Kevin at Home: Mid-Century Modern meets Japanese style

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Kevin discovered the true power of theming when he was mistaken for Japanese. Years ago, while selling his house, a potential buyer entered the first room and asked their agent, “Are the owners Japanese?” The living room of his house gave that impression.

Kevin isn’t Japanese. He didn’t study their culture. He hasn’t visited Japan yet. Other than a few pieces of decor, he had no clue about Japanese style. Kevin says, “I went with what felt right for the house. What felt right to me. I pieced things together, so it’s a mashup of what I like. Once I heard the buyers’ comment I researched Japanese style, then it all made sense.”

Interior decor is theming. At least that’s what Kevin calls it. He dreamed to be a Disney Imagineer, so their lingo – such as ‘theming’ and ‘story’ – naturally flow into his daily life. “Theme parks are truly special places,” Kevin says. Disney theme parks inspire him most.

Kevin spent most of his life in northern Virginia. It was Manassas for a few years, but the Fredericksburg area is truly home. Still, his first official house was located in Columbus Ohio. It was a Mid-Century Modern home built in the 1950’s. That Mid-Century 50’s style is the story of that house. So naturally, he took that story and ran with a modern version of the theme. It just happened to fit Japanese style too.

“You transform the space to reflect you. Make it your home.”

The pressure to keep up with trends can be tough. Also expensive. Sometimes the budget isn’t there yet. For Kevin, the pressure to keep up or know appropriate names, styles and terms is never an issue. Kevin says, “Current trends might fit you. Sometimes they don’t. Know your style. Own it and run with it regardless. If it’s too wild or dated, it only becomes a potential issue when you’re selling the house.”

Older, wiser and even more creative, Kevin says “The next house will look like my version of Disneyland … except for maybe a couple of rooms.”

Room Details

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  • Couch, chair, loveseat and ottoman – a local independent furniture store; Columbus Ohio
  • Table – an Ohio furniture discount store in Jeffersonville. The table didn’t have the glass insert. Pier 1 was recommended. The round glass top was too big to sit inside the insert, but it was the perfect size to sit on top the entire table. It worked better. The table has an edge to edge modern finished look.
  • Rug – Lowes
  • Wall paint – Sherwin Williams (unchanged from previous owner)
  • Pillows – Pier 1
  • Stainless steel candle holders (on the table and in the large frame on the wall) – an independent shop in Blacksburg, VA while Kevin attended Virginia Tech.
  • Shoji screen – Pier 1
  • Large picture frame, bamboo and vase – previously owned
  • Curtains – Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Curtain holdbacks / tie backs & rods – Lowes

Quick Decorating Tip:

Rethink the curtain tie back

Move it way up and turn it 90 degrees. You’ve rarely seen curtains hanging like this before. Kevin used large curtain tie backs at a unique height and a different angle. Rather than hold the curtains back, he turned the curtain tie backs 90 degrees to hold the rod instead. It looks super clean and modern. It fit the house.

The most shocking discovery is timelessness. Kevin’s curtain modification was so fitting to the style of this house, last he checked, the modification was still in use by two newer owners. That’s nearly a decade later! Great design is timeless.

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