A few years after I moved into my house, a heard a knock at the door and saw an older man standing outside. Curious, I opened the door and he introduced himself to my husband and me as someone who grew up in my home as a little boy and lived there until college. We are only the fourth owners, so this was a really special introduction. We welcomed him in and showed him around and realized that not a lot of changes had been made since the 1930s. Today’s home tour with Alyssa Jill Harris of the brand Willa Heart had a similar experience with her own home. “The family that built our home lived in it forever and about four months after we moved in, the daughter (who is now in her late 60s) popped by to drop off the original floor plan. She hadn’t been in since the renovation and walked me through the whole house, explaining what used to be and showing me photos. She really got a kick out of our bathroom because it was her childhood bedroom. She also gave me a poster that had hung in in the den, which is now our bedroom,” Alyssa shares.
Alyssa and her husband, Tim, moved into their Camden, SC home three years ago, after relocating from Boston. “We wanted something in the historic district of our town,” Alyssa begins. “Camden is this really adorable old southern town and it’s filled with beautiful, older homes. I wanted to find something unique with lots of character, but everything we were finding needed to be completely remodeled. We looked for about two months and as soon as our home came on the market, I knew it was it. It was the perfect mix of old meets new. I fell in love with the rounded front door and the brand new kitchen. It had been beautifully remodeled and reconfigured into an open-concept, but still cozy, home.”
With the home and layout to their liking, it was time to add in all the design touches that Alyssa had been dreaming of. “As soon as we moved in, I knew what I wanted to do with the front of the house. I had it all planned out in my mind. The den was done within months because that is where I spend lots of time. I love watching TV! I wanted the den to have [a] modern lodge vibe. There is a huge window and the ceiling is a really pretty dark wood. It used to be the garage. When I went to the carpet store, the [sales] guy thought I was [weird] for wanting to do antelope [print] and tried to talk me out of it. A year later when I went back for a leopard runner, he asked me if I wanted to see some new pink carpet. I really feel like he gets me,” Alyssa professes.
The couple share two different design aesthetics, so it was all about layering to meet one another in the middle. “He is drawn to modern; I am drawn to bright pink and anything animal print,” Alyssa says. “I tried to stick with modern furniture, relatively simple pieces with clean lines, and then I accessorized. I love how our two styles came together, it’s good balance. Without him, I might have gone overboard.”
Alyssa leaves us with this advice for creating your own maximalist look: “Have fun! Don’t be afraid to mix and match. Mixing styles is key to making your home unique!” —Erin
Image above: “I love this photo because you can see the inverse of coral and the muddy green. I used custom green velour curtains in the living room that match the walls in the dining room and then used the coral from the living room on the window treatments in the dining room. It makes the space flow perfectly even with a high contrast in color,” Alyssa notes.