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!


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. 😉


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!


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!


A few months ago I picked up a pair of Ming cocktail tables for a steal. Never mind that we had zero need (or space) for them, I wasn’t about to let those quadrangular legged beauties pass me by.

So, into the back of my SUV they went, and I’ve been driving around like a modern day pioneer on the Oregon trail (forge the river!) ever since.

The Pursuit of StyleBefore

Needless to say, when the opportunity to collaborate with Glidden® paint presented itself,  I had just the project in mind. Their simplified palette spared me hours of agonizing and I quickly picked up a quart of Glidden paint Peacock Blue in High Gloss finish. This iconic Miles Redd bedroom was my inspiration.

The Pursuit of Style

Thankfully, I snapped a photo before I spilled it everywhere (oh, the perils of an early morning DIY!) but at least it was a beautiful mess.

The cocktail tables were great condition so this was as easy of a paint job as it gets. First, I wiped down the tables with a damp cloth to remove any residual dirt and grime. Next, I gave each a light sand with fine grit sandpaper to smooth away any imperfections and give the paint something to adhere to.

Another once over with a damp cloth and I was ready to paint! I used a cheapo bristle brush and was honestly shocked at how smooth the coverage was. After two coats, I let my foreman supervise the drying process while I spent a few hours by the pool.

The Pursuit of Style
The tops were a little more scuffed than the base so I opted for three coats to really get that lacquered finish I was after and allowed for a full 24 hours of drying time.

A quick styling job and it was time for these leggy ladies to make their debut!

The Pursuit of Style

After four years of living with a lucite coffee table, I’m loving the bold punch of color.

The Pursuit of Style

The Pursuit of StyleAfter

In interior design, paint is as close to instant gratification as you can get and I’m so happy to finally have these cocktail tables somewhere that they’ll actually be used and appreciated. Thanks for making it happen Glidden paint!

Keeping it Real: This post was sponsored by Glidden paint through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Glidden paint, all opinions are my own.