I heard an interview once with designer Jonathan Adler about what advice he would give to someone decorating or remodeling their home. He mentioned this concept of choosing three words that you would like to define your space. And then, whenever you’re at a crossroads deciding what rug to buy, what shade of paint to choose, etc. you can evaluate your decision based on whether it falls under the umbrella of your defining words.

What kind of words? Things like rustic, traditional, relaxed, bright

A few weeks later I read another interview – this time with the actress Julianne Moore in a piece she did with Architectural Digest. She, in another way, mentioned this same idea of intentionally defining and limiting yourself within your decorating. Instead of three words, she has five colors. If something isn’t either black, white, grey, purple or green, she won’t buy it. Yes, sounds like a horrible mix of colors. But, in reality, it’s pretty fabulous.

So all of this has stayed nestled quietly in the back of my mind. My husband and I briefly flirted with the idea of naming our three words for the home we were creating, but we never settled on anything definitevly. I think my words would have landed somewhere in the vicinity of natural, comfortable, and clean. With a little punch. And maybe some weird mixed in there. Oh, and I can’t forget layered. That’s perhaps the most important. Okay, so I have six words. My husband would probably prefer it if I added the word AFFORDABLE to my list. But what a buzz kill that would be.

Anyway, several years back, Scovell Wolfe partnered with a client to build an incredible home near Meyer Circle in Kansas City. We finally snagged some finished pictures of the space and we’ve spent all week gawking out how cool it turned out. It dawned on me while I had all the pictures zoomed out to thumbnail size that the house overall was clearly hinged on a common theme. Nothing you could pin down to one single word. And by ‘theme’ I most certainly don’t mean western themed or beach themed! But there was no question that an overall directive was maintained throughout the house. I’m not sure if our client ever even recognized that he was creating such a cohesive space. Or maybe he knew full well and a lot of sweat went into achieving it. Either way. Here’s a little glimpse of the house.






If I had to name it, I’d say the three words that best define the space are…antique, stately, and bold.

And as for the colors…every shade of red, blue, green, and brown.

What do you think? Would defining some decorating limitations within your house give you greater confidence or suffocate you? My hunch is that you’re thinking it’s the latter, but in all actuality it’s probably the former. Don’t underestimate the freedom boundaries give you. How freely would you cruise down the highway without guardrails? Not very. But put in that BOUNDARY and suddenly you can breathe again. So, maybe give it a try. You just might finally get the nerve to paint those cabinets or do that addition. And be sure to call us for the work!


P.S. This is a home we built from the ground up for a client! We loved working on this house, are incredibly proud of it and would love for you to see the whole project. Check out more pictures here.


scovell wolfe logoIf you’d like Scovell Wolfe to remodel your house into a home you love, reach out to us!