Take a Look Inside This Family’s Traditional Southwest Virginia Home

Katie Bowling / A Delicious Home

Turning a 1960s house into a haven for a family of five is no small feat. But for Katie Bowling, founder of A charming house, it was worth doing. Over the past three years, Katie and her husband, Philip, have worked to transform their traditional home in Southwest Virginia into a space they can enjoy and use to host Airbnb guests. Built in 1963, the property features historic details, large wooden windows, and an elevator they never expected to see working. While embracing the quirky designs of their Burlington home, the husband-wife duo weaved together modern, eclectic, and rustic elements to transform this former student lodge into a bright, colorful, and relaxing retreat.

Dining room

katie bowling virginia traditional house dining room

Katie Bowling / A Delicious Home

Create an eclectic look with a gallery wall and mixed dining chairs.

“I wouldn’t consider my preference to be very traditional, but I wanted the house to speak for itself,” says Katie. This involved retaining the dining room’s original chandelier and woodwork. Adding the vintage art gallery wall and mixing up the dining room chairs was how Katie incorporated her personal preferences. “I wouldn’t say I lean into the grand millennial genre much, but I like a bit more of an eclectic traditional house that adds a bit of color to make things more interesting,” she says. This is particularly inspired by his grandparents who collected antiques and his great-grandfather, who was a carpenter based in Virginia.

Have the look: Chandelier, $290, wayfair.com; Striped chairs, $229, homedepot.com; Brass vase, $18, amazon.com


The dining room

katie bowling virginia traditional house family room

Katie Bowling / A Delicious Home

Add a splash of color with an area rug.

For Katie, the family room felt like a break from the traditional elements of the house. Along with painting the woodwork white, she added a neutral-toned leather sofa and semi-colored rug as a centerpiece. “I felt the freedom of creating a comfortable space where we can sit and watch a TV show,” says Katie. “It would be a very transitional style without the rug.”

💡Tip from Katie: Find a photo of someone’s space with an area rug you like, then create a mood board to imagine what it will look like in your room.


Formal living room

katie bowling virginia traditional house formal lounge

Katie Bowling / A Delicious Home

Do not be afraid of a dark room.

When Katie’s family bought the house in 2019, they had no idea how much they loved the original molding on the living room walls. After realizing how popular they have become over the years, she decided to paint them a dark forest green to modernize the space. “I also love our formal living room, as we mainly use it for music and enjoying the fireplace,” she says. “So the room stays pretty tidy and the dark walls make a huge statement as soon as people walk in.”

With three decently sized windows, a marble fireplace and touches of white throughout, this is a special space that they say could be “out of the box” when it comes to a typical living room design.

katie bowling virginia piano traditional at home

Katie Bowling / A Delicious Home

katie bowling virginia piano traditional at home

Katie Bowling / A Delicious Home

Paint the piano.

This family heirloom was painted over twice before Katie decided to brighten it up with a vibrant pink hue. Once considered a burden for its large size, it was first painted white, then yellow, before its current color. “My husband is a musician and my kids are kind of learning to play,” Katie says. With its faux fur bench and elegant decor, it adds personality to the room’s mysterious aesthetic.


Children’s rooms

katie bowling virginia traditional house nursery

Katie Bowling / A Delicious Home

Make sure the space is convenient.

When it came to her son’s bedroom, Katie incorporated her personal style with elements that would suit a 10-year-old. This involved getting rid of the curtains (because he kept pulling them) and adding a basketball hoop behind the door. “You have to try to take some of what they love and incorporate it into the room and the walls,” Katie explains. “There are things I like, but also my son’s Patriots helmet on display.”

💡Design tip from Katie: Are you thinking, “Is there a way to take their ideas and incorporate them where they’ll love it for a longer period of time and it’s more sustainable?”

Have the look: Denim Blue Bean Bag, $83, amazon.com; White wool rug, $30, amazon.com; Yellow nightstand, $36, amazon.com

Let wallpaper be your starting point.

The girls’ room was completed last summer. Katie’s seven and two year old daughters enjoy the bright and adorably decorated space. The room was designed around Chasing Paper Puppy Wallpaper. “The wall was white for a while, but we really wanted to do a color that contrasted in a fun way,” says Katie. “I really like the way the pale blue plays with a coral orange type color.” Drawing on her love of antiques and the home’s natural style, Katie kept the room’s original chandelier, added her family’s childhood bed and purchased the swing set from Facebook Marketplace.

Have the look: Rattan chair cushion, $148, serenaandlily.com; Dollhouse, $300, target.com; Woven basket, $21, target.com

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