Having new projects to work on keeps me inspired and energized. I love nothing more than digging into a new one that speaks to me and that I love so much I could picture myself in.  When I find myself wanting to move into someone’s house, I feel like we’ve done our job.  (the kitchen above that we did- built by CarrMichael Construction with the photo taken shortly after it was installed-was definitely one of those kitchens!!) I wrote a bit about this in my new book, but it was this desire to keep creating and coming up with things in my home that made me realize I actually wanted to design for a living.  As a decorator, I could leave my house alone but get to continue to stay creative.

One of the houses that has me visualizing a move right now (not happening- I promise I’m good for at least a while!! 🙂 is our upcoming flip property that we’re working on with our Property Collective co-founders, Maura & Daan DeRaedt.  (It feels really weird for me to call properties like this “flips” because I feel like “flips” sound kind of careless or cheap and what we’re really doing is restoring and adding architectural character and trying to make these houses more soulful and personal but I just don’t haven’t thought of a good name for that… Does anyone have a better name lol??) Anyway, our newest property has me imagining life there…



It’s got a brick and board and batten exterior and just feels like one of those “good” houses that you would have seen growing up.  It’s on an acre and is in my town, Great Falls, which is a small town with a little village in the middle of it (my studio is there!) and there are lots of horses and fields.  The house has this great sensible and simple feel to it and is around the corner from where I used to ride when I was a kid… it’s hard to explain but it’s like it has everything you need- good-sized rooms and lots of space (5 bedrooms & almost 5000 square feet with the basement) but it isn’t over-the-top huge like so much of the new construction I’ve been seeing lately.   It’s got a sort of horse-country-rustic vibe that I’m going to run with- the brick, the board & batten, some pine paneling on the interior, a huge stone fireplace in a family room with wood ceilings.  The architecture in the front of the house- living room-foyer-and current dining room- is a bit more formal and Colonial, which you see a lot in these types of houses, so I’m going to work on paint and adding a little more depth, character and purpose to the front spaces.  Right now, all of the kitchen & baths are totally outdated, it’s empty, the colors all need help, and it feels like it just need some love.  We close soon and I CANNOT WAIT to dig in!!!

There’s currently tile in the foyer and kitchen but I want to replace them with something more substantial-feeling that will bring a bit of history and age into the house- maybe a flagstone…

Flagstone floors in a bathroom by Amanda Pays featured on Remodelista

or brick…

Brick pavers in Jon Manshof’s kitchen


or slate…

Slate pavers in the kitchen we did for our clients


The HARDEST part of rehabbing a property to sell is that most inconvenient thing called a budget (arggg) and so every decision needs to be so calculated.  Any splurges really needs to be amazing enough that it helps increase the value of the home or make it so amazing that it sells super quickly.   We’re all so thankful that our last property sold right away with four or five offers over asking, but when beginning a new project again, we’re back at square one and we have to be so. incredibly. careful not to over or under-spend and to get that asking price right on.

I have an itemized wishlist going on of what I want done to the property and now it’s time to get it all quoted and see how much of it we can truly do.  My fingers are crossed six ways to Sunday!!!

I’ve started a pinterest board for the house (you can see it here) but here’s a little peek at the vibe I’m going for:

By Barbara Westbook


IMage via cvilletocharleston.com … won’t have a deer head though!


IMage via helpsmadenayone.ga


Photo via Folllow the Yellow Brick Home


Gorgeousness by Larry Hooke Interior Design


Image via TeresaMoolman.tumblr.com


From Southern Living


One of the best parts for me with properties we’re selling is imagining up a client to design for…  I’m not really into depersonalizing and staging in the traditional sense… I prefer to give a house as much character and soul and personality as I can and hope the right person comes along and is drawn to it so I kind of imagine a past and a history and passions for an imaginary person or family.  This one, having so much local flavor and such a strong sense of place, will be really fun to dig into and I’m going to really enjoy the styling process and creating a little story/ lifestyle out of this place!!  I’ll keep you posted!!  If you’re looking for a property in Great Falls and are interested in listing updates/ pricing/ details on the property,  you can reach out to Daan DeRaedt .  To follow along and catch behind-the-scenes peeks and videos of the project, follow @propertycollective on Instagram!!