we're still here.
details & resources - upper floor

details & resources - main floor

okay. i've been working on this for awhile, but the house was finally clean enough top-to-bottom to take the pix to go along with it.

we're officially at the eight month mark of living in the new house, as of today. over the course of those months, i've received more than a few emails from people who have stumbled upon pix i posted and asking where i got something, etc.

so here - and in a following post or two - i'll go through the house, one room at a time, and list where we found things, what we learned in the process, what we'd do differently, etc.

grab a drink.

so, here's the place today - with grass, vintagey-looking porch chairs, and a cutie-pie seven-year-old welcoming committee:

starting at this point, everything that is white in this house - including the exterior - is benjamin moore's simply white. i love this white, which is a weird thing to say. but it isn't stark, it isn't overly blue-cold. there's just a touch of green in it to keep it fresh and natural, but it works with everything. (oh - there is another color. the porch ceiling is wythe blue. and the front door is some gray/black color, but i can't remember which one. alrighty.)

the exterior lights are all from barn light electric, and all are in the galvanized steel finish. these are the lights by the door and in the back of the house, these are the lights above the garage, and by my office door is this light.

the chairs and glider are from grandin road and are super comfy and full of that charm i wanted. need to get some cushions and side tables to hold a lemonade or fat tire, but those will come. i'm actually thinking about finding old tablecloths and making pillow covers out of those. something kinda like this:

hopefully, some planting will take place soon, too. harper and i have been making our dream flower list. it looks something like this:



more peonies


lots of daisies

and forget-me-nots

and more peonies


lily of the valley

bearded iris

bleeding hearts





and peonies

and that's how we started our list.

so now let's go inside ... we'll go through the mud room, because that's the door we always use.

(ignore the scattering of shoes. it is what it is.)

obviously, this room is not simply white. i wanted a little color in here because, really, a white mud room? so this room is palladian blue. and it's a perfect color. floor tile is old-school vinyl composite tile. i love how it looks, and it's pretty easy to just mop up and be done with it. there IS an acrylic sealer you need to put on it once a year or so to keep the tiles from staining. truth be told: i haven't done it yet. i know. honestly, i'm waiting for summer, so the kids can use a different door and i can put the sealer on, block off the mud room from feet and paws, and it can get the 24 hour drying time it needs. however, it's a mud room. if there are minor stains on the tile, i'm not going to fret.

if you've been following this build process since it became a possibility two years ago, you'll remember i had something different in mind for this room. the wire wall baskets and bench i'd wanted got vetoed ... marc was pretty insistent we went the built-in route. he really loved how they looked in every house we toured. so i acquiesced, but only if the built-in was minimal. we compromised, and we're both happy with it. and our cabinet/trim guys were amazing ... they surprised us by putting up brackets for the shelf that mimicked the lines of the brackets on our kitchen shelves (we'll get there). we love it.

other things in the room:

the ceiling light is an antique wire waste basket that i found at an antique store for $15. marc drilled a hole in the base, slipped a $10 light kit through it, and voila. ceiling light.

on the shelf above the coat hooks (which are super fancy home depot chrome hooks) is some art and some vintage wire locker baskets to hold our gloves and hats. and a jar that harper uses to catch bugs.

art - the katie daisy "love" print that she made to benefit haiti relief; a dazeychic "so happy" print in a cheap ikea clip frame; a piece of red and white polka dot scrapbook paper in an ikea frame.

the mudroom is also our command central for keeping track of who has what when, papers we need to remember, invitations, etc. we keep track of everything with the pottery barn wall system and use it all. the. time.

just off the mud room is the main floor bathroom and my studio/office.

the vanity cabinet is painted benjamin moore camouflage. the floor is simple 8x8 white ceramic tile. hindsight: we should have used gray grout. this is such a high traffic bathroom, and much of that traffic involves dirty feet and shoes. gray grout would have been smart.

the vanity top/sink is cultured marble. not my favorite, but it will do for now. we had to save money somewhere, so going standard in this bathroom and the one in the basement became the places where we stayed cheap. however, i clean this freaking vanity all the dang time. every little water spot and kitty paw print and soap puddle from rushing children shows up.

(the mirror is from target ... i know - this mirror is too small. but it was cheap, and it works for now. i'll replace it someday. the light is norwell nexus, chrome finish with two lights; and the faucet is kohler archer in chrome.)

now - sidenote: the intention for this house from the beginning was an industrial farmhouse. and while there are definitely farmhouse and industrial features, i could have gone way more overboard on keeping true to more 20s/30s/40s fixtures or going full-on industrial. however, where i veer more to vintage farmhouse, marc veers more to modern. so we compromised. the interior of the house is a reflection of that. there is a way more modern edge than a vintage or industrial one. hopefully, it will stay clean and timeless. industrial is getting a bit too trendy and i didn't want our house to feel too much like "oh, hello, industrial trend of 2012-2013!" though i may totally snap one day and order all new lights for areas of the house to make it feel more like "grandma's farmhouse." oh yes. i just might.

quick peek at my studio - this is still an almost 100% work in progress.

eight months in, i still need to paint the barn door with chalkboard paint. i don't think the pictures will stay where they are. i'm not in love with the desk, but i had to get something up fast to get my computer up and running. it works for now, but i'm not in love with any of it. sadly, this space has found itself waaaaaayyyy at the bottom of the list.

okay, then ... on to my favorite space: the kitchen/dining/great room.

i love this space more than words.

cabinets are all shaker style - simple and clean. all of the perimeter cabinets are painted simply white, and the island is painted camouflage. the perimeter counter top is soapstone, and i still want to marry it. the island is topped with stainless steel, which we love love love. yes, it shows fingerprints. so what. a quick wipe with a damp microfiber cloth and it's all good.

(no, i didn't see the wine cork on the floor until after i uploaded the photos. in my defense, we keep a bowl of corks by the kitchen window, and it was really windy that day. so ... that's my story. while we're at it, the rug is this one.)

we used three different types of hardware in the kitchen, all from restoration hardware. drawers have aubrey pulls in chrome, double cabinets have the utility latch in chrome, and single cabinet doors have the aubrey knob.

the kitchen lights are from pottery barn - the porter adjustable pendants in white ceramic. there are two large ones over the island, and a small one over the sink. they're gorgeous.

the island stools are from overstock. the price is unbeatable.

the faucets - kitchen sink and prep sink - are both hansgrohe talis high arc faucets in chrome. the one in the prep sink is smaller and doesn't have the pull-down sprayer. an oversight. a sprayer would have been a good thing.

the kitchen sink is a stainless elkay single-bowl undermount sink. i love it; marc's on the fence. he can't figure out how to do dishes in a single sink. i really wanted a white fireclay-type farmhouse sink, but i was too nervous about it getting chipped or staining. we looked at a stainless apron-front sink, but were told that belt buckles and zip-front sweatshirts tend to leave a scratch pattern over time. so we went with the undermount. i haven't been (totally) sorry.

appliances: we researched obsessively, not wanting to get a room full of the same brand only to find that while the stove is great, the refrigerator sucks. et cetera. so after doing months of research, we ended up with a bosch dishwasher, a samsung fridge, a kitchenaid wall oven/microwave-convection oven unit, and a wolf gas cooktop. totally schizo, i know.

verdict? the dishwasher is awesome, despite the fact that sometime between ordering a $1,500 dishwasher and getting it installed, bosch decided it needed a more "consumer-friendly" price point in their line, so it started making less expensive machines, with the cost brought down because they used some cheaper parts. so while we got the not-cheap dishwasher, we DID get a cheap dishwasher latch. and it broke within three months, and we had to have it repaired. at which point we were told about bosch's little scheme. so ... we'll watch that. the oven/microwave combo is working great so far. we've used the microwave's convection oven mode only twice, but it seemed to work just fine. the cooktop? i'm in love. i've missed gas for 15 years, so i'm a happy camper about the cooktop. i have heard nothing but mixed reviews about wall oven units, so i hope i don't regret that we didn't just get the dual fuel cooktop/oven we went back and forth about but nixed in the end because it took the bulk of our appliance budget all by itself. the fridge? i go back and forth. i adore the door ice/water dispenser - we haven't had that option ever, and we all go through the ice/water way more now that it's handy. (and now that we actually HAVE ice to use.) however, it takes up a ton of door space. i haven't yet figured out the best way to configure the space for storage. still working on that. i do wonder if we should have gone the counter-depth side-by-side route. there was less interior cubic feet of storage, but thinking back, the storage was laid out more usably. on well. it's all good.

the kitchen makes me happy.


(note: the white ikea vase? know what that's for? i turn my iphone on to the pandora app while i do dishes, and stick it in the vase. the accoustics amplify the volume and it sounds amazing. i know we have fancy schmancy ceiling speakers, but honestly - while doing dishes - i prefer this $3.99 method. oh, and the little cork bowl is from here.)


(coffee tin; tray; utensil vase)

the only real hindsight issue with the kitchen is the cabinets and hood above the cooktop.

it was all installed at standard height ... but we never took into account the fact that marc is 6'4". the hood hits him right about nose-level. it's inconvenient, and he's going to whack himself on the corner one of these days. at some point (we're going to look into having it done at our one-year walk-through, since the various trades will be out here touching up things anyway), we'll get the cabinet above the stove replaced with a single-height one, like the glass-front ones on either side, move the hood up, and add tile. get that hood above marc's head.

the dining "room" area has worked out nicely so far. we don't miss a formal dining room. however, the table snafu was disappointing, and we're left with a table way smaller than what we'd wanted and planned for. we'll work around it for now, until we can find a table that extends the amount we need a few times a year.

(table - pottery barn (discontinued), chairs - crate & barrel, pendants - shades of light)


the great room ... is pretty great.


you already know about the couches (restoration hardware. kensington. army duck in fog.) and the chairs/pillows. we haven't done anything to this room since then.

(fireplace surround is brick-pattern marble subway tile. lights above the fireplace are hudson valley keswick in chrome.)

in the spirit of keeping it real, this is the front room. it is also painted palladian blue. it will be lovely. someday. right now, it's where we put the things with which we have no idea what to do.

movin' right along.

next we walk through the front entry to get to harper's and my crafty room, and that will be the end of today's tour.


(stairway lights; rug.)

i found a cute little spoon-carved dresser on craigslist that i'm having restored then will paint and put in that empty spot above. can't wait to get that area dressed up.

(yes, mario literally follows me around all day long.)

we have three barn doors in the house. they are all on tracks from rustica hardware, in raw steel finish. (as much as we wanted to get stainless tracks, it would have been an additional $420 per track. um, no.) great company to work with, gorgeous product.

(vintage metal locker shelf found on craigslist; pendant is a hack of ikea's maskros light, ikea alex storage drawers, pottery barn rag rug (discontinued). this room is still very basic and unfinished, but it's functional.)


there you have it. the main floor. hope i've hit everything. i'll get to the other two floors later this weekend.



Wow!!! Beautiful!


That's it. I'm moving in. See you soon.


WOW your house looks amazing. LOVE your kitchen!

Brandy Layton

So when are you booking private tours!!! Seriously stunning and in my future home file for when hubby retires from the military. :)


Amazing! I could be very happy there thankyouverymuch. I love that aqua glider on your front porch. What a perfect pop of color (and the little one ain't so bad either!). We have the same barstools. I'm still not sure I love them. I love the look but not so much the comfort? Your house is coming along beautifully. Your cabinets...oy! Perfect! Exactly what I'm looking for. That marble subway tile is in consideration for our kitchen backsplash when we have the money to renovate in aprox 13 years. I really love it all. I can't wait for the rest.


beautiful! thanks for taking the time to share all the details! this has helped me in deciding a couple things for our house.


Love the virtual tour!

Jennie M

michele, I'm IN LOVE with this. Seriously. We've lived in our (NOT new house) since October and you and I have very similar styles. I used Palladian Blue in my master bed and bath...plus I'm going to put it in my laundry room. Hopefully this fall.

Anyway, you have everything I love, including hex tiles, soapstone, and carrera. I'm a huge fan of your home. LOVE it. :)


Where can I find your
house plan?


Hi Michelle,
Thank you for your blogging work. It's great to stop in and see what's going on! I am about to remodel my living room and have a question regarding your sofas. I've had slipcovered pieces for years. Machine washable = great for kids and dogs. I'm totally digging the idea of a gray chesterfield. Do you find it easy to keep clean? I'm considering, denim, duck, or a velvet. PB, RH and a local place here in Madison, WI. I never thought I would abandon the slipcover life but I am craving a change in scenery!

I hope to hear from you soon. I tried to use your email link but it didn't work for me. Not sure why. Thank you so much!

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