Our Lead Web Developer Kellbot’s colorful yuppie McMansion

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Hello, beige
Identical homes on either side? Sign me up!

The Offbeat Occupants: Offbeat Empire developer Kellbot, her husband Chris, and their daughter
Approximate square footage: 3000
How many bedrooms: Four. And five bathrooms. Pooping for everyone.
Located in: Philadelphia, PA, USA

When we were house hunting in 2011 I desperately wanted something with character. A 100+ year-old building with cool architectural details, maybe some exposed brick or stone walls. A charming porch I could sit on and drink lemonade. Original wood detailing lovingly restored. Something unique and special.

I ended up with a new construction row home with wall to wall beige. We made it ours and we made it awesome.

We bought our house because we loved the neighborhood. We’re at the edge of the city but still within the city limits. Everything is very walkable and we’re a block away from the regional rail. It feels a little like living on Sesame Street, I know my neighbors and the UPS guy yells “hi Kelly!” when he sees me at the coffee shop (I may have an Amazon Prime addiction).

The living room, where video games happen.

Our choice of color is always the first thing people notice, we went a little nuts with color everywhere. People ask how we could go so bold and know it would still come out great, and I’ll tell you my secret: we totally just picked up one of those color idea pamphlets at Sherwin Williams and ran with it. I spent about a week deciding on the color for the living room (Turkish Tile in case you’re wondering) and then just applied color randomly to the rest of the house because I was so tired of looking at paint chips.

The guest room, where Ariel stays for the Philly Lovesick expos!


We kept the beige in the hall but added a really loud runner.


Fun fact: Ariel loves this painting of an ant colony and wants to steal it.

The biggest challenge with a big place is keeping stuff from accumulating. We moved from a condo that was 1/3rd the size and we have filled up the new place alarmingly fast. Keeping closets organized is key, otherwise they just become these black holes of junk never to be seen again. The annual Container Store sale is a Very Important time of year for me.

2014-05-07 08.07.12

My husband and I both work from home so we each have our own office space. I took over one of the bedrooms and he took over the basement. My office doubles as a craft / sewing room, and his is set up for LAN parties and video games. He’s got a giant CRT television he uses for vintage video game consoles. I’m pretty sure he threw out his back getting it into the house.

Our offices are on separate floors, which is important given that both of us are home all day every day.

Pinterest was just becoming a “thing” when we moved in, and I may have gone a little nuts with Pinterest projects. The biggest one was using trim to make Ikea bookcases look built-in.

Bookcase Frame

Living Room Unpacked

This space is just off the kitchen and we call it the “grown up living room.”


The first floor is totally open and we have friends over pretty much every weekend for video games. That’s my secret to keeping up an active social life when you have a baby: invite everyone over all the time so you don’t have to go out. Also make sure you have plenty of beer on hand at all times, this goes a long way in getting your friends to actually come over.

We usually throw a blanket over the couch for parties. Kids are really messy, y’all.

I was super pregnant when we got the house and everyone was constantly asking what color we were painting the baby’s room. It brought so much joy to my heart to look them dead in the eye and say “black.”

My favorite feature of the place is the back yard. It’s the size of a postage stamp, and I’ve managed to totally kill all the plants I’ve put back there, but I love having some outdoor space. It’s totally enclosed and just big enough for a table and a grill.

There are still some parts of the house that don’t feel “finished.” The master bedroom in particular is one space that is just awkward and we don’t know what to do with. It’s designed as a “master suite” with a sitting area and huge bedroom, but we don’t really spend that much time up there and it just feels like a waste of space. We have our treadmill up there, and a bed, and that’s about it.

Fun fact: the treadmill is directly above my desk. Chris and I try to make sure to coordinate our schedules so that I’m not trying to work while he’s trying to run.

Oh the bedroom also has a papasan chair from college, because no home is complete without one.

I fantasize about totally remodeling the bedroom to have an office with a door instead of a series of awkward nooks. I don’t think we’ll ever actually get around to it, but I can dream.

We got an amazing dining room table which has a drop surface for board games. When you’re done playing you can put the leaves over it and cover it up mid-game. Someday I’d love to build a mini-bar in the corner where our CD cases are. I have not touched a single one of those CD cases since we moved in 3 years ago, by the way.

By barfing color everywhere we managed to totally transform our house. Our next door neighbor (whose place is identically laid out) can’t believe how different ours looks from hers. When we first toured our home I couldn’t imagine living there. Three years later I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Comments on Our Lead Web Developer Kellbot’s colorful yuppie McMansion

  1. I love the colors and decor so. hard. We have a very lived-in 85-year old house, but have yet to hang a single thing on the wall- so somehow, it doesn’t look lived-in yet. Your house looks so cozy and lived-in- seriously well done!

  2. I love the colors. It’s amazing how a little paint can change a space. More than the colors, I love that your hobbies are ingrained into the house from the decor to a gaming dining table to a WHOLE ROOM for LAN parties! And although it isn’t on my husband and I’s radar just yet, it’s very encouraging to hear that the nerd parties can live on after having a baby.

  3. Great job with colors! In our former condo, we painted the living room right red, and my office was vibrant purple.

    I don’t get the beige thing in North America. Why? WHYYYY? If you have to choose a neutral color, property management people, why not use white, which feels brighter, cleaner and healthier than sickly beige? Is beige cheaper than white? Is there a beige painting conglomerate lobbying like crazy somewhere?

    • Weird, Mary! It’s working fine for me on my Android and in my Feedly. Where are you located, regionally? (Nerdy reason I’m asking: it may be that our content distribution network’s data center that’s serving images to readers in your area is having issues.)

  4. I love the black nursery!!! It’s like a stylish hug.

    As a teenager I totally wanted black trim in my room. Not on the walls, just the trim. My mom said no, it’ll look too dark and foreboding. Years later I was pregnant, and the color we decided on for the baby’s room is a bright, vibrant green. My mom insisted that it was too loud! The baby won’t sleep! (turns out the baby DIDN’T sleep, but it’s not because of the walls. She’s just an anti-sleep kid)

    Sooooo I believe that you should always just paint whatever colors you like because someone’s always going to have an opinion even though they don’t live there ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Love everything!!! We just closed the deal on our first “house” (it’s a 2-storey condo in a building but it’s house-sized, so house) and all I’ve been thinking about is paint colours! That living room colour is gorgeous.

    Also glad to see I’m not the only one who wants separate office spaces on different floors. I switched to full time freelance this year, and my husband has always worked from home, and this was a big factor in getting us to look for a new place. Shared workspace just won’t cut it anymore.

    Great job!

  6. I love what you did with your place! It doesn’t look old or new or boring, it just looks like interesting people live there!

  7. My husband and I are currently looking for a home of our own, and oh boy, it does my heart good to see someone taking “basic” and making it awesome. It’s also nice to see something other than the ultra-minimalist, white-on-white-with-an-owl-print-on-the-wall, 500-square-foot spaces I keep seeing on Apartment Therapy. Not that we can afford 3,000 square feet in the Boston area, but still, this is a little closer to the kind of space we’re likely to have. I love a black baby room! So awesome!

  8. Definitely pinned this. We just bought a home, and while it will probably be a while before we can manage to do anything with it, this look is pretty great. While some of the brighter/warmer colors are just not us, a lot of the gray/blue/black use of color is just along the lines of what we want. Also, we both keep home offices (even though we both go to work) so imagining what that can look like is pretty great, too. It’s really hard for me to decide what will create the “vibe” I’m looking for, so it’s great to see visual examples like this from fellow Offbeat Homies!

  9. OMG! Such an amazing home! I’m adoring the runner in the hallway – you can tell you didn’t change much, but the entire hallway still looks unique just because of that. Also your living room looks SO comfy!

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