Family Comes First With This 1951 Home's Modern Makeover


By Tiffany R. Jansen
Photography by Kyle Caldwell

A 1951 Purchase home gets a modern makeover fit for a young family.


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This 1951 build in Purchase is home to a young couple with two small children and a couple of cats. When they decided to give the house a family-friendly makeover, they called Jennifer Vreeland of JV Design.

“They’re a very close-knit family, and they entertain a lot,” Vreeland says of her clients. Contractor Anthony Bueti took down half of the wall dividing the kitchen and family room so the couple could entertain while keeping an eye on the kids.

Vreeland transformed an office space off the family room into a playroom, also visible from the kitchen. Dividing the playroom into sections (dress up, reading nook, arts and crafts area) helps keep things organized. A chalkboard wall gives the kids extra creative space while adding a touch of drama to the room.

“Gray is definitely a continuing thread that flows from the family room throughout, even to the powder room.” —Jennifer Vreeland


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Style and Function for Everyone

Designer Jennifer Vreeland gives some pointers for creating a family home that’s both practical and chic.

Keep It in the Family.
Heirlooms are a great addition to a family home. Bring older pieces up to date with new upholstery, modern legs and bases, or a bit of paint or stain.

Mix and Match.
For a lived-in look, Vreeland recommends an eclectic mix. “Acquire some antique and vintage pieces, some huge pieces, and some new pieces,” she says. Avoid anything that’s too matchy-matchy or looks like it came straight out of a showroom.

Camouflage With Carpet.
Patterned and dark-colored carpeting hides spills and stains.

Choose Fabrics Wisely.
“For pillows and things like that, I try to pick [fabrics] I know won’t pill or fade easily,” says Vreeland. Textured fabrics and those with raised/nonraised surfaces mask wear and tear. Right now, Vreeland loves Crypton, a high performance, easy-to-clean textile.

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The light oak floor is consistent in each room, and touches of red, blue, yellow, and green can be found throughout the house. The grey continues throughout the ktichen and eat-in area with hints of red.

Much of the rugs and furnishings were pieces the couple acquired from family, and all were very traditional. The challenge was incorporating those traditional pieces into the midcentury look they love. Vreeland decided to redo the sofa and the kitchen table. For the sofa, she removed the skirt, had it reupholstered, and changed out the feet. The kitchen table, which originally had an iron base, was given a new brass base.

A chalkboard wall lets kids be creative and lends a bit of drama to the room. Soft, oversized bins are great for play areas. They’re safe for kiddos and make it easy to get things out and put them back. Right bottom: Powder room.

“With restructuring and reupholstering the pieces, I was able to make cleaner lines and less fabric to modernize it a little,” she says. She also added pillows with textured and patterned cases to update the look.

The result is an eclectic, stylish space for the whole family.

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