Home & Garden

Rustic remodeled home in Cedar Rapids filled with holiday cheer

DIY pro insists anyone can do it

Chrstmas decorations stand on shelving in the kitchen at the home of Carolina Hurt in Cedar Rapids on Sunday, Dec. 1, 20
Chrstmas decorations stand on shelving in the kitchen at the home of Carolina Hurt in Cedar Rapids on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. Hurt has been working on her own home renovations, completely transforming her midcentury home. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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On Black Friday, you would have been more likely to find Charlina Hurt shopping for tools at the local hardware store than picking out new shoes in a department store.

Hurt prides herself on her DIY home improvement skills and one step inside her northeast Cedar Rapids ranch proves she is quite the remodel maven.

While she has lived in her home for about a decade, the most recent updates have taken place in the last several months.

Hurt said she was inspired by a recent trip to the farmers market where she saw a shabby chic shiplap wall hanging with three Mason jars. “I thought, ‘I could make that,’ and I did. But then one thing led to another ... first wanting the accent wall, which led to painting the walls, which lead to painting the trim and doors and new flooring.”

The accent wall, with whitewashed wooden planks arranged in a herringbone pattern, is the true highlight of the living room. With help from her daughter, Stephanie Young, Hurt installed the wall over the course of about five days.

“I fell in love with the look of the wood, but I don’t take the easy way out,” Hurt said of deciding on the herringbone pattern instead of simply laying the pieces out straight across the wall. “It was time consuming, but I’m so happy I choose to do it that way. It just fits with my style.”

“I like having my house be different than anyone else’s,” she added. “I’m not cookie cutter. I’m sure there’s no other house like this on the street. When people walk in they don’t expect this.”

Hurt’s style is a mix of shabby chic, country and rustic.

“I like the warmth it gives. It makes me feel comfortable and homey.”

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The space is especially warm and welcoming during the Christmas season, a favorite time of year for Hurt. Of course the decorations reflect her home’s rustic style. The shelves and fireplace are lined with her collections of gingerbread people, elves and snowmen. There are buffalo check pillows and blankets and place mats on the large harvest table for 10 in the dining room.

“Of course I love my Christmas decor to have a country look,” she said. “I want to walk into a room and feel Christmas everywhere, enough to have a warm feeling but not so much that people think I’m a crazy Christmas lady,” she laughed.

Hurt even has Christmas bedding to give her home a more cohesive look. “You can go into a different room, but it still feels like it is part of the house.”

The master bedroom at the back of the home is a retreat for Hurt, who has been a day care provider for more than 30 years.

“I just absolutely love this room. It’s where I love to curl up on the bed with a good book and just feel cozy.” She installed a barn door between the bedroom and small but efficient master bathroom. “It saves so much space and really gives a rustic feel to the room.”

Hurt, who is 54, said women should not be afraid to take on home improvement projects.

“When I first moved in this house was not in good shape, but I knew it had good bones,” she said. “It’s crazy how different it is now and I’ve done so much of it myself.”

“I want any woman interested in doing her own projects to know that she is capable,” she added. “Start young and teach your daughters. It has made my heart so happy to teach my daughters how to do this stuff. So just jump in and do it. You will surprise yourself, because you are more capable than you realize. And have fun. It’s a great reward to look at something when you are done and say you did that.”

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