The Denali Dream Drive tour of the 2014 HGTV Dream Home

GMC Denali Dream Drive - HGTV Home Tour 2014 | Pretty Handy Girl

Can I tell you about my dream home? Well, it would be in a gorgeous natural location with an amazing view out the back door:

GMC Denali Dream Drive - HGTV Home Tour 2014 | Pretty Handy Girl

And maybe a beautiful body of water nearby to witness jaw dropping sunsets.

GMC Denali Dream Drive - HGTV Home Tour 2014 | Pretty Handy Girl

And the house would be wrapped in windows…


…so that every room brought the outside in.

GMC Denali Dream Drive - HGTV Home Tour 2014 | Pretty Handy Girl

And there would be a long granite covered island that could seat the entire US ski and snowboard team!

GMC Denali Dream Drive - HGTV Home Tour 2014 | Pretty Handy Girl

And the attention to detail would be unsurpassed. (Love those exposed beams and patterned carriage bolts.) [Read more...]

Day 5 Reveal of the Moore Habitat for Humanity House – End of the GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure


And now the moment y’all have been waiting for! The end of our journey and the culmination of all our efforts were revealed to Alexcia, Jaydon & Jurnei Moore on Sunday, August 5th 2012. Alexcia thought she was just getting the keys to her empty home. Little did she know, that GMC, OnStar, Habitat for Humanity and 6 bloggers had conspired to fill her home with furniture, beddings, and home decor.

(Alexcia thinking, “You did what to my house?”) [Read more...]

Charm and Character – A House Tour


Today you have been invited to take a house tour at my friend Holly’s home. Holly is a good friend of mine, so luckily I didn’t have to beg too much for her to let us into her home. But, before we go in I want to tell you a little more about her. She wears many hats. She is a wife and mother of two boys first and foremost. But, she also runs Storywood Designs, a furniture refinishing business and Framed by Storywood, her Etsy Shop. She has a wonderful eye for color and design (which is evident in her furniture pieces and home décor.) When I first walked into her home, I knew I could live there and not have to change a thing.

Holly and her husband bought their 1980 home a few years ago. There were plenty of touches from previous owners that she worked with or covered in a creative way. I scanned the real estate flyer (sorry about the quality) to give you an idea what their house looked like when they bought it. The changes they made are phenomenal and yet they didn’t break the bank to do it.

Are you ready for the tour? Wipe your feet and come on it. Do you like the initial on her door?

She sells them in her Etsy shop!

Here we are in the living room, but this is what the room looked like a mere 3 yrs. ago:

And here is the living room today!

I know armoires are starting to go out of style, but this one is gorgeous with the cut out panels! If she ever tries to get rid of it, I’m grabbing it!

They painted the fireplace white and it really brightens up the room. See, I can appreciate a painted white fireplace, even though I repainted ours to look like brick.

I love all her fall décor. Especially the lit pumpkins on the hearth.

Beside the fireplace are sweet built-in cupboards and cabinets with wood countertops. It adds charm to the small niche.

Now we make our way into her kitchen  — my favorite room and the most stunning transformation. This was the kitchen before:

Get ready to catch your jaw before it hits the floor.

The pendant light adds lots of warmth and texture to the space.

Adding corbels under the upper cabinets was a genius idea for adding instant charm. I am itching to do the same thing to our kitchen cabinets. When I do, you can be sure I’ll share a tutorial.

Holly and her husband made the kitchen table. The wood was whistling for my attention the entire time I was photographing the kitchen. And with lines like this, how could I help but stare?

By removing many of the upper cabinet doors they made the kitchen feel larger and more airy.

Did you see those little decorative tiles? Would you believe that they had hideous country scenes before. Holly simply painted over the scenes and added a stencil! What a smart idea!

Just in case you wondered (because I definitely wanted to know), the base cabinets got a coat of white sage paint by Olympic. (Holly says that Olympic discontinued the color so Lowe’s had to custom mix it in their kitchen and bath enamel paint.) The top cabinets and walls are painted Benjamin Moore Lancaster White.

Setting out a little lamp adds some warmth to this corner of the kitchen.

The breakfast area has built-in benchs on two sides. The pillows make the space feel cozy.

One of Holly’s frames turned into a chalkboard:

Okay, right this way to the dining room.

I really want to display my blue and white china like she has done on this wall.

Adjacent to the dining room is her sitting room. Here is the before picture of that room:

She and I (well mostly Holly) just repainted the room a very neutral gray. I can’t believe what a big difference it made.

The china cabinet is a recent refinishing project that Holly just completed. The distressing on this piece is perfect!

Check out those layers of paint and glaze. Scrumptious!

And the bowed front and curved glass make this cabinet unique.

Speaking of distressing, here is another one of Holly’s tables that she refinished. This little table would make a perfect breakfast table or just a side table. It is for sale right now!

I’m jealous of her talent. Maybe I can convince her to take me as her understudy.

Thank you Holly and family for letting us tour your home. Your hard work really shows in your beautiful home.

A hike at Grandfather Mountain

In honor of my sons’ Grandfather, (who graciously took them to an outdoor magic show in heat advisory weather today) I’ve decided to post some pictures from our weekend trip to Grandfather Mountain in western North Carolina.

Grandfather Mountain holds loads of awe inspiring views; a nature park with opportunities to see and learn about the native animals; and a mile high swinging bridge (a personal favorite of our little ones.)

Won’t you join me on a beautiful hike through Grandfather Mountain park? (I decided to hold the commentary so you can enjoy the peaceful nature sounds.)

Grandfather Mountian named for the old man profile see above.
Jars of homemade jelly were lined up right along the main scenic highway

Swinging Bridge Facts (from Grandfather Mountain Website)

The Mile High Swinging Bridge was built to give visitors easy access to the breath-taking view from Grandfather Mountain’s Linville Peak.

The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation. Surveys show that the journey to the other side is always considered the highlight of a trip to Grandfather Mountain.

The term “mile high” refers to the structure’s elevation above sea level (5,280 feet)
The term “swinging” refers to the fact that suspension bridges are free to sway.

Happy Fourth of July! – A tour of Old Salem, NC

On this historic day in America, I want to take you to a small town in North Carolina that still looks much like it did over 200 year ago!

 Original 13 colonies flag outside Single Brothers House.

Old Salem, NC celebrated its first (documented) Independence day in 1783. 

Construction of the town first began in 1766 by members of the Moravian Church, an early Protestant denomination. 

Moravian Church
Several of the buildings still appear as they did at the time of their construction. 
G. Schrote Home 
House on Main St.
Historical Old Salem Homes on South Main St.

Miksch House

Adam Butner (best known as operator of Salem Tavern) began in Old Salem as a hatter.

 A. Butner Hat Shop 1825

The Winkler family ran the bakery in town for 30 years. The bakery is still open to purchase bread and other treats.

C. Winkler’s Bakery

The Boy’s School was erected in 1794 to house and operate as a school for boys in Salem. This Old Salem landmark continued to run into the 20th century.

 The Boy’s School (from rear)

If you’re ever near Winston-Salem, NC, Old Salem is a definite must see. A small bakery and ice cream shop serve scrumptious edibles. I highly recommend the cake batter flavored ice cream. Yummy!

There is also a garden shop, some gift shops and museums.

Happy Independence Day America!