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Wait, What’s The Farmhouse Style Again? Did We Lose The Original Vision??? How We Almost Made Some Risky Permanent Choices And Why?

I knew this would happen because I know myself pretty well – that my love of Victorian can overwhelm my love of minimalism – because IT’S WAY MORE FUN. Let me be more specific – I LOVE looking at Victorian tile, florals, embellishments, lace – it’s how I dress when I want to dress up (princess sleeves and bright colors). I love staying in weird old Victorian hotels (just stayed in this one recently and LOVED IT) full of wallpaper, weird toilets, and so many florals. I mostly read historical romance novels set in, you guessed it Victorian-era England, and heck I got my degree in history. It all tracks. But I PREFER to live in a more minimalist home. You might wonder why that is or maybe not even believe me – and I would never have believed it myself. But my day-to-day feels so busy that I like my home to be not busy, super calm, and easy to maintain/clean. I love stuff so much, but the more ‘stuff’ you have the more ‘stuff’ you have to put back in its place. Every color, stripe, and contrast excites your eyes which excites your neurons (definitely fact check me there) so while I LOVE IT, I simply don’t want to live in an ‘exciting’ home right now. This could change. And maybe it’s also because I work from home most days and will continue to likely for years, so I’m here all day every day. I love looking out the window at the trees in between paragraphs, staring at the wood grain while I’m thinking. This could also be because I probably have ADD and get easily distracted by things to fix, things to put away, credenzas to style perfectly. So after living at the mountain house and loving the visual calmness so much. Very little that’s “decorative” (beyond art, of course) and just so easy to maintain. So the original art direction was a shaker-style farmhouse – minimal, utilitarian, egalitarian, focusing on natural light, cozy colors, and nothing too ‘decorative’. It was a clear vision. I wrote about it here – but you can see the general art direction:

In fact here is a little art direction brain dump I wrote up (including my typos) a year ago when I first started working with ARCIFORM (some of it is admittedly dumb/pretentious).

I just found it and like an old journal entry, it is A. Very cringy and B. We have strayed a lot from that! Whoops. My favorite is how I want to make sure that they know that we are NOT elegant (nothing is wrong with elegant, it’s just not a word I respond to but it’s all just so silly to identify as ‘not elegant’). Also ‘high quality but humble’ is also admittedly kinda annoying, but you get the idea – well-made finishes that don’t scream loudly in any way… I don’t know if I ever actually even sent to this anyone, but I just found it and thought it was hilarious to share. 2020 Emily really wanted the farmhouse highly informed by the mountain house. Likely because I didn’t really want to leave here.

Then in late August we actually moved to Portland, left our minimal mountain house and I started shopping at antique stores and driving around all these incredible Victorian neighborhoods. Slowly more decorative elements started creeping into the design – more color, more pattern, more whimsy in the permanent finishes even. It’s like I couldn’t help myself. Vintage-inspired floral fabrics replaced the vintage plaids and ticking stripes I’ve been collecting. Simple handmade tile was given a decorative border and stripes in the shower – leaning towards, well the word ‘carnival’ even came up.

said shower

And listen, the house, while technically it a 4 square craftsman – was really just a box and the only the original things worth saving were the windows, the living room ceiling, the brick fireplace, the interior doors upstairs, and the soapstone in the renovated 90s kitchen (the kitchen cabinetry was painstakingly dismantled and salvaged and donated to the ReBuilding Center who will find it a new permanent home). So I honestly didn’t understand why we had to stick to “Crafstman” finishes when there really weren’t many original elements that felt “craftsman” to me.

I also want to say something that might be controversial – I know intellectually that busier rooms – rooms with more whimsy, color, pattern, and oddness – WHEN DONE RIGHT – are generally more exciting to look at, they are real feasts for the eyes. And I really want our home, to be so fun and exciting to look at. And that might sound shallow, but I think it’s pretty darn natural especially as someone who has spent their entire adult life styling rooms for still photography. It’s like wearing a safe dress to the Oscars – no one wants to look at that for long. But a home remodel isn’t a one-time event and you’ll have to live with these permanent bold choices forever. The Chief Architect renderings without pattern or boldness honestly just look boring because you can’t see any of the texture and the quality of the finishes. And no, we haven’t even started putting in any furniture, textiles, or art which will make a huge difference and add a lot of excitement. So, I think I was also tempted to, I don’t know, just be more exciting and bold than my dumb ‘simple but special’ minimal mantra (DRINK! :)). There are times when even I’m bored by photos of my own house even as I love living in it so much (TBH I think some rooms of the mountain house were just too minimally styled for the reveals and I should have made them more loose and editorial). So between seeing Victorian houses everywhere, having loved it visually for my whole life, then being more attracted to whimsical interiors in photography I think I lost track of the original intent. So here are the places where I took it too far…

The Guest Bath Nutty Border

sans stripes

It’s a real case of the ‘I like too many different styles’ which is NOT a bad thing, ever, but it can make a house a little chaotic, which is FINE if you are a maximalist. But it’s definitely against that initial word dump above. I freaked out and so did Anne when we saw that vintage tile installation (in a good way). It’s incredible and fresh and perfectly weird. We figured the new bathroom upstairs would be a great place to have more fun and implement this idea. I knew that I would rarely use this room so I wouldn’t get sick of it quickly.

Fun Fact: the more your eyes are confronted by something busy or loud, the faster you can get sick of it which is why people take more risks in more temporary spaces like hallways, dining rooms, and powder baths.

So on a call with ARCIFORM they painstakingly “built” this border from small pieces of tile in order to put it in the rendering. Stephyn did this before our call so that we could just move it around and decide where it should go. And yes, the tile is pink so there’s that.

This is also the bathroom that at the time we were going to work with the original window location which meant that the vanity and the toilet would be in front of it, but not in a nicely centered way. We decided to embrace the awkward and I truly think it would have ended up being really cool. But you get it. It not only has the most vintage-y whimsical style plumbing (which is so pretty) but it now had this odd window/vanity/toilet situation and a pink tile with a striped border. We loved it. Closed the meeting for that day and went about our business. But then after really thinking about it and my original vision the border was taken out and I feel very good about that decision.

The Mosaic Floor Tile

I’m going to write a whole post about this from start to finish because it was a really great creative/design process and there were MANY iterations, most of which I made with painted paper on the loft floor in the mountain house. But the last iteration – the most Victorian of them all – was A LOT. Even for me, honestly. It was my idea. I wanted a slightly ‘larger scale’ of a diamond pattern but since Pratt and Larson only goes up to 8″ I wanted to visually make it bigger (10″ – 12″) by doing one of the above. But once I saw it on the rendering (which I’ll show you later) Brian and Anne were so enthusiastic about it that I caved, questioning myself.

It was about 2 weeks later that showed it to Brian with fresh eyes and we both realized we had taken it too far. Now it’s still Victorian, but just less busy. And by the way, the reason that it’s ok that this room has Victorian elements when the rest of the house is a shaker farmhouse is that that sunrooms or conservatories were added on all the time (and still are) and often have a different feeling. It’s a step-down, it’s going to be clad in brick instead of siding and definitely ‘looks’ like it’s a special room. It’s perfectly ok and lovely to put a PAST permanent design element in your home, one that might have been a holdover from the era right before. IMHO (But Anne and ARCIFORM agree with me). But I wouldn’t put a ‘future’ tile design element – like retro 1950s Atomic tile, something that wasn’t invented yet in a much older home. But that’s just me 🙂

OH, and I want to point out the obvious, by simplifying both of these tile designs – getting rid of the mosaic stripe and border in the guest bath and the mosaic on the sunroom floor we saved likely THOUSANDS on tile labor. Seriously. Thousands.

The Floral Tiles

Remember when I was (still am) on a mission to bring some sort of contemporary/floral delft tile into the farm? Well, we ultimately didn’t have the right spot that felt appropriate and maybe we could have found the right place but honestly, it was just going to set us back time-wise. Between getting the samples to my probable indecision, making sure it works with the already chosen finishes… it just felt like we were forcing it. Plus the cost. The one place where it might have made sense (if it had worked with our floor tile) was the mudroom, behind the laundry machines. But it’s a pretty big wall and I’m still scared of ‘accent tiles’ so I likely would have done the whole wall when the plan right now is just paneling which is obviously way more affordable.

The Corbels On The Exterior

For some reason, Brian and I were worried that the house was just going to look like a white box again, especially from the outside. We don’t have an opportunity to do different paneling, or switch to shingles or anything – it’s not pitched enough. And while I didn’t like how small the shutters were I liked the idea of them. What we landed on was a white house, with white windows (already ordered), white brick, no shutters, standard craftsman railing, etc. I showed Brian a few really classic white farmhouses that had white windows and white railings and while I loved it, he was like ‘no, that is way too stark’. Meanwhile, he’s pretty inflexible about it needing to stay white, so without changing the color of the house we would need to add, ‘decorative elements’ – AND BOY WE DID. On one of our Wednesday meetings, ARCIFORM and I put back the shutters, painted them blue, put corbels on the posts added copper gutters, all the things.

Now before you judge or think we are nuts, this is the actual design process. All of you designers out there know when a client (or even yourself) wants to entertain something and you spend hours trying to make it work, just to realize the first plan was actually the best. You take it too far in one direction and then pull it back. It is not ‘wasting time’. We are paying hourly for Stephyn’s design and rendering time and I know that all the tile drawing work has taken her hours and hours, but it’s not ‘wasted’ it’s truly how you get the closest to the ultimate home you want – by experimenting and pushing yourself a little too far. It’s also made us super sure that we want it to be the pared-back version.

What I realized through all of this is that I REALLY NEED to find and restore a distressed Victorian house at some point in my life, and bring all of these ideas and this obvious passion to that house – somewhere I can visit and act out all my Duke fantasies, but not live there day to day. But it’s just not this house and that’s ok. I feel SO GOOD ABOUT IT. Now I know that some of you might be sad but fear not because I’m going to bring in a lot of eclectic furniture – some definitely more whimsical and Victorian like my chaise lounge in the House of Hackney floral and my weird plant stand. I’m not denying my love for this design era, but just NOT taking risks through the permanent finishes in what was supposed to be a shaker-style farmhouse.

And by the way, you want to know the most expensive permanent design element to “change out” is if it’s wrong? TILE. Faucets and sconces? Easy – which is why it’s ‘visually’ more accepted to have crazy 60s french light fixtures in 200-year-old Parisian apartments – it’s more of a layered on style choice, but tile? Be careful. Tile is no joke, especially in large quantities. So while I don’t want to scare you, to play it too safe and be boring (hell, we are so excited about the pink tile in that guest bath), definitely weigh that risk and be reminded that you can bring in so much color, pattern and risk in every other element and through styling/decorating. I have to remind myself of that all. the. time. 🙂

So we are back to mostly a Shaker Farmhouse. We still have some contemporary elements here and there, as well as a claw foot tub, a border in one of the bathrooms and yes, still a mosaic tile sunroom – but it’s just quieter now. And while I know that some of you hate minimalism, it’s our house and I can’t wait to show you how it’s going to come together to still be warm and interesting. Design plans for each room coming at you soon!! xx

Opening Photo Credit: Photo by Suraya Barbee

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Jenni
7 months ago

I think it’s interesting that you say that you lean toward a warm minimalism that doesn’t require too much maintenance. I feel the same, and I have 4 kids – the older they get the more simplified we get. I’m looking forward to your design plans!

Tracy
7 months ago
Reply to  Jenni

I couldn’t agree more! I have 4 kids between the ages of 6 and 3 (do that math LOL). A year ago we moved into a little bit larger home, but while they were all babies we lived in a very modest 1600 ft house. Somedays I wish we were still there- we held on to only what we needed and everything had a very specific place. It was easy to clean and very easy to maintain. I do appreciate the extra space though when the kids are bouncing off the walls, even if it comes with more cleaning!

Taylor
7 months ago

Thank you for sharing this part of the process. I’m in the baby stages of buying/fixing up my first home and I feel crazy sometimes that my vision is so clear and somehow I’m still so indecisive! Haha

Christy
7 months ago

It will be well worth the money to get high-quality, appropriate-to-the-house shutters that are properly hung and painted the right color, with the right hardware. They are properly hung if they can close and cover the window (even if fixed in place). The right shutters add dimension and interest to the house facade, and poorly hung, fake shutters look horrible, worse than no shutters at all. They make the difference between a tacky McMansion and an understated, beautiful exterior.

Lindsay
7 months ago
Reply to  Christy

Agree! I read that in a great design book called “The Not So Big House”–shutters that are sized so they could be functional, with beautiful durable hardware please the eye because your subconscious mind sees that they fit the windows, according to the author. She had side by side examples, and she was right!
I did love the interior shutter examples that Emily posted too–didn’t “get it” at first but when she showed all the European examples, I was in love with the idea!

Mariele
7 months ago
Reply to  Emily

I only looked into it briefly awhile ago, but I think the cost of the hinges + dogs comes out to about $60 per window.

Jacqui
7 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay

This whole thread is making me laugh. As a renter, I’m far from renovating a house myself, but I just understudied for a fantastic play called Shutter Sisters, and I had to learn SO much about shutters for the role. This is one of the principles that I read about! Ha!

🥰 Rusty
7 months ago
Reply to  Jacqui

Bahahaha🤣🤣🤣

KB
7 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay

That is my all time favorite book: The not so big house! Set me on my design course years ago! 🙂

SPruitt
7 months ago
Reply to  KB

It’s one of my favorite books too! I learned so much from it.

Erica
7 months ago

Emily I am dying to see this house!!! I’m currently renovating my own home and wish I could see this finished as inspiration. Always appreciate the honest dialogue.

Irene
7 months ago

I like your repeated statements of “high quality humility” and “simple + special”. Thanks for sharing your brain dump; it wasn’t cringy at all.

Vera
7 months ago

Love this update! I so enjoy peeking into your design process and I really appreciate seeing the brain dump. I too cringe when I look back on almost anything I write like that, so it’s nice to know I’m not alone. And funny, reading yours, I wasn’t cringing at all. It was a thorough brain dump that painted a really clear picture.
I’m giddy-excited to see the design plans for each room!

Pam Bauer
7 months ago

I am currently going through the process of evolving from minimal to my version of more maximal. I, also, really needed a calm home to come to after being in a building with 500 kids all day. Now that I’m retired I’m slowing adding in more detail, color, things. Will I become a hoarder of chachkas? I’m worried.

🥰 Rusty
7 months ago
Reply to  Pam Bauer

Hahaha 🤣🤣 Don’t be worried. Embrace it if you love it. Your home is a reflection of you.

🥰 Rusty
7 months ago

I think all your homes have been “warm and interesting”. This wil, be too, although at a whole ‘nother level since you’re starting almost from scratch. Yesssss…..tile.is.so.permanent!!! It’s vital to get it right. I’m so excited to see what you’ve finally chosen!! Eeeee!!!! On another note, one of my best friends is ADHD and for years, I’ve wondered if you might be, too. She’s highly intelligent, wins awards for her work, yet struggles with consistent anxiety and gets scuttle-bugged when she loses prime focus on the task at hand. She also needs a LOT of physicality, training, walking, moving and finds this helps calm her mind! Sound familiar? 😏 She was diagnosed in middle age and it made so.much.sense once that diagnosis was made! So.much! She’s now more at peace with herself, the challenges she faces and laughs at herself more, instead of coming down hard on herself when she makes an error or 2nd guesses her choices. Maaaaaybe seek a test/diagnosis? It tends to be a hereditary thing, so it might help the kids too, if you find similar challenges occcur for one or both of them? ADD and ADHD are no longer viewed as conditions that requiee medication.… Read more »

Love
7 months ago
Reply to  Emily

It’s actually no longer ADD and ADHD it’s just ADHD and there’s different types (ADHD-inattentive, ADHD-hyperactive, ADHD-combined) and fun fact it presents differently in women than in men (likely for conditioning reasons but could be genetic reasons) so it’s very under diagnosed in women. Moreover it’s HIGHLY genetic so if your parents, siblings, or kids have it there is a very very very good chance you do too :). I was diagnosed as an adult (almost 15 years ago now) and learning more about the spectrum of symptoms and co-morbidities that come with it gave me language and understanding to things I previously thought were just character flaws. It changed my life and allowed me to develop meaningful tools and coping mechanisms way more effectively than I could have without knowing the underlying issues.

Just thought I’d share in case it’s helpful to anyone reading! This is not directed to Wmily but really anyone: It’s not a disease that only affects kids – if you’ve been thinking a diagnosis may help, it’s so very worth pursuing.

Lauren
7 months ago
Reply to  Love

I was recently diagnosed with ADHD as a thirty something. I’ve found it has really helped me look back at my younger self with compassion.

A teacher suggested that my mother have me tested when I was in first grade but it was never really pursued because I wasn’t disruptive and always had very strong grades. It really does show up differently in girls.

🥰 Rusty
7 months ago
Reply to  Lauren

Yes, it doesand gitls and women are painfully underdiagnosed because they tend to mask it and rather, get on with it, despite all the obstacles.

🥰 Rusty
7 months ago
Reply to  Love

Love so well explained! Spot on. I’m appreciative that ypu took the time to writethe explainer.
My friend’s life shifted for the better once she had a diagnosis, because that gave her understanding and tools to manage it. She’s a yoga officionado and ig helps her sooo much!

Spero
7 months ago
Reply to  Love

Thank you for noting the changes in diagnostic labels! I think codifying ADHD-inattentive as a specific type has been huge for inclusivity of women in the ADHD conversation. I also had a similar process – I was tested and was VERY positive for it in elementary but my mom didn’t want to ‘label’ me so it was never acknowledged/accommodated. Now as an adult, I am not medicated but I have made intentional life changes that help me to manage it. It has also helped me to give myself so much more grace – things that I used to beat myself up for and constantly say ‘well why can’t you just x, it’s not hard just do it’ – well turns out it is hard when you have ADHD in the way of that specific thing!

🥰 Rusty
7 months ago
Reply to  Emily

Aaah, yes. You seem to have a good grip on it all. Yaaay!
Now thrifting that way and with that purpose, sounds like a great strategy to scratch the itch, but not get swamped by stuff in your home! Good thinking Boss Lady. 🤗

Erin
7 months ago
Reply to  Emily

To add to the convo – as a fellow Enneagram 7 – you can also think of what some people might call ADD or ADHD as simply enthusiasm and zest for life and experiences, and lots of them. I’ve been thought to have ADHD as well but, I definitely don’t. Some of it is just personality. 7s, when in really healthy spaces, start to look more like 5s, more focused and deeply engaged by life, which is a lot like what you’ve described, Emily, over time and during the pandemic. All those tricks you described work for me too and bring me peace. =) I bet the religious background and journaling have given you good tools for coping with your style. They certainly did me. Enneagram rocks.

Erin
6 months ago
Reply to  Erin

And just to clarify — I’m not at all equating a legit diagnosis of ADHD to a personality type on the Enneagram–they could not be more different. It’s just, people can throw the term ADHD/ADD around a lot, when it may or may not really be true for them. The above lens has really helped me understand myself and I was hoping it would also be helpful for others.

7 months ago

Gosh, I just love your voice and self deprecation! We’ve all been there – it’s damn Instagram. Our last remodel, done just a few years ago, was all “boring” – inspired by Maria Killam, the color expert who constantly preaches about boring hard fixtures so you don’t have costly renovations as soon as a trend is gone. I, too, had to remind myself all of the time that it would be okay once I added furniture, art, etc. AND IT WAS.

We’re in a new remodel – this one an 1850’s restoration – and I’m having a tough time repeating all of those boring elements. I’ve wondered if it’s because this house has a different personality than the other one or because I *just* did boring and don’t want to repeat it. This post was (another) good reminder. But man, I am still thinking (dreaming) about using a restoration tile in the back entry. (look up restorationtile.com – gah, they have THE COOLEST stuff)

Jen
7 months ago
Reply to  Molly

I LOVE Maria Killam. Her advice has helped me many times.

Stassy
7 months ago

You said you thought the Mountain House photos were potentially under-styled, but I liked that the ‘reveal’ styling was simple. I’m not in the design field, so it was nice to have inspiration photos with great bedding, furniture, and minimal additional decorations that I can replicate in my own home (vs. for ex., a gallery wall & more complicated vignettes that are way outside of my skill set).

Lindsay
7 months ago

This is going to sound silly, but I’m so relieved! I’m embarrassed about how into this process I have gotten, and was wondering about how the spare “bones” of the house were going to mesh with the Victorian elements. I adore your original mood boards!
More importantly, I’m inspired by how you were able to make peace with your different style interests by recognizing that you need to pour all that Victorian enthusiasm into a different project. We live in a house very much like the Mountain House, in fact it was what got me into your blog! But I harbor a not so secret love for the “Eccentric well traveled Professor/dark academia vibe”–so I still bookmark all the cool moody dark rooms with shelves full of curiosities, odd sculptures and art. I think I need to find an old victorian flat in London, or maybe Dublin, and live out my fantasies! And for now I still enjoy collecting those kinds of images, along with a totally separate “California Spanish” obsession, in my little style inspiration e-folders. Cheers!

🥰 Rusty
7 months ago
Reply to  Emily

I watvh a US show called “Cheap Old Houses” and man, I drool all the way through the show!
I lurve really old and really modern houses/archictecture, but MCM doesn’t do it for me at all, except a few late 50s, early 60s masterpieces.
I’m so happy in my ol’ girl!

Jamie
7 months ago

I think minimalism is much more difficult of a design challenge to pull off successfully and you rose to that challenge in the mountain house. I feel your calmness when you write from there. I’m certain you will find the perfect balance. Thank you for sharing the thought process along the way. Also…I am really happy that you changed the comment section. I’m so needing civility during these contentious times. Reading your blog is my morning routine and mean comments just aren’t necessary. Thanks to you and your powerhouse team for all your hard work. Happy 2022!

Roberta Davis
7 months ago

I think you made a wise decision to pare back, You can always add corbels, right?

Emma
7 months ago

Any chance you would do a design consult for our 1885 Victorian in Montreal? It has tons of history but has been renovated a little haphazardly over time and we would like to restore it to its former glory in a way that works for 2022!

🥰 Rusty
7 months ago
Reply to  Emma

Ooooh I’m in total envy! Lucky you!🥰

7 months ago

I love minimalism, and your life needs to support you. I’ll mourn that floral Delft tile though, I have to admit;).

Edith
7 months ago

Cup of Jo had a truly illuminating post on life as a woman with ADHD, linked below. ADHD can present differently in women than in men, and the post is well worth a read:
https://cupofjo.com/?s=Adhd&submit=

Cate
7 months ago
Reply to  Edith

I would just add that people who think they might have ADHD should actually get tested. Just throwing around that you *might* have it to explain behaviors is not helpful to those who actually have it and have to deal with societal ableism.

🥰 Rusty
7 months ago
Reply to  Cate

It’s worth a discussion thpugh, to help people become aware that it exists.

Christa
7 months ago

So interesting! It is very tempting in the age of Insta to go a bit overboard on styling. I love looking at the pics online but my own home needs to be calming and organized, with neutral colors that will be in style for many years. At the same. time, if your home has some age and history, you can branch out a bit – pink tile, wood paneling, vibrant paint colors, wallpaper! I say draw the line on anything that needs a lot of dusting or laundering, otherwise, go for it. You have fantastic taste and style, it’s all going to be great.

Rebecca
7 months ago

Doesn’t your property have a second home that leans more Victorian? I remember because I was most excited for that renovation because I thought it would be your chance to get truly weird and shine 🙂

Mariele
7 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

This! Why not make the farmhouse warm minimalistic/Shaker and make the other house Victorian maximalist? That way you can enjoy your passion for both right now. 🙂

Carla
7 months ago

I miss the copper gutters. They are timeless, classy and NEVER NEED PAINTING. And they patina. And add warmth. And last forever.

guada
7 months ago

You and your family will live here for many years… and as you mentioned it, even if it’s super minimal, you can style the heck out of it for the pictures, and that’s that. Design it for you, Brian and the kids. We’ll love it. Or not, and that’s more traffic 😉

Heather Amsden
7 months ago

I love these process posts. So enlightening and encouraging for us DIYers. Thanks Emily! ps, are you sure you don’t want to leave the border in the pink bathroom? 😉

ColleenB
7 months ago

I just have to say that I used to write annual trend magazines for a luxury interiors/window treatments brand, and the language and tone was IDENTICAL to your style voice notes. So if you’re cringey, there’s a whole market out there that eats it up! 😀

Anne
7 months ago

thanks for sharing the design process. I wouldn’t have at all criticized the Victorian design because I’m sure it would be gorgeous, but I’m so excited to see the Shaker style.

JenMS
7 months ago

Thanks for a great update! I love hearing about the design process — especially about the decisions that were changed.
One request – you wrote ” I love staying in weird old Victorian hotels (just stayed in this one recently and LOVED IT) ” and I was hoping you might provide a link to the hotel you just stayed at! 🙂

GOODING, PAULA
7 months ago

Don’t care about what other’s think! I’m in total agreement with telling people to not come to the site if their comments are not constructive. Go for it…..but cut out the apologies…..you don’t need too.

Amanda
7 months ago

I love ALL THE STYLES so it is hard to reel it in when designing ONE ROOM and I totally am HERE for this.

7 months ago

I so agree with this direction- you can pull it way back to minimalist or pile on some layers with decor and soft furnishings. I love a scandihemian look with calm backdrop and pulling in gathered textiles from our travels and art. You can always diversify paint later- I think the simple bones are important!

Tabitha
7 months ago

Hello! I’ve been following you guys daily for years and I so enjoy your transparency and passion for all the things! About five years ago my husband and I renovated what was once (100 years-ish ago, we still don’t know exactly how old it is) a “small” decrepit private ski lodge near Buffalo NY which had been added on to (poorly) in the 1950’s, and had an unfinished ranch home built RIGHT NEXT to it in the 1980’s (which we use as a barn/garage)… jeesh what an adventure! We tore down everything on the main building except the original ski lodge structure and rebuilt onto that with a brand new foundation. The architecture in the ski lodge room is amazing and I haven’t been able to find anything else like it on the internet. My family keeps calling it the “great room” which I can’t stand because it sounds ostentatious so I insist on calling it the “living room”. (I was raised Quaker and I TOTALLY get the need to retain a sense of humility, even if you live in a ski lodge 😉 Luckily both houses were sided with live edge wood slab so that made it much easier… Read more »

Addie
7 months ago

This is interesting because I am also drawn to many different decorative styles and eras. The most beautiful and personal homes are those that bring a unique curated mixture that tells about the people who live there. I’m curious to see how this warm, calm, Shaker-Victorian style comes together.

Alex H
7 months ago

Oh I feel this so much. My favorite house images online are always that traditional Ralph Lauren style – plaid wallpaper and stuffed to the brim with equestrian oil paintings and hunting trophies and antiques. But in reality, I know I’m sick of our Christmas tree on its third day in the living room and can’t stand anything collecting dust on surfaces. I live in a midcentury ranch that’s all white and natural wood. I think a lot of us can just imagine ourselves in so many different lives and we are happy and fulfilled by so many options. While one of my fantasy personalities has a live-in maid and travels constantly between my multiple homes depending on the season…real life me has to WFH each day and cook dinner and clean up after two dogs in my home and it needs to be a clean and quiet sanctuary.

Shannon
7 months ago

I will admit that the mountain house never inspired me like your other houses. Beautifully done, no doubt, but it didn’t get me excited. I can totally relate to loving more eccentric houses, but needing your own home to be a little less daring and more pared back. Same same! With that being said, I feel like you were able to capture that in your more traditional LA house without being boring-lots of personality but not over the top. I’m excited for direction you’re taking in the farmhouse. I’m chomping at the bit, really.

jo
7 months ago

Emily, I love the jacket your wearing. Can you share the source?

6 months ago

Thanks for this post! It is sooooo helpful!! I am working on a client’s stunning 1930 Tudor revival and have been wondering about the mix of clean lines and historical detail — how much modern living to add while still giving a nod to the period of the house. And your point about getting bored more quickly with the more exciting details is helping me answer my own questions. As is the point about pushing it too far and then reigning back. Thank you. You rock!

Sally
6 months ago

I live in a Victorian Farmhouse in PDX and need help with my weirdo living room. If you ever want to do a design consult please contact me!

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