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.


  1. wow, her home is gorgeous! i love the armoire, too and want to get a barrel lamp shade for over my kitchen table. thanks to you & holly for sharing!

  2. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Oh wow, that really is a sweet and charming home!

  3. Okay, Holly needs to pop over here and give us a big list of where her decorations are from. I’m eyeballing a lot of them! Excellent work transforming the house without doing a major gut job!

    • Hi Paige! I’m happy to give you whatever information you’d like on where things are from. Thank you for your sweet comment! It is amazing what paint can do for a space… and the good thing about being on a budget is that it forces creativity. :-)

    • Paige, Holly said she’d be happy to tell you where she got everything from. Any particular items you want to know about?

  4. Tell Holly thank you from me. I feel motivated to get up and start my week of home making now!

  5. I have an old china hutch that I want to make it look just like her armoir……HOW DO I DO THAT?!@?!!?! It’s absolutely freakin’ awesome!

  6. What an amazing house {and beautiful photography}! I’m making a long list of things I need Holly to make for my house…

  7. looks amazing girls!! great job Holly!!!

  8. Thank you Brittany!! You are a such a talented photographer and I had so much fun watching you work your magic and learning from you. I love that I have these beautiful pictures to look back at when life and my boys take over my house! You are a wealth of information and thank you for being so willing to share with with the rest of us.

  9. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thanks for sharing! Holly’s home is gorgeous!!

  11. Gorgeous home! I love that armoire too. Does Holly have more cabinet space in her kitchen? Wondering how she accommodated pot, dishes, etc. My kitchen is very small w/limited cabinet space. I’m always scouting for storage ideas.

    Thanks Holly for letting us visit and Brittany’s great photography.

  12. Oops…missed the photo of the other side of kitchen and her cabinetry. Lovely.

  13. What a beautiful home!

  14. Wow! I’m speechless! Holly has joined the distinguished list of “Who I Want to be When I Grow Up”. PHG is number 1 on the list. Must visit her shops!

  15. Thank you to everyone for the sweet and wonderful comments! You all have made my day! I am going to (try) to do a guest tutorial for Brittany about painting and distressing furniture and am happy to answer any other questions that pop up.

  16. Corbels under the kitchen cabinets. .I so want to do that!! And I so want you to come take pretty pictures of my house. This post was like reading a magazine. Way to go!!

  17. We are in the middle of doing some redecorating and you have gave us some great ideas, thanks again.

  18. What a gorgeous home! I love all the inspiration!!!

  19. We just bought an older home that needs a good face lift! Lots and lots of inspiration here !
    Love, love, love the whole house !

  20. Great job – you did so much with what you had in front of you – be very proud of yourself! Where did you get your slip covered side chairs from?

    • Thanks Kira! The slipcovered chairs are actually old wingback chairs that belonged to my great-aunt. I made the slipcovers using white duck cloth from Joann’s. They definitely aren’t professionally done, but they cover the old fabric and pull off to wash, so they get the job done!

  21. Just saw “Holly’s House” and I can’t believe what I saw! My husband and I bought our first house a few months ago. I did the blue and white theme in my dining room, but have been having a roadblock with the adjoining kitchen because the cabinets and counter are so outdated. Holly’s kitchen is exactly the idea that I have been looking for! Thank you sooo much for posting!

  22. Can you share where you got the wooden trunk? I would love to find one and use it as a small table. Love everything in this home!

  23. Could you tell me where you got your beautiful white chair covers? I am needing to purchase one but can’t find the ones that look like yours. Thanks! ♥ the blog!

  24. Elizabeth says:

    Love this home! Could you tell me where the blue boxes are from? Or maybe you could do a tutorial on making our own? Would love that!


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  5. […] that weren’t really our style.  My good friend Brittany, of Pretty Handy Girl fame, did a post about my house almost a year ago.  She captured some great before pictures for me of our house […]

  6. […] The last picture of my dining room is courtesy of my friend Brittany.  She did a home tour of my house a couple of years ago… and this picture is the perfect jumping off point for […]

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