I feel like I blinked at Thanksgiving and opened my eyes to Christmas.  We’ve made some serious progress on the house, and over the weekend, we unpacked
some of our things and it’s starting to feel a little like home.  Moving at the time we moved was a bit nutty.  I didn’t have the bandwidth
to really think about what was going on in the house or really take it in at all.  Things were crazy when we renovated our last house on a whim
with a newborn, but this situation – again with a newborn but now with 3 older kids and a book release- was a whole new level of crazy.

{a set up we looked at for a possible cover for my book}

I do miss our old place but I really appreciate having more space here for the kids to play and I love the little bit of historical vibe that’s sort of
happening in our new Cape Cod.  Design-wise, this house doesn’t excite me as much (I’ve got modern in my heart now!!  And I love
me some ’70s 😉  but it’s incredibly comforting in a way…  It feels like more of a traditional “family” home…  not as innately  “cool”
as a 70s contemporary, but it’s got its own personality, which I do appreciate.

I’m attempting to make it feel both more rustic and primitive and fresh/ better suited to a young, (fun) family all at once.  The proportions of the
house were perfect for us.  (Each room feels spacious but not overly “big”… except the kitchen which was surprisingly small…  we’ve enlarged
it a bit but it’s not big by any means.)  It’s exactly what we need-  lots of bedrooms (6!) and space but without feeling like a massive/
over-the-top new build.

Because the proportions were right on, the key in getting it to feel “right” for us was to strip it of the 80s-90s dressings that it was born with: mainly
the woodwork/ trim/ floors/ banisters etc. and to take it to a more rustic, simple version of itself, more like an original Cape Cod that’s been restored,
rather than a Cape Cod Revival from the 70s/80s and to slightly tweak the floorplan.

{We removed the doorway into the library seen here, in the living room, on the left to make the library more of a private office and to make the living
room more intimate/ less open.}

Standard “Colonial” window & door casings were replaced with simple 1x4s, instantly giving the house a more clean, primitive look.  We had a piece
of curved molding removed from the 6″ baseboards throughout the entire house so that they were also clean and straight.  It took a bit of the
“fuss” away and now everything feels more pure and simple.

{The living room today with all of our existing furnishings…  I painted the woodwork throughout the house in Farrow & Ball’s floor paint because
I liked the finish and wanted the floor and baseboards to be exactly the same.  I went with a whiter white on the walls, Benjamin Moore’s “Mountain
Peak White” because the slightly darker trim makes the woodwork a bit more prominent and adds to the historical feel.  I brought the back wall
forward 16′” so we could add recessed wood shelves to display some of our favorite things. In art, I’m getting to do lots of browns and wood tones.
I still crave a fairly neutral house.}

We also painted our floorboards with Farrow & Ball’s “Off White” floor paint.  My dream was to tear out all of the existing red oak floors and
go with wide plank heart of pine or white oak so that it would feel more authentic, but of course, there’s always reality.  I still wanted to
make it so that when you first  stepped into the house, it felt timeless (and not so 80s builder)  and you were surprised by what was going
on and felt a little bit of the past creeping in.  Like I said, going from the sort of atypical contemporary house that we moved from into such
a typical one has been a little bit of a let down for me so I’ve wanted to try to do things that make me really excited and feeling creatively challenged
without having to go out and buy all new furniture.  Painting the floors white has really given it the feel of an older home  and has lightened
it up a ton- which was huge for me in the back of the house, which was dark when we first moved in.

I’ve decked out the temporary 2×4 stair railing with garland and hung up some of my botanicals in the foyer:

The little wooden tree stump mirror hung on the side of the stairs shouldn’t bring me as much pleasure as it does but it cracks me up to see the kids using
it.  Rugs, new doors, lighting etc. still to come, but it’s starting to feel like home to me!!  So far, we are using all of the furnishings
from our old house- scattered randomly around and a bit ill-fitting- and so from there, I plan on filling in with new pieces.  There’s not much
we won’t keep… I am SO regretting my fairly recent bed purchase though oh my gosh!!!  This new bedroom is begging for a four-poster!!

Once the woodwork is right, for me, a house design really begins with the kitchen design.  I feel like what’s done in the kitchen branches out into
the rest of the house and that it all has to make sense with the kitchen.  There were a couple of dark random beams on the hearth room side of
the kitchen and so to make the entire space feel more cohesive, we added them to the entire kitchen, painting them all white to look as if original
beams had been painted.  (And though I desperately wanted sanded down raw wood beams, I felt like the front of the house is a tad too refined
for me to get away with a really rustic beam.)  I love how the beams make the ceiling feel lower and bring some charm and coziness to the (very
long) space.

{The kitchen when we first bought the house… the diagonal wood floors- that were up a few inches from the rest oif the house- have been removed and replaced
with new wood that blends seamlessly with the old.}

 

{Sorry for the crazy angle and the mess…  it was taken from the chair and on a typical day around here and as I type there are lots of people in
there so I can’t get another shot!  The beams hit at all sorts of odd places in the kitchen and made a typical lighting plan- with pendants over
the island- a little too off, but I’m not a huge fan of recessed lighting so I decided to go with insane number of flushmounts on the ceiling in lieu
of recessed lights… and I love it! The space is so white and light and I love the shot of black to keep it from feeling too sweet, and it’s so warm
and unexpected at night.   We’ve got them on dimmers – with the room broken into 3 zones- and it reminds me a bit of lights strung up outside
for a party every night.  Barn Light Electric gave them to us and I’m really thankful.  }

 

{The wall with the door on it used to house the powder room but we moved it into a hall we had made from the kitchen the the dining room and now the family
room is so much more open to the kitchen, below  It used to block off so much of the spaces from one another.}

{For now, we have a bunch of random furniture in here to have something to sit on, so ignore all of that but you can pay attention to Fawn, our
new pup!  She and Ashby (our other pup) are dopplegangers!!!  She’s 10 months old and such a sweetie.  She follows me around
everywhere right now which is why she’s in so many pictures… really, I’m not posing her.}

 

I plan on doing a a circular four-chair arrangement in here… I’m so excited because I think it’s one of the absolutecoziest furniture plans and I’ve
always wanted to do it in my own home. We’re going with four of the wide chairs (on the right but in a black/ natural textured fabric instead of the
gray linen) so that we can snuggle up and fit multiple people when needed. (If I were strictly looking at what would fit properly, I’d go with smaller
chairs to allow for better traffic flow, but fitting all 6 of us at once is trumping that, so larger chairs won out. Ah pros & cons!)

 

I want the house to be a sort of black, white, wood & metal mix and so I’m incorporating all of those elements into the kitchen.  Going white
on the floors has been a challenge in SO many ways (one of which is maintenance but I’ll get into that later) but for me the biggest (and most exciting
one) is that I have so much less wood in my spaces.  Wood is such a major design element for me because I love things natural and I love the warmth
and mood that only wood can bring to a space…. and now, without a base of wood on the floors, which I’ve almost always had in my own homes, I get
to bring more of it into the house in the form of other elements- furniture, art, accessories, built-ins etc.  And I have to think a little differently.

I used to stop myself a bit when selecting pieces for my home (because I always want to go with the warm wood and often, it would be overkill for the light,
airy feel I like in my personal houses) but now I’m actively seeking wood out, and getting to use it in focal points, which I love!!  In the kitchen,
I’m hanging some of my wood cutting boards and am doing a nine foot wide raw wood hood over the cooktop to get some of that warmth I crave.

{The hood will run from the left floor-to-ceiling cabinet – the fridge- to the one on the right- the pantry.}

 

I find I keep adding more things to the little ledge I had done out of the marble…  (below) I originally thought it would be sort of a simple, empty
space but I really just love having things out.  It feels homey and is so convenient.

 

 

I also brought in a set of vintage leather and wood chairs from the studio and paired them with our wood parsons table, which brings in some of that earthiness
I love.  The custom pulley light fixture is from the office in our last house:

{Can’t wait to get that yard into better shape!!  For now, it’s the kids’ mud pit, which is SO AWESOME with our white floors}

Anyway, I’m off for the day, but will be back to share more soon… I’ve realized when I go this long between blog posts I feel like I have so much to
catch up on that it pretty much takes all day so I’m breaking it up a bit this time.  😉

I do have to add that if anyone is still looking to pick up a copy of my book before the holidays, it’s back in stock online!  Amazon has it 30% off
and available for delivery tomorrow here..  Here’s
a little peek at one of the kitchens in the book, below.  My clients always seem to have something delicious brewing in there, and one of them
is this amazing sausage cabbage stew that I always crave on cold days like today…  I’m attempting to make it now.

Have a great day!!