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Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Every house has a story, a history, or natural plan. Don’t try to force the narrative and make your house be something it is not.

I’m all for a little design conflict, mixing and matching, eclectic, bang for your buck drama. The key to doing it well is letting it happen naturally.

How do I do this?


If you have or are planning a new construction house then you have an open journal to write a new story with the careful selection of materials, color and texture combinations and millwork to create beautiful architecture. But sometimes you have to work with what you have.

I am currently working with a client living in a classic ranch style home built in the 70s. The house is familiar and comfortable to them, it is where they raised their family and have so many cherished memories invested. For those reasons they have committed to staying in the home and create their forever home in the house they have lived in for 18 years. We are drawing from the inspiration of their memories of travel, experiences and vision for the future… the goal is something a little modern, a little vintage, and making their primary home feel like an amazing vacation home (aka: an experience). The solution: let’s make your 45-year-old home look like a 100-year-old home!

The assignment: Careful and purposeful selections... vintage wood floors, token antique pieces that have been reclaimed, soft and textural color pallets, modern and natural oversized art.


Do you have antiques or family heirlooms? I am not saying to devalue them by refinishing, however if they are looking a little tired… sometimes it’s ok to reinvent them to preserve them and be passed down for generations to come.

-my favorite preservation is an antique secretary that belonged to my great grandmother. It came to me as 1963 avocado green (I can tell from old family photos that it originally had a hutch and looked to be walnut.) I chose to let it tell an even older story with a nod to Old Hollywood by painting it high gloss black and switching out the hardware to crystal cut knobs.


AKA: the accessories, "the layers".

Let your personality show. Are you studious, whimsical, quirky…. Find objects that speak to you and have fun with them. My favorite accessories are the conversation pieces.

  • cricket boot jacks (family pieces that have been passed down)

  • Frog peg game… if you’ve dined at Cracker Barrel you have experienced strategy and challenge of the simple yet frustrating game.

  • Turtle Bell (it is unique and fun... and I always have a family member that will randomly ring it just to be silly!)

At the end of the day, it all comes down to letting your own personal taste and style come through in your home in a natural way. Relax and enjoy the process. And if it all seems a little too daunting then call us at JE Design Group!

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