Lose yourself in her North Carolina home’s joyful mash-up of color and pattern.
You never know when Stacey Blake (a.k.a @designaddictmom) will throw on some paint-splattered leggings and a T-shirt, grab a roller, and transform another room of her Fayetteville, North Carolina, home. It might be late at night, after her three kids (Zion, 12; Ian, nine; and Cheyenne, three) are in bed, or when she needs a break from grading her sixth-grade students’ papers. But for Stacey, seeing a wall go from green to coral, or a door from yellow to orange, is its own kind of high.
“It’s no secret that color excites me, brings me joy,” says Stacey, who shares the transformations on her Insta. “I’m a visual person and my eyes feed into what I feel. When they land on something colorful or interesting, I smile.”
It’s also a form of therapy. When she and her family were living a nomadic life—moving every couple of years during her husband, Andre’s, service in the Army—Stacey came to love the mood lift color gave her, even if that meant having to return the walls of their base housing to the original white before moving out.
Raised in Jamaica, Stacey comes by her love of color naturally, having grown up surrounded by vibrant hues on houses, on storefronts, and in the clothing popular on the island. But executing color in her own home took some trial and error—and led to the carpal tunnel syndrome she credits to an early attempt at sponge-painting a wall burgundy. When the couple were stationed in Italy and Andre deployed to Iraq, Stacey’s experimentation really flourished. “Over time, I got braver and more confident,” she says.
By the time they were ready to build a house in North Carolina, Stacey was also more fearless in her design skills and started her blog. When Andre was deployed again (he has since retired from the military), she combed through blueprints to customize a few features so the house wouldn’t be cookie-cutter.
What she didn’t bargain for was that the bold colors she gravitates toward would cost more in the initial build. So, to stick to the budget, she settled on neutral gray walls throughout and neutral tiles in bathrooms. “That probably worked out for the best,” she says. “It gave me time to think things through. Ideas come as you learn a space and start living in it.”
“Design is a dynamic process for me, so things are always changing around here.”—Stacey Blake
The gray walls have given way to bright coral, sunny yellow, deep green, and black, to name a few. Some are now covered in pattern—banana-leaf wallpaper in the kitchen and a removable tropical-inspired mural in a bedroom, for example. “Wallpaper is art in itself,” Stacey says of her more recent infatuation. She’s also dabbling in colorful furniture, hence an orange sectional and a blue sofa.
“I have a creative mind and I’m always changing things. My home is like my lab for experimenting,” she says. “But painting especially—I get lost in it. It’s the art of it, and looking forward to the end result.”
By Jody Garlock | Photographs by Lea Hartman