College Sweethearts’ Charming Living Room: A Room Tour

Language Arts teacher, Katie, and her husband Matt,  Director of Marketing for Walnut Creek Foods, have a home the perfectly reflects their personality: interesting, comfortable, and absolutely charming. They strike the balance that everyone aspires to but rarely achieves of looking magazine ready while simultaneously putting you at ease.

Or let me put it this way: I had to take two of my kids with me on this room tour, and while I was ooing and awing over the original hardwood floors and clapboard fireplace feature, Katie was on the floor playing with Theo, with Bea next to her and toys spread out all around them. While their home looks curated, it feels – cozy. IMG_1727IMG_1754

Katie and I met in college. It’s funny that we had to move three hours away to meet each other because, as it turned out, we grew up minutes apart. I’m sure our paths crossed at some point before our freshman year of college, but it wasn’t until then that we met and became friends.

Matt and Katie met and married while still in college. Shortly after graduation, they moved to Colorado because the couple enjoyed to ski and Matt had found a job in customer service at a ski resort. So the two packed their bags, moved across the country, and settled into a tiny apartment. Matt went to work at the ski resort and Katie found a teaching job. At first the couple rented an apartment, but eventually they bought a condo in the mountains, a tiny place of less than 800 square feet.

Katie said the two didn’t really have a design style at this point in their life together. They were newlyweds on a newlywed budget. But after a few years, the couple decided to move back to Ohio to be close to family. They bought a home that had been built in 1949 and recently renovated.

Newly back in Ohio, the couple started watching HGTV shows like “Fixer Upper” and Matt started to attend auctions. He became inspired to decorate their home in a style that was true to it’s history.

“Matt does most of the decorating,” Katie said. “I’m growing to appreciate it. I have veto power, but he is the decorator. We are generally on the same page, [although] he tends to be more primitive. I want things to at least be functional.” IMG_1726IMG_1740

One of Katie’s favorite pieces are two, twin stools that Matt picked up at a local antique store and the couple uses as end tables. The stools are made of metal and wood, and as beautiful as they are unusual.IMG_1735IMG_1730

One of Matt’s favorite pieces is a coffee table that he built out of a box that he found at an antique store. He flipped the box on it’s side so that the opening would face the couch for storage of books and magazines, and added legs. He bought a total of three boxes, making and keeping one coffee table for himself and selling the other two. Matt loves the uniqueness of the piece and how the paint has worn off over time.IMG_1728IMG_1732

This desk is actually an antique hospital tray, made completely of metal.IMG_1729

Matt updated the fireplace by adding subway tile and a clapboard feature. The mantle is original.IMG_1721IMG_1736IMG_1739

The built ins are on either side of the fireplace, and are filled with treasures that Matt has collected at antique stores and auctions. Matt’s favorite item on the shelves are the antique pencil sharpeners, because they are such a quirky and fun collection.IMG_1720IMG_1722IMG_1747IMG_1748

The couple’s living room opens into their dining room and adjacent kitchen which they recently remodeled. The dining room is painted in Sea Salt from Sherwin Wiliams. Their living room is painted in a color similar, just slightly darker. (The living room color has since been discontinued.)IMG_1734

Matt and Katie’s living room tells the story of two people with an eye for detail and originality, but with a heart for friends and family. Their son’s toys sit next to their beautiful, weekend auction finds, and together it says one thing: we’re home.

Matt’s favorite antique store in Ohio is Marshall’s Antique Warehouse in Canton, where Matt says, “They have great prices, things you’ve never seen before, and the owners, James and Debbie, are really friendly.”

Matt’s favorite auction spot in Ohio is the Sprunger building at the Kidron Auction Grounds, in the heart of Amish country. He especially likes going their for the estate sales. 

 

 

 

 

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