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When Melissa and Nathan Vaughn bought their builder spec home in Woodbury they were too busy to bother with much decorating. They had a newborn son, as well as two full-time jobs to juggle.

“Between feedings and naps we quickly ran to Target and shopped online, just to fill the house,” Melissa recalled.

Seven years and a second child later, the couple decided it was time for an upgrade. “We didn’t need a bigger house. We needed to use our space smarter,” said Melissa. And they wanted to put a personal stamp on the home and make it their own. “We wanted a house that reflected our style.”

At first they tried using online design services. “But we didn’t have the time or connections to manage that,” said Melissa. So they contacted Interior Impressions, Woodbury.

Interior Impressions helped the couple identify and define what they wanted their home to look and feel like. “Our typical process is we ask a ton of questions,” from how the family lives in their home to what they like to wear and do for fun, said designer/owner Amy Leferink.

The Vaughns pinned images of rooms, artwork and other objects that appealed to them to a Pinterest board. “The process helps clients home in on what they like,” said Leferink. Keywords for them were “family-friendly,” “comfortable” and “casual,” in a neutral color palette.

“She [Melissa] isn’t big on a ton of color,” Leferink said. The look is “moody, modern and monochromatic” — light and bright, with a lot of whites and grays, punctuated by darker black and charcoal accents.

The couple decided to focus first on the main-floor living area, the powder room and their bedroom. After several years of sharing the space with babies and then young children, “they were ready to reclaim the bedroom as their space — a little sanctuary,” Leferink said.

Agate-patterned wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries gave the room a more sophisticated look. “It’s hip yet restful,” said Leferink.

“I never knew I liked wallpaper,” said Melissa. “It brings it to life.”

New furniture included a tall headboard covered with tufted linen to add “a little elegance,” said Leferink.

Kid-proof living room

In the living room, “they wanted it to be more personal, inviting and homey,” said Leferink. The couple had moved in with accumulated furniture pieces that didn’t necessarily complement each other or fit the scale of the room. “They were ready to step it up a notch,” she said.

A new sectional, chaise and leather ottoman give the room a more polished, updated look that’s also family-friendly. “We wanted a great sofa everyone could pile on, in a kid-proof fabric they didn’t have to worry about,” said Leferink. “They can put their feet up and be comfortable.” A pair of accent chairs add extra seating for when the family is entertaining.

The agate wallpaper used in the bedroom also was applied to the back of a bookshelf “to give it more interest,” said Leferink. They also replaced the basic window shades with more sophisticated window treatments that “elevate the look of the space.”

In the kitchen, the couple had intended to keep their dark granite-topped island. But Leferink pointed out that they could expand their island surface with a new larger top. “It gave us extra seating,” said Melissa. And the new light quartz brightened the kitchen with its dark espresso cabinets. “It transformed the space.”

The powder room also got the wallpaper treatment, a graphic pattern, on its formerly plain walls to dress up the small space. “That’s what guests use,” noted Leferink. “You want to feel proud of it.”

Light fixtures were updated in all the rooms. “They were generic builder lights,” said Leferink. “We mixed metals, gold and matte black,” in different brands and sets, so “it’s not matchy-matchy.”

The Vaughns also got a designer assist with their closets and mudroom, which was “life-changing,” said Melissa. “With small children, things were all over the floor.” Now the mudroom is a “family organization system” with floor-to-ceiling shelves.

The Vaughns were so pleased with the transformation that they decided to do a Phase 2 makeover with Interior Impressions, and are now finishing the home office, the children’s bedrooms and the upstairs bathrooms.

“We’re very happy with our decision to move forward,” said Melissa. “It’s been a great experience. They helped us stick within our budget” and find affordable sources for lighting and accessories. “Those little things can change your home. Now it’s our style. It feels good.”

Kim Palmer • 612-673-4784 • @stribkimpalmer