This article originally appeared on Schoolhouse, a Portland-based company in the Food52 family of brands.
Set in the serene landscape of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. sits Jenna and Brandon Curry’s picturesque dwelling. Filled with natural textures, clean lines, and a serene color palette, their 1968 saltbox-style home is full of architectural details and modern updates that seamlessly mix old and new.
If you’ve been following along on their interior account @forrichardorpoorer, you might remember that we first featured the (at the time) newlyweds in their 2019 Ferndale home, which they impressively restored from the ground up. Now, four years later, we’re equally enamored at the beautiful home they’ve created for their now family of five (including George, their sweet pup!). A true labor of love, we asked Jenna and Brandon to take us through their creative process and share how their design philosophy has evolved through all of their life changes.
Tell us about your home. How long have you lived here and who do you share it with?
Our house is a 1968 saltbox-style home reminiscent of a much older England-style house. My husband, Brandon, and I purchased the home from the original owner and moved here in 2019 after completely renovating our first house from top to bottom.
We wanted another fixer-upper that could grow with us and our potential family. Flash forward four years, and it’s home to us, our two-year-old son Jack, our four-month-old daughter Martha, and our dog George.
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How did you know this home was the one for your family? Were there any design details that stood out to you?
We saw the potential when we walked in and just knew this was the house for us. It’s on an acre of land and we fell in love with the possibilities. We have a ton of trees in our backyard, three fireplaces, and plenty of outdoor space for the kids to play.
Could you tell us a little bit about your background?
Brandon is a realtor, and I’m a stay-at-home mom. Before Covid, I worked at a restaurant in Detroit and was attending school to become an elementary teacher. We then decided to expand our family, and I put everything on (permanent) hold.
Have you always been drawn to interiors?
I’ve always been obsessed with interiors. Brandon loves doing the hard parts of the renovation, and I love picking everything out. It has taken a long time to get the home to its current state, and we’re still not done!
That said, good things take time—I’m trying to make a conscious effort to invest in pieces of furniture, paint, and home decor that we can live with for a while.
If you had to describe your interior aesthetic in three words or less what would they be?
Cozy, colorful, and pattern-filled.
To you, what makes a house a home?
I always say it’s not the house, but the people inside that make it a home.
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Could you share a bit more about your process when it comes to designing a room?
We always try to start with a blank canvas. When we moved in, we basically ripped everything out—the old kitchen, floors, bathrooms, and closets.
From there, we put down Woodland Cut sawn white oak floors and painted everything white—little by little we have added hardware, furniture, and everything else that makes a room. We don’t really have too much of a method to our madness, haha.
Do you have any design tips or philosophies you go by?
Albert Hadley’s proclamation that every room needs a pop of red and, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be beautiful or believe to be useful,” by William Morris.
Last but not least, could you share a few of your Schoolhouse favorites and why you selected them for the space?
The Graduate Table Lamp: It has such a beautiful shape to it, and it really looks perfect wherever you put it!
The Gingham Shower Curtain: I plan on putting it in the kid’s bathroom when it’s a little closer to being finished.
The Brass Dinner Bell: This is going to be a staple this summer as we’re building a large fenced-in garden with a dining table for warm-weather meals.
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