(Re)Design & Define

One do-it yourself Kansas homeowner shares her strategy for creating a balanced and cohesive haven.
Article and Photography by Johi Kokjohn-Wagner
Interior design started as a childhood bond between Joyce Twedt and her mother, who spent many happy hours together rearranging rooms, redecorating and exploring design. For Joyce, this maternal connection turned into a passion for decorating, which eventually morphed into a love of repurposing and redesigning. With her talents in interior aesthetics, the self-taught designer from Stillwell, Kansas, has transformed her family’s residence—home to Joyce, her husband, Colin, and their daughter, Katie—from a traditional 1960s ranch into an urban farmhouse retreat.
twedt-portraitHome-design shows, Pinterest and design blogs have provided Joyce with inspiration, but her own labor, creative vision and flair for design have truly been the key elements in the remarkable renovation of her family’s charming home.
The Thrill of Repurposing
Joyce often finds herself designing in a budget-friendly, do-it-yourself style; many favorite items in the Twedts’ home have been aesthetically enhanced by Joyce. Her kitchen barstools were salvaged from the restaurant where Colin works; Joyce refinished them in Wood Smoke by Behr and topped them with a dark brown glaze to give them a gray-washed finish. The dining room table, discovered at Goodwill, received paint and a new “farmhouse” top, and every side chair in the house was a second-hand find that Joyce renewed with upholstery and paint.
“I have a passion for re-purposing items and seeing the hidden potential in them.  I love searching flea markets in downtown Kansas City for pieces that would benefit from paint, new hardware and possibly a bit of fabric to give them new life,” Joyce said. “I often find it difficult to locate an exact piece for a room, and altering an older piece of furniture is the perfect way to achieve a custom look for less.”
design-livingroomDeliberate Choices Facilitate Flexibility
Joyce achieves balance and cohesion—two important design principles—through a consistent color palette and thoughtful use of both feminine and masculine accessories.
“I was aware a neutral palette could appear too monochromatic and boring. To solve this, I worked to include as many different textures and variations of white, ivory, tan, brown and black tones. The main accents are pops of green and blue to break up the neutrals,” Joyce explained.
“I worked to have each room flow seamlessly into the next space. To create this look, I used variations of common colors and textures in each space.  This plan is wonderful because it allows me to move furniture from room to room and it fits in perfectly.”
Investing Wisely
“When the show ‘Designed to Sell’ showed how ranch homes could be transformed into inviting open spaces by removing a wall, I realized the true potential of our home,” Joyce said. “In the early years, we did most of the work ourselves due to cost. As time went by, we contracted out an extensive interior remodel of the main level and exterior face lift.”
design-frontporchThe professional made some substantial architectural changes. He opened and expanded the space of their 1969 ranch style home from 1,900 square feet to 2,200 square feet. The barrel-vaulted front porch addition sets the stage for the inviting atmosphere Joyce has continued throughout the interior.
Clean lines, interesting architectural details and carefully selected color palette and materials make the Twedts’ home a welcoming, well-defined, unified space.
Get Playful With Decorating
Even though Joyce is serious about her passion for design, her home reflects light-heartedness. She is thoughtful about the mix of high- and low-cost items, which lend a casual-yet-pulled-together feel.
“My fun twist on the urban farmhouse look is how I have incorporated antlers in my dining room chandelier, complete with crystal beading to add the bling factor. I love adding masculine touches to soft and feminine spaces,” Joyce said. “You will find a longhorn steer and a deer mount in surprising locations as well.”
design-bedroomThe Twedts’ home has changed with the times and tastes of the family. The color palette has moved from warm reds and tans to cool hues, yet Colin’s Western art is still displayed. Katie, who has inherited her mother’s design interest, has altered her room from young girl to tween. The furniture has seen new layers of fabric and paint, and the master bedroom duct-tape wall is a recent Pinterest-inspired installation. The home is not only an inviting retreat for all who enter, it is also a perfect reflection of all who dwell within.
Been There, Designed That
If you are looking to redesign your home, Joyce offers some tips to allow you to start making small changes now, and as finances allow, eventually turn your current house into your dream home.

  1. Use Pinterest, HGTV and Internet blogs as your inspiration—among Joyce’s favorites are The Nester, Home by Heidi and Dear Lillie.
  2. Review your favorite pins/photos and determine all the things that you love about them.
  3. Narrow down favorite color schemes and styles.
  4. Come up with a design plan that can be executed using the following timeline:
    • Now: Paint walls and furniture; change out hardware for an instant new look.
    • Ongoing: Purchase new furniture items and accessories that incorporate your design plan.
    • 1 to 5 years: Plan future remodels such as removing a wall, installing new flooring, updating your kitchen or re-doing a bathroom.

Design DIY
Read more from Johi’s design series:
Elements With Intention
In Touch With Texture

Define, Design, Decorate
A New Shade
Punch It Up With Pattern