“I was always afraid to implement color when decorating,” says homeowner Bershunda Taylor, “because I didn’t think I knew how to do it.” So when she, her husband Anthony and 2-year-old son Jaxon moved into their traditional Broken Arrow home and Taylor was faced with predominately neutral finishes, she called designer Kara Paslay for help. “We had a modest budget, and I am still amazed at the results Kara was able to achieve.”

The only existing pieces of living room furniture were the brown leather sofa and a dark wall hutch for the television. Instead of the costly option of painting the walls with the 20-foot ceilings, Paslay chose to add a stained oak chair rail and paint below a vibrant blue. Plum drapery panels from IKEA provide an envelope of color for Paslay to add her trademark layering of color, texture and finishes.

“I like to go ‘outside the box’ when exploring resources for each project,” says Paslay. She regularly checks Jossandmain.com and Onekingslane.com for online sales, and that is where she found the pair of chairs flanking the fireplace and the area rug. The pine sofa table, fireplace screen and mirror piece above the fireplace are from another favorite source, IMAX Worldwide Home, whose headquarters are in Tulsa.

With some paint and gold leaf, a buffet discovered at the flea market was repurposed into a storage unit for Jaxon’s toys. “And because Jaxon is at the climbing and exploring age, Kara suggested using an ottoman instead of a coffee table,” adds Taylor. But instead of an expensive custom piece, Paslay selected a pair from the furniture line at Target.com and pushed them together. The serving tray is actually a frame showcasing a stylish piece of wrapping paper with hardware added. “I like to use items that can be changed out easily according to the season,” shares Paslay.

“My goal is to reflect the people who live in the space,” Paslay adds. The couple met at The University of Tulsa, where Anthony was on the Golden Hurricane football team. So in a subtle but colorful ode to their history, Paslay found a hurricane photo from the National Weather Service and uploaded it to Art.com and printed it on a large canvas.
The captain’s chair near the buffet was another flea market find. Although it was in great shape, the front looked a little worn, so Paslay freshened it by applying a contrasting fabric dye.

Transitioning into the dining room, Paslay used the same deep blue paint below the chair rail as in the living room to provide continuity. And instead of filling the existing alcove with a typical buffet or china cabinet, 3D wall tiles from Inhabitliving.com were installed. Paslay handcrafted the gold leaf edge of the solid wood live edge counter that provides a handy serving area. And instead of covering the wall tiles with a piece of art, Paslay used a matte gold paint to create a custom pattern, turning the wall into a piece of art. 

Focusing also on the couple’s love of the beach, Paslay chose a handmade capiz shell chandelier from Z Gallerie. And she selected a sisal rug to blend in, not to be a focus. The couple already owned the dining table, but Paslay added the gray acrylic ghost chairs. The host chairs are accented with matching scarves. Finally, as a feature, Paslay manipulated a picture of Jaxon in Photoshop, had them printed at a nearby FedEx Office and framed them.

The Taylors are so pleased with Paslay’s results they are beginning work on another part of the house. “Our home has a beautiful elegance for the adults to enjoy but is also comfortable and functional for our family,” says Taylor.

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