I think my love for home design surpasses my love for fashion. Well, at least by a little bit. Okay, maybe I love both equally. I’m drawn to the way both forms are meant to be experienced from the inside, lived in, not simply looked at. I could happily hang out in that energizing tension between form and function all day long. So maybe there’s no need to pick a favorite. All I know is that I’ve lovingly reserved home design as my personal hobby, so it feels more intimate.
We moved into this lovely little 1930’s home in September, so I thought it was time for a proper update. And to make it even better — we just decorated for the holidays!
So let’s jump in. Today I’ll share progress on:
- Our living room
- Our dining room
- And a little bonus peek at the end!
If you see something you like, you can shop it and support my blog at the same time by using the affiliate links throughout the post.
Isn’t it a happy space? I love the balance of cozy clutter with white space.
Our sofa is the Karlstad sofa from Ikea, updated with a linen cover from Bemz (in Pure Linen Brera Lino – Natural), and new, taller legs from Pretty Pegs.
A lot of people ask my opinion on Ikea sofas, and to me, the quality can’t be beat for the price. After 3 years (and multiple moves, yikes) ours is still in tip top shape — and we didn’t even buy it new! We bought it off craigslist, and as best I can tell, it was already 2-4 years old at that time. So I’m guessing it’s between 5-7 years old, and still going strong.
A few more quick credits: The paint color throughout the house is HGTV/Sherwin Williams Pure White from Lowes. Our marble coffee table is from Article. Our rug is from Ikea. Our leather chair is from CB2. And just about everything else (mirror, tray, candlesticks, vase) was antiqued or thrifted.
I’ve been collecting these antique candlesticks for a little while now, and I love how they all came together over the mantle. It’s easy to find ornate, chunky candlesticks, but if you’re looking for something a little more minimal like mine, try searching ebay and use the keywords “narrow” “thin” “minimal” or “tulip” in your search. If you just want to get some quickly, here’s a similar set of candlesticks.
Since this is the first time we’ve ever had a fireplace, we splurged and got these fun chunky knit stockings. I’m so happy with the quality. The knitting isn’t just on the front — it wraps all the way around to the back. Quick tip: If you get them embroidered they’ll probably arrive a little wrinkled — just steam the embroidery to get it to lay flat.
No shiny brass here — I like to let it oxidize. I also like letting the wax drip all over the place. Feels real.
My loose holiday color scheme is green, dark gold, and champagne, but I don’t hold too tightly to it. Though it looks like our tree is very color themed in this photo, if you look closely, you can see our personal, funky, mismatched ornaments mixed in too.
The office sits just off the living room and it’s where I do most of my work and shooting. My desk is an antique and the velvet chair is from CB2 and it’s where I’m writing this post right this moment.
After pining for linen curtains for years, we finally got linen curtains from Rough Linen for our living space, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I love the way natural, rumpled linen brings a soft, gentle texture to each room. For a relaxed look, I let them pool on the ground a little.
Quality linen curtains can be pricey, so I’ve got two tips for you:
- Go slowly — just do one room at a time.
- Fabric makes the room, so invest in the curtains and skimp on the hardware. Ikea has excellent hardware at a fraction of the cost (I use the Syrlig rings and Storslagen rods).
When we moved in, I knew I wanted to fill these bookshelves with a mishmash of books.
I think in the past I would have gone for a color coordinated or styled look, but this time I ran in the opposite direction. You’ll see my husband’s screenwriting books, my yoga books, art books, psychology books, even some beloved YA fiction from my teen years.
It feels good to have them out in plain sight, unedited and unorganized. It reminds me where we’ve been, how much we’ve changed, and to hold lightly to where we are now.
The moment I saw these encased openings, I knew I wanted to string garland around them for the holidays. I love it so much! Our garland is from Hobby Lobby — sadly I can’t find it online, but you can probably still find it in store. If you’re shopping online, try this similar garland from Target and this stunning garland from Pottery Barn.
I strung the lights in them myself and planned ahead by making sure there was an outlet nearby. To hang them, I used 3-4 nails per doorway.
Since we use our table so much (more for projects than eating, hah), I like to keep it mostly clear and avoid large centerpieces. But I usually keep a small vase on the table and fill it with fresh greenery clippings from the yard.
A few quick credits: Our linen curtains are from Rough Linen. All our dining furniture was either antiqued or found on craigslist. The rug is from Ikea. The light fixture is old from West Elm, but here’s a similar light fixture.
As much as I’d love to be an adult and eat dinner in the dining room, we usually eat dinner at our coffee table while watching something. We pull out these bamboo poufs and faux sheepskins when it’s time to eat, and then slip them right back under the sofa when we’re done.
My favorite essential oil to diffuse this time of year is Balsam Fir Needle — it smells exactly like a Christmas tree farm. :) I’ve been using this wooden diffuser for a few years and love how it’s small, portable, and minimal.
Bonus! A peek at the bedroom!
Our bedroom is a work in progress but I love the way it’s coming along. We brought in a little holiday cheer by stringing a garland and lights at the foot of our bed and it’s magical. One of these days I’ll hang curtains and possibly add some art above the bed.
Our garland is from Hobby Lobby — sadly I can’t find it online, but you can probably still find it in store. If you’re shopping online, try this similar garland from Target and this stunning garland from Pottery Barn.
We found our bed frame at Walmart — here’s the king bed frame and here’s the queen bed frame. For the price, I couldn’t be happier with it! Yes it was a chore to assemble, and yes at first, even the slightest movement caused it to squeak loudly, but we just put a little WD40 on the screws and it’s been silent ever since.
Our linen bedding is from ByMolle — they have the softest, most deliciously broken-in linen bedding I’ve ever felt. If you want to replicate our color scheme, the duvet and sheets are Flax, the throw at the end is Hazel, and the pillowcases are Cinnamon.
A couple quick credits: Our rug and baskets are from Ikea. My purse is from Polene. And my wardrobe was antiqued.
• • •
And there you have it! Thanks for sticking with me through all that! I’m getting a lot of joy from writing longer, rambly posts these days — it feels like we’re just chatting. So thanks for being here. I hope you enjoyed it!
So tell me, have you started decorating for Christmas yet? What are your guiding words when it comes to your home design these days? Got any questions about antiquing, or anything else in this post? And finally, how many photos can you spot Steve in? :)
Your house looks beautiful! So cozy and tranquil looking. And I love all the candlesticks. We decorated for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving. We don’t put up a ton of decorations so it didn’t take too long. I think my guiding words for home design are minimal and cozy. And finally, 3, possibly 4 ;)
Hi Caroline! I loved your last house and i love this one too. My question is about the paint, I need to repaint my interior and would like to go white instead of beige this time. Do you use flat paint for the walls and trim and are they the same shade of white? Love your blog, glad you’re back!
Hi Gena! Thanks for your kind words! I use eggshell paint these days. For our house in Abilene, I used flat paint throughout the whole house — and that quickly revealed itself to be a mistake, especially with pure white paint! I learned that while it makes for a beautiful matte look, flat paint scuffs like crazy and is difficult to clean. So in our last house, I used eggshell and it was so much easier to keep clean and white — plus it really wasn’t much shinier than the flat paint. And yes, I paint trim and walls the same color to minimize the “lines” of the room, making it feel airy. Hope that helps! :)
Melissa Engler says
Hello, huge fan for years, first time commenting. I am currently painting my house. I went with a light grey/silver color in satin for all the walls and simi gloss white for trim and doors. Now that I have seen your rooms. I love the all white look. It would be so easy to paint as well. Less time consuming. I might be rethinking this. I have two small boys, so I don’t know how durable eggshell would be vs satin. Also do you paint the ceiling the same color?
Hi Melissa! Glad you commented, it’s great to hear from you! :) We actually didn’t paint the ceiling because it was in good shape, but if needed I would have totally painted the ceiling the same color — less to tape and edge that way, LOL. In fact, in our Abilene house we painted the walls, trim, and ceilings the same Pure White color that’s in this house, and it worked out great! Hope that helps! :)
Melissa Engler says
What brand of paint did you use? And color white? Or was it just the base ultra white?
Melissa Engler says
I saw it was Prue white by Sherwin Williams. Do you remember if it was Casmire, Super Paint, Emerald, Ovation or etc?
Ah! I honestly don’t remember. They just recently discontinued my favorite one, which was the Olympic paint base. Honestly it was the cheapest one and it went on better than any of the higher priced options. I do know that I actually didn’t like working with the Ovation — tried it once and it was difficult to work with. So I’d going with any of the others.
Andrea Sinsley says
Oh I am so so happy you addressed where you sourced the garland from–I’ve been searching for something like it and when I saw it pop up in your insta stories I about died! Thank you for sharing such your lovely space! It really is magical (:
Looks gorgeous, like a dream with the simple colors and light bright spaces. Love it!
Thanks friend! :) :)
K Irwin says
Where did you get your Kleenex “cover”? I hate the garish designs on the boxes, but it’s so useful to have around! Haha.
They are from Amazon! I just got them and am wondering why it took so long, haha. My husband and I both have allergies so we always have tissue boxes all over the house. Now they aren’t an eyesore. :) https://rstyle.me/n/dcqg4hbbbnf
Sarah Winton says
Gorgeous! You have exquisite taste. I love that you’ve managed to make your home so cozy in spite of it being so white.
Everything is beautiful! A quick (minor) question – where is your laptop stand from? I think I need a new set up and I love how minimal yours looks.
Hi Ana! It’s by Griffin. I love it! Helps my posture and it helps me avoid any neck pain from looking down at a laptop all day. :) https://rstyle.me/n/dcqhabbbbnf
You have done a beautiful job…well done Caroline, well done. ?
Your color scheme and aesthetic are SO GOOD–especially for Christmas. I don’t particularly enjoy overstimulating reds, greens, thrown in a mash of gold, silver, and glitter. Bleck! So, GOOD JOB! Loving how the gold and champagne are grounded by the green and the colors work for any time of year. The gold reminds me of cognac, warmth, firewood, wood tones in general, and creamy coffee/cider.
I saw Ol Bones 3 times! LOVE him too–and YOU!
Awww you called him Ol Bones!! I love that! <3 <3 Yes, I love a good neutral-ish palette for the holidays -- mostly because I want to leave the magic up through winter and can get away with it easier if it's not screaming Christmas. :) I mean, we take the tree down...but I'm definitely considering leaving the garlands up all the way through January. :)
Your home is beautiful! Light, airy, and uncluttered and homey perfection. I have loved white decor for quite some time and have a lot with warm neutrals now so I’m incorporating white/cream when new items are needed (or just feel like something new) ie: pillows and throws in living room, bedding and towels. As it is just me and Merida (the cat), I have a small tabletop size tree and decorate stairway with greens, amber colored lights and pinecones and add a few pale gold and white Christmas balls. I love it and I’m getting used to explaining my uncluttered, natural, minimal look is what I love – when people “help” by suggesting more decor. I have given my stepdaughters many of the items that came from my late husband’s family so they can enjoy them in their homes.
Looking for ball ornaments on amazon has me confused. Are they champagne and gold? Copper and gold? Brown and gold? Matte? What key words would you suggest I use to find the same 2 colors you have? or, a link if that’s easier. LOVE how they match the cream and beeswax candles. We use A LOT of candles in those colors. Thanks so much!
I found mine at Hobby Lobby a few years back — just two of those giant cylinders of ball ornaments, one brown and one champagne. :) I would totally give you a link but I can’t find them online. Betting they are still available in their stores though. If you want to find them online though, Amazon might not have the best selection, but if you just search on Google I’d search words like “brown” “mocha” “matte” and “champagne”. Hope that helps! :)
Thank you for such a thoughtful reply. ❤️
What a lovely post! Your home is exactly as we thought it would be….relaxed and simply elegance just like your wardrobe! The Perfect LBD. Thanks for sharing.-laurel and kristen
Your home look like bliss! Makes me want to finally put some effort into my own home finally! How do you find brands like ByMolle and Polene? I feel like I’m stuck in a rut with the go-to brands and I have a hard time finding nice quality smaller places like these.
Hi Rebecca! Thank you! I find some through Instagram, but I spend a lot of time researching smaller brands on my own. I consider it part of my job as a blogger. :)
Hi Caroline! Your home is gorgeous. Love how you’ve styled it!
Question for you – being in a relatively transitional stage of life, I’ve lived in 5 houses/apartments over the last 6 years. Much of the furniture I own is re-used and re-styled from space to space.
I was looking back at your home tour post from June 2017, and it looks like you’ve switched out a fair amount of the main pieces of furniture (ex. sofas, leather chairs, etc.). Did you sell the old ones? Store them? Re-upholster them? I’m so curious!
Hi Emily! Thanks for your kind words! Believe it or not, almost everything in this house was in that house too! Things just may look a little different because my overall style has changed so much — for example, we still have the same sofa, we just got a new cover for it, and the leather sling chair and coffee table were also in that house too, just styled differently. Buuuut I will say, while I like to keep a lean closet, I’m a bit of a furniture hoarder, so we have a storage unit for things that didn’t fit in our new smaller house — like some beloved antiques, the other sofa, and those gorgeous leather chairs you saw in that post. Keeping that furniture around through all our moves has actually been amazing! Thanks to that, when we moved into this house we didn’t need to buy a single new piece of furniture (though we did get some art, rugs, and accessories etc.). Anyway, hopefully that gives you some insight! :)
Thank you so much for keeping je leather chairs. I felt my heart aching a little when I didn’t see them :)
I could never part with them! :) I was so bummed when I realized they wouldn’t fit into our current space. Can’t wait to use them again in the future!
Makes so much sense! You have such a great eye for decor to have used similar pieces in the two homes and have the two spaces have such a different (but both beautiful!) look and feel. You’ve also amassed such classic pieces, which I’m sure helps! Reminds me of the concept of having a hard-working, classic closet and then adding little things to it to change the style up (ex. jewelry, shoes, and accessories), but you’ve done something similar to your home with art, rugs, and accessories, per your comment. Thanks for the reply!
Kathryn Mader says
Lovely! Gorgeous! Your sharing your home is so fun and interesting, thank you (I’ve always loved houses and seeing how other people live). I believe I read that you are renting these last couple of houses. If so, are the landlords relaxed about painting, hanging things, like projectors, and other improvements you’ve made? Also, since you are storing some of your fabulous furniture, do you plan to move again and make use of it? I’ve debated about storing some things or just getting rid of them. The way you’ve decorated this house is so inspirational and probably your best work yet, even though all you do is beautiful. Merry Christmas!
Hi Kathryn! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! We’ve been lucky to rent from landlords who are kind enough to let us paint and make small changes. We are so happy renting for now, but I really do love to make a space my own, so I usually have an open chat with them to make sure it’s okay before papers are signed. And yes yes yes I definitely want to make use of our stored furniture again if we move to a larger space. Each piece has been thoughtfully kept, and I can’t wait to use them again one day. :)
Caroline you are a gem! I love that your taste is so chic without being one bit stuffy. I am loving your ‘rambly’ posts also! I am a big fan since discovering your blog this past spring, and am now wearing the aquatalia boots you wore in your last blog post! You’re a big help to me in the fashion department :)
Your home is a dream!! I love it so much. xx
I’m impressed how beautiful and fresh it looks!
It’s my first year celebrating Christmas with a cat so I have been putting up the Christmas tree in phases so she can get used to is (first the tree, then the lights, tomorrow I will add the decorations that don’t break easily). Good thing as within 5 minutes of putting up our (fake) tree she tried to climb it… and did not enjoy the experience :p
Your house looks amazing! Can you come and decorate for me? :-)
I also love the ramblings! This post warmed my heart. Your style and approach to design and life these days is refreshing. Happy Holidays!
Thank you so much Jamie — it makes me happy to hear that! Happy holidays to you too! :)
Hi Caroline! Your home is as beautiful as one would expect of someone with such elegant taste :) I was wondering if you had any advice for keeping white bed linens white. We splurged on cotton sheets and duvet covers but they all yellow over time and I am loathe to use bleach on them.
Ah Aditi, thank you so much for your kind words! To be honest, I won’t be much help here — we switched away from white bedding because I couldn’t keep it white. I love the flax color we have now because it still looks light and bright but isn’t so hard to keep. Anyone else want to chime in?
Kathryn Mader says
I’ve had pretty good luck with white sheets. I normally wash them in warm water with ALL Free & Clear detergent and a splash of Clorox 2 Free & Clear. Once in a while you really do need to wash them in hot water to dissolve any build up of body oils, which is what makes them yellow and dingy.
My white sheets needed a boost recently and read a tip to try vinegar. It worked great!
Kathryn Mader says
Good old vinegar! I will add some to my next sheets wash. Thank you!
Hi Caroline! Thank you for sharing your beautiful homes with us as you move. It’s so inspiring!! I’m also so glad to hear you kept those gorgeous leather chairs that I will forever and always be in the search for as I decorate our home :).
I do have projector questions!! Watching during the day is important for me/us so would you mind providing the old projector information as well? I loved that it was white and blended in fairly well with the ceiling.
I don’t usually decorate (we have five dogs), but I found an adorable table top Christmas tree and some small gold accents last year that I popped up the day after Thanksgiving. It’s minimal, but lovely and now Km inspired to add some garland next year!
Also, antiquing for furniture. Have you found any good places you would suggest in DFW? I live in Dallas and I’m just not sure where to start, but VERY interested in furniture with a story in our new home.
I only spotted sweet Steve in two pics, so I need new contacts :).
Hi April! Of course! Here’s a link to our old projector: https://rstyle.me/n/dcristbbbnf It’s a little old now — you can probably find a newer/better one for about the same price, but we really loved it and it had great picture quality even during the day. For the screen, we used the same one that I shared in this post. And for antiquing in Dallas, start with Lula B’s. There are two locations — Oak Cliff has some antiques on the ground floor, but the real draw to that location is their basement full of vintage clothes. I go there too much, hah. The Design District location is the best for furniture, plus there’s another antique store right next door, so you can visit both stores in one trip. Enjoy! Maybe I’ll run into you out there! :)
Thank you so much for the projector info. I’ll use that as a baseline in what to look for or just go for it as we don’t need the latest and greatest all the time.
How wonderful!! I can’t wait to go searching. If I bump into you I’ll certainly say hello!
Hi! Love, love, love the way you decorated! Minimal, yet very cozy. Quick question on the couch: Does the chaise part could be switched around to the other side or you always have to use the same configuration? Thanks.
Hi Rita! Hmm good question! I’m not sure, we haven’t ever tried to do that.
I’ve been on the search for the perfect diffuser ever since I bought my first essential oils a few weeks ago. I hadn’t found one I loved yet and now I have thanks to your post!! I hope Amazon thanks you!! Jillian
EmiLy crittenden says
We just moved from Colorado to Oregon a few months ago, and we just moved into the perfect little 1930’s home! So much character in the older houses. I love the built ins everywhere and the detail work in things like the cabinets, the fireplace, the subway tiling and the concave ceilings and rounded doorways. Still editing our setup but so so in love.
Love the whole house tour! It’s given me so many ideas for our house. Plus I love to see how everyone decorates for the holidays. I did have one question about the jute rugs from Ikea. Do you find them to be soft/comfortable to stand on? We are looking for a rug in our bedroom and have a dog so we want a soft and comfortable rug. I love the jute look as well! Let me know. Thanks!
Hi Laura! Oooh I hear ya on wanting soft rugs for your pup to lay on! Honestly, Steve doesn’t like laying on the Ikea jute rugs — they really aren’t soft enough. Of course he is also suuuper spoiled and only want to lay on the bed or sofa, hah. But overall, while they are comfortable underfoot and soften up with some wear, I’d say they aren’t super comfortable for pups.
I definitely need to get my holiday decor up! I usually put it up after Thanksgiving but I’ve been running behind this year lol. I love the colors you chose for your bedroom! And I only saw Steve in one photo so I had to go back and see if I could find him in more :) I’m counted four cameos now lol
Love your place, especially your insight about the bookshelves! I have so many books, and feel the pressure to organize them in a cute way — but I like the idea of just letting them be organic, too!
Also, thanks for being real about eating in front of the TV/projector — glad to know it’s not just my husband and me :)
Carolina barcelos says
Your house is sooo beatiful! And I found the post very inspiranting, I will use some of the ideas for my house.
Oh thank you so much for posting this! I’m seriously taking notes on your decorating techniques. Your blog helped me transform my wardrobe and style years ago (thank you!) and now my house is my main struggle. Do you have any tips on keeping a house free of clutter? I saw your comment where you said that you have a storage unit for furniture; but what about the small everyday clutter? Laptops and chargers and mail and hats and coats and pet toys….? It piles up so quickly!
Thank you, Caroline!
I love everything about this post! Caroline, you are so talented. Your eye for design is just impeccable. I was shocked to see home items from IKEA and Walmart. Everything looks so expensive (in a good way). It’s so refreshing to see beautiful design done with pieces that I could actually afford. Love, love, love the collection of candlesticks on the mantle. Everything looks so cozy and warm. Thank you for sharing. I am inspired!
Melinda Campbell says
There is so much I love about this post, I’m not sure where to begin. It’s just so inspiring to see such a beautiful and stylish home that a real person lives in! :) I have two kids–ages 4 and 6–and a husband who is not super-tidy (neither am I), so it’s doubtful that my house will ever look as amazing as yours, but it does help me re-think my spaces and motivates me to do better. The day I saw your post, I went home and immediately started clearing off tables/counters, throwing stuff out, and envisioning how I want certain rooms to look.
There are also so many beautiful ideas in the post, with the candles, vases, plants, garlands, etc. And I had no idea that there about the linked companies that make covers and legs for Ikea furniture! That’s so cool.
Anyway, thanks for all the time and attention you spend beautifying your home and sharing it with the rest of us.
Kathryn Mader says
I saw Steve, or at least bits and pieces of him, in 5 pictures :) Merry Christmas!
One quick question – do the string lights in your living room stay up all year, or are they for Christmas?
So glad you said you mostly eat at the coffee table because…ME TOO and I usually feel bad about it!!
I’ll take down the garlands in January but I leave the lights around the windows up til March or April. They just are so happy on dark winter nights. :)
Beautiful! You’re making me want to redo all of our current decor.
I love your simple Christmas tree – sans topper. And the teenie tree skirt? What did you use for that? I’ve tried some different blankets we had around the house, and none seem to look just right.
Hi! I was wondering what duvet insert do you use? If you can give me a link for the duvet insert, that would be great!
Your house is so beautiful! Could you share how you got the chaise lounge end piece for your couch? It looks like one piece, but the IKEA Karlstad sofa doesn’t have that and so I’m guessing you modified it somehow? I’ve been close to buying the Karlstad for some time but the one thing holding me back is that I really want the chaise end piece on a sofa. Thanks!
Hi Rebekah! We actually didn’t modify it — Ikea used to make the Karlstad with the chaise option, but it looks like they don’t anymore, hm. I’ve noticed it looks like they are phasing out the Karlstad, so perhaps that’s why.
Hi! Where do you get your dried flowers? Thanks!
Hi Erin! I just cut them from our yard and dry them myself. :)
Wow! awesome post…….
Ashley Renz says
I’m not sure how I missed this beautiful home tour, but I’ve found it!
Old homes are my favorite. My grandparents always had beautiful old homes similar to yours. Thank you for sharing.
I love that you also have a projector set up. We have been using a tiny portable projector ourselves since 2014 and it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done. I love that we can put it away or use it anywhere in the house with a blank wall. We’ve had a few people visit who do a double take when they realize we don’t own a television, but it has been positively received each time. We have two children and it makes it easier to keep screen time to a minimum.