A Texas Home With a Touch of Fun in Every Room

Just try not to grin as you take a look around this refreshingly cheerful home featured in HGTV Magazine.

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Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

The House

After 13 years of bouncing around the country for job transfers, Carissa and Todd Fox finally settled their family of four into a 4,300-square-foot modern prairie-style home in Cypress, TX, and got to work decorating for real. “In our other houses I was always thinking about resale value, but here I can spread my creative wings because we plan to stay a while,” says Carissa.

She and Todd designed the interior with a no-frills base of engineered acacia wood floors, a mostly white kitchen and neutral walls so Carissa could jazz up the place with quirky pieces. Taking after her free-spirited grandmother, who was an artist, Carissa has decorated and redecorated the house over the past five years as her creative outlet. “I don’t want our home to look like a carnival, though with my girls, it sometimes feels like one,” she says. “I just want something to make us smile wherever we look.” 

Kitchen

The nearly 10-foot-long island is the most bustling spot in the house. “Knowing the kids and their friends would be running through the kitchen, I wanted a large island with a pull-up-a-stool vibe,” says Carissa. She had the base painted gray (Galveston Gray by Benjamin Moore) to stand out from all the white, then started on the fun: candy-color accessories and a red fox wood cutout from the Etsy shop Haven America. The multihued stools are from overstock.com, and the white barn light pendants are from Restoration Hardware. 

The Family

Todd and Carissa with Campbell, 15, and Riley, 12.

Dining Room

“I’d rather fill a room with a few things that pack a big punch than clutter up a space with lots of little pieces,” says Carissa. For this high-traffic area right off the kitchen, she chose a supersized, peeled-and-chipped blue sideboard by Four Hands that spans the length of the wall and a 5-plus-foot-diameter mirror with a wood-block frame to hang above it. She topped a pair of chunky wood lamp bases from T.J.Maxx with navy-and-white-striped shades from Ballard Designs. Carissa got the pair of cheeky ceramic bust vases from Floral Art in Los Angeles. The 25-inch-diameter pendants and the concrete-top table are from Restoration Hardware. 

Living Room

Adorably goofy, ginormous photos of daughters Riley and Campbell sum up their mom’s made-you-look decorating style. But Carissa didn’t stop there: One day on a whim, she drew a leaf pattern on the wall using a gray paint marker and a template cut out of poster board. The rest of the living room is pretty mild. The gray washed-cotton sofa from Lee Industries is plushed up with pillows from Crate & Barrel, Biscuit and High Fashion Home. The wood coffee table is from Laurie’s Home Furnishings in Tomball, TX, and a Jaipur Living rug sits on top of Flor carpet tiles made from recycled nylon. Carissa found the lamps at HomeGoods, which she calls “my lucky lamps spot.”

Hallway

These built-in shelves are stash spots for books, travel treasures, and keepsakes. A kilim rug from Urban Outfitters picks up practically every color on display.

Master Bedroom

“I’d always wanted a bed with turned legs,” says Carissa. She took her time finding one that felt different — a stunner from Mecox with an upholstered raffia headboard — and paired it with navy-and-white Greek key pillows from High Fashion Home and a shag lumbar pillow from Anthropologie. Round mirrors from IKEA flank the bed, along with a pair of bone-inlay dressers from Nadeau in Houston. They’re topped with matching vintage lamps that Carissa found months apart (how lucky!) and painted Cornflower Blue by Behr.

Campbell’s Bedroom

For “strong and sweet” Campbell, Carissa stenciled the plus sign pattern on the wall with golden yellow paint (Hathaway Gold by Benjamin Moore). “Stencils are a safe way to test out a pattern,” she says. “The plus signs are also a good reminder to stay positive.” Campbell chose a black Jenny Lind bed from The Land of Nod and blue nightstands from Laurie’s Home Furnishings. Black and white Flor carpet tiles make up the striped rug.

Riley's Bedroom

“Riley is vibrant, full of punch and an animal lover,” says Carissa, and her black, white, and pink room sums up her personality. The 12-year-old picked the canopy bed from Room & Board and the faux-zebra rug from cowhidesinternational.com. Instead of centering it under the bed, Carissa placed it to the side, where Riley’s feet hit the floor in the morning. The painting above the bed is from Biscuit, and Carissa made the art in the curvy Hobby Lobby frames. She found the cute-as-pie alpaca at dreamspunalpaca.com.

Office

The family uses this space for schoolwork, computer time and crafts, so Carissa and Todd made it feel cozy with paneling and paint. Taking a cue from the blog Desert Domicile, they nailed 3-inch-wide plywood strips to the back wall in a grid pattern, then painted it dark gray and the sliding barn doors navy (Stormy Sky and Hale Navy, both by Benjamin Moore). The Pier 1 Imports table had been painted when it lived in other Fox homes, but here Carissa stripped it back to unfinished wood. She added School Outfitters stools and a metal Barn Light Electric pendant.