House Crashing: Lantern Love (And Lots More)

We’re back with another house crashing adventure from our recent road trip through Charlotte, North Carolina. You already caught a sneak peek of the amazing kitchen, so we’re back to fill in the blanks. And oh man, this family couldn’t have been sweeter if they were made of sugar. Seriously. And their completely transformed 60’s ranch couldn’t have been more charming. Even the outside had us at hello (you know we love a brick ranch).

Since they tackled such an amazing makeover, we decided to toss in some before pictures to show you just how far Kristen, Stan, and their one year old son Davis have taken it (well, Davis was in the belly most of the time- they worked hard to complete their renovations just days before he was born). And in baby compatibility news, he and Clara got along swimmingly. Cute, huh?

Here’s the photo we shared in last week’s sneak peek, but now we have actual info for ya. Like that gorgeous oversized lantern above the island is by Troy Lighting (here’s a link), the vent hood is a GE Profile 36″ island hood, and the butcher block counter is from Locust Lumber (right outside of Charlotte).

And look at the spread they tossed together to greet us! Nuts, chocolate candies, ice cold grapefruit drinks, and even animal crackers for the kids. Did I mention this family was sweeter than sweet?

Of course I played the role of Debbie Downer by suggesting that we wait to eat/drink so we could snap our photos beforehand. You don’t wanna know what that island looked like after we snacked (just picture scrunched up napkins full of half nibbled animal crackers, a few matchbox cars, and a bunch of empty glasses).

So we ran around grabbing photos as fast as we could (animal crackers awaited!). Here’s a wider view of the lovely kitchen that leads out into their family room:

And this is what the kitchen looked like from the same angle before they started their renovations about a year and a half ago:

Pretty darn amazing, eh? Here’s the other view of the kitchen from the now-adjoined family room (well, I guess it was always adjoined, it just had a tiny door and now has a nice wide opening).

Here’s the same angle before the makeover:

Any open jaws? Ours totally were when we checked out those before pics. Here’s a nice shot of the whole family room now, complete with pillows and table lamps from Target and a handsome worn leather chair from the Mitchell Gold outlet in Hickory, NC.

Just for fun, here’s a before shot of that room. Isn’t it stunning how much some light paint (with primer) on that paneling did for the room (Kristen actually followed our tutorial). And of course that big opening to the kitchen changed the space immensely too.

But back to the room as it looks now, I was in love with the casual and welcoming mix of textures and furnishings. Nothing was matchy-matchy but it all felt layered and inviting. Like the big patterned rug (handed down from Stan’s mom and dad) along with the old chair that Kristen recovered using this navy geometric fabric. The red side table was a an old secondhand wood one that she transformed with red spray paint (True Red from Lowe’s) and some spray on high-gloss finish (for a lacquered look).

Kristen also let us poke through some other rooms in the house, even though they’re still a work in progress. Look how sweetly this little guest room is coming along. I love the matching headboards (another lucky hand-me-down from Stan’s parents) along with those fun pillows from West Elm and the cheerful rug from Crate & Barrel. I’m sure when Kristen finishes up in there it’ll look even more amazing.

We also snuck some shots of Davis’ nursery because there were great ideas all over the place. See the fun patterned curtains? Kristen made them with fabric from Duralee. And since she’s such a fan of layering cheerful textiles, she brought in another pattern (from Etsy, called Teeny Tiny Zoo, in the color “Pool” by Alexander Henry) for the pillow and even covered her drum shade with it (for anyone who wants to cover their own lampshade with fabric, here’s a tutorial we wrote a while back).

We also loved the DIY-ability of these awesome painted canvases. Kristen got them from this fun boutique (actually as a gift from a friend), but you could print out animals, cut out their silhouettes, trace them onto canvases, and fill in the space around them with paint in varying tones for a similar look.

The mobile was also adorbs. Yup, I said adorbs. Anyway, it was made of felt by Eleni Creative, and worked so well with the fun animal fabric… which Kristen used as mats behind some sweet baby photos that she framed above the crib. Genius.

So there you have Kristen, Stan, and sweet little Davis’ lovely house in Charlotte. Thanks so much for letting us swing by and share the photos! Let’s bring down the house for the whole fam and play our usual what’s-your-favorite-part game. Ours were that amaaazing lantern hanging above the island in the kitchen, the fabric covered shade in the nursery, and that awesome navy chair and red end table in the family room.

Psst- Still in a snooping mood? Check out a ton of other houses that we’ve crashed right here.

Psssst- John and I saw Bridesmaids this weekend (our second movie at a theatre since Clara was born!). 1) It was hilarious. 2) I had lots of fun noticing a heart shaped earring and short skirt pattern when it came to Kristen Wiig’s wardrobe. 3) I wanted every single dress that her rival was wearing. Anyone else?


  1. Caity says

    Curious–did she leave the paneling in that living room? We’re moving into our first home this week, and two rooms have paneling. I know you and John painted over yours, so we were planning on doing the same. Does it really look that seamless?! If so, that is super encouraging to me! :)

    • says

      Yup, she primed and painted right over it just like we did in our first house’s den. It still has the subtle vertical grooves in it (so it doesn’t look exactly like drywall) but it’s so cheap and easy (a lot more so than removal in most cases) and I personally think the vertical lines just add some nice soft texture. It’s amazing what light paint can do to old dark paneling!


    • Tia says

      I saw a show on HGTV last week where they took paneled kitchen doors and puttied in the grooves to make a smooth surface. Although it would take awhile with a wall, putty is easy to use and sanding wouldn’t take very long. Just one other suggestion!

    • Meredith says

      We took 4 rooms of paneling down and left one room up, and we kick ourselves for leaving the one room. It looks SO much better with it down. It took more work but it was worth it in the end.

  2. says

    Oh my gosh, those befores/afters are incredible! I love the butcher block island, the newly red side table, and the nursery fabrics. Such an inviting home!

  3. sophie says

    nice to see a kitchen before and after. we’re just in the early stages of ‘after’ – otherwise known as ‘brokedownsomewallsandpulledownthecabinetsbutneedtoputtherestbacktogetheragain’ – and it’s really good to see some inspiration in the midst of our MESS!

  4. says

    LOVE the house crashing and LOVE LOVE Bridesmaids! I’ve seen it twice I love it so much. Hysterical. And I too, love ALL the dresses. I only wish I could pull off blazers the way she does…

  5. says

    I am deeply in love with that navy recovered chair – deeply. And their kitchen renovation – wow. I don’t know what more to say than that.

    Bridesmaids: So stinkin’ funny. The whole time, I just kept thinking, I should be friends with them! It would be so fun! And weird! I just love Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph.

    Also, just got the sofa version of your sectional and linked to you guys in my blog about it!

  6. says

    I love it! All of it!

    Sometimes I want to open our kitchen up like that to our dining room, but I don’t know how it would work because that wall is behind the stove, which I think means it has a lot of important wiring. Definitely not a DIY-sort of situation (at least not at our current skill level, maybe after we finish our bathroom demo?)

  7. says

    First, that house is amazing. I think my favorite part is just seeing how transformed it looked after they painted the paneling. AND probably that amaaazing chandelier. Second, I have to say that I’ve been shopping a lot over the past few days, and I have seen SO many elephants. I laugh EVERY time, and think it’s about time I just buy one of the elephants to put in at least one room – just for kicks. This is my favorite:

  8. says

    Wood paneling is haunting me. I JUST wrote a post yesterday about our living-room and the transformation I’m going to do on it (until we blast it to smithereens in our renovations). This gives me serious hope. Just imagine what the rest of my house looks like if that’s my living-room. Yep, we even have a door frame that says “Man Hater” on the top of it when you look straight up.

    *hits head against keyboard* kajdfkl;sjdaklf.

    At least our yard looks stellar, including the land for an orchard that the hubs cleared for me this weekend.

    On a side note – I am LOVING that blue chair.

  9. says

    Hurray for more Charlotte homes! It’s interesting that they put the hood in front of the bar… but it’s such a lovely piece that it totally works.

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