My Minnesota Home Tour

After living in a cute 1940’s cape cod in Pennsylvania for 11 years (you can tour that home HERE), we moved to a  13-year-old suburban home in Rochester, Minnesota, in the summer of 2017.  The way this move came about is a pretty awesome story!  You can read all about it HERE.

It’s a beautiful, spacious home with an amazing floor plan and thoughtful design details, but it was so beige!  So, we’ve been working since day one to inject our personality into this home.  Here’s the progress so far…


I’ve always said, “I have no interest in owning a home with a two-story foyer.  It’s such a waste of space and they are so hard to decorate.”  Well, look at what we have here!  It’s a two-story foyer.  And, it’s actually growing on me.  I love the light that streams in and how the staircase is a real feature right when you walk in the door.

Here’s the view from the front door when the stairs were all decked out for Christmas the first year we were here…

…and the view from the home office…

The stairs are one of my favorite things about the house because they are split stairs!  There is a “back staircase” that goes directly to the kitchen, which is handy.

In December 2018 – January of 2019, we had the foyer painted in Stonington Gray (mixed at 50%) and the trim a custom white (you can find the formula HERE.)  We also had hardwood installed on the stairs and the beige ceramic tile replaced with Montauk Blue Slate.

Here are some posts with more detail about the stairs and foyer including links to the tile, the grout we selected, ripping up the carpet, etc…

Foyer Refresh & Slate Update

Montauk Slate Tile Details

Foyer & Half Bath Updates

Half-finished Stairs

Finished Staircase & First Floor Home Tour (Jan 2019


Dining Room

The dining room is off the left side of the foyer (from the front door.)  It’s a square-ish shaped room, so it’s a bit of a head-scratcher when it comes to furniture arranging.

Within the first few months of living here, we swapped out the modern-style fixture for one of my antique chandeliers, painted the walls and trim, and had hardwood floors installed to match the existing birch floors in the kitchen and eating area.

After living with the room for a time, I decided it needed a “wow moment” and a full-scale landscape wall mural was what I envisioned.  

  • Chandelier: $4.00 yard sale find (I know!)
  • Primitive Hutch: $400 on craigslist, painted in a custom mix of MMS Milk Paint Linen, Lucketts Green, and Shutter Gray
  • Oak Table: $150 on craigslist (You can see how I refinished it HERE)
  • Wall mural hand painted in Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint (tutorial HERE)
  • French oval-back chairs: $300 on craigslist, painted in MMS Milk Paint in Ironstone, custom-made skirts (you can find the tutorial HERE)
  • French barrel-back chairs: $150 each from craigslist
  • Braided Jute Rug – Joss & Main
  • Buffet mirror – Rogan Wall Mirror Wayfair
  • Wall color: Pearly White by Sherwin Williams (mixed by Benjamin Moore to match in Aura, matte finish
  • Trim color: custom match to Farrow & Ball’s All White (mixed by Benjamin Moore in Advanced, satin finish)
  • Flooring – Birch with a walnut border, installed and finished by Wagner’s Wood Floors.

Here are some more posts about the dining room…

Dining Room Wood Floors

Dining Table Makeover

Milk Paint Mural Tutorial

Dining Room Mirror

Christmas Dining Room 2018


Home Office

This room is to the right off the front door and it is a great space for an office!  I needed one of those, since I run my business out of the house.

As we did with the dining room, we took down the curtains, painted the walls, and had the carpeting replaced with birch floors.

This room is still a bit of a work in progress, but here is what’s done so far…

  • Antique Teacher’s Desk: $200, Black Rose Antiques, Chambersburg, PA, painted in MMS Milk Paint Grain Sack
  • Antique step-back hutch: $300 D&L Treasures, New Oxford, PA
  • Antique bookcase: $250 off craigslist (came from a school built in the 1920’s in Wilder, MN)
  • Checked chair (read about that HERE)
  • Wall color: Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray (mixed at 50%, Aura, matte finish)
  • Trim color: custom match to Farrow & Ball’s All White (mixed by Benjamin Moore in Advanced, satin finish)
  • Flooring – Birch, installed and finished by Wagner’s Wood Floors.

In January 0f 2019, I did a huge furniture shuffle between my office and studio in order to meet my storage needs and address some issues that arose as I worked in both spaces.  I also got proper office furniture, so I had the work surface and hidden storage I was missing with the hodgepodge of furniture.

It has made a huge difference!  This room is so functional now…

Here are the sources for the home office…

Amityville Oversized Bookcase – Birch Lane

Limon L-shaped Desk – Birch Lane

Soho Swivel Office Chair – Birch Lane

Round Braided Area Rug – Birch Lane

Floor Lamp – Target

Leather Side Chair – Arhaus

Here are some posts on the office…

Timeless Home Office Makeover

Hanging Art on a Bookcase & Styling Tips

New Pulls for my Desk




The studio transformation is perhaps one of the most dramatic in my house.  When we first moved in, it was a 3-season porch, which means you can use it about 4 months of the year in Minnesota!  Other than painting it, the first thing that needed to be done was insulation and climate control.  Here is how it looked before we moved in…

We went right to priming and painting within the first week!

And here is how it looks now…

Resource links coming soon!  Until there, here are posts with the details…

Painting the Studio Floor

Tie-up Linen Shade Tutorial

Picture Ledges

The Bookcase & the Hardware Cabinet

Studio Closet

Studio Closet Progress

More Studio Closet Progress

Studio Closet Reveal

Green Art Cabinet Makeover | Part 1

Green Art Cabinet Makeover | Part 2

Organizing the Studio Closet


Living Room

This room is straight ahead through an archway that runs under the stairs.  It’s our main hangout and I love that we made the decision to have it electronic-free (that’s all in the basement.)  This room is flooded with light and we have enjoy the fireplace almost daily in the winter.

One of the first things we did after moving in was put some paint on these walls and built-ins!  I recently made and hung curtains for the space as well, to control the light and add some warmth and visual texture.

  • Wall color: Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore, Aura, matte finish
  • Trim & Built-ins: custom match to Farrow & Ball’s All White (mixed by Benjamin Moore in Advanced, satin finish)
  • Sectional: Ashley Furniture
  • French chairs: $300 on craigslist (I upholstered them in antique hemp sheets, grain sacks, and vintage check fabric)
  • Cow painting (Eulalie): Cindy Austin Fine Art

Still on the to-do list:

  • Make pillows to coordinate/match the curtains
  • Finish hanging pictures on the wall (and I’m still figuring out the best furniture arrangement for this room!)
  • Install crown molding & box beams
  • (I’d love to do wood floors in here, but I’m overruled by Jeff & the boys!)


Like the rest of the house, the kitchen has great bones, but it needed a lot of paint to make it fit my design aesthetic!

We replaced the modern pendants with some small spot/task lighting to accommodate the pot rack.  We also painted the cabinets, walls, and trim, replaced the faucet and updated the appliances.

…and we built some simple open shelves in the awkward recess.

  • Wall color: Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore mixed at 50% in Aura, matte finish
  • Trim & cabinet color: custom match to Farrow & Ball’s All White (mixed by Benjamin Moore in Advanced, satin finish)
  • Doors: Coventry Gray, Benjamin Moore, Advanced, satin finish
  • Island: Custom green to match Boxwood from the MMS Milk Paint Line mixed in Benjamin Moore Advanced, satin finish.  You can find the exact recipe HERE.
  • Counters – Hanstone Quartz in Monterey
  • Tile backsplash – Venatino Marble Subway Tile form Lowe’s.  You can read about the installation HERE.
  • Bar stools: Restoration Hardware
  • Pot rack: Calphalon Stainless Steel Pot Rack
  • Faucet: Delta Cassidy Kitchen Faucet
  • Sink: Riverby Undermount Castiron Sink by Kohler
  • Cabinet hardware: Hobby Lobby
  • Braided jute runner: Joss & Main
  • Applianced: Kitchen Aid (you can read about the “beefy range” HERE)

Still on the to-do list:

    • Sew a simple valance for the kitchen window
    • Maybe replace the range hood with something custom, but that won’t happen for a while!

Butlers Pantry

From the moment I first saw this built-in cabinet, I knew I wanted to make it look like one cohesive piece and paint it a bold color.  The cabinets were in great condition, but the glass doors and hardware made it look a bit more modern than I wanted and the color of the wood was too yellow for my taste.

I added bead board to the backs of the shelves and the backsplash area, and wooden corbels under the upper cabinets.  I removed the doors and replaced the glass shelves with ones cut from 3/4″ MDF.

I primed and painted it all in my custom “Boxwood” green and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out…

And I love the way it looks when viewed from the dining room.  It provides a nice bridge from the dining room into the kitchen.


Laundry Room

I wasn’t planning on tackling this space for a while, but I kept coming back to the idea that it just needed some texture on the walls (beadboard) and a lot of paint!  It would be a fairly simple and inexpensive makeover but would have a huge impact.

Here is how it looked before…

…and now…


…and now…

You can read all about the makeover in this series…

Still to-do:

  • Add trim along the ceiling
  • Possibly paint or change out the floor

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