A Suburban Home Gets A Contemporary-Bohemian Makeover
See this solar-powered retreat's stunning before-and-after.
Published Jul 24, 2017 4:35 PM
Interior designer Shannon Tate is a force to be reckoned with. Her family’s newly renovated 1400 sq ft home in Western Massachusetts, which Tate tackled entirely on her own, is only proof. As a member of the Boston Homepolish team, Tate is also an artist, a certified holistic life coach, mother, and wife. We caught up with the designer to learn how she managed this massive renovation on her own, transforming the home into a decor-filled paradise.
How would you define the style of your home?
I like to describe it as contemporary bohemian, but our photographer dubbed it as zen-warmth, and I really liked that! I always say contemporary bohemian because I like clean lines, but I also like things that are soulful, collected, and artsy.
I wanted to balance the masculine and feminine energy in the house to make sure my husband’s taste was considered. It’s hard to avoid becoming a “design bully” when designing your own home, and it was important to remind myself over and over that this was our house–not just mine.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your home’s decor?
A lot of it, at the core, is influenced by where I grew up. My parents had completed a renovation on our house when we were little and it was completely modern—all white and wood. There were lots of windows in the house and my parents never put up curtains or blinds, so it felt like we lived on a blank canvas. My dad is obsessed with Native American culture and so he layered in inspired textiles, artifacts, and (he’s also an artist) lots of paintings. That’s the core of my influence, but through my adult filter, with my own experiences.
What is your favorite spot in your home and why?
The sunny window nook in the living room. My daughter loves to read and I wanted her to have a cozy reading spot.
What was the driving force behind the decision to buy a solar-powered home?
I love the idea of just doing something that’s helping the environment. When we look at the other homes in New England, they feel like a money pit. Our house is so efficient and we rarely receive utility bills. Every once in awhile I’ll get a $20 bill for electricity. It’s incredible.
Why did you decide on a neutral color palette?
Neutral color palettes make me feel happy. I always tend to gravitate towards them, even for client projects. I feel like working with one and layering on top of it is what makes a home feel like sunshine.
Is there a piece you splurged on?
I really wanted to get an authentic rug from Morocco. I’m a deal-hunter and that was one thing I didn’t want to compromise on. It felt important to me, so I splurged.
How did you choose the plants for each of the different areas in your home?
I love plants. I have so many around the house and I don’t necessarily choose which ones go in certain areas. It’s more about “where are they going to survive?” But I did choose a lot of planters that I collected from antique shops. Plants bring such light into a space and it feels really good to be around them.
What advice can you offer to those taking on a complete home redesign?
Be patient. Things can be challenging, but they’re not impossible.
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