Transparency and Perfection, Home Tour

I have been asked for a tour of my home...yikes....I am designer, everything should be PERFECT shouldn't it? I don't mind being transparent but my perfectionism makes that transparency more difficult. It's not 'done', it is a work in progress. It takes years (we have lived here 1 1/2 years) to make a house a home. 30 years of military life later and a zillion moves, living in places that were not my own, yada, yada, yada, we are in a place we will be more than 2 or 3 years (but not forever!)


Family room where we spend most of our time.

When we first moved here I had the sofa and 2 wings upholstered and from the day the plaid chairs came back....I hated them. DH was not thrilled with my admission and asked if I could live with them for a year, which I did. The fabric to me looked better on the bolt.

I put the two plantation chairs, see post here on the far side of the room, but don't like them in this room...too small, and style wrong for room, plus they were waiting new fabric.
Note room is angled here.

I went with a neutral knowing that I would have to live with them for a number of years.

This is what it looks like today...since it's so expensive to upholster sofa's I will live with this gold and black (which really is a nice fabric and holds up to the DH 'reclining'!) and replace with something creamier next year. I am drawn to warm mediterranean colors, I think this comes from my years growing up in Southern California where that style of architecture along with Spanish is so prevalent.

I went back to the sofa squared off in front of the fireplace. I like the angled arrangement, but really need 2 more chairs for the balance of the room to be right.

mantel disaster

I have tried so many things on this mantel. I don't like symmetrical things too much and I'm not big on fake stuff on top of the book shelves and truthfully I could do without the book shelves on either side. But as the saying goes, 'it is what it is'. Really do not like exposed televisions either.

Like I said, I prefer the arrangement on the angle but will need a couple of great chairs on each side of this table.

Room needs an area rug and lumbars with a fun coordinating fabric to the Ikat pillows for the wings.

Living much to do.

I did paint it in SW Ramie, dark furniture looks much better with the lighter wall. Bit by bit I am repainting the entire home which didn't have 'bad' colors (just weren't me) and I could live with them for a while.

Sofa on loan to me from my Mom. She grew up with it and said my grandparents ordered it from Argentina when Mom was eight years old. The carving detail is amazing, I have many thoughts of upholstery for it and the two bergere's, it will be a while.

Room needs: upholstery, art, area rug, big girl drapes and 'stuff'.

I am definitely a MINIMALIST when it comes to decor, but after all those years of moving around and putting resources into private school for the boys, I really didn't buy too much for the home. I need 'stuff' but I won't buy just to buy, it's got to hit me and be quality.

Plantation chair in the fabric my grandmother had put on it probably at least 60 years ago!
Look here for more about the chairs.

I had them done in this Ikat and they now have a place in the dining room.

Dont' look too closely at the unpolished silver atop the breakfront, I was too lazy to polish it before taking the pix. This furniture - an heirloom from my grandmother.

Room needs: rug - I bought a cow hide a year ago and it seemed too big, I didn't want the chairs going back and forth over it, but since the room is used infrequently it may be ok - reupholster chairs (which I do myself, just need to get off my tooshie) and a different chandy. I also want intaglios (go here to see) for this room either side of the breakfront.

Guest room #1

I am not usually a 'blue' person, but I do like these pillows because they have my favorite color of green in them.
I had this room and my office which is joined by a jack and jill bathroom painted right away as 2 little girls lived there and the rooms were pale pink and pale green with a lavender bath. NOT me!

Room needs: art and area rug

This 1860 armoire is the first antique I purchased and was so excited, my boys were little at the time and it was quite an extravagance.

Guest bedroom #2

As a little girl going to my grandma's I used to sleep with her in this bed. Solid mahogany with highboy (shown) and lowboy opposite the foot of the bed. The carving detail on this furniture is amazing.

Room needs: new paint, pillows with bright fabric, new drapes hung at ceiling, art and an area rug.

Guest bedroom #3

This room is in the basement - in Georgia newer homes are built with 2 levels and a basement and then finished by the home owner. Ours is a daylight basement with a door to the outside and was finished prior to us purchasing the home. It's so nice when company comes because they have a whole floor to themselves.

Room needs: art and area rug, shams, paint

I like white duvet's in guest rooms, it makes cleaning easier.

I'm a bit neurotic about that.

Erma (rescued from a shelter)- my lttle grand-dog - comes for a sleepover once a week or so, her Dad is going to move away soon and I will surely miss her.

Thanks for coming by, as things progress I'll keep you posted.



  1. Hey, Renae, I think I will sit down for some coffee! :) Your home is just lovely. You have some great pieces of furniture & I love the family heirlooms, esp. that mahogany bed. Lucky you!! You have wonderful taste & I know you will have fun getting more of your house done just the way you envision it. Yep, decorating a home is lifelong project. Thanks for sharing it with all of us!

  2. Ooooh merci for the tour! You have some GREAT pieces of furniture and everything looks lovely! Where will you be off to after this home? Will one home ever be FOREVER?

  3. You have some really beautiful things and I love the pretty soft colors. It sounds like you have such wonderful plans for your home, and it will be fun to see them as you incorporate each one. Thanks for the tour. Hugs, marty

  4. i love what you have done.
    you have a beautiful home my dear!!!

    as for the mantel...i think the problem is the depth of the bookcases on either side.

    call me again and leave your number.
    love ya

  5. Thank you for the tour of your home Renae! Your house is really beautiful!I love the woodpaneling in your dining room!And the guest rooms!! Especially the one with the four poster bed!
    I'll think about your mantel wall!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Renae you are way too hard on yourself. Your home is lovely. I know the feeling I am always reluctant to show certain parts of mine but our homes are not showplaces they are the place where we live and can not always meet others or even our own expectations. I am glad you shared your home it looks great, Now don't you feel better. I just did a blog post on finding ones homes personality and I even showed one of my messy closets,just trying to keep it real. I have a test posted to figure it out and I used my home as an example talk about showing the real thing,Yikes. Kathysue

  7. If someone asked me to open my house up for a home tour, I'd freak out. We've lived here for 6 years and it's still nowhere near "done." I'd say you're in really good shape after only a year and a half! :)

    P.S. What a great front porch!

  8. I'll be staying in Guest Bedroom #2.

  9. I love your creative process!
    The house is lovely and will continue to get more beautiful as you work on each project.
    Your family furniture is fantastic!
    And all the room you have for guests!
    Maybe you can host a bloggers PJ party!
    xo xo

  10. Everything looks great! I do understand about how you feel the pressure to have everything just so though.
    I wanted to thank you for all the warm wishes that you sent my way... that little tater bug has already stole my heart!

  11. Starting from the end...Erma caught my heart!

    Your home is warm and lovely...and 1 1/2 years IS NOT long at all!!

  12. I absolutely loved getting a personal tour of your home - it is such a treat and privilege to see the inner sanctum of my fellow bloggers!

    I can tell that this post was also a way for you to think through your house and look at it from a fresh perspective, and I think it all looks great and it all makes so much sense now after meeting up with you for coffee and seeing some of your swatches and fabric samples. As you said, you gravitate to some of the California influences and colors of your earlier years.

    Thank you for the tour!

  13. We've known each other for quite a while now, so it seems like it was about time that you gave me a tour of your home! It's so funny how our own homes are always works in progress. I don't think we ever feel "done" even when others think everything looks perfect.
    You've done a great job so far.
    It's nice to know that you have a couple of lovely guest rooms. I wish I would have known before my Atlanta trip! xo Brooke

  14. What a gorgeous home! Life is a work in progress, so I'm sure it will get many layers through the years. I bet you're having so much fun decorating it little by little, it looks so warm and inviting. Thank you so much for the inspiring tour!

  15. So fun to see your home (so much bigger than mine :) you can tell that a designer lives there that's for sure! I think your colours are great as well!


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