Archive | our house

sources for entry, office, bath & dining room

The first half of the fall tour was fun, right? I loved pulling my house together and giving it a fall look (if you missed the tour, you can see it here). There were many questions about sources for items shown and I’m all about sharing!


Not that you are going to go out and purchase everything you see here, but hopefully it helps show what can be done without spending tons and tons on furniture and accessories.  For the fall tour, I mainly shopped my house – rearranging furniture, moving around accessories, pulling out a few fall decorations I keep stored. Like I said on the house tour, I recently quieted the house and striped it of all of it’s ‘stuff’. It was the best thing for me! I actually had a semi-difficult time putting things back out because it was just so nice to have clean surfaces, bookshelves, walls. But it was time to put things back together and I like the more edited version of our house this time around. I’m sure things will change (as they always seem to do around here), but for now, this arrangement suits us.

Okay, back to sources. Let’s start with the entry. Most of these items are new-ish because I was ready for a more simple and open entry (see the entry before here and here). This looks feels very minimal, yet practical.


mirror // boo. I can not find it on the ikea website. But it was cheap – like $49ish – and big with clean lines.

bench // sorry, no link. Marshalls/tj maxx/homegoods are hit or miss – on one particular day, it was a hit for me when I found this sturdy bench.

hook // you can’t really tell from the photo, but this monogram letter hook is super cute. It’s an L (naturally).

scarf // if you’re looking for a perfect everyday scarf, this is it. Soft, easy to wear, a purchase with purpose.

bag // I had been eying this striped/leather bag for forever and bought it to carry my laptop to Rwanda this summer. It is perfect in style and size for my 15″ macbook and I opted for an outside zippered pocket for extra storage. I wish the stripe fabric was a little sturdier and durable, but I would still recommend it. Plus, I love that the company provides work for women who otherwise would not have a job (learn more about better life bags here).

rug // trendy? yes. But inexpensive and graphic and dark enough in the entry to hide dirt. It slips around so it needs a rug pad under to hold it in place.

There is a little welcome decal on the mirror that doesn’t show in the photo, but it is super cute and from here.


shelf // you will never believe how inexpensive this shelf is … $49! It’s surprisingly nice for the price and keeps things modern in the bath.

frames // silver frames were all the rage years ago, but I still like them grouped with my little darlings’ photos.

mirror // from my grandmother. I love it all chippy and gold.

painting // it’s my first large-scale painting (proud moment) that I turned into prints available in the shop.

towel // these soft hand towels are my favorite.

stool // such a great basic that can be stained or painted any color.


wallpaper // the world’s most time-intensive diy, but totally and completely worth it. 4 years later, it’s still my fave.

chair // my search for the perfect office chair led me to this handsome but too-short one, so I added casters.

rug // an oldie that is no longer available at ikea, but you can get a similar one at crate & barrel.

frame // another vintage chippy gold frame (I sense a theme …)

sconces // this whole collection of lights is so good. Especially the black & white striped cords.

desk // salvaged door + ikea table legs + ribbon + nailhead tacks. dining-room-sources

window // we found the large window at our favorite salvage store in Seattle, hung it from barn door tracks and it works as a great room divider between the entry and dining room without blocking light.

chairs // no longer available, but these are similar. I just wouldn’t recommend them for everyday use if you have kids who make crumbs.

table // no longer available (unfortunately). It’s one of the first pieces of furniture we bought as a couple. We found it at the restoration hardware outlet store for a steal. It’s super heavy and will stay with our family for a long, long time.

light // another find from the rh outlet store. Again, for a steal.

shelf // great lines, made well, fun to style. Great option if you’re looking for an affordable, but nice bookshelf.

runner // one strip of white butcher paper, a second strip of $1 target wrapping paper. I bought every roll they had in my store and wish I had 10 more. I love this paper.

pew // my favorite thing my mother-in-law ever passed down to us. She bought it years ago from an old church. It’s rickety, but so, so charming.


So there you have it – all the sources. As always, let me know if you have any other questions!

Continue Reading | 19 comments

fall house tour

Fall is my favorite. Truly it is. So naturally, I like a cozy decorated-for-fall home. This year, I am just coming off of quieting the house and it felt really good. When putting accessories back in to each room, I was really selective and picky – nothing made it back that is not practical, pretty or meaningful.

It was a mad dash to get the house photo-ready, but I made it (just barely!).


I’m so pleased to be joining an insanely-talented group of bloggers on the Finding Fall Home Tour. You can start at the beginning here and I’ll link below to the next stop. If you are coming from Rhoda’s lovely tour, welcome!


Today I’d love to show you the front of our house (the entry, half bath, my office and the dining room). Next week, we’ll continue the tour with the living room and kitchen (I’ll give you a few sneak peeks of those rooms today because I’m terrible at waiting). As you will see from the photos, I’m slightly addicted to neutrals and try to keep things interesting by adding a ton of texture. Pattern, sheen, metal, varying wood tones – all of these elements are the base of how I love to decorate.

Shall we begin?! Welcome to our home …

// E N T R Y //

When you step into our house, we have a nice open entry. A full mirror, graphic rug and sturdy bench work well in our busy household.




// S M A L L   B A T H //

Right off the entry is the small bathroom our guests use.


Lots of mixed metals in there! (and a big pumpkin painting that I still can’t believe I painted).

// O F F I C E //

Of all the rooms in the house, my office is my favorite. It feels cozy and fresh and is where I go to work, create and just be emily.


I recently pulled out the carpet (!) and have yet to replace the floor. I honestly like it one hundred times better even with just the painted sub-floor. The rest of the carpet in our house better start counting it’s days because soon it is all coming out.


(see more of my office and the painted wallpaper here and here).

// P I A N O   N O O K //

Off the entry and across from the dining room is this bump out where the stairs are that fits our piano perfectly. Last week, I painted it white. It was a pain, but it looks great and it was well worth it (tutorial coming with tips for how to paint yours if you are so inclined).



// D I N I N G   R O O M //

Our dining room doesn’t get a ton of use but it’s one of the first rooms you see when you walk in the house, so it’s important that it sets the tone for the rest of the house. It’s currently decorated with neutrals (of course) and a pretty mix of textures.







In the corner, the bar cart is host to our annual thankful tree (see the first year here, and last year’s updated look here).


The tags are ready for the kids to write on earlier than we usually start, but I think it will be nice to spend the whole fall season being intentional about giving thanks.



As promised … here’s a little peek at what’s happening in the rest of the house:


Stop back next week for the full details.

Thanks for coming by today! Up next on the tour is my cutie friend Ashley from The Handmade Home. If my house feels a little too neutral to you, you’ll love Ashley’s because she is not afraid of color and uses it so beautifully. Can’t wait to see what personal touches she’s added to their home.


You can see the whole line-up of fall house tour bloggers here, get fall decorating ideas galore on the BHG + Finding Fall pinterest board, and be sure to sign up for Better Homes & Gardens 100 days of holidays list.

p.s. a new WEEKLY GIVEAWAY is open today … click here to check it out and enter to win!

Continue Reading | 62 comments

quieting the house

I couldn’t take it any longer.

There was just too much stuff cluttering up the visual space in our home. I’m in a weird spot in my emotional life – deeply craving light and calm, direction and needing a deep exhale – and it has translated into this crazy lady pulling off and packing up every accessory just to let the house (and me) breathe a little.


My friend Myquellyn calls it Quieting The House.  By removing all of the stuff (the accessories, pillows, picture frames, cute things!) it reduces visual distractions, clutter and loudness that I just need gone right now. I’m an accessory lover, but sometimes it gets out of control and quieting the house becomes necessary to help figure out what I like, what is just there for the sake of being there, what works, what doesn’t and why I insist on putting so many pillows on the couch.

So this past weekend, I shushed the house. Mostly just the living room and entry/hallways. The kitchen is next.

Here was the entry being all LOUD:


And here it is QUIET:


Here’s the living room LOUD:




It’s looking a bit sparse and blah – and maybe like we’re packing up to move – so eventually accessories will be brought back in and curtains will be hung and the shelves will be re-styled. We’ll probably move some furniture around.


But for now, it’s sort of refreshing.


By getting rid of all of the stuff, I can see each space for what it is and assess what we can do to make it work better for our family.  One thing we’ve noticed is how dark the walls feel. They are a light-ish neutral, but the paint is 8 years old and looking a little rough and it’s probably time to put on a fresh coat of paint. White. Everywhere, white. And that carpet. Oh how we want to pull it up! Hopefully soon.


For now, I have a chair-less dining room with stacks and bins of stuff that may or may not make its way back into our lives.

Shhhhhh … quieting the house is good for the soul.

Continue Reading | 46 comments

open shelves in the kitchen

When we tore apart our perfectly fine, but utterly boring kitchen, one thing we knew we wanted were open shelves.

We love the classic, casual, slightly industrial, slightly country look of shelves and it remains one of our favorite parts of our kitchen.


There are a few regular questions people ask about living with open shelves in the kitchen, so I’m here to answer. Here are the top three questions:

1. Do the dishes get dusty?


Yes. They do. But not any dustier than anything else in the house. We use most of what lives on the shelves on a fairly regular basis, so the dust doesn’t accumulate too much. I just wipe them down every week or so (who am I kidding … it’s probably more like once a month) with a damp paper towel and that takes care of it.

2. How do you keep the stuff on the shelves looking nice?

open-shelves-objects This is totally personal preference, but I like to group like items, and keep everything neutral.

Our everyday dishes are white (see the stacks?) and glassware is clear, which looks nice neatly arranged on the shelves. Mixed in is lots of white serving ware (most passed on from my m-i-l who is a professional thrift-store shopper) and old silver bowls and trays.


The bottom shelves are filled with regularly used dishes and in zones that make sense to our kitchen. The coffee cups sit near the coffee maker; the plates are near the dishwasher for easy unloading; the glasses are grouped together near the sink and beverage refrigerator.

The top shelves are a bit more decorative with cake plates, white pitchers and vases, but are still items that get regular use.

Varying height by leaning silver trays up against the wall, or stacking salad plates on a cake stand give a bit of interest and keeps the eye moving around. There’s no perfect way to style shelves, but keep playing around, moving things, propping things, arranging until it appeals to your eye.

3. Where are the shelves and brackets from?


When looking for shelves, we were wanting simple and modern to balance out the cottagy look of the bead board paneling. We bought the metal brackets from IKEA which were both inexpensive and just the look we were going for. There are a few options of shelves also from IKEA, but we went with the birch wood veneer and then sanded and painted them with the same oil-based paint as the lower cabinets. They have held up very well.

If we were to do our kitchen again, we would definitely go with open shelves again. They feel light and add character and provide easy access to our everyday dishes.

What do you think of open shelves in the kitchen?

Continue Reading | 22 comments

summer house tour

Welcome! I’m happy you stopped by! Today I’m joining up with Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage and her Summer Tour of Homes.


Over the last few days I have transitioned our home’s decor to be a bit more summery. What this basically means is that I have switched out pillows, added plants and flowers and rotated art. One of the best parts of having a very neutral foundation (like our sofa, chairs, wall colors, etc) is that decorating seasonally doesn’t require a whole lot. I love shopping our home – borrowing curtains from the play room, art work from the bathroom, and recovering down pillow inserts with an inexpensive shower curtain – to make little changes that give our house a cheerful summertime feel.

Have a peek around!










living-room-gray-pillow       hot-pink-peonies





summer-list-chalkboard      office-entry


If you’re curious about how our house looked in the fall > click here < and at Christmas > click here <

The Summer Tour of Homes continues with so many great ideas and inspiration for bringing summer to your home. Here’s the full lineup:

Monday, June 2nd

The Shabby Creek Cottage
The Nester
At The Picket Fence (Vanessa)
Thistlewood Farms
The Inspired Room

Tuesday, June 3rd

The Handmade Home
My Fabuless Life
Finding Home
In My Own Style
The Hunted Interior

Wednesday, June 4th

Inspired By Charm
Jennifer Rizzo
Madigan Made
Makely School for Girls
Funky Junk Interiors

Thursday, June 5th

Jones Design Company
Beneath My Heart
The Pennington Point
White Buffalo Styling Co.
Southern Hospitality

Friday, June 6th

At the Picket Fence (Heather)
Desert Domicile
Tatertots & Jello
Home Stories A to Z
Live Laugh Rowe
Thanks for coming over!

Continue Reading | 47 comments