"For me, coral is a neutral," laughs , who in nine fast months transformed a bland Philadelphia apartment into an upbeat, family-friendly space brimming with personality. Her secrets: trend-proof furniture, pops of color, and quirky secondhand finds, like the living room's classic coral sofa and sixties coffee table (an eBay score). The freewheeling mix gives the rental a collected-over-time hominess that "makes us happy every time we walk in the door," says Wilson.
Wilson's big challenge? The oversize foyer and its expanse of walls. After painting it sea glass green, she turned the entry into an eclectic gallery, hanging pieces from her father's collection, prints found online, and paintings bought on trips.
Dove-gray paint and glam knobs upgrade the master bedroom's IKEA nightstand. Wilson found the lamp at HomeGoods, a favorite source for deals.
For the children's room, Wilson used color to carve out space for her son, Penn ("Half of the room was pink, so he needed his own wall!"). Instead of pastels, Wilson chose a crisp navy-and-white palette, punching it up with poppy and aqua bedding and sophisticated extras, like a sculptural rope lamp. The timeless pieces, says Wilson, "can work in any room in our next place."
A girly mix of mint, coral, and fuchsia brightens daughter Olivia's daybed in the children's shared room.
Mason jars with painted lids topped with toy animals hold craft supplies.
"A little wallpaper goes a long way!" says Wilson, who covered just one wall of her office in a bold butterfly print for the most visual impact. The adjacent walls are painted the same neutral hue as the background for a seamless look.
A lamp in the dining area — which doubles as a workspace — picks up the sofa's vivid coral from across the open-plan room.
In the galley kitchen: canvas chairs dotted with a black Sharpie to create a not-so-serious animal print, and a chalkboard wall — doodle central. Wilson attached bulldog clips to create a gallery for the kids' artwork.