How One Designer Blends Coastal and Colonial Decor

How One Designer Blends Coastal and Colonial Decor

How One Designer Blends Coastal and Colonial Decor


Homepolish designer Heather Jorde shares how she morphed her old-school seaside Boston colonial home into a modern, calm, family-friendly space.

Photos by Joyelle West

When we moved to Boston, we had 24 hours to find a home. Luckily for us, we stumbled upon this sunny home with a great location close to the ocean and the downtown area via a last-minute Craigslist ad. We instantly fell in love.

The character from the wood moulding and built-in cabinets was easy to design with, but the tricky part was making all the nooks and crannies work with our larger furniture. We ended up selling a few things and spent a lot of time rearranging in the beginning.

I originally had a few pieces of black furniture, which did not mesh well with the all the wood trim; it felt very dark and dated. So, I traded those pieces out for some white furniture to make the rooms feel more fresh and inviting. It probably comes as no surprise that I’m influenced by Scandinavian design, as you can see by the fresh feel of our home. There’s something beautiful and calming to me about using texture and simple shapes to create warmth in a space.

I love mixing modern and vintage pieces, and you can see that throughout the house. I didn’t want it to feel like I was competing with the character of the home. It’s fortunate that I love fusing old and new pieces, because not worrying about sticking faithfully to one style made decorating the home a seamless, stress-free transition.

It’s important to me that guests feel at ease in our house and don’t feel like they are in a showroom or anything is too precious. The home is a balance of cool and collected accents and our personal family belongings. I love how much this space represents me and my point of view. It’s essentially a collection of things we’ve picked up on our travels, memories from places we have lived, and things that we have created over the years—that’s so special to me.

Since we have lived on both ends of the country, our home is kind of a mix of east and west coast aesthetics. Some of the artwork, like the print above the fireplace, are things that I’ve kept over the years from our time spent residing in Washington state.

Some of the smaller touches are less symbolic but just as special—details like the mussel shell hangings were created by my two girls and yours truly. I think having their pretty creations spread throughout the space makes them feel a sense ownership over the house.

I love children’s rooms to have a touch of whimsy in them. When I fell in love with that Carolyn Wright painting, I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. It is both beautiful and playful and has acted as a cornerstone of that space, defining my style when it came to designing their room.

View additional photos and sourcing in the gallery below.

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