Interiorssneak peeks

An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining

by Garrett Fleming

An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge

Software consultant and owner of Salt & Honey Baking Company, Susie Brown and her husband Scott, a producer, are an imaginative couple. That being said, it’s unsurprising that this creative spirit of theirs frequently pushes them to seek out projects that keep their minds racing and their hands busy. Over the years this has not only helped them succeed in their many ventures, but it’s kept their home outside Cleveland, OH on its toes. It’s an entertainer’s paradise that never seems to look the same two days in a row.

It looks great today, but Susie and Scott tell us this “paradise” wasn’t always so enviable. When they moved in, outdated furnishings in brown and cream and a less-than-ideal kitchen greeted them. As the hosts of the family’s Christmas Eve get-togethers as well as countless friend and family dinners, this simply wouldn’t do. To make it more presentable for all occasions, the pair rolled up their sleeves and retiled, rewired, moved cabinetry around, and repainted the space. Without a doubt the kitchen is unrecognizable, but the room that got the most remarkable makeover has to be the bathroom. Originally it was doused in tan-colored everything, and ancient fixtures were the name of the game. Nowadays though, thanks to Susie’s stellar taste, it’s absolutely one of a kind. The home’s original forest green wallpaper is covered in hand-painted flowers and a cabinet in the same hue matches perfectly. All in all, it’s aces in my book.

While they frequently share their home with friends and family, Susie and Scott hope that one day they’ll get to enjoy their colorful space alongside a bouncing baby. Until that wish comes true, they will be right here in Ohio pinching themselves on the daily. “Surely this is all a dream,” they tell one another. Yep. They love their home that much, and we do too. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Susie Brown & Melody Taylor

Image above: The sunroom is easily the most popular room in Susie and Scott’s home. Because of this, the couple plopped two sofas into it to ensure there was enough seating for any number of guests. Throughout every one of its configurations, there has been one constant: the carpet. Susie and Scott just can’t seem to pull the trigger on new flooring, but when they do it’ll be of the bold, Moroccan variety. This room’s decorations were all thrifted.

An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
The classic shape and tone of the rattan sofa means throw pillows -- no matter the color or pattern -- always look great with it. For some homeowners this would just be a happy accident, but for Susie it's been much more. This detail has provided her with many opportunities to feed her need for redecoration.
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
It's hard to imagine now, but the Brown family's "botanical baño" used to be home to an outdated mix of tan-and-cream finishes, green satin wallpaper and cheap fixtures.
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
"I decided that the wallpaper was so bad it was good again but wanted to add a little oomph to it, so I enlisted my friend [Rachel Dewey's] help to do a floral mural on top of [it]," Susie tells us.
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
Even though it required more work than other homes they toured, Susie and Scott Brown chose this 60s-era spread in particular because it has a layout perfect for entertaining.
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
With a swinging chair and a piano, the living room -- while not too traffic-heavy -- is very popular with younger house guests.
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
Susie learned to play piano on this very piece many years ago, and her family still gathers around it for a few tunes when they're all together.
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
Susie tells us, "The top of the piano is usually a rotating display of plants and keepsakes like this bust and amazing carved-wood panel we got. (It's) on 'permanent loan' from close friends."
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
Susie loves a design challenge, so when she decided to renovate the guest room she tasked herself with making the room work without taking down the plaid wallpaper. Her solution was to style the bed like a sofa, add charcoal and black-and-white prints to the walls and incorporate greenery. She never thought she could ever love how this plaid wallpaper looked, but she wouldn't dare remove it now.
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
The bathroom isn't the only spot in the home where Susie's friend Rachel's artwork shines. The dining room features a collection of her pieces.
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
Originally, this wall was an unimpressive tan color, and Susie felt pink may give it a new life. She wasn't happy with her choice, though, so she tested out a more terra-cotta color after having painted it. Before she knew it, her test swipes became a fun pattern she can't bring herself to paint over.
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
The couple's bedroom faces the backyard, and they love waking up to the sunlight peering at them through the trees.
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
To promote a calm and cozy vibe, Susie keeps her and Scott's room minimally decorated. The dresser is vintage.
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
Susie and Scott renovated the kitchen themselves to their exact liking. And it's a good thing, too. Every Christmas Eve they host around 50 people for dinner and drinks, so a kitchen in tip-top shape is a must. The island is from IKEA, and the chairs are vintage.
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
"What I love most about our home: the opportunity to share it daily with so many people (and pets!) that we love." -- Susie and Scott Brown
An Ever-Changing Abode Built for Entertaining, Design*Sponge
Even after having lived here for four years, Susie and Scott still pinch themselves that this home is theirs. They especially love how -- even with many standard elements -- it never feels "cookie-cutter."

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  • I have spent many countless moments in this house and can attest to it being a place that is ever evolving and ever so full of love!

  • It’s the people that make it a home (even an incredibly beautiful one) and Scott and Susie truly make their home feel welcome and loving to anyone.

  • Beautiful good vibe home. I can so understand why friends gather there. (I think I’m available for Christmas Eve!!! Just saying…) How inspirational that they integrated existing elements (that plaid wallpaper!) rather than defaulting to a full gut route. The artwork is lovely as well.

  • Such a nice relatable home with some very interesting personal touches – the amazing bathroom walls, the plaid wall and the pink /terracotta wall paint effect. I really enjoy seeing homes that are not necessarily perfect but highly individual and reflecting the owners’ personalities. Great vibes!

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