Kelly and Michael Siktar decided to alter the narrative of their suburban Pittsburgh home after 15 years of living with dark, Victorian-inspired decor. Working with interior designer Leann Ford, Kelly ditched her cabbage rose wallpaper, wall-to-wall carpeting, Victorian antiques, elaborate birdcages, and fussy window treatments.
In their place: beaded board, shiplap, and board-and-batten walls; glossy white woodwork; and old furniture made over with white paint. Darkn items gave way to white-framed mirrors, white ironstone, and painted farmhouse antiques. Crystal fixtures, floral-motif accessories, and prettily patterned area rugs—retained to reflect the home's Victorian leaning—now sparkle with a fresh romanticism thanks to the lighter backdrops.
When Kelly and Michael Siktar tired of their home's dark Victorian look, they called on a lot of white paint to quickly update existing architectural features, such as the living room's stained fireplace mantel and pink-tiled hearth. A chandelier that once graced Kelly's mom's dining room now illuminates the space.
An early-1900s furniture factory cart gifted to Kelly by a friend anchors the living room. Easy-care white slipcovered seating stand up to the room's heavy traffic while delivering the airy look Kelly desired. Modern media hides inside a painted cabinet.
A $50 worktable with a zinc top doubles as a desk and game table in the library. A salvaged fireplace mantel sets a stage for Kelly's collection of books, which are stacked with pages facing forward so the colored bindings don't disrupt the library's peaceful color scheme. Victorian-style renderings displayed in mismatched frames add perfectly imperfect personality.
Kelly used white paint to lighten brass candleholders, a fire-engine red mirror from HomeGoods, and the top of a dark table in the dining room. A natural-textured rug complements accent baskets and plants. Extra-wide crown molding brings contemporary flair to Victorian style.
To give the kitchen a cottage-style update, Kelly and Michael replaced buildergrade upper cabinets with shelves supported by decorative brackets. Butcher-block countertops add rustic appeal to existing base cabinets updated with white paint. A vintage enameled pendant light illuminates a farm table functioning as a work island.
Kelly showcases some of her Royal Albert Old Country Roses china collection on shelves in the kitchen. Wainscoting adds texture to the kitchen without overwhelming the space, and all white shelves allow the flourishing corbel shape to shine.
The Siktars smoothed over the master bath's original pink tile floor with white garage floor paint. Then they ushered in charm with a custom-crafted vanity featuring drop-in sinks, tall faucets, and handy towel bars. New shiplap adds architectural dimension to the walls, and mismatched mirrors emit collected character.
Glossy white paint and strategic sanding transformed the couple's dark-stained bedstead into a vintage beauty. The bedroom carpet got the heave-ho in favor of new unfinished pine boards, which cost just $600. Painted with durable white boat paint, the floors help complete the room's cottage makeover.