Carrie was kind enough to let Janae and I into her home a few weeks ago in order to share it here on Smile and Wave. One of my favorite parts about this feature is having a great excuse to peek inside the gorgeous homes of new friends and Carrie's home that she shares with her husband and three children is no exception. It's bright and cheerful with interesting pieces in every corner. The care that has been put into renovating their house is evident in each room and the way their style flows seamlessly throughout their three levels (basement not shown) is a testament to their strong sense of style. Oh, and do you see all of those windows in their kitchen?!
A: It's a Bungalow built in 1918. We've been here for over nine years now...since the day we got married. It's our first home and hopefully our last.
A: I wouldn't like to say my style is "cheap" but it is definitely un-expensive. Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a bargain hunter because I find myself buying things only because they're cheap! Then I spend the whole way home with buyers remorse, crossing my fingers that it works when I try to mix it in with my other "in-expensive" things.
Having a Danish husband and a childhood friend in Sweden, I have had the opportunity to travel to Scandinavia a few times now. A lot of what I hope influences my style is from what I have seen over there. I’ll have to say the Scandinavian styles are my favorite, maybe that’s why I married one.
A: A lot of times when I see something really cute, anxiety sets in and I think, “it’s time for a change”. Usually it’s short lived though because I always come back to the things I’ve always liked, plus, I can't have a garage sale every day.
I want to be one of those people who can maintain their own personal style, even with fads and styles changing all the time. They seem to know exactly what they like and that’s how they “make it their best.” I find that decorating comes easiest to me when I don’t try to duplicate another style that I think I like but that’s not me.
A: I loved most everything about this house from the first day I walked into it but some things needed to go! Soon after we moved in we gutted the bathroom, tore the carpet out, took wallpaper and border down, scraped popcorn ceilings, (which is kind of fun) got rid of all the eighties ceiling fans, and painted throughout.
Since then we have focused more on the details like stripping doors, repairing the old plaster walls, and stripping, sanding and repainting all the trim. We also reworked all the old windows, refinished the wood floors, fixed up the basement, got new storm windows, painted the outside of the house, and added the 2nd floor. We have been working non-stop on our house since we moved in, but we love it. I guess that’s what they say, it’s part of living in an old house.
Some might think we’re crazy putting so much time, money, and energy into this house because of the side of town we’re on. It doesn’t have the best reputation, not to mention resale value. But, we don’t do it for those reasons, we do it because we love living in this house and we love our surroundings. We live right across the street from the elementary school and our neighbors all the way up and down this particular street are as good as gold...oh yeah, and maybe I should mention that my favorite local thrift stores and flea markets are within walking distance! I don’t think I could find a better neighborhood for us if I searched my whole life.
A: Right now I'd have to say the basement since we just got a new wood burning stove down there. I'd spend all my free time right in front of it if I could.
It's an unfinished basement, but it’s dry so we painted the floors and walls, added some rugs, made a kids toy area, my sewing corner, a guest bedroom, and put a couch and TV down there. It's so cozy during these cold nights to get a bag of popcorn and watch a movie with the kids and the fire going. And since it's the basement, it's ok if it gets messy.
Another room I'm thankful for is our garage. I can go in there on a whim and be sure to find any tool I need in seconds. It is a sight to behold! You wouldn’t believe how crazy organized Michael is! (Which is sometimes nice because it really shows in his work). He somehow makes art with all his wrenches and such. Sometimes I go in there just to look at how perfectly lined out his tools are... then I just shake my head.
A: I've always liked the contrasting look of wood doors with white trim so I got this idea that I would strip and refinish them all! I quickly found out the hard way how much work it is!! I didn't realize what I was getting myself into, but after I did one, I had to do them all! It took some years but I'm proud to say it's done!
But, I'll have to say the most practical thing we did was turning the unused attic space into two bedrooms, a playroom and a bathroom. It was a huge project but it was so nice to go from two bedrooms to four with three kids! And since we did most of the work ourselves, it made it that much more rewarding.
A: I have a real weakness (border-line problem) for rugs and throw pillows. They seem to be a quick easy way to add instant color and softness to any room. Those things are always on my wish list no matter how bad I DON'T need them.
Thank you, Carrie, for sharing your beautiful home with us! If ever you need to part with your fantastic couch pillows (or anything else in your house) you be sure to let me know! Thanks, again, to Janae Hardy for her beautiful photographic eye and talent in capturing the beauty of these homes and the women that live in them each time.
Feel free to leave comments here for Carrie to read about how much you loved their home, too! I'm off to find a round coffee table to paint.