House Crashing: Sister Act

John’s sister Emily has been a busy girl since our last post about helping her move into her fabulous new home (that she and her husband Todd designed themselves). Yes, only a month later, she’s managed to furnish, fluff and feather nearly every room and has graciously allowed us to invade her space once more to bring you some fresh & fabulous after photos. Let the house crashing begin…

Here’s a shot of the swanky modern exterior with Emily and Olivia hanging out on their front deck. The house’s theme was clean lines, modern touches and windows galore. When you buy a corner lot with nothing but green in three directions it’s easy to see why it’s all about the view. And although the house appears to be one level, it’s actually three generous floors since it was built into a steep incline. You enter into the third floor living area from the front, but walk out the bottom floor’s sliding glass doors into the backyard at the base of the hill. Tres cool.

The minute you walk in the front door, you’ll find yourself in an airy open space for living, dining, and cooking. The crisp white walls accented by tones of wood and a little bling in the form of stainless steel light fixtures really make the space feel sleek, simple and sophisticated.

Emily’s kitchen is insanely enviable. From the new glass front Jen-Air appliances to the Restoration Hardware pendant illuminating the Ikea island, the kitchen is a mixture of high and low that comes together in a totally seamless way.

Emily even convinced her builder to work in a pull out pantry from Ikea, which can be accessed by her two snacky kids from either side. Delicious.

The master bedroom also resides on the top floor with an attached bathroom boasting both a jacuzzi tub and a separate shower. The coolest feature has to be the barn door that they incorporated into the design, which slides along a stainless track to obscure the view of the bathroom for privacy and style to spare.

Another noteworthy detail of the master bedroom is the amazing wall of contemporary closetry (which also hails from Ikea). Emily and Todd decided that they’d rather leave room to tuck these spacious wardrobes right into the floorplan instead of having their builder craft a traditional closet. They liked the outcome so much that they used Ikea armoires in both of the kids’ rooms in lieu of closets as well.

Speaking of the kid’s rooms, they’re still a work in progress, but stay tuned for some fun DIY projects (like how to make an upholstered headboard) in the coming weeks. Until then, we’ll leave you with this swanky pic of their delightful guest bedroom, sporting some Target bedding, a few West Elm pillows, an Ikea lamp and a chair from a thrift store. Now that’s our kind of room. Too bad the fact that we live eight minutes away makes a sleepover semi-improbable.

So whaddya think? Did the pull out pantry and that sliding bathroom door make you drool? Do tell. And if you have any fun rooms of your own (modern or otherwise) that you’re itching to share, feel free to send ’em on over. Ta ta for now.


  1. Kelli says

    Yes, the pull out pantry is really great. I added it to my growing Word document of ideas and inspiration. I also love the guest bedroom and that awesome chair! The shape of it is so lovely. Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    Very nice! Those two horizontal windows over the sink in the kitchen are really cool. I love the bright white walls and the natural light throughout the whole house.

  3. Colleen says

    I really enjoyed reading about the mix of hi and low priced products. Way better than reading a magazine article about a house filled with expensive purchases. This is real world, but cooler because they really know how to decorate!

    This also brought up a question I’ve been curious about – did you move back from NYC because your family is from your current town? It must be awesome to live so close to siblings. My own family is scattered across so many miles and states. And they don’t have nearly as cool guest bedrooms! :0)

  4. Tatyana says

    I came across your website few days ago and I really enjoy reading about your remodeling and design “adventures”. I’m very happy for your guys (even thought I don’t even know you).
    I love the long windows in the kitchen and was wondering if they can open. Do you know what brand they are?
    The porch lights are great, as well. I would love to know where they came from.
    And one last thing, although I love IKEA wardrobes, isn’t a space not considered a bedroom when there are no built-in closets? I wonder what that does to someone’s house resale value – not that they are going to sell… I was just curios.
    Beautiful house – love all the high and low elements!

  5. Jennifer C. says

    re: closets
    If they ever want to sell, all they’d need to do is frame in closets where the IKEA stuff is now.
    It’s a great house – I love all the light!

  6. Jenn Searls says

    Waaaa….I wanna see the bathroom. Contemplating a master bathroom renovation and am a complete junkie for bathroom shots.

    Also would love to see the kids’ closets – I’m trying to talk hubbie into building Ikea wardrobes into my sons’ bedroom since they have no real closet space.

    What a lovely home!

  7. YoungHouseLove says

    Glad you guys admire Emily and Todd’s house as much as we do. Emily’s with us right now, actually, and is totally blushing.

    Kelli, I completely agree with you about the chair. Emily just reminded us that it was a mere $40 at the thrift store. Now we can all be even more jealous.

    As for those IKEA wardrobes, they thought about the question you raise Tatyana, and actually had their builder build-in the closets in the master bedroom and Olivia’s bedroom. They’re attached to the back wall, the floor and each other so they do count as built-ins. Jake’s room is only one with a movable closet.

    Also Tatyana, those long window in the kitchen are Pella Windows and they don’t open. Apparently they couldn’t go that long if they wanted them to be openable. You can also check out the exterior lights here at Lighting Universe. They were only $75!

    Jenn, they’re still working on some rooms so we’ll get you bathroom and kids’ room photos as soon as we can (along with fun DIY projects that Sherry and Emily have in the works).

    Colleen, I actually have another sister in NYC, so moving to Richmond wasn’t so much a move-closer-family strategy (although I’m originally from VA and parents still live near DC) as a get-out-of-the-big-city tactic. But having family in Richmond definitely made it a great place for us to escape to. And we’re hoping my older sister in NYC will follow us down to Richmond any day now…


  8. MaryB in Richmond says

    …probably not, after you just told the whole internet she’s older than you!


  9. Emma says

    Ohh, i hope I’m not too late but I wanted to ask how your sister likes the Floating Glass Jenn-Air refrigerator? I just took a guess from the pic. I’ve been eyeing it for months and wanted to hear a review from an actual owner.

    Her house is gorgeous.

  10. Emily says

    Sorry for the late response… I love our floating glass refrigerator. If you are the type of person that likes to cover the front of your fridge with papers, pictures, etc..then it’s not for you. You can only hang stuff on the side which is perfect for us.

    So far I have been extremely pleased.