Sweet, sweet summertime. I’m so happy this new season is upon us. We’re up here in the Pacific Northwest where summer doesn’t officially start until the kids get out of school mid-June, but we are just about mentally there. My kids (four of them ages 11, 9, 7 + 5) have stayed up much past their bedtime all week, we went out for ice cream last night and they have big plans for a new business this summer they can’t wait to get going on. All to say, we’re all ready. I need the lazy days and open windows, Ryan loves the warmer weather and flip flops, the kids can’t wait for all of it.
In preparation for the craziness that is our next few weeks before summer, I went on a decluttering flurry around the house. While I didn’t go quite to the extreme as last fall by completely quieting the house (a phrase lovingly borrowed from my friend the Nester), I still needed some space to breathe. If you’ve been around my space of the internet for long, you know that I’m a neutral-loving girl. White. Black. Natural wood. Linen. Sometimes I add in pops of color (like in last year’s summer house tour) and stripes always make an appearance, but this year I just needed neutrals. Lots of white. Lots of texture. Very little color. And it feels just right for our chaotic lives :)
We live in a builder-grade home we bought 9 years ago. It was just about finished by the time we made an offer, so we missed out on making any design decisions on the fixtures/colors/lighting/kitchen packages. It turned out to be okay because we’ve found great joy in adding personality on our own to our otherwise regular house. We call it Making Builder-Grade Better.
It’s still pretty crazy to me that our home has graced the pages of three issues of Better Homes + Gardens (with a christmas feature coming out later this year!) because it’s truly nothing fancy. We’ve just loved adding our touches, changing out little things like switching out lights and painting all the walls and doing big projects like replacing the floors and updating a perfectly fine (but so blah) kitchen. We’ve done our best to turn our house into a home.
SO COME ON IN!
Once inside, our piano sits nicely inside the stairway niche. I painted this old family piano last summer (it was a total pain, but I’m happy I did it). And Lindsay’s amazing artwork is just perfect over it.
Across from the piano nook is our dining room.
Like most dining rooms, it doesn’t get a lot of use. But when family comes for holidays or the kids need to spread out for an epic game of Risk, it’s just the space we need.
A collection of antique silver platters makes dimension/interesting/pretty artwork. You’ll see lots of old silver around our house – Ryan’s mom is the queen of thrift store shopping and she casts off all her goods to us. I know. Lucky me.
In the corner is this fantastic Target bar cart for a mix in metals. And my beloved book page wreath.
Moving on into the kitchen …
We changed the whole thing about a year after we moved in. I painted all the lower cabinets, Ryan added the beadboard backsplash and built-in seating, we extended the countertop and changed the shape of the island with new granite. And put in open shelves.
I’m asked often about what we think of shelves in the kitchen. We love them. All of our regular-use dishes and glassware are readily available and because we use most of the items, they don’t have a chance to get dusty. The top shelves need to be wiped down every so often.
Connected to the kitchen is our main living area. This is where our family mostly hangs out.
Mixing patterns and textures, metals and finishes helps keep a neutral house interesting and adding live plants always keeps things feeling fresh and alive.
Last, we’ll head to our bedroom. The kids’ rooms, bathroom, laundry and bonus room are all upstairs and I avoid the mess as much as possible! Thankfully, our room is downstairs where things seem to stay picked up pretty well.
On a whim one saturday morning – actually, it was the morning Ryan and I were flying to california for the weekend and I should have been scrambling to pack my bags, but instead rearranged our bedroom furniture. So typical. Anyway, I moved the bed against the window and now the blue wall makes no sense but I’ve been wanting to either plank the walls in here or paint it all white (no surprise there!) so maybe this will motivate that project.
Our bed (from Restoration Hardware – no longer available) and lamps (same) were two of our first purchases of real furniture when we moved in. I like switching out the bedding, but usually come back to all white. There’s just something so hotel-ish about it.
(I still do print from my shop)
And, of course, texture.
Off our bedroom is a nice-sized bathroom that will someday be pretty like this.
Ready for more Summer House Tour inspiration?