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What’s Left To Design, Reveal, Fix, And Tweak At The Farmhouse – A 2024 List

I really love what I now dub “A reveal year” – and that’s what 2023 was for me, usually coming after a “renovation/construction year” which let’s just say is FAR less fun. Perhaps the extreme financial drain, the public pressure, and the permanence of the construction process creates some stress (and ironically the traffic and engagement aren’t as high in a renovation year as in a reveal year so the payoff is delayed/painful). So with the move to Portland and a few other big things that wer going on, it makes sense that both personally and professionally 2021 and 2022, “the farmhouse construction years”, were very challenging. And look, that’s ok, not every year can be your best year (a mantra I chanted for two years LOL). But 2023, well she was a good one because styling, decorating, shooting, and publishing each room, slowly, on mostly my own terms, was such a relief from the stress of a renovation, and that euphoria permeates everything in such a happy way. I just feel so lucky and happy to live here. I remember telling Brian that I don’t think I’ll have similar farmhouse challenges again, FOR YEARS. Sure, I’ll take on projects and some of them might be our own, but they won’t be our primary residence, they won’t be so financially draining, and they won’t have the same desperate deadline to move in. Once I realized that the stress of this project was truly behind us, I have been floating around feeling just so incredibly grateful.

I was committed to revealing this house slower than in the past with the intent to enjoy the process, more room by room over months than all at once, (a la “shark week” which is what we did for the mountain house). So while we are done with so many rooms (see this year-end roundup post if you missed any), we actually still have a lot left to do. But it’s all fun stuff and I am purposefully spreading it out so I don’t rush decisions or not have time to enjoy the reveals, myself.

Reveal: The Primary Bedroom

from: we painted our bedroom blue and here’s how i feel about it…

We finished this room in November, but decided this is a perfect cozy January room so this is coming at you this week and next:) It’s quite possibly the least farmhouse “farmhouse bedroom” ever. 🙂

Reveal: The Family Photo Wall Up The Stairs

from: the case for the quiet neutral wallpapers

I have been dying to tackle this one since we moved in but there are just so many other priorities and I wanted to print out more current photos. But this month I’m going to hang a pretty epic family photo/gallery wall up the stairs.

Reveal/DIY: The Landing Stenciled Floor

from: the challenges of our upstairs landing (aka our kids garbage storage room/play space) + how to design long term for rapidly growing kids

I’m so glad I put this off because as the house has evolved I realize I want this to be bolder than I had previously thought. The original idea was a quiet floor pattern (maybe a checkered or diamond but with a border or a third color). But with how much I love the sunroom floor I think I might go bolder up there and of course, still add the border. I have some ideas and plan on tackling late January/early February for an early March reveal.

Reveal: The Guest Bath

This is done, but not styled our shot (and she looks SO CUTE). Wait, I might end up painting the window and ceiling, but otherwise wallpaper is up and she looks so cozy and fun.

Tweak: The Guest Room

from: a *first round* farmhouse reveal – readying our guest room for family to visit

This room is pretty great, but we are so conflicted about whether we want it to be a proper guest room or more of a den for the kids (especially as winter approaches and they spend so much more time with their friends inside). I had customized a bed to fit perfectly between the windows and let’s just say it ended up in a different room.

Design And Reveal: Charlie’s Bedroom

from: designing with an almost tween boy: charlie’s room update/progress with a thrifted 80s vibe

My 10-year-old son isn’t too enthusiastic about me decorating his room, so I’m trying to figure out how much we want to do beyond more decorating. Part of me wants to do something nutty to the walls and ceiling, but the other part of me is like, “just make it cool and focus on other things”. He’s scared I’m going to add butterfly wallpaper like Elliot’s. I’m obviously not going to do that but I understand the fear. 🙂

Tweak: The Living Room Walls Or Ceiling

from: farmhouse living room reveal

I’m not 100% happy with our living room and I still don’t know how to fix it, but I know the walls are the problem. This room isn’t a work priority but as a mom/designer who passes through this room 1500 times a day, I just want to love it more. I also know that it’s totally fine as is…

Tweak/Fix: The Living Room Fireplace

from: farmhouse living room reveal

I do however know that I really want to lime wash the fireplace a darker color. Now obviously this would be in conjunction with what we do on the walls but this might be where I start. I ordered a bunch of samples and I think I might just go for it.

Add: Wallpaper In Our Water Closet (Primary Bath)

from: farmhouse primary bathroom reveal

I think I was pretty restrained in a lot of ways for the hard finishes – which I love. But there are some rooms that I think I want to add a pattern via wallpaper. It’s pretty hard to prioritize our bathroom’s toilet room into my schedule, but I also really think it’s a perfect opportunity to add a pretty pattern (that literally no one will see but Brian, me, and all of you).

Add: Wallpaper In Ante Room

This was something we were supposed to do before we shot the bedroom but we didn’t. This is the room BEFORE you enter the bedroom. It’s just a cute little mini hallway with two junction boxes that are currently covered with a plate. I don’t know if I want it to be a subtle wallpaper with a lot of art in there or just put up a really pretty patterned paper.

Add: Wallpaper Above Tile In Kids’ Bath

from: farmhouse kids’ shared bathroom reveal

I don’t know. It just seems like a missed opportunity to not wallpaper above the tile. The bathroom is pretty as-is, but there are times when I don’t love the buffalo check fabric in the tub nook and wish it were something simpler (or no curtain at all) and instead add wallpaper above the tile. I think I’m still confused about who I want to be – quiet and minimal Mountain House Emily or eclectic English grandma Emily (a poor man’s Heidi Calliere) and layer pattern on pattern on pattern (I love both so much). I love how calm our house is for the most part but I think I can add a paper that will fit the vibe…

Design/Reveal: Back Porch

from: farmhouse back porch reveal

It’s empty except for some dead plants and dirty pots. Still figuring out how we want to use it and honestly, it might just be groupings of Adirondack chairs, but that’s a fun spring project for us to figure out.

Design/Reveal: The Home Gym

from: the full before and after backyard makeover

We are almost done with this space, using it 4 times a week at least. It’s the pool house (that we once called the greenhouse) that we decided to put Brian’s Fight Camp and my peloton in (and our cold plunge). But currently, it’s bare bones and I want to finish it.

Design/Reveal: The Art Barn/Kids Clubhouse

from: farmhouse backyard update: all about our new sports court

Ok, by next summer I’m going to have turned the right half of the barn into a kids’ summer (and hopefully winter) clubhouse. The left half is for the animals and feed, etc, but the other side is empty and if finished out could be a really fun clubhouse for the kids and all their friends this summer. I’m picturing this being somewhere they can get super super messy and trade garbage pail kids.

So that’s the plan! Excited to get started so hope you’re excited too:) We have a lot of other projects, too and in 2025 we are starting the second house on the project but this is what I call a ‘earn and learn’ year, where we try to not spend so much money and learn about the digital landscape more before entering in another massive renovation. Excited to show you all the other projects we are doing this year soon. It’s A LOT (and we are full up for the year which feels good). xx

*Photos by Kaitlin Green

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3 months ago

Ooooo, I love all of these projects! How fun! Especially am interested in the staircase gallery as I’m about to embark on that myself and, as always, am happy to copy and paste EH. Is your brother’s home still on the reveal schedule at some point? I’m in the live-to-read-design-process camp so only perfect reveals aren’t necessary to make this gal happy. 🙂 Happy New Year! Grateful for the daily visit to your site and reading the talented different voices and perspectives from your team.

3 months ago
Reply to  Emily

Yay! We are in the framing stage of our (CA) river house and can’t wait to learn and apply as much as still possible from your brother’s home soon…thanks in advance!

Merry Stuber
3 months ago

So excited to see everything this year! I thought you guys were done, clearly not.

🥰 Rusty
3 months ago

So. Looking. Forward. To. All. Of. This!
FTLOG ….. pleeeeeeeeease strip back or add a wooden mantel to your living room fireplace!
Please. It needs it.

3 months ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

I’ll agree with that, a wood mantle will make the fireplace pop and add a strong horizontal, right now it seems a bit bland. I know that you love the chandelier but I’ve always thought that it doesn’t really fit stylistically and physically. Every time I see that room, my eye is instantly drawn up to the dark dramatic fixture, and to me it takes away from all the other fine elements the room offers. Before changing walls and ceiling colors, etc. maybe you could try taking it down and living with no fixture for a while to see how it plays for you? Just my 2 cents, and I love reading your blog! It has helped me through a huge project of my own, and I look forward to it daily.

3 months ago
Reply to  Ellen

100% agree with Ellen on changing the chandelier. It’s a gorgeous piece but doesn’t really fit and makes the ceiling feel lower. I love a good sculptural MCM lighting moment but you’ve already got those vibes going with the floor lamp 😎 I’ve also gotta say I’m a long time reader (yours was the first design blog I ever got into) and I was a bit skeptical at first about a “farmhouse” style but, of course, you’re doing it in such a fresh and colorful way, it looks amazing 😊 I can’t wait to see what you’re doing with the fireplace! 😊

3 months ago

So fun that you have lots of room to play and create this year, Emily! All while enjoying what you’ve already created! Thank you for continuing to provide a light, easeful spot in my day.

3 months ago

Excited for all these smaller projects!! I have a dream list like this for my house too.

3 months ago

The tease of the second house in 2025 is so delicious! I’m excited to see how you continue to finish the farmhouse over the next year, though!

3 months ago

I’m on team wallpaper! Love love love the main living room space with the two green couches facing each other. Love that furniture arrangement, but my heart is still missing the sense of movement that the original diagonal window pane’s provided. Wallpaper with organic movement would be the best way to up the traditional charm and keep the eyes bouncing around the room. I would chose something a shade darker than the entry space wallpaper which is a bit too subtle. I also second the use of wallpaper in the spaces where you don’t spend a ton of time with your eyeballs staring at it, like the pass thru hallway to the primary bedroom, your toilet room, and on the ceiling of the kids’ bathroom. Your daughter seems to really enjoy bright colors and fun spaces in general, plus it would be a way to earn your son’s trust in allowing you to continue decorating his room. A fun green jungly wallpaper on the ceiling would really punch it up and take it from calm and classic to fun and exciting!

3 months ago

Sounds like an epic year!
One thought – I’d proceed with caution on so much wallpaper. Paint and art might do better.

3 months ago
Reply to  Emily

I would be cautious about wall papering the kids’ bathroom. Tweens and teens can take really long showers that really steam the room up – even with good ventilation. I’m not sure that wallpaper would fare well in a bathroom used by two tweens.

3 months ago
Reply to  Lia

Ha! so true! Such long baths and showers!

3 months ago
Reply to  Lia

My former teen self is guilty of this. My hot showers peeled my parents wallpaper and stained the artwork. I’d avoid wallpaper in the bathrooms. Also, I find it unnecessary. I dig the simpler, minimal, mountain-house vibe.

Julie S
3 months ago

Well I am here for all of this! I’ve been enjoying the farmhouse mixed in with other types of reveals/posts. And very much looking forward to some news about what’s up with the victorian second house on that property! I haven’t forgotten about it and know you will go to town with whimsy and probably pattern since it’s a secondary building. Love seeing that kind of thing as a “fun to visit” kind of thing (I still choose peaceful and low key in my own home).

Victoria Oatis
3 months ago

So many fun projects! Can’t wait!

3 months ago

i feel like keeping the guestroom makes sense. The kids can host their friends in their room or tv room. Seems overkill to have another hangout space. Just thoughts. You of course know your family best. I did enjoy the bonus room as a kid in my friend’s house, but I lived sleepover fun in friends’ rooms.

3 months ago
Reply to  SARAH

I agree – especially if they are creating a clubhouse for them in the barn!

3 months ago
Reply to  SARAH

It would seem foolish to remove a bed from hat room, as guests will have to sleep somewhere. Perhaps a Murphy bed or pull out sofa at least?

3 months ago

Looking forward to it all. The smaller projects and tweaks is where I’m at now, so it will be fun to follow your updates and be inspired to do more.

3 months ago

Wait, if you convert the guest bedroom to a “kids den,” won’t they have an entire floor/wing of the house to themselves?  And you plan on making an entire “kids clubhouse” in the yard for them? Isn’t that like 2000sqft and the equivalent of their own 3-4 bedroom house?

3 months ago
Reply to  krkrkrkr

As the parent of a teen and preteen, this actually sounds glorious. The older they get, the more they want their own space—space from each other and space for their friends. We’ve tried to make our home the place where kids want to hang out because we like them under our supervision. With the pool and amazing grounds, the farmhouse fits that bill. The kids’ den ensures that it’s a year-round draw. If you have the room, why not?

3 months ago

I’m looking forward to all the fine tuning you’re planning!
PS does anyone else struggle with reading the blog (sent from Facebook) on an IPhone? I read each blog to the end and struggle with all the pop up videos, and having the blog return to an earlier section every time…. I wish it was more streamlined and not a barrage of ads or other video links that make it difficult to read. Other than that I love your work and know how much effort you put into this.

3 months ago
Reply to  Diane

we just found a bug in our ad code that’s making the experience a little rough – working on a tweak to make the site more readable for you as we speak!

Diane OSullivan
3 months ago

That’s great! Thanks!

3 months ago
Reply to  Diane

I read the blog on a MacBook and often have to wait an unusually long time for the photos to load – not so much an add problem, just too many/large photos, I suppose.

3 months ago
Reply to  Diane

On the iPhone, in Safari, choosing “Show Reader” from the “Aa” next to the URL at the bottom makes the post very readable and hides most ads and pop ups. You need to exit Reader Mode to view comments and embedded Instagram posts.

3 months ago

Very excited to see all the reveals. Especially gallery wall and limewash fireplace which are both on my lists of home goals. Thanks so
much for all the content and happy new year!

3 months ago

I REALLY hope you do wallpaper. There are so many beautiful patterns I dream of using. I’d love to live vicariously through your posts.

3 months ago

Happy New Year 2024 ! Re: upstairs Guest shower/ bathroom with the reddish tile: I have a red granite bathroom ( house came with it– 1982 chic!), that I needed to ” tone down”. Sherwin Williams paint Rice Grain has done the trick for us ( although I believe I tried Nacre once as well). It says it’s “yellow”— but it isn’t— it’s a light, warm green that plays subtly off the red. Take a look and see if it jumpstarts some creative juices for you ☺️.

3 months ago

Just chiming in that the living room wall color has never felt right (neither did that Christmas-red front door – and I was so glad when you changed it – and the clashing whites in the upstairs bath!) It all comes back to understanding cool and warm colors – it would be so beneficial (to you and us!) and save time and money in the long run. That living room wants to be warm – away with that icy pastel please! Maybe Gretchen can help? I thought I read she was good at that. Good luck!

3 months ago

Kids clubhouse!!!

3 months ago

Can’t wait for all of this! The cable knit sweater you are wearing in the photo of the ante room to the main bedroom is great! Where is it from?

3 months ago
Reply to  Sona

The Nico Chunky Cardigan in Indigo by Alex Mill.

3 months ago

Hi Emily! I can’t wait to see all the new tweaks and additions! I have to be honest, I LOVE your living room except for the wall color and the all white fireplace! I actually love an all white fireplace, but it only works in some rooms and with some designs. For some reason, in there, it make the room drab?! The eye only really has the sofa’s to land on for interest. I def think a bit darker a color on the walls could maybe help with that? I feel like if you did, maybe you wouldn’t feel like you had to do something with the ceiling? I love that kind of ceiling, so my vote would be no on messing with it. Someone suggested putting up wallpaper in the LR that was subtle, but I am worried because of how the room is so big, would it make the draw the eye all around too crazy? I’m not sure about that one. I also agree about painting the fireplace a darker color to give the room a needed definite focal point! (& maybe add a simple wood mantle on it too?) I really like the idea of a… Read more »

3 months ago

I’m afraid at age 10 if you do too much that Charlie isn’t comfortable with design-wise, he might forever after be resistant to any design input from you so I’d lean towards the “just make it cool and focus on other things” option.

Wallpapers would bring certain spaces into a more modern design place, especially the living room, water closet, ante room. Painting the landing floors, as well as some of the trim and ceilings, and kids bathroom upper walls will complete them. I’m looking forward to seeing the house and gardens etc. develop this year!

3 months ago

When you’re thinking about wallpaper I can’t help but browse the selections… especially now that some of the main spaces have been revealed. Just for fun,his Fig in Linen grass cloth wallpaper would tie together the design of the living room and bring a subtle texture to the walls: t
For the ante room to the primary suite, Meadow in Winter: ?
Lastly, Meadow in Dew appears to have a great sense of movement along with many of the colors you’ve used throughout:

Shannon L.
3 months ago

A suggestion from lived experience for the guest bathroom – install a single open shelf above the pedestal sink and below the mirror. My inlaws had a guest bath setup just like that, and it was SO frustrating to have nowhere to set down some toiletries while you get ready. I mentioned it to them, and it made a world of difference after they put one in!