Interiorssneak peeks

In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home

by Sofia Tuovinen

When Lexington, KY based photographer Hanna and husband Dustin realized that they needed more space, they knew they wanted to find a house that they could turn into their dream home with a little bit of elbow grease. Their fixer-upper dreams were finally realized in a 2,600-square-foot house from the 50s. The family wanted to comfortably be able to accommodate Hanna’s parents, who frequently visit from Finland, where Hanna grew up. With three floors and four bedrooms, the new house offered the required space for visiting family, as well as an office for Hanna, a music room for Dustin and plenty of room for their daughter Eila to run and play.

In the two years that Hanna and Dustin have lived in their new home, the couple has taken on several projects to make the house look and feel like them. They have conquered everything from tiling and light plumbing to reworking vintage light fixtures. The most exciting thing for Hanna and Dustin has been to see Eila learn from them and pitch in, pretending to paint a wall or hammer a nail. Eila loves to be creative, and when peeking into this family’s home, it’s clear that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree — decorating is Hanna’s big passion.

Hanna has a special talent of scouting out vintage treasures that most people might not even notice. Plenty of times someone’s trash has become her treasure. She isn’t afraid of color or pattern, something that is evident throughout her home. She loves to use contrast when decorating, whether it’s between crisp white walls and funky patterns, or IKEA furniture and vintage pieces. There has never been one single vision, but as various projects have been completed around the house, the common vibe throughout has become something Hanna describes as “Modern English Retro Cottage.” Special and memorable pieces can be found around the house as reminders of what this family values most about their home  — “It keeps all our most precious and loved people safe and secure,” Hanna shares. Click through to see how this loving family created a colorful sanctuary for themselves and their loved ones! Sofia

Photography by Hanna Salonen

In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
1/17
The family’s colorful backyard patio functions as a second living room, and is the perfect spot for hanging out and relaxing. The coffee table is one of Hanna’s many DIYs. She found it in the trash and gave it new life by painting it gold.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
2/17
The abundance of light shining through the living room windows does justice to the various textures and patterns in the family’s living room. The antique mirror above the fireplace is another treasure that Hanna saved from the trash. A print of Pispala, the town where Hanna’s father grew up in Finland, hangs on the left and is a very special piece for Hanna. The tufted pink ottoman is from HomeGoods and creates a fun focal point.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
3/17
Finding a white TV turned out to be harder than Hanna first thought, but now one blends in with the colorful gallery wall in the living room. The mid-century dresser was trash that Hanna cleaned up and painted. The crisp white walls are painted in Ultra Pure White by Behr.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
4/17
“I love the mixture of prints here!” Hanna exclaims when talking about her living room decor. Hanna has an eye for mixing and matching numerous patterns to create eclectic spaces that feel completely harmonious. The curtains and table lamp were both finds from HomeGoods.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
5/17
The floral curtains from World Market are one of Hanna’s favorite things in the dining area. The table lamp from HomeGoods and a thrifted Levi’s sign tie in with the color scheme. The man bust that stands on a vintage dresser is one of Hanna’s quirkier thrift store finds. Eila’s mint colored Tripp Trapp high chair was a gift from a friend, and adds a sweet pop of color.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
6/17
Hanna doesn’t exactly have the greenest of thumbs, and says she somehow manages to kill most plants. Hanna dreamed of a tall cactus but was afraid to get a real one, so Dustin gave her the tall fake one as a goofy gift. It gets points for being child-friendly as well! The large flamingo print is a thrift store find and creates a bright statement piece.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
7/17
The kitchen got a makeover when Hanna painted the cabinets white, Dustin tiled the backsplash and the couple’s friend Jarrod installed a new sink and countertop.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
8/17
Plan of Hanna and Dustin's three-story home.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
9/17
“This bathroom has gone [through] such a renovation. It used to be brown with brown tile on the wall and the floor,” Hanna explains. Dustin retiled the space and installed the baby blue vintage sink that Hanna found on Craigslist. Hanna chose the swan wallpaper as an ode to her native Finland. She painted the ceiling red “just because,” but it happens to work perfectly with the wallpaper! The end result is Hanna’s quirky style in a nutshell, and this room is now one of the family’s favorites in the house.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
10/17
When Hanna and Dustin bought the house, they added doors to the open closet in Hanna’s office. Hanna, who works as a photographer, chose bright pink to cheer up the days when she’s not out on shoots. “I love the 'courage' sign because it truly is so needed when you own your own business,” she adds.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
11/17
Hanna loves white rooms with pops of color, and the master bedroom is no exception. “When we bought the house, I knew that I wanted a tufted headboard and went with an unusual color. I'm glad I did,” she says. The headboard is perfectly framed by yellow lampshades and a matching bedspread from HomeGoods.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
12/17
Hanna, Dustin and Eila at home.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
13/17
The second-floor master bathroom is another space that received a full makeover when the family moved in, but the renovation wasn’t exactly hassle-free. “[The] most horrible and needed part was to sand down the textured wall paint. […] After that I swore I'd never sand anything ever again in my life,” Hanna recalls. The antique mirror and cabinet are both thrifted, and the latter got a new look with some bright green paint. Hanna’s mom Vuokko added the privacy curtains to the glass doors to keep things looking neat.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
14/17
For Eila’s room, Hanna hunted down a Jenny Lind bed on Craigslist and painted it white. The two rotating pink chairs in the middle are thrifted, the pink side table is from Hobby Lobby.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
15/17
A grouping of vintage mirrors that Hanna has collected hangs in a corner of Eila’s room. The orange chair is a special piece for Hanna. “I got it before I was pregnant because I knew I wanted [it] in my child's room and there it is now!”
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
16/17
Dustin and Hanna installed a black-and-white striped floor in the basement to make the space more exciting. Believe it or not - the Bertoia chairs were also thrifted for next to nothing!

Technically speaking, the basement isn’t the bottommost floor of the house. One of the quirks of the house is a bomb shelter, located under the basement. “It mostly stores seasonal items, coats and things, but it's pretty cool! It even has a crank that you can move to get fresh air in. So if the end of the world comes - we're set!” Hanna shares.
In Kentucky, Color and Pattern Make Up a Quirky Family Home | Design*Sponge
17/17
“What we love most about our home are the people in it and the love we share.”

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