Designer Tour: At Home With Downingtown's Caren Wenner

The interior designer gets whimsical in her historic 1797 Chester County home.

Caren Wenner in her family room.Interior designer Caren Wenner fuels her passion for historic homes with her own 1797 Downingtown residence. Her favorite space is a family room addition. “I used reclaimed ceiling beams and flooring, aged woodwork, and a true whitewash technique on the walls,” she says. “It looks like it belongs with the rest of the home.”

Personal decorating style: Eclectic traditional with a touch of whimsy. “I like to add unexpected elements that reflect my clients’ personalities.”

Three words that sum up her design: Creative, individualized, inspiring.

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Most prized possession in her home: “An 1800s tramp-art whirligig fashioned solely from found everyday objects like chair legs, wire and tin-can lids.”

Design elements she likes to bring into a space: Reclaimed architectural pieces, and aged metal and wood.

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Favorite design trend of the moment: Combining gray and camel colors. “It breaks the rule of going with either a cool or warm color palette, and it looks fresh and inviting.”

A room isn’t fully decorated until: “There’s an unexpected fabric, faux finish or mural on an otherwise unexciting ceiling. I see ceilings as a blank canvas waiting to be discovered by the artist.”

Her definition of good taste: When favorite pieces and family heirlooms blend seamlessly with new pieces and styles. “It’s important for me to incorporate elements that have a personal meaning to my clients, while keeping it functional and beautiful.”

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Design advice she loves to give: “Don’t be afraid of color. Our productivity, mood and well-being are all affected by our surroundings.”

The best part of her job: “Getting to know what truly reflects my clients and their lives.”

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