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Eclectic, with Love
November, 2018 - Issue #170
The Santa Clarita home of John and Michelle "Shelly" Whelchel was bought "as is," which, a decade later, Shelly only partially jokes, "is never a good idea." "It was a struggle to get everything going. This was a really misunderstood home, but we saw an opportunity to make it beautiful." Upgrades went slow, thanks to unforeseen expenses hiding behind the buttoned-up exterior. "It's a large home; we filled it up with little things we've found along our journey and we utilized everything we already had. The result is an eclectic gathering of inexpensive finds that I put together. It's been a process, that's for sure!"

That's Smart: Hidden Treasure
A herringbone ponyhaired bench peeks from behind a red nubby-textured couch for added seating and serving when duty calls while a vintage desk tucks discreetly into new space made by the addition of a ponywall divider. A former unused fireplace recess gets a makeover to become clever media storage, too, proving that found items, nooks and crannies can give a big IQ boost to your home. The pumpkin decor was selected from Refined Vintage Boutique. 505-7175


A Philosophy we Love: Embrace what can't be Changed
"We originally wanted to remove or replace the medallion in the wood floor, but it turned out to be really expensive," reflects the homeowner. Instead of covering it up, they decided to embrace it, highlighting the design with a just-the-right-fit glass-topped table from Barn & Charm decorated with Chinese jars. The same concept applied to the scratched stairs, a remnant of the home's previous life with big dogs. "We splurged on a handmade carpet made in Maryland; it was our big upgrade when we bought the house," says Whelchel. The elegant black-and-gold covering protects the wood from further damage.


Going Out on a Limb:The Story of a Shelf that Once was an Aquarium
"We couldn't figure out what to do with this narrow shelf-like area near the stair landing," says Whelchel. "We asked the neighbors what the previous owners might have installed it for, and it turns out they had created an aquarium display. That was obviously not what we were going to do with it, so we had to get creative!" Eventually, what once suspended fish in a stairway now performs the equally-unfeasible task of serving as a library and art gallery.


Using what You Have: Billiard Table in the Living Room
"When we moved from a comparatively small house to this one, we were really lacking in furniture - and a big part of our budget went immediately to home renovations and improvements," explains the homeowner. The quick fix: using what they already had, in new ways. The already-owned billiard table joins with a found couch from the '70s, a patchwork pillow and rawhides to create a retro-cool gaming space. The ambiance rocks too, with natural-crystal candle holders and stashed tomes.


What we Want: a Kitchen with Space to Spare
The antique-white painted cabinetry makes the expansive kitchen feel even more so while the tumbled-marble countertop tiles add tasty texture (Love the toaster? We do, too! Get yours at Dannick Designs. 775-7430). and smart retro-glass cookie displays keep everything neat. A pumpkin-patch tablescape with decor from Refined Vintage Boutique is a welcome seasonal addition.
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