top of page

Design Case Study: Modern Schoolhouse Project Design

Location: Dallas, TX

Home type: single family residence

Square footage: 2,080

Project scope: furnishing from scratch

Budget: $40,000

Timeline: about 4 months

Project Summary

Our client for this project was a family of 5 that recently moved from California. When they first bought the house it checked the boxes of layout and room count needed for an office, school room, and bedrooms. Yet outside the layout, the home lacked interest and storage — plus every surface was unfortunately a dull shade of gray.

The main goal of this project was to infuse personality and an energy that reflected their vibrant family.

Before and After Photography

Below was our starting point for the main spaces we touched.

Design Concept

Once we dove into inspiration for this project we discovered that the client was drawn to a modern, schoolhouse style. This is a design style that has vintage, historic charm mixed with modern lines and light fixtures. Below are the guiding principals for creating a modern schoolhouse look in any home.

Stick to Primary Colors

When it comes to color, stick with a timeless palette that includes shades of blues, reds and yellows. Choose curtains, rugs and pillows in these primary colors for subtle touches throughout the room. If you’re aiming for a bolder scheme, bring in bright shades of color through painting the trim and crown molding while keeping the walls more neutral. You can also achieve the schoolhouse look with wallpaper or pillows featuring geometric design.

Incorporate Light Wood Tones in Tables and Consoles

To complete your contemporary schoolhouse look, incorporate light wood tones into your furniture and décor. Look for tables and consoles made from birch or oak, perfect for adding texture and natural contrast to the other colors in the space. The more interest in these pieces the better! It really takes the schoolhouse design to the next level when the wood pieces have craftsman level details.

Use Oversized Art to Dress Up the Walls

Oversized art is a design pillar in modern home décor and it brings the perfect edge to a schoolhouse look. The art can either lean into the literal schoolhouse style or can be an abstract that pulls together the right colors. If you want to go the more traditional schoolhouse route, try sourcing vintage-style prints of educational posters, maps or biological diagrams.

Mix and Match Lighting Styles

One of the best ways to complete the schoolhouse look is to mix and match different kinds of lighting. Light fixtures are the most iconic part of a schoolhouse design. The most important design elements in the light selection is incorporating at least one of these three elements: industrial-inspired shape, milk glass globes, or brass/black metal materials. Bonus points if you find lights with all three!

After we established this client's love for the modern schoolhouse style, the furnishing project quickly began to unfold. We were able to source unique craftsman pieces that balanced the vibrant colors splashed throughout the space. Below were our final renditions of the design concept.

Common Challenges

The biggest challenge we tackled in this project was adding storage. This family loves to read and collect board games so the design needed to functionally conceal large boxes and books yet still have easy access. We designed a custom built-in with lower storage and upper bookshelves that spanned 14 feet. For the color, we opted for Stardew by Sherwin Williams as it made the shelves an energetic statement piece.

The sitting room also functioned as the TV room but our client didn't want the television to be the focal point. So we incorporated a frame TV so the space could be centered around art and comfy seating instead.

Photo Gallery

Love the style direction of this project? Head over to the booking page to begin the process of working with our team!




bottom of page