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

    I love this house! I’m especially impressed by their art collection. I don’t think anything makes a home feel as interesting or special as an owner’s art choices.

    I’m also gaga over the sectional… I think my husband and I might need to plan a road trip to this Mitchel Gold Bob Williams outlet in the near future!

    Loving the blog, as always!

  2. says

    This looks like somewhere around the outskirts of Uptown. Absolutely beautiful and stunning! I have never seen doors stained dark like that and it certainly makes for added character!!!

  3. says

    matt and kristin’s home is AMAZING! i love, love it!
    all the bright colors and supremely organized…this charlotte couple has MUCH to be proud of! also…we totally have the same anthropologie-esque green/cream throw pillows…shhhh, they’re pottery barn :) i just removed the covered and have replaced them with white and yellow throw pillows because i actually use them as my fall/winter season option! :) bravo to these two cuties…GREAT HOME and pups! :) cheers

  4. Lesley H says

    This house is amazing. I LOVE how they’ve got the dining room table on an angle. What a great idea which I never would have thought of. It totally suits them. Thanks for sharing!

  5. says

    That bowl idea is great. I always feel so bad about throwing out cards so quickly, but without a great place to keep them, they just end up in a pile of junk. I think I’m going to have to use this idea!

  6. Michelle says

    Can you find out the color of paint used in the house? Most of it seems to be the same neutral color. I’m trying to find the perfect shade to go with dark wood floors. Thanks!

  7. says

    Yea! I’ve been refreshing the comments all afternoon – thanks Kristin for the response. And IKEA! I’m squealing with delight that I can find that workstation/drawers at IKEA!

  8. says

    Every time I see a “house crashing” post title I have to pace myself… my first instinct is to scroll down and peek at all the pics…but then I’d miss all the details. I have to reign myself in when I read your House Crashings – love them!

    I LOOOOOOOOVE the black doors. In fact, I just posted about painting my pantry door (chalkboard) black. The results are dramatic but subtle if that makes any sense. Here’s the link…

    With a little more confidence in black doors, I’m moving on to our front door: the front (exterior) is black but the back (interior) is white. Going to paint it black!

    • says

      Love the chalkboard door Dana! It’s a fun twist on a regular old black painted door- and I love that kids (and grown ups alike) get to have fun with it!


  9. KK says

    Hi, Michelle.

    When we bought our home, the doors and walls were already painted. Unfortunately, they didn’t leave us with any sample colors, which would really help when we need to do touch-ups. I know this may not help, but it’s about 2-3 shades creamier than a white white.

  10. KK says

    Sorry, Karen J. I missed your question last time.

    The bird sculpture we got when we went to market in Hickory, NC. There’s no name or logo anywhere on it.

  11. April O says

    Wow! I absolutely love the subtle asian flavor throughout the house! My grandparents lived in Japan for a few years when my mom was young and we have inherited several things with that same asian flare. I’m always looking for ways to use those items in other rooms instead of having one room where all the asian pieces go.

  12. says

    I LOVE everything about this house! I am moving to Charlotte in November and am investigating neighborhoods with these types of houses. As creepy as this may sound, do you guys live right outside of the city? Or do you have any suggestions as to what other neighborhoods to begin house hunting in? I love the bungalow feel!

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