When Andrew Standaert + Kiel Thedford, along with their rescue pup – a chiweenie named Crimson, moved to Milwaukee from San Francisco two years ago, they were in for quite an adventure – even in this slower, Midwest environment. The couple had purchased their first home together and now came the opportunity to turn the once burnt-orange walls into a crisp, bright white space to come home to each day. Pinterest boards helped the couple envision how this remodel would come to life. Andrew, a fan of color + pattern, along with neutral + color-block loving Kiel each separately started brewing ideas, and out of nowhere began pinning the same things! Once the couple had collected a solid Pinterest board, they agreed that it would become the main design filter (and settler of arguments).

“The favorite word we’ve heard used to describe our style is “coastal”, as it really delivers the origins of our relationship, personalities, and casual lifestyle, but when pressed we find it easiest to say that we are “Scandifornian.”  We love the neutral, minimal qualities of Scandinavian/Nordic style, which delicately balance modern, traditional, and rustic sensibilities, but we also go after the light, airy, organic qualities we loved from our Californian lifestyle,” states Kiel.  “We are ultimately inspired by the entirety of the California landscape, from the wild, rustic northern landscapes of Marin and Napa, to the coast, and the deserts in the south.  Organic textures, both woodsy and beachy, all bathed in cool, natural light, are where we gravitate. We have shoved all of those into a Cape Cod in Middle America and feel that it’s a recipe that lends to a very happy life for us.”

Tour the this Milwaukee home below – and hear more about the remodel, “happy accidents” encountered, along with some of the favorite west elm pieces that brought this space to life.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

“Our all-white rule is often not understood by Wisconsin natives, who rightfully question how we could possibly want to spend the Winter season, when the ground is covered in snow four months out of the year, trapped inside a seemingly-cold, white box, but we counter by reminding that those same four months are also very grey and dark, and that our white rooms maximize what light there is, Winter or Summer, and bring to us a great amount of peace and serenity.”

    Favorite west elm Living Room piece: Hamilton Leather Sofa with Chaise
    “We love that this sofa provides a nice contrasting color and a cool texture, plus a slight mid-century vibe; it’s the perfect scale for the room. The chaise portion makes this the perfect piece to accommodate Netflix nights for-two (plus a lazy pup that demands an equal third of the seating).”

    Favorite west elm Dining Room piece: Mobile Chandelier
    “This was the first thing we bought for the house and we feel it set the tone for us to add some streamlined accents in this very traditional house.”

“The best happy accident for us was discovering that we could execute the physical labor for the remodel ourselves! We had so many ideas and were so eager to create, but without the tools and experience, we thought we would have to pay to have the work done by a third party, and after the first professional estimate for the kitchen project we really began to panic. We stepped back and realized that Kiel has been drawing these types of projects for years, and I’m never afraid to try new things, so we started reading, acquiring tools for each phase of a new project, and with the help of YouTube, we executed our entire interior remodel by ourselves for less than the originally-estimated cost for the kitchen project alone. Doing the work ourselves not only helped us build new skills and confidence to take on the next, bigger project, but also allowed us to be in control of the schedule – we still had to live in this house while it was torn apart! We spaced out what was about seven months of work over a two-year period, with pauses between projects to enjoy our accomplishments and develop each next project’s plan, and to regain our sanity.”

    Favorite west elm Kitchen piece: It’s a tie! Alden Barstools + Utility Kitchen Canisters
    “These stools are an exact match to our aesthetic, giving us an organic material with the perfectly-sculpted seat, and an industrial feeling with the lightweight-looking frame. Somehow they make a barstool look cozy!”
    “We could not resist these canisters – we love ceramics, so we added several of these canisters in a mix of black and white for a solid visual anchor in the Kitchen, and with our favorite Trade Gothic font labeling, we’ve got a nice, modern layer into our traditional kitchen.”

Andrew is an apparel product developer (and the visual + voice behind the west elm Milwaukee Instagram!) and Kiel is a retail architectural designer. “We’ve spent our careers developing things people connect with and the settings in which they connect to them, so it came naturally to approach our home as a specifically-curated experience.”

    Favorite west elm Office Space piece: Metalwork Coffee Table
    “This coffee table was an accidental win! We fell in love with it and had to bring it home, not even knowing where it might live in the house. We dropped it in the Office until we could figure out what to do with it, and realized it was the missing key piece for the entire room.”

“Most of our artwork throughout the house is either organic imagery, or coastal-inspired. We wanted daily reminders of our days on palm-lined California boulevards or wave-lapped beaches. And while most of our walls lend a serious focus on our Californian imagery, we decided to be cheeky in our Guest Bath by creating a gallery of our favorite female icons – we feel it’s a grown-up version of posters on a bedroom wall!”

“While we tried to be respectful of the home’s original era on the main level, we felt that the Master Suite, secluded on the entire second level, could transition into a different style, where we wanted to experiment with modern-rustic elements. We wanted the space to feel like waking up on vacation every day, so we endeavored to develop spaces that felt as zen/spa-like as possible, with minimal appointments to lend a hotel room sensation.”

    Favorite west elm Bedroom piece: White Mid-Century Bed
    The form of this bed is perfect for our getaway room. We love the scale of the headboard, and the turned legs help elevate a large piece of furniture, to allow the bold, graphic rug below to have more exposure.”

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Julie

August 5, 2017

Scandifornian…perfect! Love everything you guys did in your home. Calm, fresh, inviting, and fun.

GH

August 5, 2017

Hi there!

Beautiful house! If you don’t mind me asking, where is the dining room rug from?

Ashley

August 6, 2017

Beautiful home! Where is the dining cabinet from?

Tracey

August 7, 2017

Love, love, love this house and what you have done with it. Bravo!! Just amazing.

Tim

August 11, 2017

Will someone publish the paint color?

Kristin

August 12, 2017

I love everything about this! I can only fantasize about how good it must feel to come home to that, especially in the midst of a Milwaukee winter! Bravo!

Laura

August 15, 2017

Love it! May I ask where is the desk from?

Erin

August 16, 2017

Yes – dining room cabinet, please!

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