House Crashing: A Brilliant Bungalow (Take Two)

You may remember when we took you on a virtual tour of one of our favorite homes ever- this charming bungalow in Charlotte.

It belongs to our friends Matt & Kristin (and their adorable pooches Simon & Sage):

And we just can’t get enough of it. Hence the second post. You might remember some of the gorgeous spaces like this…

And this:

And this (see the whole original House Crashing tour right here):

It’s a seriously unforgettable home, right? Which must be why when we found ourselves back at their casa for another visit about a year later we re-saw so many things and kept thinking “that’s such a genius idea.” So much so that we actually decided it was worth pointing out five genius decorating ideas a la Matt & Kristin that you can easily implement in your own home. It’s sort of a part two of the tour mixed with some tips about what Matt & Kristin do to really make their house stand out- so you can shamelessly steal their crafty tricks for your very own abode. So without further idea we bring you five genius why-didn’t-I-think-of-that-ways-to-pimp-your-place:

Idea #1: Group bold art for a cheerful and graphic gallery effect. Every time we visit Matt & Kristin we’re inspired to save up for some real art. They don’t break the bank on the original pieces that they collect, but they aren’t afraid to spend a little money for one of a kind canvases (in fact they love gifting each other great art for birthdays and anniversaries). And they really know how to make it even more impactful and eye pleasing- by hanging similarly strong and colorful pieces together in a semi-balanced-but-still-unusual arrangement (the two smaller frames under the bigger one in the middle is just “off” enough to look oh so right). The best part about this idea is that if you don’t have any cashola saved up for other people’s original art you can always make your own by purchasing a few different sized canvases and using bold hues to color block simple shapes and designs for a similar effect.

Idea #2: Who says interior doors have to be white? Not Matt & Kristin. In fact every single interior door in their house is stained a gorgeous ebony color- and it totally makes every space in their modestly sized bungalow pop with drama and definition. It doesn’t hurt that they have lovely interior french doors that lead to their office…

… but even bifold closet doors look extra elegant with that moody black tone- and basic bedroom and bathroom doors look special as well…

So go ahead and stain your natural wood doors the same ebony hue (or paint your white ones a rich dramatic black tone- like Benjamin Moore’s Black Satin or Deep Caviar). It might be just the splash of sophistication that your home is begging for.

Idea #3: Window sashes can be black too. You may have even noticed Matt & Kristin’s awesome black window sashes from the exterior picture of their bungalow that we shared above. But even if your house doesn’t have true black sashed windows, there’s nothing that says you can’t paint yours – especially the interior frames (assuming they’re metal or wood, which will both take a few coats of latex paint beautifully). So go ahead and slap on some rich black paint (and scrape off any drips that get on the window panes with a straight razor). It’s kind of like eyeliner for the windows- so stunning and crisp. It’s definitely an amazing way to add definition to your space. And if you have vinyl window frames you can still add a dose of deep sophistication with white curtains or roman shades that are lined with crisp black ribbon (we love when the ribbon runs around the perimeter of either one- and you can even DIY that detail with iron-on hem tape and a thick roll of ribbon from the craft store). Or you can even opt for black curtain rods to bring that elegant linear effect to your home in a snap.

Idea #4: Personalize your pendant. Kristin picked up this pendant at a local shop in Charlotte that actually offers a ton of different fabric options when it comes to their drum shades. And we love that she went with something a bit more daring than the average white or cream shade. So go ahead and spring for a special patterned pendant for the room that you’re looking to amp up (we love Stacy Garcia’s stunning designs) or even recover a pendant light that you already have (or pick up a cheap drum shade and give it some serious style with less than a yard of fabric). Here’s an old post all about recovering a lamp shade – see, it really is something you can do yourself. Bam, you’re one step closer to having this amazing breakfast nook…

Idea #5: Create A Gorgeous And Functional Drop Zone For Cards & Letters. Kristin adored this deep wooden bowl (the orange tone was what really won her over) so she snatched it up without really knowing what she’d use it for. Then she noticed a pile of cards and letters from friends & family and tossed them into the bowl (and placed it in a nice convenient location in her front hall). The result was a sweet collection of correspondence from loved ones that Kristin just didn’t have the heart to toss right away (“it feels so mean to open a card, read it and then just throw it away”).

Now she has a bona fide landing spot for all those cards and about once a year she goes through them and keeps only the few that really should be saved for good (and tosses the rest without feeling nearly as bad since they were enjoyed in the bowl for a while instead of being promptly discarded as soon as she opened them). Plus it’s really fun for her to go back through all those letters and cards at the end of the year one more time. Isn’t that a smart (and sweet) idea? It’s one part organization, one part sentimental and one part easy on the eyes.

So there you have it. Five very doable ideas that you can pick and choose from to supe up your house Matt & Kristin style. What do you guys think? Do you have any favorites that you’re itching to implement? Are you shamelessly dreaming of moving in (don’t worry, we threaten to do that every time we visit). Or have you spotted any other easy ideas in their home that anyone can do (or come up with alternate ideas that you’d love to toss into the mix)? Spill it.

Psst- Can’t get enough of virtually making your way through other people’s homes? We can’t either. Which is why we compiled an entire page full of every House Crashing adventure that we’ve taken on to date. Happy house snooping…


  1. says

    Wow, beautiful!! We’re in the process of staining our (previously) white a deep brown with some reddish undertones, and we’re hoping to restore our original french doors as well. It’s great to see our dream in real life!

    Also LOVE the bowl idea!! Thanks for passing the brilliant ideas along.

  2. cassie says

    Beautiful home! I am dying to paint a few interior doors black…do you think you can choose one or two, as opposed to every door in the house?

  3. says

    I searched through all of the comments on the original “house crash” and found out where that AWESOME sectional is from, but I’m still dying to know where that craft table/12-drawer chest is from. I might just HAVE to have it?! It if ya’ll answered that on the original post/comments – let me know and I’ll go searching again!

    LOVE this blog!

    • says

      Laura- Here’s hoping Kristin or Matt will drop in with that info! Stay tuned…

      Tana- It’s from Mitchell Gold Bob Williams (actually the exact outlet that we visited in this recent post). Hope it helps!

      Cassie- You can definitely just choose a few doors to paint black for a pop of elegance and definition. Good luck!


  4. says

    Hey Sherry,

    I’m just about to be off on my first paint run & I’m picking up the bathroom paint today. It’s the BM Dune Grass, but I had a question about where you got it… Home Depot or Lowes?

    Also, I’m having lots of luck & fun selling all my old furniture on craigslist, but the best part is that I’m telling everyone who will listen about your website! Just this morning as I kissed an old bookcase goodbye, I was raving about Young House Love. The sweet person buying my bookcase promised to check y’all out, & another woman who bought my old dining chairs actually emailed me to ask for your URL! My bff told me this morning that I’ve gotten her addicted to your site as well. It’s like crack. Young House Love crack. :-)

    Thanks for your help & MUCH love from Texas,


    • says

      Hey Heidi,

      Thanks so much for spreading the word about YHL. I’m grinning from ear to ear over here. And as for your paint question, you actually can’t get Ben Moore paint at Lowe’s or Home Depot- you have to go to a Benjamin Moore dealer (just google around for one in your area). The good news is that you can just grab the swatch there and bring it to Home Depot or Lowe’s to have it color matched to more affordable paint like Behr or Glidden or Olympic or Valspar so that’s an option for you if the BM paint prices scare you off (although it really is great quality stuff). Hope it helps! And happy painting…


  5. Carey says

    absolutely HEAVENLY. I am so excited to have found your blog, John & Sherry. We are about to move and we are getting excited about making this new space our own. You have so many wonderful (and practical) ideas that we plan on using. Your site is FANTASTIC in every way!!! Carey

  6. KK says

    Thanks for the sweet notes everyone.

    Laura, the 12-drawer piece in our arts & crafts room is from IKEA. I was just there last week and they have it. Can’t seem to find it on their website. It’s supposed to be used for a kitchen, but it’s awesome for organization and projecting.

  7. Karen J says

    Love their house! Very unique and different, fun funky not frightening funky. Where did they get the gorgeous bird/tree sculpture on the entry table? Love it!

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