House Tour Part 1

A few posts back I asked what y'all would like to see more of on SWM and someone suggested a house tour. 

I'm so flattered that anyone would request that!

I love our house! It's not perfect, and that's part of the beauty of it. 

We bought it in a short sale, and it took 9 months for the deal to come together. We chose it for the location and the huge lot. The house itself had some charm, but not much! 

Stephen is a builder and can literally do anything and everything, so we knew that we would be changing this house up quite a bit in both the short term and long term.

One of the first things we wanted to change was the front door. Stephen described to me one day the door he thought would go best with the house and it was exactly what I had been envisioning too, a four pane light wood door. We totally read each others minds. 

My in-laws gave us these awesome blue planters for Christmas, and I can't wait to change them out with seasonal flowers. I think some pink or red impatiens will look fantastic in them in the spring and summer.

Just inside the front door is the living room. The layout of this room is truly weird and it has been  a challenge to figure out.

My parents bought us the couch for my birthday last year, and it immediately became the new hearth of our home. We started reading on it every night. I would sit there and have my afternoon coffee (now tea). We all were drawn to it. Funny how one piece of furniture can change the dynamic of how you use your house.

These frames are from West Elm. And I love them so much.

This purchase was a good example of saving up and getting exactly what I wanted. I can see us having these frames forever and then handing them down to our grandchildren. They are heavy and such great quality. I can't tell you how many Target frames I have been through over the years.

My friend Lauren says "buy nice, don't buy twice." She's so right.

The flower painting cost $25 at a flea market, and it's really not that great of a painting. But I call it the painting "that launched a thousand ships." I came home to find a space for it, and it turned into me rearranging the entire house which lead to some really great solutions to some long term "design" problems.

Maybe I overpaid for that mediocre painting, but in the end it "saved" me hundreds of dollars and gave me a new found contentment with our home at a time when I was feeling restless.

My cousin and her husband gave us this little brown chest as a wedding present. I found the chairs on the side of the road on my way to preschool one morning. The silver tray that you can't see well in the picture was a wedding gift too. We keep our sunglasses on it. I had it in storage and only pulled it out for serving purposes at parties (which was rare). I loved when I rediscovered it, and found an everyday use for it.


On to the kitchen. It was a total re-do. Stephen did 95% of the work himself, made the bar and the kitchen table, which he gave me as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago.

My mom found the red stools at Kroger. She sent me a text asking if I wanted them - yes, of course I did!

When I was little and had to do those color by number worksheets in school, I was always a little put out when there was no red in the picture. Funny, I still feel that way but now it applies to rooms! I think every room needs a little bit of red.

I try not to keep it too cluttered by the sink, but I love my rooster tile (a gift brought back from Italy from my mother in law) and I love a green plant or two!

Bonus: I always have a view of our boat through the kitchen window :)

I keep a tray out for my most used items. Marie Kondo is frowning right now. But this is very much a working kitchen, and practically I need to keep the PAM on the counter.

These pewter candlesticks belonged to my grandparents. I don't have many of their material goods that I'm sentimental about mainly because they were so unattached to their possessions, my grandmother in particular.

She was a minimalist before minimalism was cool.

I borrowed the big green bowl from my parents and I keep fruit in it. It's pretty and the kids know that they can almost always have a piece of fruit if they need a snack.

I love these botanical prints, and the picture doesn't really do them justice. The black has a sophisticated vibe that I was going for because my taste can be very playful. We have kid stuff practically everywhere, and I was committed to not doing anything too cutesy in the kitchen since this is our only eating space, no formal dining room.

My mom found the chairs for $15 a piece at a used furniture store. I do not have the time to frequent furniture shops, so I'm grateful that she does it for me!

The hood above the stove is basically the only thing that we kept from the original kitchen. We almost threw it away because we could not see the good in anything about the original kitchen.

But now every decorator/designer friend that comes in the house complements the hood. Ha! It's the only thing we didn't pick out.

The coffee corner was my idea and the only thing that I "had to have" in the new kitchen. Now I think we could also call it a tea corner.

This coffee pot was our first wedding gift. 10 years and going strong! We laughed when someone bought if for us because it was $100, and that was so out of our price range for a coffee pot at the time.

And lastly, (for today)...the Teen Room

All den-like, hangout type areas are referred to as "teen" rooms in my family. It all started when my parents closed in their carport when we were teenagers, so we teens would have a place to hang out. My dad teased us calling it The Teen Room, and it totally stuck.

We have a very open layout which is probably my favorite thing about this house. The teen room is right off the living room.

(birthday banner still up from Laurie's birthday, brick still wet from mopping :) Not me, the cleaning lady! Do we even have a mop? I can't remember.

This couch is from Pier 1, and it has stood the test of time. Straw or wheat is a great color for a couch with kids. It's a very forgiving color, trust me. I'll spare you the details.

All the artwork above the couch was done by Mississippi artists, a nod to my home state.

This print is a copy of a watercolor my cousin did of house in Seaside, which is where we went for our honeymoon.

We do have chair cushions, but Caroline (almost 18 months old) is totally out of control and constantly taking the cushions off our chairs. I got so tired of picking them up, I decided they needed to go on sabbatical to the guest room until she gets over this phase.

Stephen built the shelves under the TV. These are perfect to keep big children's books that don't fit on an average size shelf and some baskets with a few toys.

This desk was my grandfather's when he was a little boy. It's at least 90 years old. My siblings and I used it when we were little. It has a big drawer that holds construction paper and crayons. The other day when our friends came over, there were 6 little girls huddled around it coloring.

This space is our coat/backpack/purse and shoe station. We have dreams of building a mudroom addition to further accommodate our needs as our children get older.

My talented artist friend, Whitney, gave me this painting for my 21st birthday. I love it so much.

My in-laws gave us the Oak print as a wedding gift. An oak tree was the image they kept in mind, a prayer picture, as they prayed for my husband when he was growing up. How cool is that?!

We really like the brick pavers. They cover a multitude of sins. With 4 kids and a dog, it could not be a more perfect floor for our main living space.

If I've learned anything about "decorating" it's that it is a process, an ongoing process. You are never really done. That being said, I think it's important to take action and make your house as functional as possible for where you and your family are right now. It's funny how one little change here or there can change your home life!

I'll be back for a follow up post with the rest of the house.


  1. "teen room" - that is the best!
    You have great style - love how you mix things and I think you're right about red in every room.
    I also love how you have stories/comments about almost all of your artwork. Makes your house a home, I think.

  2. Love it! Thank you for sharing your nest. (and I think I'm the one who suggested a house tour). I love your style.

  3. Kitchen looks awesome and organized perfectly. A stackable cookware set can also helps to save kitchen space and keep it organized.


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