Tessa and Guy fell hard for this 1920 Illinois home. It features a large north facing front porch and sentimental timeless modern home details that withstand the test of time.
Welcome to Omysa Home Tours, where we feature stylish and creative homes around the world.
Name: Tessa Kirby
Location: Champaign, Illinois, United States
Type of home: House, own
Size: 2,900 square feet
To create a stunning home, it requires time to express your creativity. And time was definitely on Tessa’s side, who has an eye for aesthetics, interior styling, and flipping homes when they accidentally stumbled upon this 100-year-old home during one of their renovation projects. In less than 30 days, they were handed the keys to this 1920s home. Tessa and Guy decorated the whole space by themselves and made sure that every inch feels sentimental and timeless. It was like walking through a classic art piece, an experience you will only feel with Tessa’s home tour.
Tessa shared that she and her husband first fell in love with flipping house in 2014 after finding HGTV hit Fixer Upper. It was the couple’s dream to fulfill their house flipping journey even though they were essentially broke and expecting a third baby during that time. However, a year later, Tessa gave their house flipping dream a shot by writing a handwritten letter to Joanna Gaines asking them if they would help sponsor a website that they longed to create as a vehicle for this creative vision. You wouldn’t believe what happened next! Joanna Gaines wrote a handwritten letter with the funds inside to fulfill their house flipping dream.
Six years later, four kids in, Tessa and Guy have now successfully flipped and sold six different houses. Last year, 2020, they launched their business Kindred Homestead where they help to design and build other people’s dream homes. Tessa’s home had come a long way from when they first moved in, but one thing that remained is the old charm of this 100-year-old. The idea was to mix styles and to retain the classical aesthetics of the original space. To create an inviting and well-designed place where they are comfortable living and entertaining. Indeed, Tessa and Guy certainly succeeded in bringing this philosophy to life in their timeless modern home.
Tell us something about your home
We stumbled upon this home while renovating one of our flip homes, and we instantly fell in love. That week we put our house on the market to buy this home. It was meant to be because our home sold in 12 hours, and in less than 30 days, we were handed the keys to this 100-year-old home. Our craftsman dates all the way back to the early 1920s and still has all the original woodwork and doors intact and untouched.
We uncovered hardwood floors throughout both the main level and upstairs, which we have since refinished. This home features a large north facing front porch that acts as the perfect indoor-outdoor space in the summer and a classic charm you just can’t replicate these days.
Describe your interior style
I would say my design style has grown and changed so much over the years, and I appreciate sooooo many different design styles, but currently, I would definitely describe my style as very transitional in nature. I absolutely love thinking about what would have been in style during the building of this home and trying to mirror that in my design today. I’ve been particularly drawn to the box molding, floral wallpaper, and bold/moody colors that seem to instantly elevate the status of the room; while remaining essentially timeless.
I love using old vintage furniture pieces mixed with modern ones and incorporating modern lighting to add interest and focal points to my spaces. Vintage art has also had a large influence on my design as of late; I love how it immediately adds sophistication and depth to a space without having to do much more.
What is your favorite part of your home and why?
I love my entryway; I know that’s probably a weird thing to say since most people are likely to answer their kitchen, but for me, the entryway has always held such a special place in my heart. It was, indeed, the first thing I saw when I came and previewed the house 3 years ago. I can still remember my jaw dropping when I pushed open the large oak picture glass door to reveal two large oak pillars framing the entry to the living room; I’d never seen such detail in woodwork before.
The lead glass window that hung next to the front door cast this beautiful array of light throughout the entryway and beyond, and it still gets to this very day. We’ve since updated this space to make it feel even more inviting, and it just has a way of speaking to people.
Tip: Your entryway provides a glimpse of what to expect from the rest of your home. It showcases your personality, so it’s important to choose the right décor, like adding Omysa’s Mid Century Planter. Inspired by the ’50s, it features a timeless design that blends well with any interior style.
What is your least favorite part of your home and why?
Because our home was built in the 1920s, the layout of the home is a bit funky, and while I’ve embraced it for what it is, knowing I’d rather keep the integrity of the home than changing it. I really don’t love all the small rooms that make up our first floor. Sometimes I just feel like there’s wasted space and or lack of functionality.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Jean Stoffer of Jean Stoffer Designs is one of my biggest inspirations right now. We renovate a lot of old homes, and that’s kind of her specialty too. So I love watching how she brings old homes back to life but does it in a way that keeps the integrity of the home. Plus, her design choices are exquisite.
Dream home design advice/tips you want to share?
Don’t stop experimenting with your style. Find things on Pinterest and Instagram, save them, and find the commonalities among them to see what it is you’re really drawn to. Don’t be afraid to mix styles, although we live in a world where there are all these “distinct” styles. We have the luxury of choosing to integrate those styles and really blur the lines between them, creating something never ever seen before. So just go for it; trust your gut, mix metals, and colors and allow yourself the freedom to use the experiences from your life to be what tells the story in your home.
Tip: We totally agree with Tessa’s advice. Don’t think too hard about decorating! Just listen to your gut. Additionally, be patient and find home items that speak to you. Take your time to find and source furniture that sparks joy. Lastly, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make your house a home.
What are your recommended places to shop?
For vintage pieces, I always scour Facebook marketplace, just keeping my eye on what’s coming up every day. I also love visiting local boutiques and consignment stores. Other than that, I’m not super bougie when it comes to where I shop for home decor.
I’ll visit Home Goods, Target, Wayfair, and the like, and just find things that speak to me right now; knowing that most likely in a year or less I’ll want something different, so might as well not spend an arm and a leg.
Tessa’s timeless modern home proved that even a 100-year-old home can be a cozy and warm place to live in. To see more clever inspiration from Tessa and Guy, visit their Instagram and website at Kindred Homestead.
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