A Colorful, Layered Home Focused on Fun and Family

by Sabrina Smelko

Aniko Levai and her husband only had two things on their “must-have” list when they were first house-hunting: location and privacy. With two young boys, aged four and six, being close to their school was important and easy enough to find, but a home on a private, spacious lot was more of a challenge — and meant sacrificing a turnkey space. When the family found this detached home offering over 2,000 square feet in the heart of Richmond, VA, it was an entirely different space than it is now.

Having grown up in Hungary, Aniko moved to America 14 years ago and started a family business with her husband. A photographer in her downtime, Aniko naturally documented the many changes they made to their home, and eventually launched the blog Place of My Taste to chronicle their adventures in everything home, family and DIY. As a young family of four that runs a business, life for the Levai family is busy and chaotic; so function and fun were top-of-mind when it came to design. “I like to bring in and mix different styles,” Aniko says, “Using pops of colors in each room.” Whether it’s the breakfast nook or a bedroom, no space is free from up-cycled furniture, DIY project pieces, art, or printed photographs of Aniko’s. Even outside in the backyard, handmade pallet furniture and accessories make up the fabric of their daily lives.

Color and layering textures is something Aniko never shies away from, and giving her children a fun space to feel free in is what home is all about. Despite their busy lives, and some of the more superficial annoyances of the home (such as two smaller living rooms rather than one large room), having a private space in which the whole family can feel comfortable is paramount. Nothing is too precious in Aniko’s home — except for those whom she shares it with. Sabrina

Photography by Aniko Levai Photography

As you enter the home and turn to your left, you'll find the family room with a fun mix of comfortable layers, textures and pops of color.
The whole family together in the living space which, at any given time, is filled with music, board games or crafts.
"This room was recently redesigned and we simply LOVE this space," Aniko says, "This is where we spend the most time as a family right now."
The best way to spend $10, in Aniko's opinion, is to go thrift store shopping. "This cute rattan footstool was found in a local thrift shop and this bright yellow pillow from Urban Outfitters just makes it so perfect!"
Another great thrift store find was this mid-century modern Danish chair that Aniko recovered with bright blue fabric. "It's my favorite spot to sip on my morning coffee," Aniko says.
Despite the room being on the smaller side, Aniko has managed to use vertical space and layer decor and accessories to create a spacious, airy feel. The artwork on the wall is from Minted.
This wood side table from Home Goods adds to the rooms many textures, complementing the West Elm sofa.
The wall opposite the sofa houses the TV and musical instruments. Aniko added some drama by stenciling the wall.
Aniko balances the bright colors elsewhere in the room with black, white and brown hues. The artwork is by Aniko.
The view from the living room towards the entryway / hallway.
This mirror was a great Goodwill find that Aniko gave new life to with a bold splash of red paint.
"One of the things I need to work on is being more organized," Aniko says. One way she achieves this is by using baskets for hats and scarves, a wall organizer for mail from IKEA, and some handmade hangers to tie the living room decor into the space.
In the hallway is this darling photo gallery of the family's boys. "It just makes me smile every time I pass these photos," Aniko beams.
"Our kitchen was updated four years ago," using IKEA cabinets, Aniko says.
The island is the heart and hub of the kitchen.
Beside the kitchen in front of the windows is this breakfast nook. "You can probably tell how much I love bright yellow by looking at this room," Aniko says. The family painted these modern chairs from Target and refinished the table with a light stain.
Against one of the breakfast nook walls is an office station. "It's my favorite place to check on e-mails while dinner is cooking," Aniko says.
This is the view from the kitchen towards the more formal family room, a small but comfortable space perfect for family gatherings. "I change the decor style for each season," Aniko shares. "I normally shop my home when I redecorate, pulling rugs from one room to another, changing curtains around and making new artwork for the mantel."
A glass vase is always host to whatever greenery is picked from the backyard that day.
Handmade watercolor artwork by Aniko is framed and displayed on the mantel in the family room.
The view from the living room into the dining room. The artwork was made by Aniko, as were the large wooden frames.
This reclaimed wood buffet is Aniko's favorite DIY project that the whole family did together.
In the dining room window, plants and accessories rest on a DIY floating shelf that Aniko created.
The wall across from the buffet in the dining room is dressed in beautiful photographs. Aniko says, "I love to capture every bit of life, and I love to bring those captures into my home."
The family's outdoor space is their favorite oasis in the summer. All of the patio furniture was made from free shipping pallets, including the flower pot hanger.
Aniko brought in lots of fun and bright colors and used paint to cheer up the pallet wood.
String lights make summer nights cozier and more inviting for the whole family.
In Aniko's home office, white and gold rule and color is more subdued. Modern is the name of the game.
A close-up of Aniko's desk. Thanks to the wall shelves that hang above, her desk is (usually) clutter-free.
The couple's bedroom is bright and cheerful with lots of personal touches and DIYs. "My favorite is the watercolor DIY lampshade that sets the mood of the room," Aniko says.
This tufted bed frame was another self-made project Aniko executed using IKEA's MALM bed.
"My favorite view when I open my eyes each morning," Aniko says of the master bedroom's dresser and gallery wall. The dresser was a cheap thrift store find that was up-cycled and painted to create this two-toned beauty. Each piece of art above the dresser was either photographed or handmade by Aniko.
"A quick trip to Goodwill always results in a fun makeover," Aniko says. This colorful jewelry tray was made more exciting with a fresh coat of bright paint.
Fun, bold colors were used in the kids' rooms to inspire creativity, happiness and play.
Opposite the orange wall is one with equal impact and fun, featuring a stenciled design. A painted rug keeps things comfortable and anchors the room.
The kid's playroom upstairs, Aniko painted one of the walls entirely in chalkboard paint to encourage her kids to draw and write.
A bright and colorful environment is the hallmark of the family's home.

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