When it came to finishing the design of her new Los Angeles home, Ali Fedotowsky-Manno admits she was on a bit of a time crunch.
“We finished the house when my baby was two weeks old,” says Fedotowsky-Manno, 33, who welcomed her second child with Kevin Manno, son Riley, on May 24. “No one would believe it if they saw what I was doing nine months pregnant or with a newborn in my arms!”
Now, the family of four — daughter Molly turns 2 this week — are happily settled into the cozy, chic abode that Fedotowsky-Manno revamped with the help of designer Veronica Valencia and home furnishings company Wayfair.
“When we moved in, it was very modern farmhouse,” says the lifestyle blogger. “Some of the fireplaces had black tile, it had funky-shaped built-ins. I told Veronica I wanted to take out as much of the modern and put in as much of the farmhouse as possible.” Now, thanks to those fresh updates and an open floor plan, “it feels more homey.”
Adds Valencia: “Ali’s style is decidedly fresh and coastal with a dose of rustic and vintage. Like many newer homes we didn’t have signature architectural elements to evoke so we created it through the textures, artwork and details that really bring a space to life.”
And Fedotowsky-Manno also drew inspiration from a certain HGTV couple. “I’m a big fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines,” says Fedotowsky-Manno. “I kept saying, ‘I want it more Joanna Gaines!’”
WATCH THIS: Former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky Tells Hilarious Story of Daughter Molly’s Epic Accident During Mommy & Me Class!
When it came to making the home kid-friendly, the mom of two was practical, save for one sticking point.
“Kevin was not on board with the white couches,” says Fedotowsky-Manno of her husband. “And most moms look at my house and think I’m crazy, because there is a lot of white. But Kevin and I compromised by only having white rugs in the kids’ rooms upstairs.”
And after all, “it is possible to have a clean house with kids,” says Fedotowsky-Manno. “Our last bedroom was pure white and we kept it that way. Molly is messy when she’s outside. When she’s inside, she gets wiped down.”
As for stray toys, the couple rely on storage ottomans and a contained playroom where the kids can play as hard as they want. “Molly’s stuff is all over the floor, but when she goes to sleep we pick it all up. It takes 10 minutes!”
When it came to decorating the kids’ rooms, Fedotowsky-Manno wanted to make sure that the décor would work as Molly and Riley got older.
“I wanted Molly’s room to be blush, not pink,” she says. “It’s romantic and great for a little girl but I also want it to be my bedroom! Riley’s room is classic. There is a sophistication but it’s also super cute!” Window treatments from Select Blinds keep the rooms feeling cozy — and help early risers sleep in!
Now, Fedotowsky-Manno is ready to make years of memories in the house she calls her “dream home.” Says the blogger: “I’ve never had a house like this. I keep feeling like one of those people on a home makeover show who walk into their house and say, ‘I can’t believe I live here!’ We have two kids, and a beautiful home. We’re officially grownups!”