Oh this house. The moment I started up the drive I knew she was the one. I did not even need to walk inside. She had the most beautiful bones that just needed a loving touch and lots of TLC. She was so sad and neglected. But she was ready to come to life, and I was just the girl to give her those things.
Situated in the middle of a giant pasture surrounded by rolling hills, dubbed the Pastures of Heaven by John Steinbeck – this valley is a small slice of paradise. This home was exactly what we were looking for. 10 flat pasture acres with a house that I could put my loving touch on. We admittedly bit off more than we could chew at first…and let’s not even talk about how many hours we put into this property the first year we have lived here. Sun up to sun down, most evenings into the dark of night. Remember the whole dream big and work harder thing I preach? Yeah, that bit me in the butt a few time during that process. But was it worth the work? Absolutely! And much to our surprise, we’re not quite ready to be done.
As for the actual decor and design of the home, I’ll share some of my inspiration for this farmhouse. I really love good, clean lines with a bit of texture. Not stuffy but filled with character. A space that is lived in by the people I love. We have added in the warmth of plastered walls, redwood plank floors cut at the lumberyard for a lived-in, loved-on look, classic schoolhouse lighting, deep moody greens and blacks along with the warmth of walnut shelving and paneling. Simple and classic subway and penny tiles are staple in our home. Deep, rich leather sofas that are perfect for cuddling up on with a book…and a giant dog (or two) laying on top of you. Because this house is lived in. Just like she was always supposed to be. Just a short year or so ago, I swore I could never live in a big house again! (Living in 200 square feet for a year makes you appreciate how easy it is to clean house!) But the reality of it is that we LOVE to entertain and we equally love having house guests. My mother-in-law says I run a bed and breakfast most of the year, and you know what? She’s right….and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It fills me up to my core! The bonus is that it gave me a great excuse to create a beautiful space for family and friends alike to enjoy.
A huge part of my design inspiration comes from nature, when I sit outside I can’t help but notice how everything ebbs and flows naturally. Nothing is forced and I wanted that for the farmhouse. This home in particular is my third renovation. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that the most comfortable spaces always have flow.
Whether you are ready for a full renovation or are looking for a quick change, here are my tips for making your home flow.
Declutter. Each and every space doesn’t need to be filled with something just for the sake of filling it. intentionally keep some areas simple just because. I believe that a cluttered space allows for a cluttered mind. Additionally, I go by the rule of keeping things simple. Some examples would include: running the same floor through the entire house to provide a natural flow. Use tile of a similar look or color scheme to bring everything back together. I would say, as a general rule, when doing higher budget renovations, you will never regret sticking with classic and simple, and save your statements for things that are easier to change out – like paint colors, pillows, and artwork.
The power of plants. Don’t underestimate how warm and inviting plants can make a space feel. As an added bonus, they help cleanse and freshen the air in your home. You can breathe deeper, knowing your space is filled with life and beauty. Some of my favorite plants are succulents like the Jade plant, which are easy to maintain for girls like me – forget about them for a week and odds are they’re fine. Airplants work well and add beautiful texture, and Snake plants add height and color to corners and darker spaces – they do well in low light, which is a bonus!
Lastly, Stop second guessing yourself. You can change that wall color if you hate it, and you can move that stool if it just doesn’t feel right. Most of the time, the ideas that first pop into my head are the best fit, even though I’ll second guess it a million times. Go with your gut more often than you feel comfortable doing when designing your space, and odds are you won’t regret a thing.