A Classic, Cozy Oklahoma Home Ready for Christmas — House Call

Name: Serena Backues
Location: Durant, Oklahoma

“When we first saw the listing for our home, I fell in love, but Zach not so much,” describes Serena. “I saw this beautiful 100+year-old house with character and space for our growing family… he saw WORK. Looking back now we were both right. It needed a lot of work and our budget was very small, so it has been a true labor of love.”

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Family. livable. collected. inspired.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: We have spent the last two and half years doing most of the work ourselves and being intentional to make this old house work for our young family. We are foster parents, so a welcoming home that can accommodate different personalities and people is very important to us. Currently we are a family of six: Jovie is five, Judah is three, and we have two of the sweetest little girls (one and a half years and one year). We are a big family with a lot of little kids! What an opportunity to create something beautiful!

I challenge myself to create spaces that work for our family in our budget. I am sure at some point we have all walked into that beautiful space that scares the pants off of any parent. The glass shelves with 100-year-old trinkets and beautiful white couches that somehow entice chocolate milk faces, my ultimate nightmare! I didn’t want other parents to be “on guard” in our home. I have found that when I make the space about the people more than the aesthetic we all win. I hope that is what our house shows. No matter who you are, you are welcome to hang out and enjoy our home and hopefully be inspired to create something beautiful around you!

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? Our outside space! We live in the downtown area of our small town, so there always seems to be something going on outside. I would love to have an outdoor kitchen and backyard that invites summer parties and friends. I can see it being filled with lots of plants and colorful murals on the fence. We also have a big concrete slab that was once a carport. Zach has said it is a good future spot for the kids to play sports; I think it would be better used for a food truck spot. Ha!

Any advice for creating a home you love? Take your time. I used to think I could go to one or two stores and get whatever I needed. Over time I have found that while I can do that, somehow that wasn’t as fun as hunting for the right thing. By taking my time and choosing pieces that are special to me, I am cultivating a home full of personality and meaning.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? A friend gifted me a sign she made for my kitchen and it says “Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm.” Nothing says home or good music to me more than that!

What is your favorite room and why? That is a tough one. I would have to say the upstairs nursery with the big windows. When I first walked through the house, that room made me stop and dream. It looks much different today than it used to and I still have big goals for the space. I have always envisioned wallpaper wrapped around those windows and a beautiful old wood dresser next to a velvet tufted headboard. Crazy, I know.

It just seems magical to me, like Narnia in a room. 🙂

Thanks, Serena!

• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour & House Call Submission Form.

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