Our 2015 summer home tour

June 09, 2015

Welcome to our summer home tour!

I don't do a ton of themed summer decorating, but I do add some touches here and there to freshen up our house this time of year. I shared our new and improved living room yesterday and it just feels like summer to me. So light and bright -- I'm SO happy with it! 

The blue dresser and white lamps are fresh and pretty. I can't remember where I found the plastic coral but I love it under the glass dome:

scrapbook art
I've been meaning to download some prints for those frames for for almost two years now, but sticking scrapbook paper inside was much quicker and easier. :) I already had the book of paper so it was a great way to fill these without spending any money. I am a non-scrapbooker who is totally obsessed with everything scrapbooking. 

Back when I trimmed out these windows I took down the drapes and never put them back up: 

sofa in front of windows

I love having them open and letting the trimwork shine. And no drapes means even more natural light, which I always say is nature's best accessory. 

This corner used to be full of furniture before the rearranging that happened last week. We'd like to add a couple matching chairs to this room eventually, but for now the gray chair is a nice comfy spot: 

I've had that ottoman for years -- I think it was from Meijer? The natural rattan is a perfect addition for summer. (I keep it around all year, it just looks especially good during the warmer months.) ;)

Because I'm so thrilled with this "new" space, I have to share one more picture and then we'll move on: 
DIY craftsman trim windows

You had to know Colby would show up at some point, right? 

I tend to pick up more plants this time of year as well -- for both inside and out. I've had this ficus for years and it's survived being moved -- even though I hear they hate that. I doesn't really grow much though -- it's stayed this size for years now: 

At least it's not dead. Small victories! I have a small thing with putting plants in baskets. I do it a lot -- I just think it gives them more weight in a room. And that way I can buy really cheapy pots that aren't the prettiest. Those can get crazy expensive (more than a basket).

I haven't shared this angle of our front living room for a long time: 

two story living room

Yeah I was kidding. One more picture. :) Those tall ceilings were what sold us on this model the second we walked in. I never guessed they would stump me so very much when it came to decorating! 
Next up I want to trim out those upper windows -- and I may be paying someone else do do that cause that's entirely too high and terrifying for this girl. 

Our former dining room has undergone many transformations over the years but now that it's a "library" it (most likely) won't change again. I know better to say never. ;) 

DIY bookcases

We changed it up because we never used the formal dining room -- we were pretty sure we'd use it more if we could relax in this room. And we were right. We sit down in here all the time! 

It's such a lovely spot to sit and talk or read. I finished a book in one day over Christmas break sitting right here: 

The built ins are still one of my favorite additions I've ever made to our house. I never tire of it and the storage is fantastic!: 

DIY built ins with cabinets

And like many spots that are accessorized in our house -- once I get it the way I like it, it rarely changes. ;) 

Years ago my son and I took an old canvas artwork I didn't love anymore and painted over it with some  leftover blue paint. I'm still a little surprised it turned out so pretty: 

wainscoting walls

We don't have any expensive artwork in our home, but this one I will treasure forever. And it was free. :)

Tearing the carpet off our stairs was one of the best (and craziest) decisions I've ever made: 

gallery wall stairs

It's also one of the cheapest -- I only spent $50 in supplies to finish it off after I was done pulling all the carpet. The investment was in the time (and a few tears after pulling out hundreds of staples). 

Last year we decided to take down a wall in the family room (instead of adding on which was CRAZY expensive). The wall separated our family room and my office and it opened up the space a ton! It took a few months start to finish (we hired the big stuff out and then I finished up the details) and we LOVE it!: 
dark gray fireplace

My favorite part of this room is the fireplace with built ins. And that dreamy herringbone tile

dark gray fireplace herringbone tile

My latest DIY project in this great room was painting the back doors last week: 

black french doors

It was highly annoying, but I'm glad it's done. The doors look so good in black. But I think ALL doors look good in black. :)

A dream of mine came true when we took down that wall in the family room -- we made a few other changes that allowed for a built in seat in our kitchen bay window: 

window seat bay window

It is so dreamy. :) 

It's crazy that we used to have our little kitchen table in that spot -- since we gained so much space during the reno we were able to move where we eat. 

Not only did our family room get much bigger, but our kitchen doubled in size too: 

cross back kitchen chairs

Our kitchen is undergoing a slow DIY reno this year. So far along with the window seat, I've extended our kitchen island and built in our fridge as well: 

chalkboard wall kitchen

I've taken a couple months off of kitchen projects but I'm getting the urge to get things moving again. Next up is building up those top cabinets to the ceiling -- it's one of the biggest projects in this space so I'll be so glad to get that going.

I'm hoping by this Christmas the kitchen will be complete. Actually, who am I kidding -- I'm just hoping it's done by next year's summer tour. :)
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  1. Just love your home! Everything is so pretty and I really enjoyed the tour

  2. your home is beautiful- i really love how it has evolved so much more over the last year or so, and love the modern moody touches you have added.

  3. Wonderful tour, I always love seeing your home and all the fantastic details that you add. You are one amazing woman with some tools.

  4. Your home is gorgeous, Sarah! I so enjoyed the tour. I love the pic of your living room showing those high ceilings wow! Your hard work can be seen all around your home, love it!
    p.s. your pics belong in a magazine!

  5. You have the most beautiful home. You have worked so hard to make the changes you have and everything you do just adds to the look. You are by far my most favorite blogger and I look everyday to see what you have been up to. We have a similar TV area and I want to do it like you have. I have been wondering where to put the furniture that is there so I can make the change and this morning it finally came to me what to do. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. I just love your house! I always have and every time you make an improvement, it just gets better!

  7. Well I think I could just move right on in! It is all wonderful. My favorites are those built ins in the dining room/library and the wall with the fireplace. Just gorgeous! When you run out of projects,come on over and work your magic on my laundry room/closet! :)

  8. Your home is so gorgeous - I am dying over your library bookcases - they are stunning! And love how open your home is and how beautifully it flows from room to room. Such a great tour!

  9. I found your blog from Simple Details today! What a gorgeous home you have. You know how to mix a little bit of tradition & a little bit of modern. Great job. I will look forward to following your blog and seeing how your kitchen turns out.

  10. Oh, Sarah, your home just shines. So bright and I love all the trim and built-ins. Oh, and that bookcase in your new living room is so fab :) xo

  11. Oh, Sarah, your home just shines. So bright and I love all the trim and built-ins. Oh, and that bookcase in your new living room is so fab :) xo

  12. Your formal dining room makes me smile every time I see. Thank you for a wonderfully grand tour!

  13. First time visiting your site. Had fun looking around. Absolutely would not go to the expense to trim out the upper windows in the living room. You don't want them to be the focal point anyway...keep the eye low in the room.

  14. If it were my home I would put a desk in your library because it is so close to the living room that if I wanted to read I would go in the living room because it is so pretty.

    1. I've thought about it! I just know it would get cluttered and you see that space when you walk in. I know us too well. ;)

  15. Your home is really lovely - so fresh and inviting! It's also so fun to hear all the transitions our homes go through as we make them our own. Thank you for such a lovely tour and so many beautiful ideas.
    love and blessings~
    Lynda @ Gates of Crystal

  16. Thanks for the grand kick off to Tuesday's tours! Your home is just gorgeous! I love how bright it is and all of your DIY touches! I loved reading your post about your new sofa - I'm in the same spot! I am dying to get rid of my upholstered sofa and get a nice, bright, slipcovered sofa that photographs well! I'll be following along to see how it holds up over time!

  17. Sarah, Your home is so beautiful! I Love the new living room look.

  18. Wow Sarah, you've created such a gorgeous home for your family! You've captured the perfect combination of stylish and comfortable and it's so obvious it's truly a labor of love! Btw, I'm enjoying following along with the outside, and it's just as beautiful!

  19. Your blog is my most favorite! You are such a fun, down to earth person. Also, you introduced me to Dave Ramsey, so that's a bonus too! I never comment on blogs, but I've been reading your blog for years and I can't figure how your living room and library fit together. I've never seen a picture showing both, but they seem like they're right by each other. It's just so puzzling to me, it seems silly... But I'm curious!

  20. Your home is beautiful! Thanks for the tour and the idea of the basket planter....Christine

  21. Your home is stunning!! I love the color of that blue dresser! Such a fun pop!

  22. Your home is so warm & inviting, I love all of your batten board and black doors. Happy Summer! Jen

  23. Longtime follower but with this living rom post, I'm more confused than ever on the layout of your home.

  24. Your home is beautiful! My goodness, I love how much of it is DIY and done all by your own hands, which makes it that much more personable and special!

    Can't wait for the Kitchen reno! Kitchen and Bathroom renovations are my all time favorite so I'm excited!

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs

  25. I love how you said you're a non-scrapbooker who loves all things scrapbooking! Me too--though I'd never thought of it that way! I love your house too! I can't help but wonder, though--do you ever just want it to all be finished? Or do you always really enjoy a new project? (I have a project house and I'm totally burned out!)

  26. Your house never disappoints! It's just gorgeous. And I'm totally with you on the whole tall ceiling decorating conundrum. Definitely trumps me. My walls always seem so bare because of it.

  27. I feel as though I know your house so well from following your blog through all the renewals. I like everything you've done.

  28. Love your home and love your blog, but one thing in this post grabbed me and said "YOU ARE MY SISTER!"

    "I am a non-scrapbooker who is totally obsessed with everything scrapbooking."

    I too have that particular affliction. I call myself a paper hoarder, because I love all the stuff but just can't scrapbook. "A $4 piece of red flocked paper? I am so not worthy!"

    Thanks for the laugh and validation today! Now I'm going to go frame some paper.

  29. Thanks for sharing pictures of your beautiful home. Never thought of having black doors but you made them look so elegant! Love love the built in seat by the window! It's indeed dreamy... can sit there for hours reading and daydreaming a bit :)

  30. Love that huge piece of artwork - and it was free!!! Tell me more

    1. Thanks! You can see more here:

  31. Your home is so beautiful and inviting! I'm especially excited to see how you transform your kitchen. I've been playing around with ideas that are fairly similar to the ones you've already done and shared as planned. It'll take me a while before we tackle the projects here, so I'm going to live vicariously through your experiences. :)

  32. Your house is sensational. Wonderful architecture and "bones." Anything you do will look amazing. Not everyone gets the great starting point you did.

  33. Sarah, You have such a beautiful home! I love all the things you have done with it through the years. The fireplace is my favorite! Fantastic tour

  34. What are the dimensions of your pantry? Is it large enough for you or what dimension do you wish it was? I am going to be redoing my kitchen in Sept. and would like a to build in a pantry,

  35. What are the dimensions of your pantry? Is it large enough for you or what dimension do you wish it was? I am going to be redoing my kitchen in Sept. and would like a to build in a pantry,

  36. I love your subtle summer touches. That scrapbook idea is fabulous!

  37. You have so many great custom touches to your house. The built ins and mantle are my all time favorites!


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