Sweet Chaos Home
Carolyn Loub, a Carmel-based interior designer, has been dubbed the “purveyor of pretty.” Such a fitting moniker, considering the light, airy and feminine coastal style she uses to style her own home, tucked away in the Carolina Commons neighborhood. Mom to four busy boys, Loub says she has to get her “pretty fix” somewhere!
The Loub family moved into the home in 2007 because she fell in love with the bones of the house. Loub was able to look past the outdated paint and floors to see a classic beauty with wainscoting, a double staircase and lots of architectural detail. With her keen eye and passion for design, she knew the house would be a labor of love.
As they took on their first remodeling project in the house, the master bathroom, Loub decided to put her degree in journalism to use and blog about the remodel. The blog, “Sweet Chaos Home,” generated national attention, and clients began rolling in. Loub now focuses more on her Sweet Chaos Home Instagram and Facebook platforms, posting décor eye candy paired with sweet, thoughtful captions.
Don’t hold back as you “ooh” and “aah” your way through this photo tour of the Loub home. Perhaps you’ll even feel inspired to make a few new décor statements in your own home. If not, the purveyor of pretty behind Sweet Chaos Home is always available to assist.
This entryway was a big part of why Loub said yes to the home in the first place, as she loved the wainscoting, banisters and hardwoods. To give it a little update, they painted the banisters, removed the impractical white carpet on the stairs and refinished the hardwoods. The vintage Turkish rug boasts just the right amount of color fade.
CLEAR IDEAS “The acrylic table is perfect because it doesn’t cover up the wainscoting,” Loub says. The landscape painting is by her favorite Etsy artist out of Texas, Maren Devine. It reminds her of Hilton Head, where the Loubs like to vacation.
WAINSCOTING A tip from Loub: In rooms without much architectural detail, your first task should be to add some. Here, wainscoting adds dimension, character and interest to an otherwise plain wall.
BENCHMARK The bench was Loub’s great-great grandmother’s. The top can be flipped to make a table. She had it refinished and painted it white.
The Loubs spend nearly all of their time between the kitchen and the adjacent family room. After they completed the kitchen renovation, and having lived with a drab family room for years, out came the speckled beige carpet in lieu of dark hardwood flooring, and once-dark ceiling beams got a fresh coat of white paint.
Loub fell in love with the small blue Target rug, but it was unavailable in a larger size to fill the space. No problem, as she layered it over the larger jute rug and added more texture in the process.
The living room was painted dark red with white carpet when they moved in. They couldn’t wait to paint the walls and put in hardwoods. The creamy-white chair and sofa came from their last house and, despite having accommodated four children, have really held up well. “If it still works, why not?” Loub says.
It should be no surprise that the pink velvet ottoman gets lots of attention. “That was my first pink furniture piece, and now I have a pink obsession,” Loub says. “I don’t have girls, so I have to get my fix somewhere!”
KITCHEN + DINING
“You shouldn’t ignore your ceilings; they’re a big space in the room,” Loub says. “If you can do something interesting to them, you should.” And speaking of interesting — that chandelier! Loub says lighting should make a statement in a classic, clean room. Bonus points if there’s a story behind your chandelier or pendant.
ENTERTAINING In the kitchen, the Loubs replaced a sliding door with a large, pass-through window (not shown) that pushes open so Carolyn and husband Paul can pass food and drinks to family and friends. An outdoor bar is a favorite spot for people to mingle in the summer. Convenience? Check.
STAIRCASE This back staircase leads up to bedrooms and down to the dining area. An impractical pantry and desk used to be tucked under the stairs. To make it more functional, the Loubs installed a beverage refrigerator, cabinet and sink.
CHANDELIER Loub calls the chandelier the jewelry of the room. When a store was going out of business, she bid on this chandelier she’d been eyeing for a while. “It’s big and interesting, but I don’t know if I’d choose it again,” she says. “However, the dining room is a place where you can have fun with things.”
CHINOISERIE East meets West in this space dripping with Asian-inspired glam. That’s what Loub was going for here. “This is expensive wallpaper that I would have loved to cover the whole room in,” she says. But instead, she framed large panels of it without being forced to totally commit.
This bathroom was the Loub family’s first remodeling project. It was very 1980s before then: Think huge jacuzzi tub and carpet. Loub’s main goal was to keep the room classic so it wouldn’t go out of style. “I still love it as much today as I did then,” she says.
“Wallpaper is a chore to take down, but there are so many incredible ones on trend right now!” Loub says. “Use wallpaper in a small space so it won’t kill you to take it down later.”