The Bright Track: Furniture expert takes a walk on the light side

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Lesa’s go-to tip for brightening up a great room?  “A few new pillows or new artwork are small changes that can have a big impact,” she says. (Photo by Dave Blackhurst)

Lesa’s go-to tip for brightening up a great room? “A few new pillows or new artwork are small changes that can have a big impact,” she says. (Photo by Dave Blackhurst)

Lesa Swenson’s father, Vaud, owns Vaud Hanks and Sons furniture store in Springville. But it’s actually his daughters — including Lesa — who run the store.

“I’ve worked there since high school doing everything from buying to bookkeeping,” Lesa says.

The mother of four recently built a new home in the Spanish Fork riverbottoms area and put her decades of expertise to use under her own roof.

What has she learned from life in a showroom?

“Everything doesn’t have to match perfectly!” Lesa says. “People sometimes think they need to buy all their furniture in a set and every lamp and end table should match — but you really have more freedom than that.”

Lesa’s kitchen and great room area is full of vibrant colors, prints and textures.

When you pull up a chair in her kitchen, it’s hard not to fall in love with Lesa’s quartz countertops with a subtle shimmer. They give new meaning to the idea of a sparkling clean kitchen.

“I wanted to create a cheerful, happy feeling throughout my whole home,” Lesa says. “Utah County homes are starting to move away from the browns and earth tones and more into lighter, brighter colors,” Lesa says.

Because only Lesa’s youngest son lives at home, she built fewer bedrooms and created more space for parties and gatherings.

Another adaptation Lesa made to the floorplan was to switch out the locker/mud room for a sitting area where she displays vintage family heirlooms.

When it comes to creating a sense of comfort and warmth in the home, nothing does the trick quite like a fireplace. Lesa has several electric fireplaces throughout her home, but her favorite is the built-in-beauty right next to her master bathtub.

When it came to mirrors for the master bathroom, Lesa bought two large decorative mirrors and nixed the standard wall-to-wall mirror. Instead, she installed wall-to-wall personality throughout her home.

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Kate Lehnhof Nash first joined Bennett Communications as a summer intern in 2009. Now, as an associate editor, she writes for magazines including Utah Valley Magazine, Utah Valley Bride and Prosper. Kate lives in Springville with her husband Steve and enjoys running, reading, sushi and her french bulldog, Chief.

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