Design Project: A Warm, Homely And Colourful Family Home in Tulsa

Interior designer Mel Bean transformed an inherited property into a modern, colourful and homely place to raise a young family.

Get the look: Lamp from Kelly Wearstler. Custom stair runner from Stark


This inviting family home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, honours its historic architecture. The owners, childhood sweethearts Emily and Noah, invited interior designer Mel Bean to help them reimagine and redesign the property (it was Noah’s childhood home and needed updating), transforming it into a colourful and homely place to raise their growing family. The couple started the design process with two children, and has since had two more, so it was imperative that the design incorporated lots of storage and some playful kids spaces – as well as grown-up entertaining spaces.

The owners wanted an inviting atmosphere without formality, somewhere their kids can live and be kids. The couple lead a busy life not only as a family, but in their professional lives as well, so they wanted this property to feel like a haven to unwind at the end of the day. Child-friendly, but elegant too. The couple had several pieces of art that helped guide the initial concept. Mel Bean brought in a needed boot room, lots of colour and fun, playful touches.

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Each room in the home is unique but there is a continuous ‘vibe’ throughout. Each space is refined but approachable, with lots of personality.

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The boot room was created in a space that was formerly a back porch with a door leading directly into the kitchen.

By capturing this space, they now have a highly functional area for coats, shoes and bags that is also beautiful.

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Shiplap walls and bespoke wood furniture give this space a relaxed, country feel.

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The living room was also designed from scratch, and the majority of the furnishings are new, as well as materials and lighting.

Get the look: ceiling light is from Arteriors / Hanley Flush mount. Side tables are from Arteriors / Daryl Side Table. Coffee table is Nicholas Marble / Burnished Brass table from Restoration Hardware. Rug is the Feizy Leif 7213 in Zinc.

Mel Bean told us she felt fortunate to work with such gorgeous doors and their original hardware.

Instead of being centred around a TV, the formal living room faces towards the original fireplace, with an artwork hanging above.

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Aside from being the formal living room it’s also a through room, with doors leading off into other spaces. This ensures the room is used and appreciated every day.


A television cabinet was removed next to the fireplace in the family room and windows added, along with window seats, to maximise natural light and allow for a more functional furniture layout.

Get the look: Chandelier is the Arteriors Valerie chandelier. Art is Natural Curiosities – Feathers. Side tables are Made Goods Willa table// Mango Wood. Corner sofa is Lee Industries/Fabric : Stroheim Split – 03. Accent pillows are upholstered in Pierre Frey F3215-001 “Heather” Tutti-Frutti. Chairs are from Lee Industries//Fabric: Perennials Dragonfly. Ottoman is from Lee Ind ( Custom size) Leather: Holly Hunt Romeo – Deep Sea.

The corner sofa adds to the cosy, more informal feel. The halo chandelier gives this room a fresh, modern look.

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Although each room has it’s own colour palette and personality, there’s a sense of continuity too, for example through the use of brass lighting, dark skirting and door frames, and colourful artworks.

Get the look: Chandelier from Visual Comfort/ Circa. Chairs are the Calligaris Amelie Chair.

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In the kitchen, Mel Bean worked with the existing cabinets but sourced new countertops, backsplash, plumbing fixtures, cabinet hardware, and lighting for a dramatic update.

Get the look: Stools are Cassina Cab Chairs. Pendant lights are Kelly Wearstler Antique Burnished Brass with White Glass Pendant. Hardware is Rocky Mountain Hardware.

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Here there’s also a clever built-in home bar area, that blends in with the rest of the white kitchen cabinetry.

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A hand drawn wallpaper design creates a playful and free-spirited atmosphere in the cloakroom.

Get the look: Wallpaper is Schumacher – Aviary.

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An oversized but low bed creates dramatic impact in the master bedroom. A bobble rug gives this space lots of texture, and is inviting under bare feet.

Get the look; Bed is from Blu Dot. Pom pom blanket is L’Avivia Home. Bedside tables from Restoration Hardware. Rug is Serena & Lily – Macramé Wool Rug. Table lamps are Visual Comfort/ Circa Lighting // Stacked Disk Lamp.

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The owners knew they wanted the home to have personal touches, so family photos feature prominently, particularly in the master bedroom where a black & white gallery wall is framed in brass frames.

Get the look: Bench is from Lee Ind / Fabric: Zak & Fox Tulu – Indigo. Frames from West Elm.

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Balls piled in the fireplace are a fun touch by Mel Bean.


A black lacquered door leads through to a powder bathroom / loo. Wallpaper adds drama and grown-up glamour.

Get the look: Wallpaper is Jim Thompson Anais // True Navy. Wall lights are the Kelly Wearstler Melange Sconce. Mirror is from West Elm.

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A Pierre Frey wallpaper envelopes the guest bedroom in a soothing blue watercolour mountain scene.

Get the loko; This is the Anthropologie – Leather Rhys Bed. Wallpaper is Yunnan from Pierre Frey. Bedside table is Anthropologie. Rug is CB2 – Orville Rug – Ivory & Grey

Get the look: Chair is Lee Ind. Swivel Glider Fabric: France/ Oatmeal ( Lee Ind)

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Stairs lead up to a loft playroom space.

Gloss white walls bounce light around, making this attic feel clean, bright and inviting.

The swing seat makes this room a favourite spot to hang out and play in.

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Blue walls tone down the all-pink furnishings in the girls room, and stop it feeling too girly.

Get the look: bed is Crate & Barrel Kids – Jenny Lind Bed. Bedside tables are from Anthropologie. Table lamps are Visual Comfort/ Circa Kate Spade NY – Elsie Table lampBlush. Pillows are Designers Guild. Bedding is Pine Cone Hill. Chair is Lee Ind. Fabric: Beacon Raspberry ( Also Lee). Side table is from Restoration Hardware.

The furniture is fun and colourful, while also feeling quite grown up for a little girl’s room.

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The boys share a bedroom which has more of a mountain feel, owed to the framed illustrations and dark brown cot.

Get the look: Chest of drawers is from Land of Nod. Wallpaper is Schumacher.

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A bear cushion on the boy’s bed ties this corner in with the rest of the scheme.

Get the look: Bed is from Restoration Hardware Carver Leather Bed Tall/ Pewter. Wallpaper is Schumacher.

Photography: Laurey Glenn

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