A Classic Home Holds Color Secrets Inside | Midwest Living

A Classic Home Holds Color Secrets Inside

From the outside, it's a historic, elegant, pearly gray home. But open the front door to a commotion of color.
  • Pink surprise

    The entryway to Amanda and Michael Reynal's Des Moines is unabashedly pink—top to bottom. "It's a little jewel box of a room," Amanda says. "No one spends much time in it, but you see it. It's like walking into a birthday present every day."

    The pink entryway is just one of the colorful surprises behind the door of the 1911 home. 


  • Hang time

    Rather than a typical "gallery wall" of smaller frames, the home's stairwell highlights a few favorites from the Reynal's art collection, including portraits of their sons painted by Des Moines artist Van Holmgren. 

  • Classic exterior

    The century-home home's pearly grey exterior hides its colorful personality behind the door. Amanda loved the bones of the house but wanted to update the interior with creative flair. 

  • Energetic artwork

    The entryway's dramatic pink gives an encore in the living room, in an energetic painting Amanda spied in the gallery window of local artist Robert Spellman.

    "If this house were filled with 18-century portraits, it would feel very contrived, like a museum or historic home," Amanda says. "Period decorating eliminates the personality of the homeowner." 



  • Family matters

    The Reynals' airy sunroom pulls double duty as a family room, with a TV, a game table for chess and backgammon, and a desk for homework.

  • Signature blue

    The home's signature blue color reappears throughout the first floor. "If you're afraid of color, start on a small scale," Amanda advises. "It can be pillows or fabrics. A judicious and well-edited use of color is just as impactful as an explosion."

    Artwork adds another layer of color, and Amanda's philosophy there is simple: Art isn't merely decoration. It should feel personal, whether you buy it from a gallery, inherit it from a family member or make it yourself. A commissioned pop art piece by street mural artist Jordan Weber includes references to family favorites, like the New York Yankees and Homer Simpson. "The art not only makes the house feel fresh and young," Amanda says, "but it's relative to us as a family. It's meaningful."

  • New nook

    To encourage family dinners, the Reynals removed a kitchen desk and awkward peninsula to create a breakfast nook.

  • Calming kitchen

    Blue and green in window coverings and accent pieces lend just the right amount of color to a calm, mostly-white kitchen.

  • In the details

    The homeowner creatively taps her sons' interests for bedroom ideas. Skate decks and a wallpapered ceiling reflect one son's passions for art and nature—and skateboarding.

  • Cheery palette

    Pink and green create a welcoming tone in this bedroom, with more cheery colors in the artwork over the bed.

  • Outdoor fun

    Comfy furniture invites lounging with friends, a ping-pong table rolls from garage to lawn, and projected movies flicker on the side of the house.

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