House Tours: Practical and Polished

This cottagelike house combines conventional architecture with modern touches to create a perfectly stylish and functional home.

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    Traditional Meets Eclectic

    With its cottagelike looks and traditional architecture, this house appears to be conventional. But a unique decorating style and details that provide contrast and balance give the home an eclectic and unexpected twist. Thrift store finds, statement-making decor, vibrant colors, and unusual pattern combinations blend to create a modern, cottage-chic look.

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    Sophisticated Decor Blend

    Contemporary touches paired with traditional staples create a unique contrast that gives this kitchen a sophisticated and eclectic look. Metallic light fixtures hang over the island and the sink, giving the room a somewhat industrial tone. But a farmhouse sink and floral-print window treatments give the modern look a more country-cottage feel.

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    Space to Socialize

    A large island is the focal point of the kitchen and provides plenty of space for working as well as socializing with family and friends. The island's marble countertop lightens the look of the dark base. Details such as shelves and turned legs give the island a furniturelike appearance. A built-in bank of cabinetry on the right also reflects furniture-inspired craftsmanship.

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    A Bit of Glamour

    Elegant accents such as antique furniture and the elaborate chandelier above the table bring a glamorous touch to the kitchen's eating area. Lower cabinetry extends from the kitchen into the eating nook beneath the windows; the countertop acts as a handy buffet while the cabinets provide storage. The refined beauty of the chairs and the natural light shimmering off the chandelier, paired with the functionality of the kitchen, give the room gracious versatility.

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    Beauty in Juxtaposition

    This living room is all about juxtapositions. From the furniture to the carpet to the curtains, each detail offers carefully constructed contrast. Several patterns throughout the room add pops of color and texture. The bold stripes in the carpet balance the more intricrate geometric patterns on the curtains and furniture, while the ikat pattern on the ottomons adds an organic touch to the space. Neutral walls and plenty of wood tones provide simple beauty to counter the dramatic patterns.

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    In-Home Gallery

    A gallery wall is an easy way to add color and character to a room, and it carries the same electic vibe as the room's pattern mix. Neutral walls prevent the multicolor artwork and the differing shapes and sizes of the frames from looking too busy, and rather help create an eye-catching montage.

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    High-End Design

    Floor-to-ceiling shelving units bookend the fireplace and add extra space for both storage and display. The vertical paneling on the backs of the shelves is simple and discreet, but it also adds texture to the wall and picks up on the fluting of the mantel surround and bookcase supports; the navy hue adds depth to the neutral built-in. A brick fireplace surround contributes a cottagelike touch to the living room.

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    Fashionable and Functional

    The monotony of a laundry room gains excitement with bold prints, cute colors, and a spacious layout. A black and white marble tile floor sets the room's tone: sleek, simple, and functional. A front-load washer and dryer are positioned beneath a countertop, which provides space for folding clothes or drying them flat. Wall-to-wall cabinets and shelves offer overhead storage, and a basin sink makes hand-washing clothes easy and convenient. A zebra-print bench under the table and a desk and chair below the window promote productivity while waiting for loads of laundry to finish.

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    Dual-Use Space

    Not only is this space used as a laundry room, but it's also a home office. Desks, tables, and comfy chairs provide plenty of space for homework, reading, art projects, and work projects.

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    Elegant Shut-Eye

    This bedroom combines light and dark colors, jewel tones, bold prints, and neutral accents to create a majestic-looking master bedroom. The upholstered headboard with gold accents and the shimmering chandelier add elegant touches, while the bright colors in the pillows, the trim on the bedding, and the bedside stool offer a more comfortable, homey feel.

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    Personal Space

    The corner of the master bedroom can serve multiple purposes. The space could be used for a vanity and a place to get ready for the day or a night out, with a mirror and drawer space for cosmetics; or it could be used as a desk area, where quick work and productivity can take place. The artwork, colorful accents, and intricate metallic mirror frame add bright details to the dark room.

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    Color Inspiration

    Color -- inspired by the bedspread and throw pillows -- is added to this otherwise neutral guest room with do-it-yourself art. Various plates of different sizes and colors function as a unique art display above the bed. The plates add texture and dimension to the room and create a focal point.

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    Sweet Symmetry

    Soft colors and bold patterns combine to create a sweet and spacious room. The light blue color of the walls and the chevron pattern of the carpet make the space seem wider and therefore larger overall. The symmetrical layout of the beds, decorations, and light fixtures balances the mix of colors and patterns throughout the room. Intricate metallic head- and footboards complete the room and tie together the colored and neutral details.

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    Bold Prints

    This tucked-away alcove is the perfect space for a vanity, with a bright dresser accented by stylish decor. Bold patterns in bold colors add to the girly, style-savvy look. The curvy mirror frame and the hanging flower light add feminine touches.

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    An understated backdrop was the perfect springboard for this homeowner's passions: clean lines, vibrant color, and bold pattern.
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