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Neutral territory

A Tulsa family turns their home into a sanctuary of neutral style and ease.

The family room is where the Tuttles, including Buck, the family’s Cavalier King Charles spaniel/poodle mix, spend the most time. The Natuzzi chairs can easily be wiped clean and the jute rug provides an ideal base for the high-traffic room.

The family room is where the Tuttles, including Buck, the family’s Cavalier King Charles spaniel/poodle mix, spend the most time. The Natuzzi chairs can easily be wiped clean and the jute rug provides an ideal base for the high-traffic room.

When Katie and Chad Tuttle moved into their midtown Tulsa home 13 years ago, it was not exactly what they had in mind design- and style-wise.

Built in the 1930s, the home had much potential, but the couple wanted to make many aesthetic changes.

The room they pictured for their oldest daughter, Allie, then just a newborn, had knotty-pine paneling complete with a light fixture accented with ducks. Needless to say, the ambience wasn’t exactly what Katie envisioned for her baby’s nursery.

She painted the paneling white, up to the pitched ceiling, and accented the room with an old white chandelier.
“It ended up being the most adorable room ever,” Katie says.

By using travertine marble tiles, the Tuttles achieved a high-end look at a more accessible price.When she set out to create a design style for her home, she turned to David Wiegand, of David Edwards Interiors, for advice. However, she did much of the work herself, seeking inspiration from favorite design books and magazines. She knew she wanted remodeling throughout the house, as well as a more open layout and lighter color scheme.

“When we did the add-ons, I knew I wanted everything a little more contemporary, clean, just really light,” she says.
Three renovations later and Katie and Chad, along with daughters Allie, 13; Lucie, 8; and Millie, 3, have their perfect home.

During all the renovations, which included adding a closet, a large kitchen and family room, a screened-in porch and an outdoor kitchen, the Tuttles have reflected their chosen color scheme throughout more of the home.

Everything, from the couches and side chairs to the breakfast table to the home’s bookcase accessories, is set to a neutral palette — creams, beiges, grays and blues. It’s a design choice that works well among the different areas of the home.

The home’s traditional pine floors, which were whitewashed with Pratt & Lambert’s Lambswool then topped with polyurethane, tie the rooms together, as well as show little to no dirt and are easy to clean, Katie says.

The area that sees the most traffic is the kitchen, which opens to the family room, where cream Natuzzi swivel chairs provide ample lounging space in front of a limestone mantel, designed by Dale Gillman of Antique Warehouse, accented with silver frames and lamps on side tables.

Remember that painted white paneling in the nursery? The Tuttles loved the look so much, they incorporated the idea into the family room and kitchen when they were expanded.

The neutral palette flows into the kitchen with the cabinets painted in Pratt & Lambert Minnow and accented with Lambswool. Katie says she opted for honed travertine marble tiles for the countertop — a way to cut costs with the same impressive finish. Open shelves highlight her palette-matching Juliska dishes.

“Just so happens I found those right when we moved back in (after the last remodel),” Katie says.

The family often entertains relatives and guests. In the summer they gather around the pool with the outdoor kitchen and lounge chairs — featuring white pillows, of course. Inside, they transformed the house’s original kitchen into a walk-through bar area, perfectly convenient for hosting guests in the formal living room for a party or a sit-down meal in the dining room.

Stainless-steel appliances bring the home’s silver-accented color palette to the kitchen.The formal living space’s focal point is a custom antique glass and limestone mantel, created by Gillman, opposite a plush light-beige sofa.

Tuttle says she hosts many get-togethers during the holidays around her acrylic and glass dining room table, one of her favorite pieces in the house.

The Tuttles love decorating for any occasion and have found ways to incorporate holiday decorations into their palette.

What about Halloween, when traditional orange and black would clash with the house’s motif? Katie pulls out her silver lighted jack-o-lantern and decorates with white and blue-gray heirloom pumpkins.

Christmas? Silver and white ornaments adorn the tree downstairs; upstairs features a traditional green tree with family ornaments.

Although her daughters may think their mother often goes to extremes, Katie’s reasoning for her style remains steadfast.
“I never get tired of it,” she says. “After six years, I love it just as much as I did, I think, because it’s so neutral. I think sometimes, when you do big, loud colors, you can get tired of it easier. I never get tired of this.”

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