Ware’s Midcentury-Modern Renovation Inspired by his Time in India

The vibrant Alexandria home showcases personal touches reflecting the homeowner’s unique experiences.

Introduction to Ware’s Home Renovation Journey

When Jenny Ware and her husband, David, moved into their Alexandria home with their twin girls 11 years ago, they had no idea that this would mark the beginning of an extensive, decade-long renovation journey. What started as a simple relocation blossomed into a heartfelt project, transforming their home into a sanctuary that blends midcentury-modern aesthetics with personal, globally-inspired touches.

Ware's Home Renovation Journey

The Vision and Transformation

Jenny Ware, leveraging her expertise as a decorator with Sally Steponkus Interiors in Washington, DC, embarked on a room-by-room renovation, dictated by both financial feasibility and creative inspiration. Over the years, she has meticulously redesigned each space, ensuring that every corner of their home exudes comfort, style, and a sense of personal history.

Indian Influence

The Colorful Roots of Design

Jenny Ware’s time spent in India during her childhood has significantly influenced her design sensibilities. This early exposure to India’s vibrant culture and rich tapestry of colors and textures has left an indelible mark on her aesthetic preferences.

“I lived there for about three years with my family growing up, and it is such a colorful country,” Ware recalls. “There are jewel tones everywhere, and the rugs and fabrics are just so bright.”

Blending Fabrics and Textures

This Indian influence manifests in Ware’s fondness for combining different fabrics to create visually appealing and textured interiors. Her approach involves layering patterns and colors to craft spaces that are both lively and harmonious.

“This is something I’ve honed through my work, and I’m very happy with how it has turned out in our home,” Ware says.

The “Fun Room” Example

One standout space is the “fun room,” a testament to creative flair. Originally designed as a play area for the twins, it has evolved into a versatile family space for movie nights and teenage hangouts. Key features include:

The “Fun Room” Example

Large Gray Sectional Couch: A neutral base that allows colorful accents to pop.

Patterned Throw Pillows: Adding Vibrancy and Comfort.

Midcentury Rocking Chair: Reupholstered in teal fabric, preserving family heritage while enhancing the room’s aesthetics.

Striped Ottoman: Once a plain brown piece, now a focal point with its colorful stripes, showcasing Ware’s talent for reimagining furniture.

Statement Patterns

Integrating Global Inspirations

Ware’s home is also characterized by its distinctive wallpapers and floor tiles, each chosen with care to reflect her global influences and personal taste.

“We had just returned from a trip to India when I began renovating our primary bathroom,” Ware says. “I wanted to incorporate something from India, so I chose Fireclay tiles with the same star and cross pattern as the floor tiles in the Taj Mahal.”

Primary Bathroom

Taj Mahal-Inspired Tiles: These fireclay tiles echo the iconic star and cross pattern found in one of the world’s most renowned monuments, bringing a touch of Indian heritage into the home.

Guest Bathroom

The guest bathroom is another area where Ware’s design prowess shines. Featuring hot pink floral wallpaper and sage green tiling, it is a bold and cheerful space.

Floral Wallpaper: The hot pink floral design was a love-at-first-sight choice for Ware.

Sage Green Tiling: Complementing the wallpaper, these tiles add a soothing balance to the vivid pinks.

“I love when people walk into the bathroom for the first time and exclaim, ‘Oh wow!’” Ware says.

Meaningful Touches

Furniture with Stories

Ware’s home is not just visually appealing but also rich in stories, with many pieces of furniture inherited from family or collected from different parts of the world.

Furniture with Stories

“Much of our furniture is inherited from my paternal grandparents, who loved midcentury craftsmanship, and my parents, who lived in Ukraine in the mid-1990s,” Ware explains. “They bought some great furniture cheaply and moved it back to the U.S.”

Special Pieces and Their Stories

Orange Chairs and Side Tables: Acquired by Ware’s parents in Ukraine, these pieces add unique character to the family room.

Brass and Rice Paper Pendant Light: Gifted by former neighbors who had purchased it in Japan during the Vietnam War. Its installation in the living room before the neighbors moved added sentimental value for both families.

“The husband had served in the Vietnam War and bought the light in Japan,” Ware says. “When they moved to a retirement home, they didn’t have a place for it. I had once complimented it, so they offered it to us.”

The Grandmother’s Display Cabinet

The most cherished piece in Ware’s home is a midcentury display cabinet that belonged to her grandmother.

“I was extremely close to my paternal grandmother, and she had this at her house in Arizona,” Ware says. “We use it to store some of our serving dishes, and I love seeing it in our dining room. It reminds me of her and all the cooking lessons she gave me.”


By integrating her personal history and global influences, Jenny Ware has crafted a home that stands as a vibrant, unique testament to thoughtful and sentimental design. Each room tells a story, reflecting not only Ware’s design expertise but also the rich tapestry of her experiences and memories.



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