Interiorssneak peeks

A Cheery Mid-Century Modern Home in Shaker Heights, OH

by Kelli Kehler

The home of Charity D’Amato-Crawford, her husband Ben, and their four-year-old son, Maxwell, is a prime example of the beauty that’s found in expanding your horizons in order to explore something unknown. When the family was in search of a new home, their preset expectations on location restricted their search, leaving them out of options when the home they had an offer on fell through. “In Cleveland, there is a historical city-divide based on which side of the Cuyahoga River you live on — Eastside vs. Westside,” Charity explains. After Ben quite literally Googled “mid-century home in Cleveland” and found a contender, he floated the idea past Charity – to switch to the other side of the river, or not? “We had been living (and loving) the Westside for years when one day, Ben suggested we go look at a home on the other side of the river.” So off they went to Shaker Heights to check out the very first home Ben’s Google search turned up.

“Shaker Heights is one of the first (if not the first) planned communities designed by the Van Sweringens outside of downtown Cleveland,” Charity explains. “It is predominantly made up of historical Georgian colonials and large brick homes, but sprinkled throughout are unique mid-century homes. From the moment I walked into the home, I was smitten. I had told Ben, ‘don’t let me look at it if you aren’t serious about moving to the East side,’ and then six weeks [later] we were planning our move to the other side of town.”

That was two and a half years ago, when the 1954 build still boasted plenty of dark wood paneling, original red brick, and blue indoor-outdoor carpeting on the entire second floor. Since then, the 3,365-square-foot home has been painted a crisp white in most places (Charity’s bargaining chip for Ben to make an offer on the home) and the blue carpeting upstairs was replaced with white-washed wood floors. These airy updates provided the perfect backdrop for Charity — Creative Director of Chartreuse; a branding and packaging design firm located in Cleveland and writer of local blog I Heart Cleveland — to layer in her signature pops of color and energy. “So the process started with a fresh slate and then adding in comfortable pops of ‘Palm Springs’ bold colors and muted ‘Joshua Tree’ warm tones to combat the often-grey Cleveland winters,” Charity adds. “I have collected lots of textiles and fabrics to warm up the hard surfaces including the concrete floors on the first floor.”

Since they crossed the river to Shaker Heights, experimenting with design throughout the home has been a joy for Charity. And the wisdom she’s gained along the way is just as sweet. “Just know you can’t truly mess up,” Charity begins. “You don’t need to go out and buy everything all at once, the process of decorating should be fun and filled with memories, stories and family treasures. I am constantly ‘shopping my house,’ moving things around from one room to the next — it’s amazing how things can look so different from one place to the next.” She adds a helpful token of knowledge that so aptly encapsulates her family’s home: “Decorating should be FUN!” —Kelli

Photography by Katie Ardner / @katieardner

Image above: The front entry/breakfast room. Charity says, “The morning light in this room is my favorite of all the rooms, plus it is a statement when people come in the front door! We did have to repaint this room twice to get the perfect shade of salmon (now Sherwin Williams ‘Coral Reef Salmon’), but we love it now.”


“When I walk in the door I feel comfortable, creative and relaxed,” Charity shares. “It is a place of creativity, a place that I love to come back to after a vacation or after a busy day at work. I hope when guests visit they feel welcome, comfortable and also very relaxed.” Painting by Charity, vintage chairs, IKEA Docksta tulip table.


Charity, Ben, and their son Maxwell on a recent trip to Palm Springs. “When I am not designing for clients, I teach a spin class at the Lakewood YMCA, I write a local blog called I Heart Cleveland and love exploring our city with my husband Ben and our 4-year-old son Maxwell,” Charity shares. “We are a pretty active family who enjoys riding bikes, winter sports and playing in the park across the street from our house.”


When it comes to sourcing decor for her family’s home, Charity canvases estate sales, yard sales, flea markets and eBay for unique finds. “I find buying pieces that have been previously loved makes our home feel more comfortable and happy. Don’t get me wrong, I also will sprinkle in a Target pillow and I think West Elm has great rugs. The home is constantly growing and evolving.”


“When you walk in the front door and turn the corner, your eye immediately goes to the large copper hooded fireplace in the center of the first floor. This fireplace is a large focal point which all of the rooms revolve around. To be honest, with a toddler running around we haven’t lit it as much as we plan to down the road, but for now, we have a strand of globe lights wrapped around firewood to give off the appearance of a warm fire glow! Safety first.”


“Our home has a very open concept but we have tried to make little nooks for conversations and hanging out,” Charity says. Here she’s seen walking past their small “formal” room towards bifold doors to the outside.


“Outside the living room area is used for campfire, cocktail parties and late summer night conversations,” Charity notes.

Come over, take your shoes off and stay awhile!


“[This area shows] our small ‘formal’ living room, our fireplace ‘lounge’ area and how the outside is welcomed indoors with the bifold exterior doors [from where the photo is being taken].”


“Our home had been on the market for some time. When we were thinking about the home our vision was to take all of the paneling and brick and make it almost California-esque and paint it a crisp, fresh white. I knew by doing so it would brighten the entire home and bring new life into the space. It basically was the negotiation between Ben and me… ‘if we can paint it white, then we should make an offer!’ I won.”


Charity says, “This is our family room, surrounded by natural light and the outdoors. We spend a lot of time in this room watching movies, playing games and just hanging out with friends. The built-in bench showcases my ever-changing collection of pillows.”


A view from the fireplace lounge area into the dining space.


A bright and cheery space serving up Palm Springs vibes for a surely memorable meal, “Our dining room [is] where we love to have friends over for casual gatherings,” Charity says.


“When we first looked at the house I was a bit apprehensive about the long format [of this space] and the fact that it had the washer and dryer in the kitchen, but now I couldn’t imagine not having it set up this way. Makes for doing laundry and dinner at the same time a snap! Green wall [paint] called ‘Direct Green’ by Sherwin Williams,” Charity shares.


Charity describes the main bedroom as a cozy family hideaway. The deep navy paint on the fireplace helps disguise the TV.


On the other side of the main bedroom, a smattering of colors and textures on the bed pops effortlessly when backed by a deep and moody wall color.


“My closet room (aka 4th bedroom) is my place for creativity and fashion fun,” Charity shares. “I love to collect vintage [clothes and accessories] and in this room, I put together colorful outfits to match the happenings of the day.”


Charity’s color-coded shoe and accessories collection.


The home’s main bathroom has beautiful tree views from outside.


“This is Max’s bedroom. We do a lot of reading and nighttime negotiating (go to sleep!) in this bright, creative space.”


“His gallery wall is always changing, but right now it is filled with my vintage globe collection and other works of art made by local artists including Jordan Elise and work from a select group of Minted artists. Dresser from IKEA (discontinued).”


Charity shares a favorite memory from this home: “I loved that when we bought our home all of our friends came over for a HUGE holiday party. We literally had a hundred people over to the other side of town to explore what the other side of Cleveland looks like. It was so great to kick off living in this new part of town surrounded by everyone we love.”


“We also love having a pool to entertain friends and family with,” Charity says. “In the warmer months the pool makes for a fun hangout for everyone; our family LOVES to entertain.”


Formal Living Room/Fireplace Lounge Area

Sofa – Avec Apartment by CB2 in chambray
Rug – CB2
Blue wing chair – Wayfair
Wooden credenza – vintage
Rattan ottoman – Valerie Tyler Collection
Round hallway mirror – Target
Leather floor cushions – Stash Style
Black & white metal and woven chairs – TJ Maxx
Gold & glass coffee table – vintage
Collection of portraits – collected from all over, vintage
Gold lamps – Stash Style with lampshades from Minted
Gold side table – Target

Family Room

Couch – IKEA (discontinued)
Recliner – Rhys Leather Recliner by West Elm
Striped rug – CB2
Small gray circle coffee table – Wayfair
Blue lamp and wooden accent chair – vintage

Dining room

Dining room table – Paradigm by CB2
Pink chairs – Wayfair
Yellow & white striped banquette – Ballard Design
Rattan & metal chairs – World Market
Bar stools – Target
Artwork – made by Charity
Planters – Marshalls
Flower arrangements – Molly Taylor


Green paint color – “Direct Green” by Sherwin Williams

Main Bedroom

Navy blue paint – Sherwin Williams “Naval Blue”
Headboard – Wayfair
X benches – vintage
Rug – CB2
Side tables – vintage from an auction
Tenenbaum painting – Lady Noel Designs
Vintage rattan chairs – Everything but The House
Whiteware pottery – personal collection
Mid-century dresser – vintage
Pottery lamp – vintage

Closet Room/Charity’s Dressing Room

Clothing racks – Uline
Ottoman – vintage (covered in a Target Opal House shower curtain)
Desk – Target
Chartreuse chair – vintage
Bar cart – Main Street Modern
Black & white rug – Crate and Barrel

Max’s Bedroom

Globe collection – vintage
Artwork – Jordan Elise, various Minted artists
Dresser – IKEA (discontinued)

Pool Area

Umbrellas – World Market
Lounge chairs and coordinating pillows – Target/Oh Joy for Target
Side table – IKEA (discontinued)

Suggested For You


  • Thank you for featuring Midwest (specifically Ohio) design. So often “flyover country” is seen as a monolithic cultural void. Thanks for reminding us there are interesting and creative people everywhere. Signed, Ohio born and raised

  • The radio in the main bedroom to the right on the dresser, any details possible? Thanks. Lovely place.

  • makes me want to plop down anywhere in this gorgeous, fun house, have a drink and dance.

  • Lovely use of color. That salmon entry way is fantastic. Nice that they didn’t shy away from color and paint it all white. Love the stone floor in the dining room/lounge.

  • I really like the folding doors that open the living room to the back yard!

    A question about the front door – does the word “WELCOME” really face to the inside, so that it’s backwards to someone who is on the outside of the door (in the picture labeled 1/21)?

  • Welcome to the East side! It’s so fun to see a Cleveland home here. Beautiful home; thanks for all the sources.

  • They sure picked the right place to get inspired for mid-century Modern design! Palm Springs is the epicenter! The climate’s a little bit different that Northeast Ohio, but hey, Shaker gets two or three months of summer, right? Nice home, I love that they didn’t over-decorate it!

  • I’m in love with the dining room flooring. Is that stone, or tile designed to look like stone, or something else??

  • Hooray, proof that people in Cleveland have style! You do need to stop worrying about the fireplace though. 4 years old is not a toddler.

  • This home makes me so happy and inspired! For the sake of individuality, I almost need to willingly forget what I have seen though. Because otherwise I’m going to copy their home as exactly as I can. ;)

  • I’m not usually a fan of MCM, because it often looks so cold and minimal, but this place is divine! Its colorful inviting, and envy-inducing! And I cannot say ho much I’m drooling over the full room closet f vintage! Feel free to check out my shop for more. ;-)

  • What a beautiful home.
    I have only one gripe and that is that she has too many beautiful pieces, I’ll have some thanks :)