It Took Renovating This Tudor for One Couple to Uncover Their True Style

They're swapping dark and gloomy for bright and airy.

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The Happy Tudor

For Adam and Amber Ford, it's about the journey, not the destination—the renovation journey, that is. The Knoxville, Tennessee-based couple behind The Happy Tudor purchased their dream fixer-upper, a (you guessed it) 1940s tudor, nearly three years ago, and have been slowly but surely renovating it room by room.

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Amber and Adam Ford.
The Happy Tudor

"We wanted to buy a house that hadn’t been recently renovated so we could put our own stamp on it," says Amber. And stamp they have, painstakingly replacing dark, gloomy interiors and mismatched pops of color with airy, art-filled rooms that complement the home's original bones.

Unlike many homeowners who are eager to finish a renovation ASAP, the Fords are in no hurry. "It’s honestly just been a passion for both of us," says Adam, who serves as a band director by day, while Amber works in public health. For the couple, the home is a welcome way to exercise their creative sides. Though neither has any formal design training, they both call themselves "very interested in aesthetics" and have become voracious readers of design books and magazines, distilling lessons from professionals into their own space.

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The home’s dining room.
The Happy Tudor

As the Fords see it, their slow-and-steady approach not only offers time to enjoy the project, but it also allows them the opportunity to truly understand the needs of their home and to define their specific style more acutely.

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The kitchen was the first room the Fords took on.
The Happy Tudor

"The more we live in the house and the more we accumulate, it’s been important to accumulate things from different eras so that it doesn’t feel stock or generic, or like you clicked on the first website and ordered a set," muses Adam. "We wanted it to really be a place of both comfort and of beauty."

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The guest bedroom.
The Happy Tudor

The couple finds that their style has evolved throughout the renovation process, too: Where originally, the home's heavy origins led them to skew more bright and neutral, now they've begun adding more color and texture. "Layering is a huge factor," Adam says. "The later rooms can definitely live in the same home, but they're a little bit maybe traditional or maximal with more layers."

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The guest bath, where the Fords worked with Gracie Studio to create a custom wallcovering.
The Happy Tudor

By now, the home's transformation would be, to many, considered nearly complete: The Fords have redecorated the kitchen, living and dining rooms, master bed and bath, and a guest bed and bath. But to the couple, no design decision is ever really final.

"We're already talking about doing a new design for the master," laughs Amber. After all, why stop when you're having so much fun?

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