Family-friendly designs blend vintage finds with forgiving fabrics.
While considering a fabric for her new Edmond home, Annalisa Douglass and interior designer Kellie Clements decided to experiment with the sample they had on hand.
“We got ketchup out — and wine and mustards and everything that you could imagine — and we smeared it on this fabric,” Douglass recalled. “We left it, and then we were able to wipe it off, and I was like, ‘I am sold on that.’”
You’d think a scene like this was from an infomercial. Instead, it was one of the many ways Clements, founder and principal designer of Modern Whimsy Interiors, helped Douglass fashion her new home in durable, stylish choices.
“At the end of the day, the Cheeto dust and chocolate milk somehow find a way out of the kitchen,” said Clements.
She added that expensive silk pillows have no place on a sofa in a family with young children. “One of the misconceptions is that design starts and stops with aesthetics,” Clements said. “There are lots of beautiful rooms, you know, in print and on Instagram— but whether or not those rooms were really well-designed is to be determined not by the photograph, but by the people who are using the space.”
Annalisa Douglass and her husband, Sean, have 10-year-old triplets and a 5-year-old, plus a Labrador and Great Pyrenees. “My life is dizzy and fun,” Douglass said with a laugh.
“Mess-making” is a favorite pastime, she said, so the furniture, materials and fabrics were chosen accordingly. The dining room table, an un-scratchable reclaimed wood, is used for puzzles and game night. Wipeable counter stools, upholstered in a textured vinyl, make arts and crafts clean-up a breeze. Slipcovers on furniture are fully washable. And the living room rug’s splatter paint pattern camouflages any real-life stains.
“We don’t worry as much; I can clean all of it,” Douglass said. She says Clements also considered her appreciation of vibrant colors and antiques in the home. “Kellie has been able to take all of our loves — of style and different colors and collections — and put them all together.”
A camera collection makes an interesting display in the entry, while stacked luggage alongside the sofa is repurposed as an end table.
“The mixing of the old and new is probably my favorite component of this particular project,” Clements said. “That (mixing) is where a client’s personality can be seen, and it’s where the warmth comes in.”
Layering in collections and pieces from the Douglass’ previous residence gave rooms in the new home an instant sense of familiarity, a tactic that Clements said can help kids adapt after a move.
The Douglass home easily accommodates their family as well as guests. Annalisa Douglass sees this firsthand when she hosts Edmond Moms of Multiples gatherings.
“When you get four moms of multiples, you’ve got like over a dozen kids together,” Douglass said. “Some of them walk in, and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t want my kids to touch anything,’ and I’m like, ‘It’s fine. It’s good. They can.’ I love that they can come in and make themselves at home, and we don’t have to worry about the kids hurting something.”
Like that initial fabric sample, the Douglass home has been put to the test, and the proof is in the pudding (which, rest assured, will wash out). Colorful, beautiful and liveable, it’s an A-plus all the way.
Photos by Alexis Austin.