definitely revisit these photos, and show them to my husband.

  • This is gorgeous. Would you mind sharing the paint colors on the living room and dining room walls? Thank you so much.

  • Absolutely love this home. its got a such a warm and homely feel.
    The shell chandelier in Rosie’s nursery is stunning… it actually looks very similar to one of the chandeliers we do.
    Where can we see more photos of the kitchen, im totally in love with the color contrasts.

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