This 1,600-square-foot space is now filled with bright colors and lots of life.

By Grace Haynes
February 16, 2020
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“I have a heart for restoration and saving places that need life. This one was a prime candidate,” says designer Kara Hebert of the 1,600-square-foot fixer-upper she bought for her family in her hometown of Jupiter, Florida. When she arrived, this town house was stuck in a different decade with mirrored living room walls, popcorn ceilings, a closed-off kitchen, and lackluster beige tile flooring. The home’s prime location on State A1A (just a skip away from the beach and a short bike ride to her office), won Kara over. “I started my career doing hard-core renovations for general contractors, so I’ve always had a bug for a good project,” she says. The downstairs needed a fresh start; gutting it opened the floor plan to max out space. Next, she added her sunny Florida spirit. “I’m an old soul. I like mixing objects from the past with new and (once in a while) modern things,” she says. See how Kara revived this home with punchy textiles, personal mementos, and family heirlooms.

The pantry doors pop with Benjamin Moore’s Vivid Peach (025).
| Credit: Carmel Brantley

Eliminate Excess

“I’m a fierce editor. I believe in using what I have and owning only what I love. Every dish on the shelves in the kitchen gets used, so they never become dusty. Some of them are passed-down pieces of brown-and-white patterned Thanksgiving china, and I enjoy them. I keep cleaning supplies and Costco goods out of sight in the pantry behind peach doors. The 12-inch-deep cabinets on the island offer more dry storage, as do the two other pantries on either end of the kitchen.”

Look Outside

“I designed the living room’s vibrant green palette to flow seamlessly into the outdoor areas.”

Warm natural accents and plush upholstery ground the bright, beachy color scheme.
| Credit: Carmel Brantley

Live in the Living Areas

“My 14-year-old son always comes home with sand in his pockets. I don’t want to fuss at my children and I’m also a huge dog lover, so I made my home as bulletproof as possible. All the upholstery in the living room is done in Crypton fabric, and the floor is vinyl (better for pets). I don’t buy expensive rugs. I prefer natural fibers; they’re low-maintenance and affordable. I have them cut to size, and if they get yucky, I can replace them. I’d rather splurge on curtains and vertical things you really can’t hurt.”

Design for Company

“Every little inch of space needed to be used wisely, especially since I was enlarging the kitchen. I pushed the dining area over by the window so we could have a bigger island. I knew if we wanted to host friends and family for dinner or holidays, then we would need to accommodate more seating, so I installed a wide built-in banquette.”

Left: Credit: Carmel Brantley
Right: She scores cabbage ware and majolica finds from antiques shops, HomeGoods, and Etsy. | Credit: Carmel Brantley

Master the Mix

“Play around with patterns, proportions, and scale to achieve a balanced, layered look.”

Living room and dining nook curtains: Ferns Multi Greens on Tint (AC100-11) by Quadrille

White pillows: Petite Cross + Dot in Peach (SW 6339 Persimmon) by Erika M. Powell Textiles

Coral pillows: Aswan Clementine by Lisa Fine Textiles

Seat cushions : Linear in Celery (317) by Norbar Fabrics

Credit: Carmel Brantley

Use Sentimental Pieces

“I designed the master bedroom around my grandmother’s framed crewelwork [hanging by the Quadrille Bali Hai Blues draperies]. She made me promise to take care of it, so I thought, ‘What better place to honor her than my room?’ I’m not normally a yellow person, but I like the boho feel of the Raoul Textiles linen I used for the bolster.”

Kara tied together this master bedroom and bath with blue-and-white prints.
| Credit: Carmel Brantley