#HOMESPEACEHOME UPDATE

Hey strangers! I’m digging myself out of a pile of fabric samples and construction sawdust to pop in and say hello. The frenetic pace of a full project load has been keeping me busy, but I’ve been missing this space and wishing for one more hour in the day and a little more creative bandwidth.

It’s been almost nine months since I shared my first #homespeacehome post about the changes we made immediately after buying our house, so now that we’re further along in the process I thought I’d give ya’ll an update.

Fig Leaf Upholstered Walls

When I first stumbled upon the listing for our house, one of the things that attracted me to it was the traditional floor plan, specifically its little entry which opens up to the living room, kitchen, and hall to the bedrooms that I knew would be the perfect opportunity to make a bold statement.

Funny enough, when we scheduled a walk through, the listing agent attempted to sell us on how easily the walls could be removed to create an open floor plan. Guys, is it just me, or are walls becoming an endangered species? This is a topic for another post, but personally, I’d like to see less open floor plans and will always advocate for the intimacy of individual rooms.

Anyway, our home was built in the 1950s and I knew I wanted to embrace the cheerful palette of that era. I’ve had a long term love affair with Peter Dunham’s Fig Leaf fabric and always knew I wanted to use it in my own home. Our home was also an opportunity to experiment with an old school technique I’d been dying to try–upholstered walls.

Yes, that’s right, this isn’t wallpaper, the walls are actually upholstered in fabric! I love the texture the fabric lends to the space and it definitely sets a playful tone for the rest of the house.

Pink Living Room

Moving through the entry, you enter into the living room. I found this little gem of a side chair at a local antique store and fell hard for its columned back. I recently had it recovered in a favorite Carolina Irving fabric. I just love how the columned chair plays against the framed albumen photograph of the Arch of Constantine and Colosseum (not shown) above.

The chair is flanked by a pair of sliding doors which lead out to our deck, but the living room actually doesn’t get a ton of natural light. To compensate, I choose the faintest seashell pink for the walls. Everyone always asks if Garrett balked about having a pink living room, but surprisingly he loves it. I plan to layer in some rich browns through antique furniture to offset the femininity, but it really is the most flattering shade, the walls just glow.

Navy Velvet Sectional

Our favorite room in the house is the library–which isn’t quite a library yet, because our bookshelves aren’t built–but this is our main hang out space. The walls and trim (and eventually bookshelves) are painted a calming blue green and I covered the floor in a wall to wall diamond patterned sisal. The lamps are actually a pair of vases that I had made into lamps.

Fun fact, when we moved into the house we brought our bed, the two pink caned chairs in the living room, one armchair, and one occasional chair in terms of larger furniture pieces. That’s it! I took the move as an opportunity to get rid of place holder pieces and made a promise to myself to not bring anything past the front door I didn’t truly love.

That paired with my own indecision means we lived without a sofa for 8 months. Crazy, I know, but I’m glad I stuck to my guns and have been intentional with each purchase. Needless to say, the custom sapphire blue velvet sectional above–it’s a sofa with chaise–has been game changer and big upgrade to my Netflix binge sessions.

The bookshelves are up next on my punch list. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know I’m a huge book nerd, and not having a home for my books has been driving me crazy! A pair of chairs, upholstered ottoman, and window treatments will eventually finish off this space.

Guest Bedroom

The guest room is another room that is this close to being finished and one of my favorite spaces mainly because of the art on the opposite wall which you can’t see in this photo. When we first moved in, we actually used the guest room instead of the master for a few months. Truthfully, I still haven’t wrapped my head around what to do in our master and still prefer the guest room. 😉

The nightstands and lamps are among the few pieces we brought with us from our old apartments. The tortoise glass lamps have been with us since our DC days–my luckiest Craigslist find possibly ever–and the nightstands are vintage pieces I had lacquered locally. I have a custom headboard being fabricated as we speak and after that it’s just a rug, window treatments, dresser and mirror!

I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek behind the scenes. It’s been fun to think about how far we’ve come in just under a year. I’m looking forward to tackling some of the larger renovations of our bathrooms & kitchen which will really make this home feel like our own!

#HOMESPEACEHOME PROGRESS

Oh man guys, hello from not Tulum. We’ve been foiled by tropical storm/hurricane Earl. I hemmed and hawed over canceling but after the kind folks at Papaya Playa Project said it was no bueno and we could change our dates I reluctantly gave in to Mother Nature.

So, how about a #homespeacehome update. We closed on the house back in May but since we’re technically in our apartment lease through September we took our sweet time moving in. We used the overlap to our advantage and addressed some of the structural concerns, replaced rotten fascia boards, etc. Here’s a PSA: clean your gutters. You’d be shocked at how much damage overflowing gutters can cause.

Once we got the bones of the house back into good shape we shifted gears to focus on foundational elements like floors, walls, windows, doors, trim & electrical. We’re tackling what we can right away–floors, walls, doors, trim & electrical–but are pushing off replacing our single pane windows for a bit because sigh, #budgets, and I’d rather have new bathrooms.

Floors Before

Refinishing the floors was one of the first decisions we made and something I knew I wanted to do while the house was empty. The house had 2.5″ plank white oak throughout and carpet in the master. We tore up the carpet almost immediately and were happy to find the hardwood in perfect condition underneath.

The existing finish on the floors was what I like to call No. 2 Pencil–that awful shade of yellow-y orange– with a shiny shiny polyurethane topcoat. It had to go. Flooring really sets the vibe for a house and I fully admit to waffling a bit over the direction I wanted to take ours at first.

Mark Sikes

Carrier & Co

Initially I had considered going light and whitewashing the floors à la two of my favorite interiors: Mark D. Sikes’ California home and Carrier & Company’s Cooper’s Neck Beach project. The Cape Codder in me can’t resist the airy, coastal feeling whitewashed floors lend to a space, and the thought of blonde dog hair disappearing was appealing, but ultimately I knew in my gut that whitewashed floors weren’t fitting with the style and location of our 1950s home–or even my own aesthetic if I’m really being honest with myself.

Floor Stain Options | Lindsay Speace Interior Design

So, the hunt for the perfect medium brown finish began, and this is where my Goldilocks complex took over. It couldn’t be too red or yellow, it couldn’t be too dark, it had to be just right. Our floor guys patiently put down a few swatches but I wasn’t feeling the initial round of options. The lights–Early American, Special Walnut, and Provincial–were too light and the darks–Jacobean and Dark Walnut–were too dark (Jacobean) or slightly red (Dark Walnut) on our floors.

Custom Floor Stain Mix | Lindsay Speace Interior Design

It was time to get fancy (read: difficult) and try out a custom mix. I requested a 50% blend of Dark Walnut and Provincial somewhat on a whim and it ended up being exactly what I was going for. Not too yellow/red, not too dark, just right.

Dark Floors With Pets

If you’re considering dark floors and are worried about how dirt, dust, pet hair, etc. will show I think the above photo is a pretty good example of what you can expect. There will definitely be upkeep, but personally–and this might be weird–I’d rather see the dirt so I know it’s time to clean. I’ll get back to you on how I feel in a few months. 😉

We chose a satin (not shiny) waterborne finish (Bona Traffic HD) primarily because waterborne finishes will not amber or yellow over time (and I’m taking no chances on going back to No. 2 Pencil!), but they’re also very low VOC so there’s no overpowering odor. I’ve heard that a semi-gloss finish can help with disguising dirt and dust a bit better, but I was feeling the matte look for this house.

Custom Wood Floor Return Cover

Lastly, we replaced all of our hideous builder’s brass floor register and return vent covers with custom wood grates that sit flush in the floors. The return register in our living room is huge! It made such a difference replacing the old vent with something less obtrusive.

Custom Floor Register Cover | Lindsay Speace Interior Desisgn

Here’s how the floors look today from the same perspective as the before photo. Truthfully I think they photograph a bit red in certain light but Garrett thinks I’m crazy. Thankfully there’s no red in person. Apologies for the grainy photo I didn’t get up early enough for the best light. 😉 Also, that entry is primed for wallpaper which is why the paint looks super thin.

Floors After | The Pursuit of Style

Overall we’re really happy with how the floors turned out! As a designer I think it’s easy to feel pressure to do something “different” or “unexpected” because we’re so over exposed and everything feels done, but classic is classic for a reason and I have to remind myself that sometimes you really don’t need to re-invent the wheel.

Brody | The Pursuit of Style

I have plenty of more updates to share but this post has gotten insanely long so I’ll save those for another day. If there’s anything specific you’d like me to share along the way or questions you have please do drop me a line in the comments or via email. Hopefully I can make these progress updates a semi-regular occurrence!

PUTTING DOWN ROOTS

Lindsay Speace Interior Design

In all my years of blogging, this is the post I’ve wanted to write the most: we bought a house! We closed two weeks ago after a roller coaster ride of inspections and negotiations (followed by even more inspections and negotiations…) but I’m thrilled to finally be able to say that we’re putting down roots in Raleigh.

I’m a homebody without question and not having a sense of permanence or a place that felt truly our own left me feeling unmoored these past 2-3 years. Professionally, it was like the cobbler’s children who had no shoes.

Architecturally, our new home is exactly what we said we didn’t want (isn’t it funny how that happens?) more 1950s ranch than 1890s federal (hard to come by in a young city like Raleigh), but we love the neighborhood, the big backyard, and the room to grow if we choose.

Right now it has grasscloth wallpaper that has been painted over (from the first time grasscloth was cool), lacquered brass switch plates, registers, and door knobs (again, from the first time brass was cool) and an unidentifiable but distinct smell it will take me an arsenal of Diptyque to defeat, but the bones are good, the potential is endless, and most importantly it’s ours.

I’ll be sharing peeks here and there along the way and am accepting all ideas for witty Instagram hashtags. 😉

FRIDAY VIBES

Lindsay Speace Interior Design

This week got away from me on the blog front, but the morning light and leftover photoshoot flowers (sneak a peek on Insta) inspired me to clean up the tennis ball fuzz from the rug (pulling off the fuzz is our golden retriever Brody’s favorite thing – weirdo, right?) and snap a pic.

I can’t remember if I’ve shared photos since I painted our walls lavender on a whim last year, but it’s cozied things up so much. The color is Benjamin Moore Lavender Mist in case you’re curious. I’ve found that the key to keeping pastels from being too Easter Egg-y is to off-set them with a healthy dose of saturated color and punctuate with gray or black to up the sophistication.

I’m too lazy to commit to a link round-up every week, but always love reading them on other blogs. I found a few great things this week that I wanted to share–just don’t hold me to it regularly 😉

Because we’re all addicted: 

Things That Will Happen If I Don’t Take My Phone Out Right Now

Instagram’s Growing Role in the Art Market

The case for investing in quality design:

Couldn’t agree more with Sally’s thoughts and cost/use perspective!

Love her, or hate her, she’s building an empire and it’s pretty fascinating:

Inside GOOP

 

Have a great weekend!

BITS & PIECES

The Pursuit of Style

I spent the weekend doing some last minute zhushing around the apartment in preparation for an upcoming magazine shoot (!!).

I upped the ante on the tortoise shell addiction in the bedroom with the two shells above that I picked up several months ago at Lauren Liess’s fantastic studio in Great Falls, VA.

I’m loving the added pattern and texture they’re adding to an otherwise bland corner. To be honest, after living in our current apartment for just over 3 years, I’m really itching for change, so every detail I can switch up makes a difference.

Hope it’s cooler wherever you are than it is here in DC. We’re melting!