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A Dutch Colonial becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four

A Dutch Colonial becomes a calming family abode

A layered neutral living room Author: Tracey Ayton

House Tours

A Dutch Colonial becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four

Follow designer Kelley McNamara's tips to creating a serene family home.


Designer Kelley McNamara turns a 3,000-square-foot Dutch Colonial home in Fort Langley, B.C., into a calming abode for her busy family.

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A Dutch Colonial in Fort Langley becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four

Creating a calming abode

Designer Kelley McNamara shares 10 tips to creating a serene family home.

Image by: Style at Home By: Rhea Seymour Source: Tracey Ayton

A Dutch Colonial in Fort Langley becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four

1 Bring nature indoors

Designer and homeowner Kelley McNamara fills vintage milk glass vases, ceramic jugs and glass jars with blooms to capture the country charm of her rural surroundings. “I always try to have fresh flowers in the house,” says Kelley. “They add an element of organic texture and colour.”

Image by: Style at Home By: Rhea Seymour Source: Tracey Ayton

A Dutch Colonial in Fort Langley becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four

2 Embrace imperfection

A French metal chandelier brings patina and visual interest to the dining room. “I want the house to look like it’s been here a long time,” says Kelley. The fixture ties in beautifully with the sun-bleached oak table, mix-and-match seating, white oak plank floors and salvaged antique barn door.

Image by: Style at Home By: Rhea Seymour Source: Tracey Ayton

A Dutch Colonial in Fort Langley becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four

3 Add texture to an all-white kitchen

An aged-looking support beam gives this pristine space character – and it’s a clever trick. “I wanted salvaged timber, but it was too expensive,” says Kelley. Instead, she painted a new fir beam with a few coats of sun-bleached oak wood stain. A trio of wicker stools, brass-finished hardware and a vintage-style pendant light also lend the kitchen a well-lived-in vibe.

Image by: Style at Home By: Rhea Seymour Source: Tracey Ayton

A Dutch Colonial in Fort Langley becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four

4 Be practical about pets

The mud room’s industrial sink makes it easy to bathe the family’s two dogs, Duke and Finnegan, before they track dirt into the house, while the slate floor is easy to clean. A Dutch door injects country charm.

Image by: Style at Home By: Rhea Seymour Source: Tracey Ayton

A Dutch Colonial in Fort Langley becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four

5 Customize the appliances

Kelley panelled the range hood over the six-burner gas range to achieve a seamless look with the cabinetry. Installing the microwave in the island keeps it out of sight yet easily accessible for the children.

Image by: Style at Home By: Rhea Seymour Source: Tracey Ayton

A Dutch Colonial in Fort Langley becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four

6 Make monochromatic exciting

Kelley believes neutral rooms don’t have to be boring. She jazzed up the formal living room’s white and grey palette with linen fabrics, a wool rug and toss cushions in mohair, faux fur and hide. “The more layers, the richer the room becomes,” she says. A dark-brown-framed mirror creates a focal point over the fireplace, while brass library lights are a warm finishing touch on the built-in bookshelves.

Image by: Style at Home By: Rhea Seymour Source: Tracey Ayton

A Dutch Colonial in Fort Langley becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four

7 Get creative with furniture placement

Instead of setting this console against a wall or behind a sofa, Kelley gave it centre stage in her front foyer. To ground the vignette, she placed the console atop a rug and arranged interesting objects, such as coffee table books, geode crystals and a potted plant, on top of it. These decorative items bring the outdoors in and make the arrangement feel purposeful.

Image by: Style at Home By: Rhea Seymour Source: Tracey Ayton

A Dutch Colonial in Fort Langley becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four

8 Know what to hold back

Kelley didn't overdecorate the master bath, allowing the glass shower and sculptural free-standing tub to make the statement. The accessories are quiet, except for the aged-brass-finished pendant light, which draws the eye toward the corner windows.

Image by: Style at Home By: Rhea Seymour Source: Tracey Ayton

A Dutch Colonial in Fort Langley becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four

9 Repurpose furniture

A dining room buffet gets new life as the master bathroom vanity. Kelley asked her carpenter to cut off the top of the buffet, and then had a plumber add a quartz countertop, undermounted sinks and wall-mounted faucets for rustic appeal.

Image by: Style at Home By: Rhea Seymour Source: Tracey Ayton

A Dutch Colonial in Fort Langley becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four

10 Treat the bedroom as a sanctuary

Simple bedding, a tufted bench and elegant accessories signal that the master bedroom is a calming oasis. Soft grey is the only whisper of colour in the otherwise monochromatic room, while a few hits of brass add glamour.

Image by: Style at Home By: Rhea Seymour Source: Tracey Ayton

 

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House Tours

A Dutch Colonial becomes a calming abode for a busy family of four