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House Tour: A Colonial Home with Contemporary Flair


Bell Family in front of house

Ten years ago Barbra and David Bell fell in love with a classic 80-year-old Colonial in Connecticut. Despite its less-than-perfect condition, the couple found beauty in the home's good bones. So they bought the fixer-upper, adding on and updating with a respectful nod to grace notes like arched doorways, deep moldings and high ceilings. When it finally came time to decorate, Barbra tossed tradition aside with a mix of midcentury classics and contemporary pieces. "We like houses that combine the old and the new, and wanted ours to be energetic, family-friendly and fun," says Barbra, mom to Jackson, Harrison and Sophie. The zingy hues splashed throughout reflect her belief in living with the colors and objects you love—and following your instincts. "One morning we decided on a whim to paint the breakfast nook orange," Barbra says. "Now every time I walk into that room, I'm happy."