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. DanielleR says

    That house is so warm and cozy feeling with all the fun mismatched furniture, and the funky fixtures. Very cute! I have an off the subject question for you Sherry regarding curtains … I just saw the faux silk green window panels on the “things we’re digging” on your site, and I am having a bit of a hard time. I have a “fear of curtains” due to our 4 naughty cats, and my husband really wants to buy some inexpensive curtains for our living room (we have also toyed with the idea of making them like you did in your curtain-lovin’ dining room post, I guess my question is, my windows are an odd length of 66 1/2 inches, and I noticed that standard lengths are 63 and 84 typically, do I go with an 84? Is that like a normal ceiling height length? lol … So sorry I am so new to the whole curtain thing and he’s anti-blind at the moment.

    • says

      Oh yeah go with at least 84″ and hang them high and wide! You’ll notice that all the curtains that we’ve ever hung in either house have actually been 84″ or even 90″ long (most are actually 90″ since I hem the 95″ Ikea ones or make them myself so I get to pick the size). That way the rod can be hung a few inches below the ceiling for some breathing room and a lofty feeling that adds lots of height to a room. Good luck!


    • Beatrice says

      I fear curtains with cats too. I’d try to find some nice pics of blinds/shades on Google Image, and talk him into that first! They can be hung high and wide for a really nice look.

      But you can also try this. Immediately after you put up the curtains, lay plain-old grocery store foil under and around the window (and on top of anything where they can jump from like a chair/sofa/table).

      Just lay out it out in sheets to a distance you know will keep them from jumping to the curtains. Be sure to wash them too, or spray with Febreez to get out smells that attracts them.

      It looks ugly, and it will take a while – be patient with it – But if you can stand looking at it, it will work to train them to stay away…they dont’ like the sound or feel of the foil. (works with a Christmas tree too!)

  2. Kate says

    I LOVE the blue chair and red table…and that rug…Gorg! (Gorgeous) :)

    I am going to see bridemaids tonight…I hear it is hilarious. I can’t wait!

  3. Stephanie Phillips says

    That kitchen reno is EXACTLY what I want to do! I mean, to the smallest details. I just pinned it! Love, love, love it.

  4. Sarah R. says

    Love this house! I’d live there in a heart beat. Question (and sorry if this has been answered already): do you think it’s worth it (price wise) to have an arm chair reupholstered?

    So many people feature ones that “they” have recovered. Yet clearly this is not a DIY job unless you are utterly amazing at sewing (I can never figure out piping on furniture–it’s so hard!!). Unfortunately I am not amazing, and more unfortunately I’ve never been able to get a clear quote on how much this sort of thing would cost.


    • says

      My sister in law had a chair redone using a local guy and it was around $200. It’s an awesome chair that she uses everyday now (and it was a free hand me down that would have looked better on the curb before she had it recovered) so I figure it’s worth it if you can’t buy a chair you love for $200 (plus the cost of fabric, which I think she spent $60 on) but love the lines of the one you have (and it’s comfy and functional). Just get a few quotes locally (checking out a fabric store is a great way to find reupholsterers that they recommend) and see if it’s worth saving an existing chair or springing for a new one and donating the old one. Good luck!


  5. says

    Pretty pretty! I love that opened floor plan. Were the hardwoods beneath the original kitchen floor or were they woven in during the reno?

    • Kristen says

      Hi Emily! Thanks so much! The hardwoods were woven in during the reno. We tore the linoleum floor out in the kitchen so when they put down the new ones they just matched them with the den. We were really pleased with the results.

  6. says

    Love, love that kitchen…it might just be my dream kitchen. And isn’t Bridesmaids funny??? So awkward, though…I had to look away at times!

  7. says

    I love painted paneling. Did it in my old house; the texture is great! I also lurve the chair that she recovered. It’s amazing. And the baby’s room is totes adorbs.

    Yeah, I said lurve, totes, and adorbs. Obvi. ;)

  8. Barb says

    My favorite part was the “After” picture of the Kitchen and the wall that was knocked down. I am trying to convince my husband into doing that with our space. Haven’t quite gotten there. It would help this house so much by creating a more open concept.

    I can’t wait to show him the pictures as our kitchen looks like their before shots.

    Nice house!


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