The Perfect Mix of His and Hers

Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Boy moves into girl’s beautifully furnished house with cool stuff of his own. HGTV Magazine found out how they made it work.
By: Jessica Dodell-Feder and Jennifer Berno DeCleene

Photo By: David A. Land (Styled by Heather Chontos)

Photo By: David A. Land (Styled by Heather Chontos)

Photo By: David A. Land (Styled by Heather Chontos)

Photo By: David A. Land (Styled by Heather Chontos)

Photo By: David A. Land (Styled by Heather Chontos)

Photo By: David A. Land. (Styled by Heather Chontos)

Photo By: David A. Land (Styled by Heather Chontos)

Photo By: David A. Land (Styled by Heather Chontos)

Photo By: David A. Land (Styled by Heather Chontos)

Photo By: David A. Land (Styled by Heather Chontos)

Photo By: David A. Land (Styled by Heather Chontos)

The Happy Couple

When Brittany Flowers bought her Washington, D.C., row house, she hadn’t even met her husband-to-be, Jim. Eager to put her stamp on the historic 1890 home, the former food editor, who now owns a textiles and soft goods company, reconfigured the kitchen, painted the wood trim glossy white, and brought in her favorite furniture. Less than a year later, the two started dating, and got married in 2013. A diplomat who has spent much of the past decade in the Middle East, Jim had his own collection of prized pieces. The couple combined their stuff, eventually landing on a cozy mix of dusky colors, warm woods, and patterns that makes them both happy. "As we buy things together, we merge our styles more,” says Brittany. “It’s a work in progress, but we’re figuring out how to meet in the middle."

Living Room

The couple happened upon this rug at an antiques shop. In deep reds and blues, it complements the traditional roll arm sofa from Lee Industries that Brittany had reupholstered in velvet. To keep the space from feeling stuffy, she painted the Victorian-era mantel in the corner the same color (Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore) as the walls. The coffee table is by Nate Berkus for HSN. His: a framed antique map of Texas, the couple’s home state. Hers: one of a pair of tufted armchairs nabbed for $400 at an auction


Painted Mozart Blue by Benjamin Moore, the 1,800-square-foot row house with a blue-black door stands out from its more subtly hued neighbors. But a portico, columns, and the original nine-over-one windows help preserve its historical appeal.

Dining Room

After Jim begged Brittany to toss the decrepit caned chairs she used to have in this room, furnishing it became a “combined effort,” she says. They got the antique dining table and buffet after getting married and filled the shelves flanking the window with wedding gifts. Although Jim didn’t pick out the replacement chairs—a mix of antiques and Craigslist finds that Brittany upholstered in drop cloths—”he’s much happier sitting in them!” she says.


With its cramped layout, the kitchen topped Brittany’s list of redos when she bought the house. She moved a pantry to fit a pro-grade fridge, then added storage via IKEA cabinets and pine shelves from The Home Depot. Tearing up the linoleum floors revealed hardwood, but it was beyond refinishing, so she coated it with deck paint (Antique Silver by Glidden). Hers: an industrial-inspired pendant from IKEA. Hers: half of a vintage runner; Brittany’s friend has the other half in her home.

Reading Nook

Mounted on a living room wall, this intricate house door that Jim found in Saudi Arabia serves as a large-scale work of art. Its weathered wood makes an unexpected backdrop for Brittany’s bergère chair, which she bought at an estate sale and had upholstered in a modern IKEA fabric. On the pedestal table rests a (still working!) vintage radio Brittany discovered in the house when she bought it.

Gallery Wall

"This is one of the best examples of how we’ve merged our stuff," Brittany says of her and Jim’s collection of photos that line the hallway of the top floor. They all have metallic frames, so the images look like a cohesive set, even though they depict different time periods—and families!

Her Office

While she tried to keep most of the house from looking too feminine, here Brittany embraced her girly side full tilt. Drapes, which her mom stitched from Cole & Son fabric, frame a leggy campaign-style desk, a $300 Craigslist find. The finishing touch: a vintage gilded chandelier. Hers: a vinyl and wood chair bought for $15 at an "antiques junk shop".

His Study

A voracious reader, Jim keeps his extensive library in stacks and on modular shelves in this converted bedroom. His mom had the navy armchair made to replicate his dad’s favorite one. By Jim’s feet sits a wood war chest from Pakistan, and on the floor is a Turkish rug—one of the few that made the move with Jim to the row house. His: a painting on a piece of old stationery, from South Asia.


This room’s airy blue-and-white color scheme and layers of textiles may be all Brittany, but "Jim insisted on upgrading from a queen bed to a king," Brittany says. She found the linen headboard and the sconce at Restoration Hardware. Brittany co-opted the area next to her side of the bed for a dressing table. She DIYed the table’s skirt from a piece of linen hung with white thumbtacks, then added a vintage stool and salvaged mirrors. Hers: a quilt from Bushel & Peck, the Indian textiles company Brittany founded.


Navy walls (Rue Royale by Ralph Lauren Paint) make this small space worth a second look. To put more emphasis on the deep color, Brittany chose lots of wall-mounted storage, including a wire basket from Anthropologie. The monogrammed hand towels are from West Elm. On the wall next to the sink is a painting left over from a photo shoot, from Brittany’s magazine editor days.

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