Get to Know You: Home Sweet Home

Get to Know You: Home Sweet Home

Get to Know You: Home Sweet Home

I talk a lot around here. I’m always telling you what I like, what I think, what I do, what I want to do, or showing you around my own house. That’s a lot of chatter about me, so today I thought we would turn things around here where YOU get to talk to me about YOU!

I know I ask a question at the end of almost every post and absolutely love it when you share in the comments (I really do enjoy hearing from you!). So today I really want to know more about you and your own house (if you don’t mind!). I would love to be able to get to know you better!

So, tell me a little bit about where you live (what part of the country, world?), describe your home (or what kind/style/size of house you live in), what kinds of house projects you are working on right now, or just what you dream about for the future!

YAY, I’m looking forward to chatting with you! If you haven’t commented before, the first time it will ask you for your name, email (just for verification that you are a real person) and your comment. You don’t have to fill in a website if you don’t have one. Also, if your comment goes into moderation, don’t worry. I will see it and it will appear as soon as I can approve it.

Ready, set, go….

Get to Know You: Home Sweet HomePhoto 1: BHG Photo 2: BHG


  1. Hi Melissa. We live in sunny South Africa. We have a 1960’s house which we are continually working on into our modern-country abode. We live in the heart of the countryside known as the Midlands, in KwaZulu-Natal. We love that we can hear cows and trains from our home. Thanks for all the inspiring ideas you share. God bless.

  2. I live in a small ranch in the Foothills of the Great Smoky Mtns. in East TN. We have lived in our home for 7 years and have re-done our kitchen with paint and counter tops. We have added wood floors in our kitchen and living room and right now we are completely re painting the inside of our home. Oh, and my husband just added planking to my fireplace. We love our home, but sometimes wish for a bit more space. Our solution has been to get rid of as much possible. Perhaps, the next big remodel would be our bathrooms, but that will be in the future.

  3. Hi Melissa! I live in Richmond, VA, in a traditional colonial I guess you would call it. We are recent empty nesters, and hope to downsize in a few years. We are at the stage where the house needs huge repairs (siding, roof, windows!) all the time it seems, so any interior “fun” projects are on hold right now. I dream of re-doing my kitchen as you did! I love reading your blog and get so much inspiration from you :)

  4. Hi Melissa! I am in Raleigh, NC in a small ranch-style home. For many years, I was too afraid to decorate anything in the home for fear of it not looking right. Your blog has been an encouragement to me to put aside the fear and concentrate on making my house a home. Right now, we are focusing on finishing a few unfinished projects such as painting trim throughout the house and completing the renovation on our master bath.

    I love reading your blog!

  5. I live in Darien, CT, which is sort of a NYC commuting town. Every inch of real estate has a house on it here, so its a “renovation” community. We renovated and expanded our house (the whole thing… had to move out) and I love our house now. My favorite parts of the renovation are the mudroom, the pantry, and the heated floor in the bathroom:)

  6. We bought the ugliest house in Hollywood Park, Texas. (A small town inside San Antonio). Drywall for our addition and remodel is finishing up this week. It’s been exhausting, and can’t be done soon enough. I can’t wait to decorate, but now we are out of money. :( I am definitely going to have to re-purpose and be creative.

  7. I live in Fairfield CT in a huge mess. We have a cape cod with 2 bedrooms on the first floor and 3 bedrooms on the second floor – with an additional bathroom upstairs. We are currently renovating the top floor so much of the things that belong up there are on the first floor (I currently have a toilet and vanity in my living room). They are coming to finish the tile in the bathroom today and we hope everything will be finished by the end of this week or the beginning of next week. We are also going to do some work on the first floor and then hopefully in the spring we hope to put the house on the market and move out of CT. We are both retired and it is too expensive to live here anymore (also too cold). We certainly don’t need 5 bedrooms anymore. Can’t wait till the work is done.

  8. Hi Melissa! I live in Toronto, Ontario in a light-filled 1960’s house with most of it’s original charm still intact (crystal doorknobs, tall baseboards, 60’s kitchen, etc). It’s pretty rare to find a house in Toronto that hasn’t been updated much at all (or torn down to build something else) so I’m taking it slow to figure out what will keep the character of my house intact. Me and my fiance are young and have been in the house a year. So far we made the basement a usable space (it had mould issues, a very poorly done reno, and was just gross), rebuilt our fence from scratch, and I painted the iron railings on our porch from a rusty pink to a glossy black (what a cheap project with such a huge impact!). Other than that, I have been slowly furnishing the house – it has been great to get rid of some of our sketchy student stuff! The biggest tasks we have been doing are general upkeep – the previous owner had let a lot of it slide and the house really needed some TLC. In 2015 I plan on entirely redoing my upstairs bathroom (probably with professional help due to the plumbing and electrical issues), and around 2016 I plan on doubling the size of the kitchen and getting it redone (also has plumbing and electrical issues). Outside of those large projects I want to paint a lot of my rooms as they are strange shades of pink and green that just suck in all the light. I love looking to your blog for inspiration, especially with it’s emphasis on loving the house I have!

  9. Missy Tindall says

    Hi Melissa! We share the same name, but I’ve always been called Missy! Absolutely love your blog and use it for decor inspiration. I live in Trenton, SC peach tree country. My husband is a contractor and we built our house four years ago and I’ve been busy every since turning it into a home. The best part is the view as I type this now I am looking out over a field filled with vivid fall colors and peach trees past that. We live secluded in the woods on 20 acres and I love it!! I feel extremely Blessed to wake up here every morning! I would describe my home and style as Sounthern comfort with some farm house style thrown in. I love it when someone compliments how welcoming and homey my home feels!! That’s the exact look I am going for!! I welcome everyone with a come on in ya’ll and a glass of sweet tea!

  10. Hello! I’m living in Connersville,IN which is definitely what you’d call small town America! We live in the country south of town in my husband’s mother’s 100 year old childhood home. My style is eclectic/comfortable family friendly as I have 3 young children. We love up cycling furniture finds land finding ways to make family and found pieces work in our home. I am constantly changing things, painting rooms and making this place our home. My most recent project is cleaning up and painting some old metal school lockers for our mud room. Can’t wait until they’re finished!!!! Love your blog, thank you!!!

  11. I live in Lewiston, Idaho. After thirty years in our family home, raising three children there with 5 bedrooms, we downsized and built a small one-level home in a newer neighborhood. We mourned for our former home for two straight years and finally stopped going by it as it depressed us to see how ill-cared for it was becoming. Plus, enough of stalking our own former home, right! We’re still adjusting to less space; every inch of our house is definitely in use and we make intentional decisions about this house, as we don’t want to accumulate more than we need. Since the place is smaller, our decor decisions matter as you actually SEE everything in this great room. Our style is rustic/eclectic/modern all in one. We like cozy and texture; we like organized and clean lines and we like ethnic/world flair. Whatever we have here is related to who we are, even if bought in a big box store. Items need to tell our story, not Target’s. Projects we’re currently engaged in: mostly landscape right now–making a path to the cabana my husband built by the pond he made; filling in a side yard with pea gravel as Irish Moss is not happy in these hot summers here; building three more garden plots for next spring planting. We just got a sectional for the great room and rearranged all the furniture to fit that in. I have a corner fireplace that is still giving me fits in terms of decorating, but I think the current plan works. “for now” We just made a gallery wall around the wall mounted TV. And we are readying the house for a puppy!!! so much for my clean and tidy!

    • Hi Cheryl,
      We are in the same town with a new smaller one story home and a corner fireplace. I bet we even had the same builder! I am in the Elks division.

      • Cougar Ridge area. We looked in the Elks division, all over actually. Lenny Keys builds in both divisions as does Dan Younge. And others I’m sure. Today, is our coldest day so far!

  12. I live with my husband and two little girls in Ottawa, Ontario in Canada. We live in a semi-detached home which we own. We are slowly and on a limited budget, undoing many mistakes our previous home owners did (they did a very poor job flipping it). We are changing a few things and painting and making it our home. We don’t think it is necessarily our forever home, but we sure do love the neighbourhood! We will definitely try to stay in the area if and when we move. We love our home to feel welcoming, cozy and fresh!

  13. I live in Indiana in a folk victorian house. When we bought the house it was a rental and they certainly treated it as such. We are slowly but surely taking the “renter” out and putting the beautiful victorian details back into the home. From the outside it definitely looks like a rental with aluminum siding, which we are ripping off in the spring and painting the original wood siding!

  14. -I live in Ada, Oklahoma
    -My house is a two bedroom/ two bathroom cottage, built in 1920. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the Great Gatsby… I’d be “Nick Carraway” living in a small cottage surrounded by a bunch of 100 year old mansions because my house really is surrounded by 100 year old mansions similar to the homes shown in the movie!
    -My current project is updating the guest room…I am about to start painting the walls white (I know, I’m such a risk taker ::sarcasm::). I’m going for navy/white color palette -still undecided about what accent color to throw in there…
    -In the future, I’d love to knockout a wall in the kitchen and do a complete reno

  15. we are retired and living in the Lake Chapala area of Mexico. Lovely, safe, and great weather. Having lived in San Diego and New England, I’ve been fortunate to live in almost every style of home. Now I have a one story, huge windows, surrounded on all sides by gardens home. The biggest thing for me is color. The painters arrived the day after we moved in to rid the house of beige and white. So, we’re greeted with the main areas filled with orange, red, and turquoise. The bedrooms share a soft lime green and their own special power color wall. A wonderful artist painted sayings throughout. I really enjoy reading the postings in the morning while sipping my coffee and snuggling with our five rescued dogs. Quite different that the past 40 years of rushing through the early morning family tasks to get to work by 6:30 am.

  16. We’ve lived in a brick tudor revival two story (with basement) in Seattle for 30 years. Over the years we’ve built a dormer and added a large bathroom upstairs (bringing us up to two), took the 1950s style kitchen down to the studs in all directions for a complete remodel in 1987 and I still really love what we did. Over the years we’ve re-roofed the house, replaced all of the plumbing, re-wired most of it, installed a new furnace and air cleaner and finally replaced the side sewer. We also sectioned off the basement and built a man cave for my husband’s giant TV. This year I framed our big builder basic bathroom mirror and installed new lights and brought the upstairs bath into this century. I also turned our dark laundry / furnace room into a very cool laundry craft room with lots of storage and peg board on every wall.
    I’m planning to replace the boob lights in our bedroom (need cool flush mounts … low ceilings upstairs) and hall way and in the downstairs bath. Am debating on painting downstairs bath as well … would I be improving it or just changing the color?
    My style is casual tradtitional with lots of books and antiques and collected pieces mixed with comfy seating. My biggest challenge is a long living room with odd entrances and fireplace placement. Still working that one out…
    PS … when I say “I” did something, I mean I planned it, got the supplies, set up the tools and smartly had my handyman do it. Just to be perfectly clear (although I do caulk, sand and paint).

    • :-) That sounds AMAZING!! And I’m totally with you on the “I did something” meaning you had your handyman do it. :-) It’s good to know your strengths and limitations (and what you just don’t want to do!). You are so fortunate to have bought a tudor home in Seattle so many years ago! Those houses are hard to get these days!

  17. I live in the Chicago suburbs. I have a Spanish-mission style house built in the 1920s. The kitchen was already updated when I moved in; we have remodeled one bathroom, but we need to do another from the 50s. My biggest challenge is my large, beautiful living room. There are many elements that give it distinction (beams, fireplace, arched doorways, nice, big windows), but the long (long, long) narrow shape and many doorways make it a challenge even though it’s big. We just got a new sofa and piano, so my attention now is going into finishing that room after waiting a couple of years to get those anchoring pieces.
    Love the blog!

    • marie borck says

      Hi CT,

      I saw you on Melissa’s blog “The Inspired Room”. I live in Algonquin, Illinois which is northwest of Chicago. You said you live in the Chicago suburbs, and I wondered if we live near each other. If you’re interested in communicating about decorating, please email me at: Maybe we can get together.

  18. Hi! I’m Shans, 22 years old from Manila, Philippines. I live in a small 2-storey house. I want to it to be more spacious so I’m planning to donate our old clothes or have a garage sale. Also, I added a short desk in my room recently for writing purposes. I’m really interested in Interior Decorating/Styling and I want to learn more about it. :)

  19. I live in a 1940’s stucco cottage with my family and a boxer named Max in northwest Montana where we’re heading into the “dark season” with lots of wet snow in the winter as we’re on the edge of the Pacific Northwest weather. I love that your blog is somewhere I can relate to (i.e. not the south) and love your message about creating a home over time and loving the home we have … and this house is easy to love with its old windows and doors, wood floors, and glass door knobs … especially after opening up one wall to create a formal dining room and creating a library and two bedrooms upstairs in what had been one attic room (still in progress a (few) years after starting). Seattle is our “exotic” urban getaway … I love looking at the houses on Queen Ann Hill … where I think we’ve seen some of the houses you’ve posted on your Sunday outing entries! Keep up the good work!

  20. We live on the beautiful central coast of California in our home of 30 years which we bought new and raised 4 sons in. Now we’re enjoying grandkids…but back to the house…It’s a two story with no added details of woodwork or character. I’ve always been a homey person loving to care for my home but it wasn’t until I discovered yours (my favorite) and other wonderful blogs did it inspire me to make some “updates” knowing I can do this!! So we’ve added wood floors, nicer baseboards. Two years ago we painted the kitchen and added a planked ceiling, updated lighting and a beadboard backsplash with dark granite counters…just love it! And am working on the downstairs powder room now…added planked ceilings in there too. I am drawn to the cottage/farmhouse look and have always loved the color blue.

  21. Hello Melissa,
    I live in the beautiful Ottawa Valley in Ontario in a small red brick bungalow that sits on 40 acres of pine plantation and some marsh land. My husband and I are raising four beautiful children so this phase of my life is focussing on controlling the stuff that comes into our home and what gets purged – a constant project. Tips I have picked up from your lovely site over the years is to enjoy decorating my home slowly and reflecting my family along the way. I have decorative shelves on my kitchen island that have had everything “displayed” on them over the years from Little People vignettes to Lego presentations, to transformers and remote control trucks. Just this past weekend I reclaimed the space, scrubbed, puttied, primed and repainted and it now holds mostly books and some vintage tins that I like to collect, and only one monster truck. I’ve also learned from your blog to concentrate on how I want my home to feel, not just look, and I’d say I’m accomplishing that. It is a light-filled, cozy, inviting space with the added bonus of a wood-burning stove in the basement that keeps the whole house toasty warm all winter long. One design/house challenge I continue to have – no matter how inviting I make the living room, guests always congregate in my kitchen!
    Take care,

  22. Hi Melissa! I am a blogger and interior decorator living in Davidson, NC, just outside of Charlotte. It is one of the most spectacular small towns ever! I have 2 children, a husband and a yellow lab named Murphy who likes to photobomb often. We have lived in our house for about a year and a half. I am working hard on making it our dream home because it is located in our dream neighborhood. I just finished the One Room Challenge on my dining room. I am currently working on finishing my daughter’s room, my mudroom/entry, my powder room and 2 living rooms for 2 different clients. Fun! In the new year I plan to do my master bathroom and my son’s room. I am also redesigning my blog. Please come over and check it out. I would love to have you visit!

  23. I live in the glorious area of East Tennessee where fall truly shines in full glory. The home where I reside is the most expensive house in which I have ever lived and I am very grateful, however, it is not the home I would choose – at all. When I married my husband, I married his house (and took on the financial obligation) which was designed by his previous wife…he is so worth it, but some days I am better at being grateful for the home than others. He attempted to sell prior to our wedding, but we are upside down in our market and it would be unwise for our general family finances to take a big loss and wind up in debt. So, I’ve changed what I can and added my touches in decor. My dreams are to lighten everything up! I long for white cabinets, larger area rugs and space for guests. We would love to finish the basement and could really put the space to good use amongst our five children (one little girl sleeps in a loft and never complains). I would like to make the entry way more approachable and to clear some yard space. I would love to paint the interior! I love reading your blog, I love using what I have and learning to be content.

  24. We live in a sweet little 1960s ranch in west Tennessee. It’s our first home, but with two small children it doesn’t have nearly enough storage space. My husband has done quite a bit of carpentry work to add storage and character, and we have many more ideas running through our heads.

  25. Robbie Zeller says

    Morning Melissa!

    My husband and I have lived in San Diego since 1990 working with a missions organization planting churches in the inner city. We have raised our five kids in a home provided lovingly to us by our ministry that most likely was built after WW II. This week we are adding two grand kids to our fam bringing the happiness to seven! Your blog has been such an encouragement to me through the years to develop a heart of gratitude and contentment in our home. I love to rearrange the things that we have and work creatively to make our
    home open and inviting to our neighbors. Lots of happy dinners, game nights and times of prayer have gone
    on here. Most recently I have loved watching my husband build furniture from pallet wood for our home as well as some of our kids spaces. I know many appreciate a rustic look but his work is quite detailed and finished looking. I enjoy the process of watching the pallet turn into something lovely! thanks Melissa for your inspiration in the lives of others!

    • Your home sounds wonderful! I’m so happy to be getting a glimpse into the lives of so many wonderful readers across the country and world! Thanks for sharing! Blessings to you for what you and your family have been doing to serve in your community, too!

  26. I live in a tiny 1960s era fixer upper in Austin, Texas. We’re working on a million and one projects including flooring, bathroom renos, a kitchen reno, landscaping, painting the exterior, electrics and lighting, updating the living room furniture, and on and on and on. :)

  27. Hi Melissa! My husband and I are from Florida, but relocated to Austin, TX 5 years ago and haven’t looked back. We love this place! We bought a little fixer upper just 3 miles from Downtown and have been renovating the home DIY-style ever since. This month we’re putting the final touches on our backyard landscape and will finally able to say we’re DONE. What will we do with all the time?! :) I’d say our home is a contemporary cottage. Cozy at 1500sqft, but light, bright and airy with lots of texture and natural wood.

  28. Hi Melissa,
    I live on a nut farm (almonds/walnuts) in Escalon, CA, about 90 miles east of San Francisco with my husband and youngest daughter (oldest is in college over on the coast). We’ve lived here for over 20 years, when we left a life in academe for farm life. My house is a 50s ranch, built in several stages by my aunt and uncle from1949-1960 or so. It was a terrible miss-mash, and four year ago we embarked on a total remodel. We didn’t enlarge the 1900 sq ft dwelling, but we gutted bathrooms and kitchen, leveled and stained the concrete floors, and removed a whole bunch of walls (everything was load-bearing, oy!). It’s sort of modern meets old curiosity shoppe — think leather and chrome and books and taxidermy, with about a dozen musical instruments scattered about (we are all musicians). We have just ripped out all the lawn from our back yard, in order to put in more water-wise landscaping in light of the terrible water situation out here. Another current big project, though, is adding on to our tiny cabin in the Sierra Nevadas. It is very cabin-y, a very different style from our home, and I can hardly wait to roll up my sleeves and get started!

  29. Good Morning !! We live in Dallas, Texas in a typical cookie cutter suburban home that we love dearly. We completely remodeled the entire home inside and out after moving in a number of years ago. Our home is filled with mismatched furniture that we have collected over the years from our families as well as lots of items from garage and estate sales. As far as we’re concerned we live in the perfect country home that just happens to be in the middle of the city. Our home is filled with love and family (our kids and grandkids) and that’s the very best décor anyone could ask for.

  30. Hey Melissa, I don’t ever comment on websites BUT since you asked so nicely:
    I live in South Carolina near Charleston in an established subdivision. Love our tree filled lot but as a result of no sun (due to said trees) and 3 very active dogs I have no grass in my back yard. Oh well, I’d rather have dogs than grass and my husband doesn’t like to mow anyway! We have brilliantly managed to have all 3 dogs match the red oak floor on the first floor of our home (a Golden Retriever, Golden-Spaniel mix and a little brown dog). Saves time vacuuming. I don’t have any one style, but try keep a casual vibe. Since our time and budget are rather limited, we have spent the last 20 years doing projects one at a time. Most of our remodels tend to be a variation on the book “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” where one small change engenders another which forces a third and so forth. After a recent re-plumbing (leaking pipes) and master bath remodel my husband asked if the house was finished yet! Silly man.

  31. Hi Melissa. I’m from Central Missouri in a little town named Cuba which is right smack dab in the middle of some of the most beautiful riverways. It’s the floating capital of the United States. I, my husband and two children live in a sweet little 1939 cape cod that we have been trying to fix up over the past four years. The main project in this house has been painting. EVERYTHING needed a new and fresh coat of paint. If you saw some of the original color choices you would understand why. Pepto bismol pink, eye jolting turquoise and mint green must have been really fashionable in the 30’s and 40’s is all I can say. I have now painted just about every surface of this old house (some more than once) and I still have a little left to do but I can at least see the finish line. I’m just hoping I make it to the finish line because anymore I just hate the thought of picking up that ol’ paint brush. I do love my home though and I can’t wait to get it the way I want it. My tastes have evolved over the years and I am really loving rustic luxe these days, a style which I feel fits my home perfectly. I believe it fits my family perfectly too. I think it’s a style that is inviting and comfy but with an aire of sophistication as well and I am working slowly but steadily to bring that style to my home.

    Thanks for inviting me over for a chat today. You are such a gracious hostess and I love your blog and your style. Thanks for all the inspiration.


  32. Hi Melissa,
    I live in a 1939 summer cabin in tiny La Honda, near the San Francisco Bay Area. We have a beautiful 180 degree view of redwoods, hills, and sometimes the fog out on the ocean. The original cabin is all knotty pine, and over the years we doubled the house’s size by adding 4 bedrooms and a laundry room downstairs, against the hillside. We have comfy contemporary and vintage furnishings (many from family) with a scattering of items from our travels and handmade quilts, afghans, needlepoint pictures and paintings made by my mother, grandmother, uncle and me. It’s very cozy, especially at night with the glow of the knotty pine, and we’re told our house is “homey.” Thanks for this — it’s so fascinating reading everyone’s responses!

    • Your home sounds absolutely wonderful, I can totally picture it! I’m enjoying all the responses too, feels like I’m surrounded by kindred spirits who all have such interesting homes and stories to tell. Thanks for sharing yours!

  33. Hi I’m Kayla! I’m 28 years old and live in a 1300 square foot 1978 ranch in Nashville,TN! We have big plans for this little house! We knocked down the wall between the living room and dining room, then laid hardwoods throughout before moving in. Next we will be taking out half a wall of the kitchen to open it up to the living/dining rooms. We will also be finishing the garage into a laundry room and bonus room (it takes like an 8 point turn to even think about getting a car in there since the door is on the back of the house). Right now our main focus is turning our play room into a nursery for our little girl arriving next April! This means getting very creative with toy storage! Thanks for your work on this blog, I love reading it!

  34. I live in Toronto, Ontario. We just moved into a 1928 house in the old City of York. The previous owners did an extension with skylights, brand new open kitchen, big windows, and a dug down basement. It has a very cottagy feel, and contrasts with the original wood in the front rooms and bedrooms. There is some work to do with respect to wiring, heat, etc., but that is my husband’s domain. I am interested in working with the new and old parts of the house to honour both of them in the decor. I enjoy seeing the inspiration on your blog for having a cozy, lived in, comfortable, but still aesthetically pleasing home. It will be a work in progress but something I’m looking forward to.

  35. I just moved to a small house (less than 1000 sq. ft) near Laguna Beach from a large craftsmen house in Glendora, CA. The original 1960’s beach house was built for weekend use only and I am presently transforming it into my retirement cottage. It is so much fun to try something new and discard the old clutter. It is not fun to pay for rewiring, plumbing, and other updating; but I know I will love it when it is done.

  36. I live in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia, in an 1832 Georgian Colonial cottage. This is my first time to comment on your blog—even though I’ve been reading it for about five years. Our home has five working fireplaces and the original 1832 plank floors. Unfortunately, it only has one bathroom, (no bathrooms when the house was built) but I just remodeled it to look very vintage and we, my husband and myself, are so happy to live in this sweet old house that it is totally worth the occasional trouble of only having one bathroom. We created an English garden with lots of boxwoods and modeled it after Colonial Williamsburg, one of our favorite spots just 35 minutes from our home.
    Thank you for showing us how real people live and helping us to find ways to decorate on a budget. I am moving in a nautical direction with my old cottage, as we sail on the Chesapeake Bay, and love all things nautical and beachy.
    Keep up the good work and God bless—what a great way to earn a living!

  37. I live in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia, in an 1832 Georgian Colonial cottage. This is my first time to comment on your blog—even though I’ve been reading it for about five years. Our home has five working fireplaces and the original 1832 plank floors. Unfortunately, it only has one bathroom, (no bathrooms when the house was built) but I just remodeled it to look very vintage and we, my husband and myself, are so happy to live in this sweet old house that it is totally worth the occasional trouble of only having one bathroom. We created an English garden with lots of boxwoods and modeled it after Colonial Williamsburg, one of our favorite spots just 35 minutes from our home.
    Thank you for showing us how real people live and helping us to find ways to decorate on a budget. I am moving in a nautical direction with my old cottage, as we sail on the Chesapeake Bay, and love all things nautical and beachy.
    Keep up the good work and God bless—what a great way to earn a living!

  38. Hello Melissa – greeting from Alaska! I live in Eagle River, which is a small community located 10 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. I am in my mid-50s and just about three months ago, moved into my very own home for the first time. Over the years I’d lived with parents, husbands, children – most recently I was homeless for 13 months and was blessed with a room in a friend’s home, followed by a three-month stint as an “apartment-sitter.” In mid-August I became one of the very first tenants in a brand-spanking new apartment building that is for “senior living” – for those who are 55 or older. I am still settling in and loving my new home :)

    My two biggest challenges are storage (have a few dozen boxes of family memorabilia and 7 large (full) trunks that belonged to my grandparents. My home is a one bedroom, about 685 sq ft. I’ve whittled down a lot of my belongings (that once filled a 2200 sq ft house), but am very reluctant to part with family history… In addition to that challenge is the lack of counter & cupboard space in the kitchen… My second challenge is that I really don’t know my “style” and am reluctant to commit to things like an area rug for the living room, a runner for the hallway – even the doormat for the front door! My bathroom is coming along nicely in bright yellow and hot pink (“out of the box” for me – I’m drawn to blues/turquoise/greens!). I want my home to be fun, inviting and attractive to look at. I’m a photographer and plan to print some of my work and hang those around. My daughter is a DIY-artist and I have a few of her pieces up already. I also have a little Pekingese who lives with me and two grandchildren (3 yrs & 5 yrs) who visit on the weekends, so my home needs to be pet- & kid-friendly, as well. I do know my style is eclectic – I guess I’m just having a hard time putting things together cohesively…

    I have only just recently found your blog and have enjoyed my visits every time :) Thank you for this opportunity to share a bit about myself and my home and to learn about the others who visit your site. Blessings!

    — kimB

    • Well, I hope you enjoy the journey and eventually find things you love and can commit to. I know sometimes it’s hard but once you’ve lived there for awhile I bet you’ll start to get in the rhythm! I’m enjoying reading all the comments, too, this is SO FUN for me! Thank you for being a part of it!

  39. I live in Tulare, California…a farming community right in the middle of this long state! 2 years ago my man, my kiddos and I moved just outside of town in to a 1950’s ranch style home that had been in foreclosure for 3 years and pretty much abandoned…what a mess! As we stash up cash, we remodel. We turned an odd shaped office into two rooms: a bedroom for my son in one and a small office in the other. We have almost completed our kitchen (just need to finish lighting) and replaced all the flooring with ceramic “wood” tile. Currently, we are gutting the game room/fireside room…replacing the odd brick/rock wall, the floors and the furniture. Hoping to make it feel very rustic/industrial with brick fireplace, pipe shelving, leather/cowhide chairs. We are also getting all of the window replaced this month…FINALLY! Next up, master bedroom suite…my dream is for a walk-in closet and a claw foot soaking tub! God has been so good to us giving us our forever dream home all the while teaching us that good things come to those who wait patiently on Him. Thank you for your gift of inspiration. Blessings to you!

  40. We live in a 1961 custom built 4 bedroom, 2800 square foot, full basement rambler/ranch in rural Minnesota on 3.5 acres with a 100 year old plus barn, stables, and corn crib. The house hadn’t been changed since 1961 and everything was built in place (aka nothing is the same or standard or easy). We pulled carpet for days, put in hickory hard wood floors, scraped wallpaper and paste, painted all the trim (white oil based), painted three bedrooms (the ceilings of the kids are painted their favorite bright color and rest white, so cool!), put a sliding glass door in, dug and sealed the whole foundation (leaks), put in 3 egress windows, painted all the cabinets in the kitchen, gutted the basement (leaks). Currently we are working on moving electrical, putting lights in the living room, painting, scraping more wallpaper/paste, tiling the entry, fixing barns, fixing fences (now it snowed so that is on hold), redoing a built in gun cabinet to a computer desk/area, redoing furniture for the rooms. Then in the spring putting geothermal in, working on the hugelkulture, garden, barns, fences. Then redoing the whole basement and eventually the dream of taking down a half wall and putting a fire place in the living room. Putting a free standing burner in the basement and a bathroom (so we can have others who need a place to live to get back on their feet live in the basement). Then…eventually a new kitchen that works better or at least not a sink that is rusting the counter out. Then maybe fix bathrooms. Ha…its never ending! But I love our home and the history and that the owner before moving to the nursing home told us about the house and land. That our family and girls and four legged kids have place to run and grow. I love our home.

  41. We live in Hollister, CA, just a bit inland from Monterey and Santa Cruz–all the ocean influence but more sunshine. We live in a tract neighborhood, in a 1500 sq. feet with our two girls. Unlike the rest of the neighborhood, we have not removed all the walls to make a great room–we’ve kept our small living room and family room separate. It’s challenging to find small-scale furninture, but we love it. Our dining room has been transformed into a library. Every wall has a bookcase and it’s filled with classics, childrens books, and other special trinkets. It can still function as a dining room, but most of the time spent around the table involves sewing, drawing, homework, or Lego-making. We have light gray walls, black bookcases and a black dining room table mixed with taupy grays and white. We have several windowns in our family and living rooms, so natural light is never an issue. We are constantly evolving as our girls grow. Right now our living room bench gets moved daily to accomodate ballet practice and play-making.

  42. It’s funny how we all want to hear from readers, but I honestly don’t comment as much as I should. Quite nature, I guess.
    Anyway, I recently moved to Birmingham, AL and have gotten to redesign many spaces, while not replacing our high ticket items. I’ve seen a shift in my style in the last few years to more of a transitional style. Maybe it’s having a teenager who also has a knack for design keeping me hip and current. Or maybe, I’ve finally realized that cleaner lines are soothing.While I still am to drawn to pieces with stunning details, I’m enjoying mixing old with new, modern with traditional and overall less decorated. I’m currently finishing a kitchen remodel that went from just painting the cabinets, to almost an overhaul. It’s almost white and just so airy, a breath of fresh air. I love your new kitchen, too!

  43. Howdy from dust, windy west Texas, y’all! My college professor husband, two teenaged kids, and our Boston Terrier live in an 85 year old (that’s pretty old for our part of the world) four-story Dutch Colonial/English Cottage that backs up to a creek (a rarity in this dry and dusty land). We just purchased it last January and are still making it our own, but are enjoying every minute and every lovely view. We also run a Bed & Breakfast, so it’s extra fun to get to share all this beauty and history with our guests!

  44. We live in Boerne, TX, in the beautiful hill country. Have been in our home (what is called a Hill Country farmhouse style)for about18 years, and it is still a work in progress and needs a number of repairs since it is now about30 yrs. old. But I do love how the decor has come together- things are starting to look like they have been gathered over the years. It’s always fun to find another item you know will fit right in, or deciding to change the drapes out in the dining room has made such a difference! We tore our carpeting several years ago and put in hand scraped hardwood, another very positive change. Plus, it is so much easierto maintain, eapecialy with teo cats and a very acrive Golden retriever! Not to mention the dirt that is tracked in(my husband and I are acid gardeners!).I am currently reprinting our dining room and kitchen, a dam sure there will always be more projects/changes- but isn’t that the joy of owning your home!

  45. Hi from Kay — we live near-ish Chicago + are going on 2 years of our Dutch colonial makeover (follow us on my blog!) My style was originally ‘early American’ (ha! the 70’s!) + then ‘country’ (the 80’s!) The late, great Cottage Living magazine intervened in ’06, + at the moment, I am more ‘modern farmhouse’.

  46. We live in a 1700 square foot tri-level home in East Central Minnesota. I bought it new in 2002 as a spec home. I love to decorate but I am changing my style and wanting character.
    Currently I want to add a plank wall and paint out my kitchen cabinets and do a small Reno to remove the peninsula for an island. I also want to change out all my tan for gray.

  47. I live in a townhouse (row house) in Burke, VA, about 30 min west of Washington DC. We have been in our house for 22 years. My husband was in the military, and this was the first off- base housing we lived in. We had not planned on staying in this house that long, but the location is ideal, and we just love our house. We have stripped wallpaper in every room in this house, renovated bathrooms, painted, landscaped the front and back yard. We are gearing up for updating the kitchen and our basement family room. Would say that my style is eclectic. I have very definite ideas in my head about certain pieces of furniture and it might take me two years to find it. Love your style and so agree that your house should reflect you and not necessarily the latest trend in decorating. Read your blog early in the morning, you kind of start off my day.

  48. Hi! My name is Meghan Meredith! I am a newlywed since July! My husband is in the Air Force and we currently live in Atlanta. Our “home” right now is actually a hotel room in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. My husband was sent on an extended business trip (TDY for all you Military folks out there) for the entire fall semester to teach ROTC at the Univ. of AL. Thankfully I am able to join him and we didn’t have to be apart the first 4 months of our marriage. It’s definitely been an interesting start to married life but we have grown so much as a couple and I personally have learned so much. I was really looking forward to turning his bachelor pad into our home that represents both of us and our unique styles. But, since we came to AL in August, pretty much right after our honeymoon, I haven’t had a chance to really do much around the house. I have a passion for home and creating a beautiful space for our little family to enjoy and a space where we can invite guests in and be hospitable. One thing I’ve really been challenged with since being in AL is that home is wherever my husband is! I know it may sound cliche but it’s so true! Our hotel room as begun to feel like home! I cook meals in our handy crockpot and take care of the laundry; I do pretty much all of the “normal” house chores. We have met some friends and had them over to our little suite for dinner, drinks, and football games. Even living in a hotel room, I can still exercise my love for hosting and being hospitable! We are even having a friend come stay with us this weekend for a football game (thankfully we have a pull out couch). It’s amazing to see how even though we aren’t in our “home” in Atlanta, this hotel has sort of become home for us, at least for now. I am more than blessed that I can be with my husband during this time! I am really excited though to go back to Atlanta in December and decorate for Christmas and put my touch on our home! My husband grew up in Africa (and loves to travel) so I am planning on doing a travel/global themed guest room. I really want to incorporate his background and upbringing into our home since it has impacted him so much. My style is very farmhouse, clean, simple, and classic. I love white and all shades of gray! We both love the rustic style too! I am excited to start to decorate our home and combine our styles in a clean and cohesive way! I plan on using handsome rustic accents paired with soft feminine touches. I have been so inspired from my time in AL that I just launched a new blog/website. I would love for you to check it out-! It is in the beginning stages but it will be all about home decor ideas, sprucing up your rental property (since that is what we will most likely live in as long as we are in the AF), DIY projects I am working on, healthy recipes, fitness tips, tips to live a healthier lifestyle, and tales of my life as a military wife and other encouraging “soul” topics! Thanks!

  49. Hi Melissa, I live in Hanover, Pa in a executive style ranch home that my husband built 9 years ago, he’s a builder. We have 11 acres and love our home! We are in the process of removing our existing island, putting in a larger one, adding another oven, a copper hammered farm sink and adding granite counter tops to the whole kitchen. We are also adding granite to our master bath. I seem to coax my husband into one large project every year. Last year he told me that he was putting me on a 2 year moratorium with projects but here we go again! I love reading your blog. Thank you!

  50. Laurie Takens says

    Hi Melissa – I live in a small suberb outside of Grand Rapids, MI. My husband and I have lived here our whole lives. I’m a secretary at an elementary school 1.3 miles from my home…I LOVE my job! We moved into our house 13 years ago when it was only a year old. We recently wanted to change some things in the kitchen to make it brighter. We have maple cabinets and hickory floors (like yours). We had some white subway tiles installed in the backsplash and changed out our builder grade light fixture for a drum chandelier. We also had some board and batten installed yesterday which I need to paint white. What a huge difference it’s made for not very much money! We repainted the walls Sherwin Williams Backdrop. It looks so clean and rich! We are super happy with it! I love decorating with thrift store and garage sale finds. Can’t wait for your new book to come out!!

  51. Hello, Melissa. I live in Kansas in a 1950’s ranch home that my grandparents built. It has very large windows throughout, so it is very sunny and light-filled. We made it our home in the ’80’s and so I did many updates which included adding a master bath and changes in the kitchen. I have to admit, though, that my grandmother was way ahead of her time when she designed it. You can tell she was a farm wife and had a “working” kitchen! My next project is to update the hall bathroom which still has the original pink sink, tub and tile! I’m actually thinking about leaving those and just working with them! If you have time, I would appreciate your opinion on that. I’ve heard they are “coming back”, but do you think that it’s time that I just move on and replace those?! Either way, it would still work because even though I live in Kansas, my living room has a beach theme and my kitchen leans toward French Country, therefore my home is all over the place!!

  52. I just bought a 1950’s house that was completely flipped. It has the charm of an older home (cove ceilings, built-ins, beautiful hardwoods, tall baseboards) but the updates of a new house (updated kitchen, new windows, white quartz counter tops, new hardware). I love neutrals, mixing metals and farmhouse details paired with modern pieces, clean lines and unexpected details. I want my house to feel welcoming, cozy and layered. I live in Denver with my husband and 4lb teacup yorkie, Rocco. I love your blog and find so much inspiration from your site.

    – Jaime

  53. Hi Melissa! After reading for so long, I can’t believe I’ve never commented! :) We live in the Metrowest Boston area. Two and a half years ago we began to tackle the renovation of a 1980s builder-basic colonial in a beautiful neighborhood. We are slowly but surely adding cottage/farmhouse style to make it our own! We have a baby girl on the way in January, so we have quite a few projects in the works before her arrival: a mudroom, replacing 1700 square feet of flooring with hardwoods, a nursery, and a new master bedroom. Just looking at our list makes me tired ;) Thank you so much for the frequent inspiration- sitting down at the end of a long day and reading your blog is one of my favorite things!

  54. Rachel McKernan says

    Hi! I’m a young mom living in a 3 bedroom apartment in Gilbert, AZ with my husband and two kiddos. My husband finishes school next year & we are looking forward to purchasing our first home. I am an aspiring design blogger and DIYer. I’ve worked in the interior design world before as I have my degree, but am much more interested in becoming a blogger. My style is very urban farmhouse with touches of glam. I love neutrals with lots of texture and metals to add interest. I also love random pops of color! One of my favorite interior designers right now is Caitlin Wilson. And you are my favorite blogger.

    • I love Caitlin Wilson too, and WOW, thanks, what a compliment to be your favorite blogger! :-) I hope your dream of being a design blogger/DIYer comes true very soon! :-) Thanks for introducing yourself today, it’s so fun reading all the comments!

  55. Sweet- we live in the heart of California…known as Central Valley…we are living in a small “track” home built about 10 years ago….we are in the process of building our “forever” home in the hills close to where we live now….it will be a french Normandy style. Can’t wait to get started….waiting on permits (we just sold our large home of 14 years…now we are down sizing.)
    Happy Day

  56. Hi Melissa! Such a great idea. I am in Lewiston, Idaho. We are from Alaska originally and we split our time between there and Anacortes. Sold our waterfront home in Anacortes 3 years ago and moved to Lewiston. We will be selling our home in Alaska next year and stay in Lewiston year round. We moved into our new forever home 18 months ago. It is a smaller 1 story as we wanted to downsize…. Ya right Ha! I gave away or donated so much when we moved from our larger home in Anacortes and STILL have a storage unit and garage full of boxes. I see a big garage sale in our future. I haven’t spent a lot of time decorating our new home yet, most of our time here so far has been working outside landscaping. I just finished planting 500 bulbs from RoozenGaarde. I only mention that because I am sure you are familiar with them. My decorating style is all over the place. Our Alaska home is rustic and the Anacortes home was coastal. I see this home as traditional with a twist. Our home is builder basic with nice upgrades….granite counters, tiled bath and wood floors. After the holidays I want to start by building in some storage. Then I would like to begin planking, wainscoting and putting up some crown. I love Lewiston and our smaller house.

  57. Our home is on the northern Oregon coast. It is a custom new construction home, and we’ve tried to put vintage touches throughout, including a fully restored 1920’s electric console stove! I adore cooking on my nearly-100-year-old stove, except every Thanksgiving during the challenge of trying to cram a 20lb turkey into that tiny box! :) Our home is also for sale – sadly, we are relocating closer to Portland. Link has lots of pics!

    • Wow, that stove is amazing! I’m sure it’s hard to leave your lovely home on the coast for Portland. I miss BOTH the Oregon coast and Portland now, being up here in Washington! But all are lovely places to live. Thanks for sharing.

  58. Greetings from South Dakota! Got some snow last night….. We own a 1 bed-1bath house….TINY! It is a real challenge and hopefully our second home will have some more SPACE! It’s all we wish for lately. But this home has been so good to us too.

  59. Doris Hingst says

    Hi Melissa. I’m originally from Cuba, married to a Southern gentleman, 3 grown kids, all gone, 1 married and we just had our first granddaughter almost 4 months ago. We live in North Atlanta, Ga. in a Georgian Colonial home we built in 1993. It’s a 2 story with a finish full basement. It’s a big roomy home but we don’t want to downsize.
    I grew up with exquisite Colonial furniture and my decorating style is British Colonial. I love blue and white in every room and have a love for Asian porcelains.
    We have updated our kitchen and bathrooms, added a sun room and always doing small things here and there, we never stop. Love your blog, it’s very inspiring..

    • British Colonial is one of my very favorite styles! Thanks for sharing your story!

      • Doris Hingst says

        Great Minds…..When you posted the pic with the binoculars on books in a jar, I had just brought up a curio cabinet from the basement to display my sea shells…What a cute idea for binoculars on old books! Oh it’s so me!! and it’s so British Colonial.. Thank you!! Love!!!

  60. Hi! I live in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. My house was built in 1937. I call it a Cape Cod inspired Tudor. It is a small house at 1400 square feet. I love it, though. We have lived in the house for ten years now. We have done numerous projects. My dream project is to convert the screened porch into a den. Our house is charming and we chose that over quantity of space. I don’t have a specific style name, but I lean towards a cozy, masculine feel. A lot of my art is either sketches, or something special my kids did in art classes over the years. I love lamps, rugs,

    • I got cut off! Anyway, I love interior design and find inspiration on blogs, Pinterest, and walking through my favorite stores. Thanks for sharing your home with us!

  61. Hey Melissa, My husband and I live in rural Ontario, on a farm with our 4 young children. Our house is a little over a hundred years old (we have a photo of it from 1901) and actually used to be attached to the farm house next door and was moved to its current location in 1917. By horses. No joke! It has a sort of cottage charm which works because we are really close to the beach. We have slowly been making it ours over the last 7 years. We recently took out a wall to make our living room larger, and are having a fireplace installed by the end of this month. I both long for, and dread the day I no longer need to baby proof my home.

  62. Hello Melissa! Thank you for this opportunity to be involved in your blog conversation. I have been following you for a few months and want to thank you for your inspiration and insights. I live in Kingston, Ontario in a rural setting ranch-style bungalow. My husband built our home a decade ago and it has been a labour of love and work in progress ever since. Our kitchen was recently featured in Interiors magazine; my husband has a keen eye for design and with his skill set and my passion for decorating, we were able to create a warm, inviting atmosphere which is both functional and cozy. Our goal was to add natural elements such as pine floors and trusses in the ceiling, a stone wood-burning bread oven, granite countertops and lots of windows to open the home to the outdoors. I would be happy to share a link with you if you ever wish to welcome readers’ kitchen designs. Perhaps what we’ve created for ourselves and for our friends and family to enjoy will inspire others! Congratulations on your continued successes, Melissa!

  63. Hi Melissa, I love your blog and have been reading it for several years. My husband and I are in our late 60’s and recently moved from a 23 year old 5 level home in one of the northern Twin Cities suburbs of Minnesota, to a 2700 square foot rambler 40 miles away in Wisconsin, on the beautiful St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The house is beautiful, with maple hardwoods and stone floors throughout, and breathtaking views of the river at rear and bucolic farmlands at the front. We love the house. The main challenge for us now is the lighting in the house. There are numerous windows so daytime light is not a problem, but there are no overhead lights in any of the rooms and lighting at night is a real challenge. I am looking at lots of lamps and I think eventually we will just have to hire an electrician for some of the spaces. My other challenge is the large great room. I think it’s going to take me awhile to make it feel like home. Your blog certainly helps too.

  64. It’s been fun reading everyone’s replies. I live in Tucson, Arizona in a medium-sized house with my hubby, two kids, and a dog. My favorite feature is the indestructible stained concrete floors. My least favorite thing is the floor plan – it’s open, which is nice, but with a too-small family room and a tricky location for the kids’ rooms. We’ve been making it work for over eight years now, and we’re busy dreaming about the house we hope to build within the next few years. I love budget-friendly decor and light, bright coastal style, which I try to incorporate in small touches here in the desert Southwest. Right now we’re doing some major purging and organizing, and I hope to start doing some long-overdue repainting after the holidays.

  65. Hi! I love your blog! I live in a circa 1856 Federal Style home in Historic Germantown, Ohio. You enter our home through the cannonball & chain gate. The front door has original bullseye glass and the painted floor foyer leads to a winding staircase to the second floor. The double drawing room has a wood burning fireplace, custom milled original cove molding and wide planked wood floors throughout the 1st floor. The music room has Zuber silk screened wall covering and French doors that lead to the formal dining room with hand painted wall coverings, fireplace and built in China cabinets. Off the dining room you will find a sunroom side porch that was added during the Victorian era. The kitchen features hard maple counters, custom cabinets and a 2nd stairway to the upstairs. Off the kitchen is a sunny keeping room with builtins and a fireplace. The property has Williamsburg style gardens and a carriage house. I’m preparing right now to start putting up Christmas decor. I loved reading everyone’s description of their homes and where they are from, your blog reaches far and wide!

  66. Hi Melissa! My husband and I are empty nesters and live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I’m passionate about decorating and spend way too much time reading blogs. Yours is one of my favorites! I really appreciate all bloggers and their willingness to put themselves out there while we readers sit quietly behind our computer screens and steal all your ideas! Keep on blogging!

  67. Hi, Melissa! We relocated from Florida to the mountains in Western North Carolina a year ago and finally found an older house in the location we’re considering for retirement (someday). We’re not in it yet, because we’re totally gutting it – taking down walls, new kitchen, new master bedroom/bathroom addition, replacing all interior woodwork (including doors and closet doors and closet interiors), planking ceilings, new flooring, and replacing windows. Oh, and we’re painting every square inch of that house!

  68. A regular ol’ transplant, my humble abode is in New Haven, Connecticut. My husband and I live in a quaint, gray 1934 Craftsman Bungalow on the hillside of our tree-lined street. We fell in love with our home from the start. One of the reasons Plum + Trinket exit, and I can also speak for my blogging counterpart, Lillie, is because of of the crazy, inspired projects we try to keep up within our homes. My personal style is ecletic, warm, and cozy, it’s the kind of house you want to kick off your shoes and relax. Warm tones, lots of antiques and textures, gray color toned walls, and lots of DIY and collectibles to be seen in every room. We dream every single day about highlighting this house’s era. Recently we put in a gorgeous brick walkway and next year it’s going to be a Craftsman-style front door, re-installing the original french doors, and heightening the front garden curb appeal. All just too exciting!! Thanks for asking. ;)

  69. Hi Melissa! Our home is in Newmarket, Ontario. My husband and I moved to our 1959 bungalow 13 years ago. For many reasons it was the best thing we’ve ever done. I’d always loved the older more mature part of town, and I love small cozy homes. We spent over a year renovating, everything from new windows to removal of walls, new bathrooms and a new kitchen. It was so much fun, and when the renos were done our Son was born, something we were told would never happen! I retired from my job with the Fire Department and started my Lampshade business, where I can indulge my creative side :) Keep up the great blogging!

  70. Melissa ,
    I live outside of raleigh NC on a lake. We bought this home 7 years ago when we had a dream to move near our grown kids and live near water. We were living in NE at the time. The home is very modern, we came from traditional. The previous owners began remodeling but couldn’t afford to finish, so much of it was half torn apart. We actually bought the home on an internet bank auction. We have completely redone the entire house. It looks nothing like it began and I love it. It is open, warm yet minimalist and makes me smile every time I walk in the door.
    I love your blog….we also lived in Oregon for many years so many of your photos look so familiar! Keep up the blogging and book writing. You are an inspiration.

  71. Debora da Silva says

    Hi Melissa!!! I live in Chapeco, a city in the west side of the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. I’ve lived in the US for four years, and there I learned to love even more everything related to decoration, architecture, landscaping… Currently I live in an apartment of about 1540sqft. Most of the decor I have in my home was brought from US when I moved back. I try to keep a rustic style decor using wood, wrought iron and shades of paint that remind us of nature. Right now, my living room has a beige shade on most part of the room and there is a wall of a brownish color. My sofa is brown and on the wall I have some of those colorful wooden Tiki masks. There is also a very small street lamp post, which is a candle holder. There’s a wooden hand with some tribal art, where I keep one of my Game of Thrones books. Oh, and I always make sure to have scented candles to bring the comfy atmosphere. Also like to have a vase of colorful, wild flowers on my dinning table, which is a 20 years old round, cherry wood table. And there are two simple, but special pieces of furniture that my husband and I got as a gift from our neighbor before moving back to Brazil. One is a brown small chest, on top of which I have a small, white iron lantern. The other piece is a small side table, in black color, where I have a picture frame and also a maple leaf that I keep under a small candle glass, and on the bottom shelf I have really small souvenirs and also two books: one is about Scotish tales and the is an awesome picture book of New York and Paris. = ) oops!! I think I got too excited in writing this post and wrote almost a book!! Well, just want to tell you that your work is really awesome and it sure inspires people everyday, in every where, just like it to me now. Thanks for the opportunity Melissa!!! Xoxo from Chapeco, Santa Catarina, Brazil!!!!

  72. Hi Melissa – I live in Duluth, Minnesota with my husband, two daughters and two dogs. I love reading your blog and have found lots of inspiration for our 1916 traditional, stucco home. We had our kitchen renovated last year – out went the white metal St. Charles cabinets (awesome in a midcentury home – not so awesome in our house!). I would LOVE it if you could showcase some ideas for decorating around stained wood trim. Our dining room has tall, quarter-sawn oak wainscoting with a medium-dark oak stain. It’s in perfect, original condition, and although I really prefer a painted wainscot, I can’t bring myself to paint this. Also, the height is about 2/3 of the wall, so artwork above is a little difficult. Your input would be appreciated!

  73. Hi, I live in Florida in a stucco home. My decorating style is contemporary. I am told that I have a flair for decorating, but I have two areas in my home that need help….my china cabinet and a Sheetrock wall unit in my living room. They both need a style makeover. I am flirting with the idea of styling the china cabinet with something other than dishes, but quite frankly, I’m scared to step out of the box. The wall unit just looks DULL. I guess you could say those are my projects.

  74. I live in a suburb outside of Atlanta and if you know anything about this area, you can get A LOT of house for your money. We’ve been in our home for over 10 years and building our dream vacation home in Florida. It will be complete next month! It’s been a super fun, relatively stress free adventure. I’ve been painting furniture, using stuff that I don’t need anymore in my current home, lots of fun beachy coastal vintage rustic DIY projects…I will be sad when it’s complete! Now that we have the beach house, I want so desperately to downsize (when my son is finished with high school). We will be spending more and more time in Florida as time goes by so the larger Georgia home will be unnecessary. I love so many styles of decorating but in general, I’m drawn to traditional and French country decor. I also love antiques and have been lucky to inherit some beautiful pieces. Decorating is so therapeutic to me- really anything creative is….Whether it’s cooking, scrapbooking, jewelry making, painting furniture, craft projects, anything- I feel like it’s how I express myself. I’m also an ultra marathon runner and get some of my best ideas while running ;-)

  75. Hi Melissa,
    We live in Pennsylvania. Our home is supposedly about 100 years old. A few years ago we tore up the wall to wall carpeting and found pretty pine floors underneath. We redid our kitchen at that time. We are also empty nesters and love living here. Our home is I guess a farmhouse with a wonderful porch across it. I love the porch. I enjoy reading your blog. Can’t wait for your book.

  76. I live in southeastern Pennsylvania in a sweet small town not far from Philadelphia. My house is a three bedroom twin. My two boys are 18 & 15 and I’m struggling to get rid of the last of the toys and make a grown up house. New carpets in the bedrooms are forcing us to clean out, but not as much stuff as I’d like is walking out the door. I just keep plugging away.

  77. Hi! I live with my husband and 3 kids in the middle of British Columbia on 11 acres right on a lake, 40 minutes from the nearest town. We just moved to this area and love it! Our house used to be a barn attached to an indoor riding arena. The arena part is gone, and we’re left with the barn part. There is a stall still built in to one corner, and we use it for milking our cow. Another built in stall is the chicken coop. There are 3 huge windows overlooking the carport. The living room/kitchen used to be the viewing area for the arena. Upstairs was a hayloft. Fortunately, the tongue and groove floors have been sanded down and sealed so they’re not so rough. This place has so many weird and strange things about it, which is why I love it. I’ve been lurking on your blog for several years. Keep up the great work!

  78. Two months ago we moved back across the country to MI where we bought a 1957, original owner home, that was an estate sale. 1.712 square feet with a full basement on just under an acre of land. It is located on a small airport, just 12 houses down and around the corner from my in-laws. Yes, original owner home that needs a lot of updating!!! Good bones, lots of built in storage, but lots to change and update. All the way down to the two prong outlets everywhere, and the old 4 prong home telephone plugs. Since we moved back here from the “everything is brown” state of AZ I am done with brown walls and accessories. Yes, I will keep our brown leather furniture and table, but I want pretty white walls, and gray accessories, mercury glass here and there, and gunmetal chairs to surround that table. We had the wood floors refinished in the bedrooms, wish that the wood floors continued in the rest of the house……. So currently I am still unpacking, and getting ready outside for the cold winter that is headed our way, and looking forward to picking up the paint brush. Thank you for all of your inspiration. :)

  79. I live in the NW corner of Iowa- moved back to my hometown five years ago from Minnesota. I bought my first house last fall. It was build in 1953- 1300 sq feet, 3 bedroom 1 1/2 baths and a long narrow lot. I am the second owner. The previous owner left a copy of the original blueprints so that has been fun to look at.
    The biggest challenge is trying to keep the charm – much of the house is original including the 50’s bubble gum pink bathroom- yet not live in a museum. My style is farmhouse glam with a bit of new country/scandinavian/craftsman thrown in. How’s that for eclectic. :) The big expense this year was re-shingling the roof so my wish/project list is on hold till the bank account recovers. I have enjoyed watching your house change over the years. My black & brown mixed breed dog, Meg, says to tell Jack and Lily “hi” and that she likes visitors, chasing squirrels and cats, and going for car rides.

  80. We are in a 2400 sq ft. Victorian built in 1890, in Denver CO. The historical style here is unlike anything I have seen in other parts of the US, with very extravagant multicolored exterior paint colors and lots of porches and balconies. It’s very cool and interesting! It’s our first house, so I am still figuring out how on earth to decorate the place – but am taking baby steps. My biggest challenge is figuring out how to pull a room together from scratch – where to start, and where to buy/look for all the stuff? I do not like shopping so it’s overwhelming. Thanks for your blog!

  81. G’day Melissa,

    I’m Natalie, from Melbourne, Australia. We are extending our weatherboard edwardian house and adding a second storey at the rear. We are about half way through and are doing it all ourselves. I love a mix between, beachy, hamptons and classic/country style. I love natural light and earthy colours without too much clutter. We have three little kids so I am sure my idea of a white couch will not be wise. LOL It’s all fun and games though.

  82. Melissa,
    My mom and I met you about a year ago at the West Elm pop up in Seattle….I have to say that was the highlight of her year and she always talks about it! Your home has been quite an inspiration for my home decorating adventures. I did the two tone cabinets like yours, and I’m still absolutely loving it! My husband and I live in Roy, WA (near Joint Base Lewis-McChord) in a 1976 sq. ft. traditional-on-the-outside-eclectic-modern-farmhouse on the inside house. Our latest project is our dining room, but I’m having a hard time making a couple decisions: wainscoting? If so, what kind? What kind of rug? etc. etc. I would love to send you pictures of it and get your opinion! Thank you for brightening up the rainy days here in the Northwest, your blog means a lot to me!


    • Hi Melissa! I’m Emily’s mom and YES meeting you and your beautiful daughters at West Elm last year on my Birthday was the highlight of my year! Emily and I love your blog and you have inspired lots of projects at both of our homes. I live in East Tennessee near Knoxville in a small ranch style house. Over the last five years my husband and I have pretty much replaced, renovated and remodeled every room. I check your blog FIRST everyday when I get to work and lots of times email pictures and ideas to my husband (he is so happy I do that!). Thank you for your inspiration!

    • AW! Emily, you and your mom are THE CUTEST!!! It was so wonderful to meet you and THIS MADE MY DAY:). Yes, send me the pics, I would LOVE to see and help if I can! :-) Hugs to both of you and I hope to see you again sometime (maybe next year when we do a book event!!)!

  83. Debbie Forrell says

    Hi Melissa, my husband and I live in country New South Wales, Australia in a town called Wagga Wagga pop 75,000. In March 2012 (while on holiday in Paris) the area we live in was devastated by flood, the first since 1973. Our 100 year old weatherboard home was inundated with 1.5mtr of water. After seeking approval to demolish our existing home and rebuild, we are now the happy inhabitants of a very lovely (and what I think is a uniquely Australian) white weatherboard Queenslander style home with French doors from most rooms leading onto a wide wrap-around veranda, all built 2.7mtrs above ground level (safely out of reach of any future flood waters!) The whole process from flood to moving in took 13 months, which I think is OK considering we were dealing with the insurance company and local council planning dept. My decorating style is modern country with a French twist, all white slipcovers, zebra print accent chair, wide wooden floorboards, white and marble bathrooms, white kitchen, Belfast sink, caesarstone benchtops, pressed tin splashback and treetop views. Timeless and relaxed. Love your blog, Kind Regards Debbie

  84. Rhonda Govers says

    Hi Melissa! I live in Charlotte, NC, in a brick colonial house, I suppose you would call it, with my husband, three kids and dog. I’m a big Ann Voscamp fan like you are! And home decorating has become a passion of mine since I gave up my acting career 10 years ago. I call my style “industrial farmhouse.” We recently changed our cabinets from green to off white and painted the kitchen walls a cheerful blue/green. The new wall color makes me happy whenever I look at it. I’ve wanted to redo the dining room for quite some time to make it light, casual and welcoming, but there are budget restraints. Some day… Thanks for all the work you put into your blog! I really enjoy it.

  85. Tara Weathers says

    Hello there! My name is Tara and I live in Concord, NC (just east of Charlotte) with my husband, our three sons, and one female Siamese cat. We live in a typical subdivision in a two-story home built in 1996. We are the second owners, and the first owners did a lot of wonderful work – tile floors, trex deck on back, and covered front porch. We love our home; it is such a haven of rest. Your blog has inspired me to decorate with the things we love, including a giant twig that has perched alongside and above our fireplace for two years. We also have a lot of sentimental things in the house from my Amish grandparents, including an old pew bench, a ladder filled with Grandma’s quilts, and Grandpa’s handmade tool box that I fill with mason jars and anything pretty from our yard. My husband and I recently built a kitchen island, using Ikea cabinets, beadboard, bookshelves that we built, and a long table overhang. For now our countertop is a piece of plywood that has been sanded, poly’ed, sanded, poly’ed. Thank you for your encouragement to love the home we have and to surround ourselves with what we love! You have helped our home to be a cozy retreat for our family and others.

  86. My name is Tara, I am a 33 year old mom of four littles. We live in Enumclaw on 2 beautiful acres in a 4000 sq ft 90’s custom built home. While I am in love with all the space it provides our family, I am slowly working my way through each room to give them little facelifts. I just wrapped up a pretty major laundry room renovation and a small makeover of our coat closet {replacing closet rods with hooks and adding a light}. I think next up on my agenda is getting some white paint up on the dark walls in our main living area. I continue to be inspired by your blog daily and appreciate your eye and design style. This is such a cool idea, thanks for throwing it out there for all of us readers!

  87. Hi Melissa :-)
    I live in Copenhagen, Denmark, in an apartment with lovely natural light, as it is on 4th floor and on a corner.
    I have tried my best to make our home say “welcome, come on in, sit down and have some tea :-)”.
    My husband has been ill and while he was home recovering, he told me that being here helped make him feel better. That made me feel very grateful, because that told me that I had somehow succeded in making this place a warm sanctuary for us. I spend quite some money on plants and flowers (and am grateful that I am able to) but we do not possess anything expensive, just a lot of things that are valuable – to us :-)

  88. Hi Melissa, I live in Middleton, WI near Madison in a 1990’s ranch with a walkout basement on a 1/2 acre. We have lived here for 12 years and will probably downsize in the next couple of years as our youngest graduates and leaves for college. As far as renovations we have replaced a set of sliders with french doors, reconfigured our front entrance by bumping it out 4 feet creating an entry, retiled two bathroom showers, redoing our fireplace mantle and surround and changing it over to gas. We also did new flooring in our kitchen but we will be redoing that soon as a dishwasher flood caused damage to the floor. So in January we will redo the flooring as well as doing a kitchen remodel – probably going with Ikea (we spent last year in France and experience with 3 Ikea kitchens and loved them all). I am not super handy but I have repainted some furniture and sewed some pillow covers. I shop a lot off of Craigslist and recently scored some leather furniture that was used in a model home for super cheap. Sort of excited about that. After 10 years, I worked with a designer to help me figure out how to decorate a large empty wall that I just decide what to do with on my own.

    I love your blog. It is beautiful and so helpful. Thank you for the time and effort you put in and being willing to share your creativity with all of us!

  89. Hi! We live in Sterling, VA. We live in a townhouse with limited space. We’re a military family ave we have the opportunity to make a new dwelling a home pretty regularly. I focus on small touches to make our home cozy and I love the inspiration I get from you. Right now I’m looking for the right panels to fit my living space.

    I finally got a minute to browse through my current BHG. Seeing you there was as exciting as seeing a real-life friend in the spotlight. Congratulations!

  90. Hi Melissa, I bought my 1890 house in Montana by myself and sight unseen. It had been remodelled as if a 1970’s trailer with layers of shag carpet and faux wood paneling. I ripped out the panelling, carpet, old appliances (replacing with vintage appliances from Habitat for Humanity), repainted every wall (and scraped the popcorn ceiling off) and refinished or replaced all flooring with wood or tile in an attempt to return it to a bright farmhouse from the era it was built. I call my style PeeWee Herman does Masterpiece Theatre but increasingly it’s become more Anthropology showroom. I took big risks with color (striped yellow livingroom, lemon/lime checkerboard kitchen floors next to dark/light striped bamboo dining room floors, deep red bedroom with gold trim, periwinkle and turquoise bathroom) and have never been sorry. I like to shake it up seasonally and do updates so love your regular ideas. I work at a stressful nonprofit and a weekly visit to your blog is my favorite break. I also wanted to thank you for helping me with a prejudice I have as someone who grew up with religious folks and have avoided them ever since – I get the sense that your faith is important to you but you never preach and have very sophisticated, worldly tastes – so you help me overcome my religious stereotypes with every blog too!! A big thanks ;)

    • Hi Kris, I love your story. Your house sounds AWESOME. (And I’m so glad that I’ve somehow helped you in your journey to overcome your religious stereotypes, too! I love that we have common ground to enjoy and that you stick with me here!) I’m honored to be a part of your week! Thanks for your kind comment and sharing your story.

  91. Hi,
    I live 11 miles north of Boston in Massachusetts. I live in a condo in a house built in 1910. My decorating style is a mix. I like a romantic style with a little rustic thrown in. Most of my furnishings and décor comes from flea markets, estate sales and antique shops.

    I have some small projects on my to do list. Hang chandeliers in the dining room and kitchen, add new window treatments to the living room and finish setting up my home office.

    Love your blog!!!

  92. Hey :)
    I really love this idea. I had a lot of fun reading the comments on this post. :)
    I live in the UK currently as an Au pair (I’m 19) and sadly my living situation isn’t very nice here (long story).
    So I started to get inspiration from pinterest and made a board what my future house or first flat could look like. I have a lot of fun planning the rooms and look for the things I really like on Pinterest.
    Your blog is also a huge inspiration to me .:)
    So I don’t live in my own home right now , but I’m really looking forward to it
    Thanks for including us.
    Liz xx

  93. Portland, Oregon born and raised. The last of a dying breed.
    I bought our tiny house in the Montavilla neighborhood as a single girl in 2001. I’ve since added a dog, a cat, a husband and three kids. :)
    I’m an obsessive gardener, I love all things food, and if there isn’t a DIY project going on, I don’t know how to act.
    I’m a long time reader, but only a sometimes commenter. Thanks for encouraging us to “introduce” ourselves.

  94. corner brook, newfoundland, canada!

    we just purchased a small 724 square feet home, with basement storage below us (it’s half poured concrete and half exposed bedrock, so not ideal for finishing but perfect for hiding stuff!). the house is more like a cabin, and we’re pretty smitten. there’s clapboard on our office wall, and two windows that were original to the house that are now in that interior wall which makes our office look like a doll house or something separate from our “living” space. we painted the clapboard blue, the rest of the house light gray and are just trying to keep things light and bright and airy! also – the woodstove. I generally wake up in the morning, make a coffee and sit down to watch some HGTV in front of the fire. it’s pretty magic.

  95. Cassandra Egan says

    Hello from a long time reader. I read this the other day, and am amazed by all the stories, even clicked back on a blog or two.
    I started reading home blogs about 6 years ago at the same time I was advised to declare bankruptcy. Like a kid gazing into a candy shop window I watched houses transformed, and learned to love what I had. (I did not declare bankruptcy, but have faithfully paid down debt to nearly zero.) In the mean time, I’ve married, and my husband graciously embraces my granny chic style. My home that I’ve lived in for over 15 years as a caretaker is a converted game house with one great room and one bedroom. It’s long and narrow like a train and nestled into the hillside next to a state park in Northern California. I live on a multi-million dollar piece of land behind a winery on poverty wages. I am blessed!
    I mentioned granny chic: I inherited most of my furniture from my grandparents, and I make it work, because it’s what I have, and it’s all full of warm family memories. I even have a baby grand piano tucked in a corner of my tiny baby house. My husband says it’s necessary to display all the photos. My house may be small and snug, but everyone who visits comments on how warm and inviting it is. I consider myself a master at Tetris, as I have a great collection of books, a china cabinet full of Grandma’s china and all the other “necessities” of life mindfully squeezed into this tiny house with just one even tinier closet. I’ve even pulled off dinner parties with over half a dozen people. It’s amazing what we can do when we set our minds to it!
    Over the past many years, I’ve picked up a thing or two, looked with new eyes at old things and enjoyed living vicariously.
    Thanks for letting us in and letting us share!

  96. I live in the burbs of Jackson, Mississippi in a house built in the early 70’s. My husband and I bought this home when we married 25 years ago and raised our two sons in it. Elvis was probably rolling over in his grave as we systemically got rid of all the gold shag carpeting, gold appliances, gold tubs, etc. It is a cozy home but has always been a little dark inside because of the pine trees surrounding it. My favorite room in the house is the sun porch which was originally a screen porch. I painted it a bright lime green a few years back and have never regretted that decision. When time permits, I sit on that porch and watch the birds and squirrels in our back yard. Since the boys are now in college, we have begun the process of downsizing and de-cluttering. We have already bought our retirement home in coastal Alabama and look forward to moving there when the time is right. ~Marlee~

  97. Barbara in CT says

    My husband and I live in Danbury, CT in a raised ranch (on the outside) that I pretend is a small farmhouse on the inside. I started reading your blog when I could peek in the windows on your header. I love a white kitchen, quilts, braided rugs, cannonball beds and other cozy, vintage stuff. Having been retired for almost 20 years, we are pretty much past the DIY stage except for the small projects and improvements.

  98. Hi! I live in Pittsburgh, PA. I have a small 2 bedroom ranch that I share with 2 dogs and 5 cats! We have a large yard and everyone goes outside so I promise it doesn’t feel like a zoo, LOL. I love decorating with white and have been in the process of adding more into my home as time passes. I’m in the middle of a DIY kitchen remodel including faux-marble counter-tops, white subway tiles (struggling with a grout color choice), white cabinets with open shelving, and white Harry Bertoia side chairs. I’d say my home is an eclectic mix of mid-century modern, rustic, Scandinavian, and industrial. I’ve intentionally brought in more of an industrial feel lately and thinking of a stainless steel dining table for the eat in kitchen. Hoping to finish it before the end of the year! I visit your blog almost every day for ideas! Great job! Your home is beautiful!!!!

  99. What a fun post idea! I live in a row home in Philadelphia, Pa. My husband bought it before we met and totally gutted the place. I love the layout and it’s a great size. After I moved in, I called it our “dorm room” because we had a folding table, a hand-me-down couch (the frame was broken!) and a giant tv with cables all over the floor. The last 3.5 years have been spent furnishing our home. So, now we most of our furniture, but nothing on the walls. We are in the baby phase, (1 yr old and another due in 3 weeks!) so most of our money is going to babies. We are also finishing the basement, which will be our family room. The bare walls are frustrating sometimes and I just want to make it homey, but in the end it’s nice to be able to peruse your blog for ideas and Pin things I like. I’m not jumping in and just throwing stuff together. It will happen at some point! Thanks for a beautiful blog, I really enjoy it!

  100. Hi Melissa, I was so excited to find out about your blog in this month’s BHG. I was stunned and excited to read that you live in Bremerton, as I do too! Your kitchen renovation is simply beautiful, I love it. My husband, four-year-old son and two cats live in a very cozy 1920’s home, in West Bremerton. I love to decorate. I have a blog, though I don’t have as much time to dedicate to it as I want. Our house is a mix of styles, mostly traditional, but with a twinge of industrial and lots of texture. There is lots more I’d like to do, but as always, it’s as the budget allows. I’m due with a baby girl in February, so I’m in full nesting mode. After she is born, I plan on getting back to my design and flea market business. Can’t wait for your book to come out soon! Nice to know you are out there!

    • How wonderful, we are neighbors! I wish I had a 1920’s home, too but it just didn’t work out for us here to find one. Congrats on the baby girl on her way! Very exciting. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! :-D Nice to meet you! Maybe someday we’ll get a local meet up going! That would be fun.

  101. Hello! I live in central Florida in a 30+ year old ranch-style house. At about 2,000 square feet, it is one of the smallest houses in our neighborhood of custom-built homes, and it took me a long time to get over wanting a bigger house but I love it now. We have literally made this home over from the ground up – pool, drainfield, upgraded landscaping, hardwood floors, upgraded baseboards, trim and interior doors, ceilings (buh-bye, popcorn texture), and a roof. Along the way, we have also moved a couple of walls and windows and completely remodeled one bathroom, the laundry room, and the kitchen. We moved a lot when I was growing up and I love that my teenage children have lived in the same house all their lives!

  102. We just moved. We live right outside of Columbus Ohio. A friend of mine loved our old house and wanted to buy it. We thought ‘no way’ at first. But then we found a bigger (by 1,000 sf) house that we absolutely love (only a couple miles away). My daughter and I always wanted a “bridge” hallway. I’ve also never had a pantry. Now I have a pantry and a mudroom and an upstairs laundry, Wahoooo. Projects are still hanging up new family pictures and I’m loving decorating my very fist mantel.

  103. Hi Melissa, so happy to read comments and stories above, how inspiring. What a wonderful idea :) I live in Lanigan Saskatchewan in a recently purchased 1960’s home. We have already gutted and reno’d the basement, creating a cozy one bedroom suite. Upstairs have started by creating a walk in closet and ensuite bath by stealing some space from the bedroom next to the master. At Christmas last year we chose a beautiful slab of cedar while we were vacationing on Vancouver Island and are in the process of prepping the ensuite so we can use this as our counter for our vessel sink. The bedroom we stole space from is now a little library. We have done all the work ourselves and will spend the winter painting and trimming out the spaces to achieve a relaxed country style. Your home is sweet inspiration :)

  104. Hi Melissa,
    I live in a suburb of San Diego called Mt. Helix. We have a 4000 sqft mid century one story home with amazing treehouse like views. Our house was custom built in the swanky ’60’s with glorious two story walls of glass, wood ceilings and lots and lots of avocado marbled green tiles. You take the good with the bad. Over the last 15 years we have slowly updated bits and pieces while trying to maintain the mid century vibe. I prefer cozy coastal design, but my house won’t stand for that. I have come to appreciate the style that our home screams for. I’ve been able to sneak in cozy corners here and there when it’s not looking though. Thanks for letting us share. It’s been fun to read all of the other comments. Love your blog, keep sharing.

  105. Karen on Bainbridge Island says

    You already know from my “handle” that I am practically next door to you in Bainbridge Island, WA. We built our home in the woods, near the water, 7 years ago and it’s big, but feels cozy. Our home is traditional in style, and I had an Maine coastal home in mind when we built it. We painted the exterior a very dark gray, with white trim.

    My decorating style is eclectic, and ever-changing. I inherited many pieces from my grandmother and my mother. I have a television cabinet, that houses magazines and books, that is a Chinoiserie style that my grandmother purchased when televisions were first invented! I also have a desk, a dining table, a china hutch and a carved chair that were in my grandmother’s house. I cherish these pieces because of the memories, but I would not incorporate them into my home unless I loved their style.

    I think every house needs to be a mix of old and new. I really like nautical accents and have incorporated that style in art and accessories. I like blues, greens, creams and accents of yellow and orange depending on the season. I should have been an interior decorator so I wouldn’t always be decorating my own house! I love to re-arrange furniture, moving pieces from room to room when the mood strikes me.

    I like to change my accessories seasonally, and not just for holidays. I bring out wicker and brass and blue and white porcelain in the summer. I toss plaid pillows on the sofa in the winter, and bring out my grandmother’s copper pieces and my brown transferware dishes and pitchers. I change slipcovers on the window seat cushions and hang different window coverings. I am fortunate to have storage space that is over a 4-car garage. It’s accessed through a doorway at the end of the upstairs hall, and I can “shop” my own furniture, accessories, holiday decorations, glassware and china whenever I feel I need a change, which is often.

    I believe everyone deserves to have a home that they find comfortable and beautiful, no matter how big or small their house or budget may be. Home is a sanctuary, the place you can relax and be happy, and it’s important that your surroundings make you content.

    • Your home sounds so wonderful (and from the peeks I’ve seen I know it is!). Thanks for sharing your story and for all your support here on the blog! So nice to have great neighbors. One of these days we’ll have to have a fun meet up with other bloggers and blog readers from this area!

  106. Hi Melissa,

    I’m based in Co Cork in Ireland and recently completed a major renovation of our duplex house above our pharmacy which is based in a small town. The house is over 100 years old, Georgian style with so many beautiful features that I struggled and fought to keep (and often had to recreate) as we had to make our place properly fireproof for future rental potential. During the process I took a lot of inspiration from blogs such as yours, and it has since inspired me to set up my own fledgling blog – to discuss my love of furniture paint, DIY and other bits and bobs I learned during the renovation process. I run a small software company full time also so finding time to post is quite tricky but I’m very much enjoying it so far! I don’t usually comment but I read your posts religiously!

  107. Hi Melissa,

    Greetings from tropical Singapore! We are a family of 3 (plus dog) originally from Germany and we live in a ground floor condo apartment that was built in 1998 and thus being considered ‘old’. As renters we cannot make huge changes to our place therefore I try to add some personality to our home by painting walls, hanging lot of photos that I have taken, decorating with driftwood, shells, coffee table books and magazines. Our biggest indulgence have been a mirror and a console made of reclaimed wood, bought here in Singapore but originally from India. I would describe our style being ‘casual beachy meets scandinavian simplicity’. Although we like living here in Singapore we never know how long we are going to stay at one place but should we ever move to the US I would probably like to find a ranch style home.

  108. Greetings from sunny Arizona. I live in Del Webb’s Sun City West Retirement Community on the west side of Phoenix in a 1985-built duplex (Del Webb called them Gemini Twins) in a small HOA with a beautiful greenbelt whose future is in doubt in the desert. Some of our homes have a lot brick in front and others are stucco (I’m told – no records – that some owners paid a lot extra to stucco over the brick. Luckily my duplex just has some brick trim rather than all over. Unfortunately my duplex is one of five in our community of 23 with gray comp roofs instead of some version of brown and through a poor choice by the Paint Committee, my house got painted a stark cold white with dark cold grey trim on the brick while the over gray roofs got a soft warm white or cream that blends well with the shades of beige and light gold in all the other houses – too bad, my lot – however, we get repainted in 2019 and I will definitely speak my piece armed with pix and other ammunition. BUT then one steps through the front door and one’s eyes are immediately drawn across the very open D’office/LR to the 8′-wide dark-framed window which looks out on that beautiful greenbelt and one falls in love. At least I did, and after 2 years, I’m still madly in love. Those large dark-framed windows, the arch off the foyer into the hallway and the soaring vaulted ceiling in the LR/D’office and the view of the similar warm beige/gold homes across the greenbelt all give a bit of Spanish bungalow/Mediterranean feeling to my home. The house is small (1350 sf), oriented due east/west yet quite shaded at times because of trees and an overhang on the house, but my still immediate pleasure when I get up in the morning is to walk through the house and open every curtain along the way to bring the outside in. Need lamps at many times a day but I’m following Maria Killam’s recommendations about having enough lamps in every room and I’m becoming a “lamp tramp” (I have about 20 now with a few more to come – energy-efficient bulbs, of course, though not CFLs which I hate). Biggest project (when I win a lottery, maybe) is to replace the mix of pinky beige tile and 30-year filthy but still quite good-looking textured beige carpet with a single flooring throughout (my favorite comment about the current flooring is that my floorplan looks like a #10 envelope with postage and extra stickers. Medium oak cabinets in the kitchen bathrooms and “linen” cabinet at the end of the hallway will be painted some white or light in keeping with the style of my house plus my choice in floor color (can’t be hardwood but I’m learning toward wood-look porcelain tile similar to what Kate at CentsationalGirl did in her Nevada home. Biggest challenge: Fixed/limited income and no way to increase it significantly (small part-time job doesn’t bring in much). Blessing: Because there are good cash reserves but little discretionary money, I think, think, think and evaluate and reevaluate and, happily, haven’t made an major decisions that I regret or can’t reverse. I may say “I wish…” but I really don’t envy the new neighbors moving in who are able to renovate before they even move in. And I’m comfortable blowing off anyone who questions that I’ve lived here to two years and still feel as though I’ve just moved in. I’m having a great adventure and I’m grateful for the blogs I’ve come to love. I found Maria Killam first back in 2009, and then I stumbled on Centsational GIrl and then The Inspired Room one day when I was looking for inspiration to style a console/buffet table. In fact, it was your style quiz back in 2013 (I signed up in 9/13) that enabled me to realize that my style was country/cottage and that thought I would never have a cottage in the country in Prescott, Arizona, I could turn my little home in SCW into a version that fulfills all my desires. I have you and your outlook to thank for some of the patience I’ve learned and I’m still having a greatest adventure!

  109. We downsized in 2000 after our youngest left for Va Tech from a 3000 sf Colonial in Chesapeake, VA to a 1938 Cape Cod in Norfolk, VA on a tidal inlet of the Lafayette River. In 2005, we added a “river room” with two glass french doors that look out to the river and our back garden- that room is now our living room. The original living room is now our dining room. At the same time the river room was added, we also raised the roof upstairs and created our Master Bedroom with walk-in closet and second bathroom. The odd angles in that room along with the staircase have created some major design challenges + since it was an attic before, it has a tendency to house the clutter from downstairs that we don’t know what to do with,,,,,we are in the process of going through our “stacks-o-crap” to deal with the unnecessary clutter that we thought we had dealt with in 2000……amazing how it creeps in :-). In 2008 we renovated our 10ft galley kitchen + 6 ft “butler’s pantry” and pantry closet with new cabinets (I put them together), countertops and appliances and pergo wood floor that matches our hardwood floors throughout the first floor – my favorite thing about our kitchen is the cabinets with deep drawers for pots, pans and blenders, crock pots, etc. and the roll out drawers in the traditional cabinets. Anyway we’re now at about 2000 sq ft which is just perfect for us (although I do wish for a bigger kitchen at holidays to host our growing 18 member family dinners)…..but we’re very blessed to live in such a lovely home and have enjoyed creating a beautiful outdoor space with a deck on the riverside of the house and a brick terrace to the back and the garden.
    My decorating style is a casual English Cottage style with a Scandinavian influence thanks to our Norwegian heritage (I love painted furniture and armoires). I have Karastan carpets in the living room, dining room and the connecting “foyer” that are all the same pattern in a coral rose background with blue and green in the pattern. The kitchen is a greeny blue, the dining room is SW Henna Shade – the coraly rose in the carpet, and the living room is Malted Milk by Behr. The woodwork throughout is Swans Wing (I think, Behr). I love that the fireplace is now in our dining room – I placed an old framed mirror in the back of the firebox and have a 9 candle stand in front of it so that the light is reflected.
    I loved your blog posts about arranging your home’s rooms to suit your family’s use and needs in the space. It has really inspired me to rethink our dining room as a dining/library/reading room as we don’t use the largest room in our home except for dinner parties or holidays. And the little enclosed porch beyond the dining room will become my craft and sewing room.
    So there are plans, but at the present they have been put on hold as my husband deals with some serious health issues……we are so blessed to be retired, to have the freedom and time to spend together to keep appointments together and all those things that would be such a worry if we had to deal with work and leave etc.
    Loved seeing your kitchen in the new BH & G!!!! Congratulations!

  110. This is so fun! My husband and I live in an 1890 registered historic home in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland with our two cats — and a goldendoodle puppy who will be coming home to live with us in two weeks! I actually started reading your blog after discovering Jack’s blog first! Ohio City is a neighborhood of old, gorgeous homes originally built by Lake Erie shipping magnates, as well as a large number of breweries, restaurants and small shops that make it a really fun place to live. We lucked out that our home has all its original, unpainted woodwork, floors and stained glass windows. We’ve been working for the last four years to make the house our own, while maintaining its history, including complete gut renovations of the unfortunate 1980s kitchen and bathrooms, a new garage and a new deck. We just got the exterior painted, which took 8 loooong weeks but was worth every second!

  111. How nice of you to ask about your readers homes. I adore your blog and find great inspiration here. I live in the beautiful town of Santa Cruz California on the Northern California coast. Its paradise here/. I live in a adorable 1940;s New England type saltbox style cottage that I have decorated in a lovely blue and white coastal style blended with my Mother’s early American antiques. My Mother had a large shell collection from the 1920’s and I incorporate them throughout my home. I collect coastal art and have very nice pieces that grace my walls and add to the coastal vibe. This area where I live Its a gorgeous neighborhood of the Pacific ocean where redwoods here meet the ocean with great beauty. We have temperatures in the 70;s throughout the year and enjoy all outdoor activities. We do not allow big box stores here. drove through’s or malls and thrive in a eco friendly green community of sustainable living. We have organic farms throughout the area and enjoy Farmers Markets all year long. Its a great place to live with unique local shops, small bookstores, coffee houses and a focus on healthy living. Any time of the year here you can surf, bicycle, hike and swim in the ocean. We have a large environment of marine animals that we protect with our marine sanctuary. You can walk down to the ocean all year and watch whales, otters and dolphins play. We have a large arts community and enjoy local theater and many museums. Our lovely area is only 30 minutes from Carmel California and Monterey which is lovely coastal paradise. Its truly paradise and we are blessed to live in such a special place. Its truly wonderful to live in a environmental beautiful area that is protected from big business, where people are involved in the protection of the area and our marine environment. Those of us that live here just adore it and realize how blessed we are.

  112. I live in a 1955 ranch in Atlanta, GA. We are getting ready to redo the two full baths. Thank you so much for your blog…it has helped me so much in my home…mainly with taking time to think about the little things that help make a room feel a certain way. I tend to go in the comfy, cozy direction, and simply by adding pillows, throws, candles, etc. it has really made a difference. Your coffee mug idea, for some reason, has not only inspired me in my kitchen, but was the jumping off point to do pretty/fun things in each room.

  113. I live in a semi in Kildare,Ireland with my long suffering diy mad husband. We also have our daughter and her Yorkshire terrier living here too. We have lived here for 17 years and love it. We are constantly updating the house. Our most recent project was knocking the wall down between our clothes loving daughters room and the box room. She has two wardrobes and lots and lots of shoe shelves now. The next big project is to take up part of our decking in the back garden as it rains a lot here, it gets really slippery in the winter. We plan to gravel a section and add tubs for planting using the decking we take up,recycling at its best. Your blog inspires me to keep going and do what you love.

  114. I live in a subdivision in the burbs south of Kansas City, MO. We’ve lived here a little over 20 years. The houses look so similar & I find that boing. I am trying to make the inside mine, especially now that my husband & I are empty-nesters. Our son is at university out of state & daughter moved to Boston following grad school. We’ve just recently begun redecorating, buying some new furniture, but are most excited about painting & new window treatments. I’m trying not to move so slow when it comes to making decor decisions, but will never be on the cutting edge. I love cozy, welcoming homes– it’s gotta be a place where guests are comfortable & you can put your feet up!

  115. Hi Melissa. I live in Greensboro, NC. I’m retired from Wrangler/Lee Jeans corporate headquarters and am married to a retired (but still in the corporate world Marine). We have three adult children between us and two granddaughters. We recently moved from a 4500 sq ft on three floors (ugh) to a 3600 sq ft home. This house is two floors tall, but at least the master is on the main floor. :-D We thought were downsizing. Ha! It’s a brick ranch that was built in the mid-90’s and was very dated. We just completed the majority of a total kitchen and master bath remodel. The rest of the house was updated cosmetically – paint, added/refinished hardwoods, new carpet, light fixtures, etc. Your blog is one of my favorites! I read every update and project that you post a just love reading about the misadventures of your fur babies.

  116. Hi Melissa!
    – I live in the western suburbs of Chicago with my now husband. We moved in last August in our house (a short sale, after two years of looking) and just recently got married last March.
    – we have a three bedroom, 1 bath post-war ranch. it’s a typical, the men came back from WWII and the housing boom with them all getting married. Most houses look alike in our neighborhood but over the years, people have added on and what not but not our house. It has new siding a roof and I think it’s the best looking house on the block that still looks like it originally did! we defenitly got a diamond in the rough when we found this short sale.

    – i want to paint our kitchen cabinets. The kitchen was remodel (i think) in the late 90s (you can tell by the colors and style of border) but it’s not really my style. we can’t afford much so we will paint the oak cabinets white (as much to our fathers and uncles dismay) and do a concrete treatment on the green laminate counters. As much as I would love granite or some other type of stone counters, it just doesn’t fit with the house and neighborhood to invest in it. We live in a blue collar area and I don’t think anyone would expect granite in a kitchen here. But I want to personalize it with concrete. If we replace them at all, I do like those laminate countertops that look like stone. But for the $$, you can’t beat the concrete project. I also want to replace the creamy/pinky backsplash. My husband doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with ti and it is in great condition but I hate the color and don’t think it will go with the white cabinets and gray countertops. Our mudroom has the same cabinets as our kitchen and i’d love to paint them the same way as well and also paint the walls. They are just white but they feel so stark to me.

    -what you dream about for the future? If we stay in this house, I would love to add on an addition to the back to include a family room, another 1/2 bath and maybe make our master bedroom a full on suite with a bigger closet and our own bathroom. Our front room now would turn into a dining room, since we only have an eat-in kitchen now and I would expand the kitchen into the mud room and relocate the laundry into the master suite. We have a tiny house (1100 sq ft) but we have a HUGE backyard. So if we ever to an addition, we will have plenty of room to build and keep a backyard. One of my other plans, is to put in an above ground pool and some sort of deck, patio off our detached garage that would extend to the pool area. :o) If we decide to move in 10 or so years, I keep telling my husband I would love to keep this house as a rental property. It’s a great starter home for newlyweds or single people and it would be a great investment for our retirement fund!

  117. Hi Melissa, I’m from Palos Heights, IL living in a 1940s farmhouse. I’m an interior decorator and just started blogging at and hope you’ll visit. My house is ever-changing literally from one day to the next. I love to move lamps around – it’s a weird obsession – and sometimes furniture from room to room for a change. Love your blog, nice to meet you.

  118. Hi Melissa, my husband and recently moved to Aurora, Ohio, a somewhat rural city between Cleveland and Akron. Aurora was founded in 1799–but live in a large development of condos and single homes built in the early 1970s. We fell in love with our two-story condo because of the many large windows and sliding doors with wooded views of a pond. We get such wonderful light! It makes me happy and thankful to wake up every day here. The house had been completely remodeled a couple of years before we bought it, and the walls and all cupboards in the house were white. The flooring is all charcoal gray carpeting in the living areas and natural brown/gray/beige slate tile in the first floor halls, bathroom, and kitchen. Since February, we’ve been working to bring our own personalities to our home. I began decorating every room with the floor, as I have always done, and I’ve put Oriental-style rugs and dhurries right over the carpeting. All of our upholstered furniture is gray or beige, and our wood furniture is mostly dark. Then I’ve taken various colors from the rugs and translated them into accessories and art. I love decorating, and I agree with other readers who say their house is never finished. Our style is sort of Pottery Barn-ish with a sprinkling of beloved family pieces, but my favorite part is our very personal art collection with many paintings done by my husband, my mother, my uncle, and my cousin. I’ve been so inspired by your blog, especially your advice to take your time and let a house evolve. I love the warmth of your home, and I have gleaned more than a few ideas from your style–including the tortoiseshell blinds, which I’ve now got in my office/guest room. I love them! Thanks for sharing your very “homey” home with us and inviting us to share our stories with you.

  119. That is my dear friend, Debbie’s family room in the first photo. We were college room-mates and I lived a few blocks away from her in Newport Beach, Ca. Now we live in San Francisco in a 1920’s apartment…I still visit Debbie and relax in that family room and she comes here! We have similar styles. Take care.

  120. Melissa, thanks for all the inspiration! I live in Northeastern Brazil with my two boys (5 & 7), husband and cat. We are getting ready to move, which is a bit challenging since we aren’t sure where yet, but it will likely either be Mississauga, Canada, or Ann Arbor, MI, depending on my husband’s next job.

    Still working on combining my husband’s and my styles, but I love an un-fussy fusion of classic, global and rustic. We have some beautiful pieces of rustic reclaimed wood furniture that we’ve acquired here, along with classic Lee sofas & a few fun pieces like a zebra cowhide rug and some awesome artwork, which I’ve mostly bought directly from the artist. Looking forward to making it all come together in our new home… Wherever that home is.

    One of the things I feel your blog has really inspired me to do is to make where we live OURS, even if it’s just a rental. My current biggest project is purging – I’ve really come to see how having unnecessary things eats my time (especially here where my unused items literally have mold growing on them!). I don’t want to move things we don’t need from house to house. We brought too much down with us, but my kids were 1 & 3, so time wasn’t something of which I had a great deal.

    I really liked what you’ve said about authenticity, and decorating with the things that have personal value to you. We have some battered hand-me downs from beloved grandparents that I will enjoy restoring, some batiks I made that I will be turning into throw pillows, and some wonderful pieces we have collected on our travels, all with a lot of memory and meaning to them. I’m looking forward to getting rid of what we don’t need so those special pieces can shine. Thanks so much for all the inspiration – I will be reading your blog ravenously for ideas when we’ve picked out our next home. Looking forward to getting your book, too: I’m holding out for a paper copy!

  121. Why did old country farm houses have tall ceilings and windows but had small entry doors . Im trying to age my mothers house in the country its in east central alabama between montgomery and auburn , . It has tongue and groove walls,floors and ceilings . Im 6’4″ tall but the doorways are like 6 foot . Can this be explained . I think my great grandfather built the hoyse maybe in 1870’s . I dont think my grandfather built it . If he would have built it,,, it would have been around 1918-1920 and the old house doesnt fit that era.

  122. I live in Northeastern Brazil with my two girls(7 & 3), husband and cat. We are getting ready to move, which is a bit challenging since we aren’t sure where yet, but it will likely either be Canada, or Ann Arbor, MI, depending on my husband’s next job.I really liked what you’ve said about authenticity, and decorating with the things that have personal value to you.

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