So…  It DEFINITELY has not set in but our house is officially “for sale” today.  The house I didn’t think I was leaving for at least 18 years.  Yesterday I just looked at my husband and was just like, “What are we doing???”  My head will go from “I don’t want it to move; I hope it takes forever to sell” to “I’m ready for what’s next!!” to “No one will ever buy it!!”


{my love…  the exterior I originally had no idea what to do with… now black and spruced up a bit.}

So… while it’s still my house, I thought I’d tell you a bit about what you don’t see in magazine pictures.  It’s not the fun design-stuff at all, so you might want to skip this post! ‘;) But it’s stuff that has changed the way we live and it’s the things that make our house functional, which is obviously a huge part of home design, so I thought I’d try to list it all in once place.  Another caveat: this post is full of not-so-pretty/ unstyled pics taken randomly with my iphone and also real estate photos which are of a totally different style than what’s seen in the glossy magazines- lights on, wide angles, unstyled etc.- to show how the house is all related.

{the lifesaver hooks in our entry}

For a quick rundown: Our house is 2400 square feet and has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths: A first floor master and two upstairs bedrooms.  It’s on a fairly main road and we have lots of privacy between us and the street (we’re on 1 acre) so we do end up hanging in the front yard too.  The back yard is fenced, which is perfect for our pup.  It’s not a big house at all so we’ve employed some major organization & storage techniques to make it work for us, mainly in the form of built-ins, closet systems, and converting under-utilized spaces spaces into practical ones.  When we moved in, we added a teensy-tiny powder room to the main level (taking out a coat closet, hence, the hooks above) because before that, guests had to use the master bath.  (I’ve never shared pics because it’s so small I could never get a shot- those real estate photographers can handle it though lol}  We felt the additional bathroom was a small price to pay for hooks in lieu of a traditional coat closet for guests.

{the real estate photo…  kicking myself for not putting away that roll of TP before I left home!!  ah vell.  We hung an antique cast iron sink and installed a vintage brass hose spiggot for the faucet…  always a topic of conversation after gusts first use it. The room is so teensy tiny I wanted to do something quirky in there to make it special.}

We have a big living room that opens to the kitchen, a smaller dining room, a family room (which isn’t usually in pictures as I never formally “decorated” it!) and an upstairs family room/ library/loft.   On the outside, it’s a black cedar contemporary, and on the inside it’s light and airy yet warm.  It’s more of a sepia-toned house vs. very white, which is how it appeared in Domino.  (It was shot on a snowy day which totally changed the light.)

{Interiors photos for shelter magazines & portfolios focus on the interiors to showcase them at their best and leave the views blown our or fuzzy, but the real estate photos really illustrate how the views affect the interiors.  When I come home from being anywhere else, I’m always struck by how “outside” I feel when I’m inside because of all of the windows.  I’m actually SO impressed with the real estate photographer’s photos and thought they came out really well.}

We installed SONOS throughout, a wireless sound system which we control from our phones.   To be honest, I was against doing it at first.  I felt that it was probably one of the biggest luxuries we splurged on because it couldn’t be seen in photos, showcased nothing to potential clients, and was purely for our pleasure.  And for a bit I felt guilty about it.  But now that thing makes me SO happy.  In some rooms, where I felt the speakers would impede on how they looked, we installed hidden speakers that go under the drywall so you can’t see them at all.   We have a rock hidden in the bushes in our backyard that plays the music too.  We play music pretty much all the time and can put on different stations in different rooms of the house.  

{My music is hidden in the bushes 😉 }

We also installed an alarm system that can be controlled from our phones too…  you can set and unset the alarm, turn on lights, change the temperature, be alerted about smoke detectors, carbon monoxide poisoning and all of that from your phone.   After having had these things and knowing that I’ll most likely be moving to a home without them, I definitely plan on doing them again.  We may not be able to go for the SONOS system for a good long while, but the alarm/house system really just made me feel more safe and I liked that we can make sure everything’s okay at home, even when we’re on vacation. 

 (If we wanted, we could throw a party at home from another state Home-Alone style 😉 😉  

Our closet, which was previously the master bathroom, keeps us feeling organized.  I’m a huge fan of drawers in a closet so we installed a system by Elfa.  Love it.  Another thing that I felt at first was a teensy splurge, but I now don’t regret a bit.  When comparing the pricing of the drawer units and shelving to what furniture would have been, we still made out.  I’ll definitely go for Elfa again in our next place if there isn’t a good system in place.  


{our closet…  we switch things in and out seasonally to stay organized}

Our fireplace is gas.  You can’t necessarily tell from pictures because it technically is a wood-burning fireplace- we built a true chimney for burning wood, but we installed a gas line and log set and only use it for gas fires.  (No wood-burning fires allowed with the gas line there now, btw!!)  In the colder months, we light it ALL THE TIME.  We go to the kitchen for breakfast and turn that things on.  I looove true wood-burning fires but love the convenience of turning on a fire by remote.  In our next house, I definitely want another gas fireplace.  (By the way, I keep saying “in the next house I want” but honestly, have no idea where we’re going or what we’ll be able to actually afford to do… But I can dream. 😉


We added a small bar room between our dining room and our family room.  It’s great during parties to encourage flow throughout the whole house, and is oddly a fun little hangout spot for guests. (What bar isn’t I guess??? 😉 


{the bar room is through the black pocket door in the dining room}


{Here’s a view from the family room…  And I just realized that I left all of the random stuff hanging on the walls- oh well!  Christian made me the little clay flower thing at school and we’d stuck it on the wall on an existing nail on the wall before the built-ins went in and I once used the family room to hang a ton of random art and I just realized I left a beloved old man in there! haha}


{A view of the bar}


{an armoire on the other side of the tiny room houses our printer, work stuff, kids’ crafts and house supplies}

To get more organized, we turned a tiny hall closet from our garage to our family room into a mini mudroom.  It has really saved us & helps us corral all of our incoming junk.  We also added a drop-down ladder to our attic and added plywood floors in our attic for additional storage.  Like I said, not the most exciting stuff, but absolutely key in getting our house to function for us.


{hello shoes!!}

The mudroom leads to the family room, AKA “the room of requirement”:

{the “room of requirement” in our house is now back to being a family room…  it was a nursery for a couple of months but we replaced the crib and rocker with a second sofa}

{Here’s a shot of the built-ins in there as we’ve been living with them…  LOVE all of the storage we gained with these.  It’s been SUCH a practical nursery.  – The changing pad goes in front of the TV and all of Gisele’s things are in the drawers.  We keep toys and kids stuff in the lower cabinets and I love that they are the push-spring magnetic doors to keep the very little ones out.  We set up the nursery like a family room so that when Gisele moved to her own room (in the imaginary addition above the garage 😉 it would turn back into a storage-packed family room.  }

Anyway, our listing should pop up online some time today so I’ll definitely be back soon to share pictures.  Hope you enjoyed this little peek into the rest of our home!!  Wish me luck!!!

And for those who are interested in the house and/or the open house, here is our realtor, Paige McGlaughlin’s- website & contact info: PAIGE’S SITE 

Open House this Saturday, August 1st from 1-4