Be still my heart 

There is a smell that old houses have, some would call it musty. I might say the aroma of antiquity, perhaps. That sounds nicer.

The point is, I love old houses. I actually love this smell.  The picture above is from the formal foyer of our 1840s Greek Revival historic home.

One of my favorite Sunday afternoon activities is scouring estate sales, and finding open houses of antique homes for sale. 

We went to one last weekend – and oh my, the fixtures, the wallpaper, the woodwork, all stunning and untouched.

 I took a few pictures, and thought, wouldnt it be amazing to photograph and document these old homes, as well as the people who have lived in them for decades?

Here are a few pictures of the amazing details, if you’d like to see.

What is it about these old houses that gets me? 

There is an element of nostalgia, no doubt. Did you know that nostalgia is derived from a Greek compound of two words that mean “homecoming” and “ache”?

And that is exactly how I feel when I enter one…a feeling of being at home, perhaps a nod to my childhood growing up in an old Vermont farmhouse, combined with an undeniable ache.

And there is more to love. Old houses are a vestige of a time past. The epitomy of endurance. 

They offer a vintage perspective. And there is exhilarating possibility lurking behind all the chipped paint. 

And don’t forget the dose of inspiration. Each wallpaper was more beautiful than the next.


They must be 100 years old. Yet still so on point. 

What do you think? Do you also have the old house bug, or prefer modern or turn-key?

A place to lay your head

The night we moved into our very first home, we slept on a mattress on the floor in the middle of our new bedroom. We had no lamps, just a flashlight, and a suitcase of clothes. It was perfect. We were giddy (and slightly terrified – wait we OWN this building??).

My sister (in-law) and her fiancé  just bought their very first home and it makes us nostalgic for that time. It is a lot of work, exhausting (both physically and mentally) but also magical in a way that maybe you can’t fully appreciate until after you are through it. 

There is so much to do! What to do first!? 

Well…how about your master bedroom?

We started by pulling together some looks that Gilly liked. 

Both are airy and bright with clean lines, natural fabrics, a mix of modern and vintage, with a pop of color. 

We already had a few pieces to work with.  (bed, rug ordered, bureau).

I put together a few mood boards to choose from. Which would you pick?

Shop this room:

1. Green lamps/2.Oil Painting/3.Pickstitch Sham/4.Lumbar Pillow/5.Minimalist Mirror/6.Tripod Floor Lamp/7.Dresser/8.Duvet Cover

Shop this room:

1.Alarm clock/ 2.Lamp/ 3.Bed/ 4.Painting/ 5.Mudcloth Pillow/ 6.Sham/ 8.Bedside table

Shop this room (PS this was their favorite!):

1.Table lamp /2. Art/ 3.Accent pillow/ 4.Chair/ 5.Mirror/ 6.Dresser/ 7.Lamp/ 8.Sham and Duvet/ 9.Lumbar pillow/ 10.Side table

A (colorful) room to grow

There is something so special about planning a room for a little baby. 

Daydreaming about who they will grow up to be, picking fun toys, and cute clothes, and having the freedom to use color in a way that you might not dare in a more adult-centric space.

Color is a key focus for my cousin as she puts together her new daughter’s room. Johannah lives with her family in Mt Desert Island, ME, in a house they built together over the past 6 years.

Besides being a new mom to baby Gwinna, Johannah is passionate about climate change – she is the project coordinator for A Climate to Thrive, an organization that seeks to achieve energy independence for MDI by 2030. On her blog, Earth to Plate, Johannah writes about how she fell in love with nature growing up in the woods of New Hampshire. Her love of nature shines through clearly in Gwinna’s room where she created a whimsical mural of a tree on the wall, complete with robin eggs. 

While the rest of their house is more mellow, she wants a really colorful room for her growing girl. The groundwork has been done: pale yellow walls, cherry wood floor, a pale blue bookshelf.

The crib and bureau have clean lines and a dark wood stain. There are pops of green, the leaves on the tree, a pillow and muslin swaddle draped over the crib rail.

Johannah wanted the room the feel magical. She has certainly succeeded. 

The challenge now is how to tie it all together with a rug. And perhaps some artwork and a cozy chair for nighttime feeding. I put together a few mood boards to help brainstorm, and here are my favorite options. 

Shop these rooms:

1.Caitlin Mcgauley Prints/ 2.Mirror/ 3.Bureau/ 4.Glider/ 5.Crib/ 6. Pillows: Embroidered/Pompom/Rainbow/Polka dot/7.Bookshelf/8.Planter

Rugs in order: Tangerine Dream/Kaledo Primary/Aster gold /Josie

Evolution of a porch

Last year we added a large addition off the side of our historic 1845 Greek revival home. 

One of the things we knew we wanted to add was a screen porch. We love to eat dinner outside, and craved some protection from the mosquitos! 

Our porch has gone through many iterations over the last year. It started out looking like this.

We slowly added furniture (Hello Celia! And lime green extension cord!).

The miniature rugs clearly weren’t working (you know how I feel about rugs). 

So we bit the bullet and got an indoor/outdoor rug custom cut and bound to fit the space. 

What a difference it makes!

On Sunday, I got the itch to rearrange again.

Here is a peek at the final result:

Moving the couch allows for more seating space.

So far we love the change!

Shop this room:

1.  Provence Sofa/2.Wood Stove/3.Provence Lounge Chair/4.Captiva Outdoor Pillow/5.Tabouret Chair/6.Creeping Fig

Black houses

I have been drawn lately to black houses. They are impactful, fresh, but still classic – something about them feels modern without being trendy.

I am a traditionalist at heart – with a natural love of classic New England white clapboard. And I’m not sure I’ll ever be fully converted, but for the moment I’m loving the opposite. 

Look at this little guy. He wouldn’t quite have the same impact if white.

The dark color lends a certain weight. This little cottage is firmly anchored and holds its own surrounded by jagged mountains.

Black siding with black trim helps these houses recede into the landscape around them.

What do you think? 

I’ve never really considered black before for the exterior of a house, but these images make me think twice.