By Emma Bowen Meyer
For The Herald Bulletin
---- — EDGEWOOD — Kevin Miles carefully chose an Edgewood home, and then carefully chose a wife. Upon wedding Stephanie, he freely relinquished the reigns of decorating his home.
The past 23 years of bliss have seen the house nearly double in square footage and undergo a thousand transformations.
“Men look at homes differently than women,” said Stephanie, a real estate agent for 10 years, currently with Diamond Group Realty. “They look at the bones of the house and the structural integrity. This was a two-bedroom, solidly built, all brick ranch – and he liked that.”
What received little to no attention was the décor and flow of the home. Happy to have plenty of space for himself and his two daughters, his needs were met. Stephanie, however, needed to nest.
“He always let me do my thing,” she said. “My mother was an interior designer for many years and had a knack for it. People would walk into her home in stunned silence because it was so beautiful.
"She was constantly changing paint, wallpaper and flooring. I do it, too. I can figure a million different ways to move furniture around in a 9-by-12 foot room.”
Not only does her inherited flair push her to experiment with colors and materials, but her job does, as well.
“The more houses I see, the more I say: ‘Honey, we should do this,’” she explained. “I have a never-ending list of home improvements – much to my husband’s dismay.”
Seeing styles and colors in person sparks the imagination. But one aspect of the job allows her an extra creative outlet – staging homes.
“When I do have a listing that is vacant, I stage it for a client,” Stephanie said. “I love that part of it. I don’t even charge them. I can take a blank canvas and turn it into something people want to live in.”
Adding color is one of her favorite parts of decorating, which is obvious during a stroll through the home. She expertly chooses colors that are unusual and yet work together beautifully. Coral and green dominate the family room and the adjacent sun room.
In the living room, bright coral covers one wall, light green graces the next wall and a brighter green appears on the facing wall.
To marry the three shades, Stephanie painted vertical stripes of the two bright hues on the middle wall. With love seats that match the scheme perfectly and accents of each shade strewn about the room, the result is a cheery, comfortable space.
French doors open to the sun room, which shares the same palate. The matching green of a high-back chair and armoire, both inherited from her grandmother, was the original inspiration for the green tint.
Kevin had the brilliant idea of painting the recesses to the skylights coral – which has the effect of colored lights emanating from the ceiling.
Both of these rooms were added onto the house 16 years ago – along with a second-floor master bedroom and bathroom.
During the renovation, Kevin and Stephanie completed all the work except for framing, plumbing and wiring. With a background in construction work (before his current job with UPS), Kevin completed the tasks as an expert.
His first-ever tiling job was the floor of the sun room. Not one to start small, he even included a patterned floor with different colored tiles. Later, when it was time to refurbish a bathroom, he used his newly-developed skills to tile both the floor and the shower.
In the original rooms of the house, green is still a staple, but coral has been replaced with red. Another bold choice, this small distinction makes a huge difference in the feel of the rooms.
Glimpses of a nautical theme can be spotted throughout the home, but the office is decked out in blue and white, with boats, a life preserver and even blueprints of the Titanic framed on the wall.
“It’s my dream to live on the water someday,” said Stephanie. “I want to have a cottage on a lake. But right now I’d be happy with a creek running through the back yard.”
Until that day comes, she can enjoy the cottage feel she has created in her home.
Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.