Use warm tones for a cozy ambiance

Warm and inviting seating
Warm and inviting seating(HGTV)

The couple claim to love a stark, clean, modern aesthetic, but when Drew takes them to an inspiration home and shows them a simple white couch and a cushy fawn-colored couch, guess which one they like better?

“This is a slightly warmer, more casual look,” Drew says of the fawn couch. “Warmer tones make it feel more lived in, makes it feel inviting.”

“That’s ideal,” says Marlon, “because making our space comfortable is very important for everybody.”

They end up with a nice, soft greige sectional, then make it even more inviting with pillows and throws.

Gallery wall

“A gallery wall is an instant rush back to good times, to loved ones,” says Jonathan. But it’s important to fit it in just right with the style of the house.

“Sometimes modern can make a space feel a little cold and uninviting,” says Jonathan. But he says a photo gallery wall will inspire warm memories, giving an inviting feeling the moment friends and family walk through the front door.

“If we use family photos, it will feel more like home,” agrees Drew.

They’ll use a mix of thin black frames for a modern look that also ties in with the hardware in the kitchen. Also, wood and brushed metal will warm up the walls.

An island is the top kitchen trend of the decade

The all-purpose island

Houses built in the ’70s and ’80s favored peninsulas in the kitchen, but today, it’s all about the island.

“I’m so happy now that we have the island instead of the peninsula,” says Drew. “It’s going to make this look so much better.”

He goes on to talk about his own kitchen. “At home, I live at the island. Whether it’s sitting there eating breakfast, whether it’s just hanging out, Linda’s mom is visiting and loves cooking … I lie on the island. I put a pillow there, I sleep there.”

Make your stairs safer with carpeting

The staircase now has carpeting

The family’s old-fashioned, blond-wood staircase is a bit of an issue. Marlon knows it looks dated and needs some fixes, but there are all sorts of memories wrapped up in it because Marlon and his dad built it together.

Jonathan finds a great way to preserve the staircase, update it, and make it safer.

One of the many improvements involves putting a strip of carpeting down the center of the steps, so there will be more traction and fewer hard surfaces that could cause injury.

This is especially important when you have young children in the house. Maddie is only 3, and she has lots of young cousins who come over to play.

“It feels warm, it feels welcoming, and it also feels safe and secure,” says Drew.

New door, new house

Old door

Jonathan and Drew were meant to work only on the interior, but since they know what a huge difference a little effort will make on the exterior, they switch out the front door. They change the old one with a cut glass window to a gorgeous modern one.

It’s a subtle and relatively inexpensive change, but oh, what a difference it makes!

New door and planters