You are in for a treat today with today’s home tour. Do you remember Tracy’s home that we featured in June? Well, when Tracy told me that she had a friend who’s home she loved, I was all ears. With that recommendation in hand, I reached out to Susie and she graciously agreed to let me come for a visit.
As soon as I stepped inside Susie’s welcoming home, I knew it was a fantastic choice. She blends modern with traditional to create a look that is very personal to her family. I am in disbelief that they moved in only a little over a year ago. The house already feels so layered and welcoming. What really popped out at me during my visits was the artwork in Susie’s home. There were interesting pieces everywhere I looked. The effect is a well-curated space with endless nooks to explore and appreciate.
As I peppered Susie with all kinds of questions about where she got this piece or that piece, it became clear that she has a true passion for collecting meaningful work and bringing it into her home. And when she can’t find just the right artwork for a spot? She just paints it herself! Or she commissions a piece from one of her daughters who also is a gifted artist. Obviously the eye for design runs in the family.
I hope you enjoy this home tour and getting to know Susie!
Who lives in this home and how did you come to live here? How did you know it was the right choice for your family? I live here with my husband, Randy, our youngest daughter Julia, and our three dogs. When our older two daughters left for college it became apparent that we needed to live in a space that brought the three of us a bit closer together. We still have rooms for our daughters that live away. But a more compact space feels better. Also, I love a new project!
Tell us about the process of renovating your home. When I first saw this house I knew that the layout would be great for our transitioning family. The house already had great bones so we just made cosmetic changes that suit our style. The house was built in the 80’s so there were quite a few simple updates, like removing an obsolete intercom system, that helped modernize it a bit. The previous owners had installed some really nice mouldings so paint was our most utilized tool. An updated master bath, a breakfast room and a large porch were the biggest projects.
What is your approach to decorating? Where do you like to start? When I approach a new decorating project I think it’s most important to let the space and function dictate where to go. Decorating has to evolve for me. I don’t have the vision to see the finished project. So after I get an idea of color and a general layout, I start filling in the gaps.
Where do you find home inspiration and ideas? I am a design magazine addict. I pour over every issue and some ideas speak to me and I keep them with me (in my head). I stop by the library sometimes to peruse their copies. Also, I spend way too much time on Houzz and Pinterest.
Which room in your home do you enjoy the most? The “room” I enjoy most is the large porch we added. When the weather is comfortable (and even when it’s not) we spend lots of time out there. We have meals or watch the evening news. It’s a great place to make a phone call or hang out while the dogs get some outdoor time. I especially enjoy the porch swing.
You have an incredible art collection. What is your approach to buying art? I love all kinds of art and have for a long time. I started collecting art before I started buying furniture. The pieces I have come from a number of places. And each one has a story. Some are hand-me-downs, some are thrift bargains, some I’ve done myself, but most come from art shows. I’ve been a part of FAFO (Fine Arts For Ocala) for a long time. I love the chance to participate in events that bring joy to the community. I also think it’s great to give people the chance to add beautiful pieces to their homes, and artists have a platform for getting their work to the public.
What are some of your favorite places to shop for your home? I shop at the usual haunts. I like West Elm and Restoration Hardware. Anyone that knows me knows I love a bargain. I’m always on the hunt or looking for a way to achieve a look for less. I love thrift shops, Homegoods, and various on-line sites. There’s no limit to my bargain shopping. My breakfast room table is from the Salvation Army Thrift Store and I got a large mango wood console in my living room from Sam’s. My one dumpster dive reaped a depression era, home crafted cedar chest that still looks great. It’s all about the hunt.
Do you have any tips for someone that would like to paint a piece of furniture? If someone is considering painting a piece of furniture, I’d say go for it! Sometime it’s better to give new life to a piece that you might not be too crazy about, or maybe received from a family member. I try not to be too sentimental about possessions. Do your homework. So many of the paint products on the market are idiot-proof and I’m here to prove it. Also, don’t be afraid to paint stained trim in your home. Often, it can really bring a space a new, fresh look.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone who feels stuck in a rut with home decor? If you’re looking for a boost to make changes to your home, design magazines are the place to start. Tear out pictures of rooms you like and try to identify what part of it appeals to you. Keep a scrapbook and hone the look you’re trying to achieve. Houzz.com is a great resource for collecting ideas as well.
Isn’t it inspiring?!? Thank you, Susie, for sharing your insight, talent and letting us “step inside”!
If you enjoyed this “Step Inside” home tour series, check out more HERE.
Photography: Ale Cretul