There’s a running joke in my home among my family, that each time I bring in a new furniture piece, “everything eventually gets painted white.” That’s probably not far from the truth. As a mother of two rapidly growing teen/tweens I find myself keeping a rather neutral and clean palette overall which keeps the mood calm. (And every mother of hormonal children will understand why this matters.) I stick to mostly blues, greens and grays in my decor choices, and they run throughout the house in one form or another, which makes this small space feel bigger than it’s 3 bed, 2 bath, 1500 sq footage.
We purchased this home twelve years ago and everything in it was builder grade. Honey oak trim and cabinets, brass fixtures, ugly lighting and cheap carpeting and lino. The best part, was that we could afford this home, even though it wasn’t everything I would have chosen, cosmetically. Little by little we began transforming this into a comfortable, almost farmhouse-like feeling home, all on a budget and with a lot of sweat equity.
I love things with stories, but I also like classic choices which is why white works so well for me. You never get tired of white and it always feels fresh. It took me an entire summer to sand, prime and paint the trim in this house but it made a huge difference and didn’t break the budget. The summer before that, I worked on the kitchen cabinets, installing slabs of bead board that we cut ourselves for the sides and wrapping it around our island and down our hallway, along with corbels and hardware. In my world nothing is off limits to the power of paint. Especially white paint.
The thing I love most about this house is it’s adaptability. It worked really well for us with babies and toddlers with a nice fenced yard, but a few of the areas in this house were fairly useless as the kids grew, until we rethought the spaces. For example, we had a somewhat useless room in the front of the house that felt enough out of the way that the kids never played in it, and we never watched tv in it either. So, we created a guest bedroom room/family office by adding french doors, a bed and our computer desk. Now it’s used daily and a very appreciated retreat for our guests!
The other space we have come to love was a little nook off the master bedroom (not shown here). In years past, my husband had a desk there because he worked from home a lot. Once he changed jobs I took it over as a sort of art studio. As our children grew into tall loungers who wanted to hang out with friends all over the sofa and take over the television for games and movies, my husband and I turned it into a little cozy retreat so we could watch our own shows and still be in hearing distance to the kiddos. We use it daily now.
I firmly believe that anyone can make any space work for them, with planning, simplifying, and rethinking how a space can adapt to what you need to use it for right now. And I also believe that’s how you turn a house into a home.