I don’t usually write these House Crashing posts, but this home in particular is very special to me. Well, at least it will be over time – it’s my parents’ new house here in Richmond. Since we literally crashed their pad for a few days post-Hurricane Irene (when our house had no power) and have spent many an evening hanging out over there, we figured it was high time we snapped some pics to share with you guys.
That’s Dad and Mom right after moving day back in May (they’ve since painted the lavender door bright red). I’ve mentioned before how they sold their house of 32 years in Northern Virginia (aka, my childhood home) and relocated two hours south in Richmond to be closer to some of their kids/grandkids and downsize to an easier-to-maintain home (part of my mom’s retirement goals was to never have to mulch again). They landed in a beautiful new-ish community of duplexes about 15 minutes from our place and, despite it being smidge smaller, in many ways it feels quite grand in comparison to their previous digs. Just take their half bath as an example.
A lot of the design of the house is courtesy of the previous owners (my parents have been there less than 4 months) and when house hunting, my parents feared their style was a bit too formal for their tastes (their last bathrooms were more of the bold paint variety, not the floral wallpaper type). But somewhere along the way they figured “I’m retired, so who says I can’t have an ornate gold mirror in my half bath?”
We totally dig it. Maybe it’s partially just the pleasure of seeing my parents embrace a new style, but it’s also just fun to go into a house that takes risks or makes decisions you wouldn’t necessary think of for yourself. You know, it helps you stretch a little. And clearly my Mom is learning to love her new look, as she purchased this light fixture from Ballard Designs to replace what the previous owners had taken with them. She said she “never thought that she’d purchase something like this in a million years” but it’s really playful and goes perfectly in there.
Even at just four months in, my parents are making the place their own. For instance, the previous owners left them the great drapes and large ceiling medallion… but no chandelier. So my parents actually moved this slightly-too-large-for-the-space fixture from their breakfast nook into the dining room, where it’s much better suited. Three cheers for working with what you got.
While they’ve definitely had to purchase some new furniture to better fit the space, they’re also have fun mixing in their existing pieces – like this awesome wicker chair scored at Pottery Barn a few years ago. The side table is a new on-sale find from Ballard Design. Sherry has said it’s her favorite thing in the whole house. It has little clawed feet clutching a ball on the bottom, and it is of course her favorite finish (ORB).
That chair sits in the large open living room, which has great lofted ceilings, some sweet built-ins and a cozy electric fireplace.
Of course, the most popular conversation piece in their new home is this custom cabinet. Most of the houses in the development have a little builder-basic white closet here, but the previous owners went all out and had a piece designed using reclaimed wood and ironwork from Caravati’s (a local architectural salvage place). The old owners used it as a liquor cabinet, but my non-drinking parents display frames & dinnerware on its top shelves (those top doors flip open and slide into the piece so they’re invisible) and store photo albums and games in the bottom drawers which are hidden behind the two doors on the bottom.
The cabinet sits beside their kitchen, which has an awesome island in the middle (it houses the sink and dishwasher) as well as a killer pantry cabinet at the far right. Not to mention another pantry closet that’s not pictured (it’s on the far left beyond the magnet board on the wall).
We’re jealous of a lot of things in here – awesome black-but-still-subtly-flecky granite, extra-hight ceilings, stainless appliances, etc, etc. Good thing we get to come over for dinner regularly.
Oh, and here’s that breakfast nook I mentioned that once housed the much-bigger dining room chandelier, which they replaced with a more modestly-sized one from Ballard Designs. And see those colorful chairs? They’re from Pier 1. My mom called us up and said “come see the chairs I got for the breakfast nook, they’re unlike anything I would ever have chosen even a year ago – I’m so in love with them.” It’s so fun to watch them have fun with new things for their new house.
Just beyond those big bright windows in the kitchen is their patio. It’s perfectly sized for them… and the fence is great for keeping the grandkids from running away! We’ve already broken in a plastic baby pool out there (Clara didn’t want to leave).
The second story of the house features a large landing that acts as my dad’s office and a play area when grandkids are visiting, plus two guest bedrooms – including this one that we stayed in during the whole no-power-for-three-days-after-Huricane-Irene thing. It was already painted that warm color (wish we knew the name to share it, but my parents inherited already-painted walls in every room, so they don’t have a clue). Oh but the bed frame is from Ballard Design (my mom likes to wait for sales and use coupon codes).
We didn’t get pics of the other guest room (Clara was napping in it) or the main bedroom (that’s still sort of a work in progress) but maybe someday we’ll snap those for you to complete the tour when my parents have had a bit more time to settle in (they’re such good sports for letting us crash a house they’ve lived in for, oh, 380 fewer months than their last place).
Oh, and I can’t forget one of our favorite features of the house. This is a brick from our old house (removed during our first home’s kitchen doorway widening project) that we gave to them a few years ago. I can’t remember the exact occasion (maybe there wasn’t one) but they’ve had it out on their new doorstep since day 1.
Oh, and in related news, we heard the new owners of my parents’ old home are having a great time there. They’re a family with young kids that are having a blast befriending other kids in the neighborhood, so it seems that the ol’ cul de sac is once again seeing some of the action it had back in the ’80s when my generation was there. Though I did hear that my sister’s old bedroom is now Baltimore Ravens purple. Wow.
Psst- Check out a ton of other House Crashing adventures here, or search through individual rooms for inspiration (by color or type of room) here.
Chelsea L says
Where is that beautiful iron bed in the guest room from? I’m in love!
I think that’s from Ballard Design too. Isn’t it pretty? John’s mom waits for sales and online coupon codes, so maybe that helps too.
I actually have the same (or similar) bed in my own room except it is from LL Bean. It is the Lakehouse bed. If you’re interested, here’s the link: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/66409?feat=1146-GN2
Wow- looks identical! Thanks for sharing the link!
Cait @ Hernando House says
That’s so funny about the bed! We have a very similar one that we bought online and altered to look like the Pottery Barn Claudia bed.
Hilarious! Everyone’s in on that classic bed shape/color!
I have that same bed in my guest bedroom. I got mine from Overstock.com. It’s on sale now for $263.00. Hope this helps!
So far we have downsized our house, car and dog. I am not sure what else I can find to downsize:) susan
Suzanne Supplee says
I love your house crashing posts. Must be the peep-tom in me. Not sure how to spell peeping-tom. Caps or what? I digress. Anyhow, I love your parents home, and those chairs from Pier One are fabulous! Thanks for sharing. Y’all are so lucky to have parents close by—for so many reasons!
Don’t we know it. So thankful! Now to cash in on some babysitting… haha.
[email protected] Home From Scratch says
Whoa… that’s a really nice house! I love every piece of cabinetry in there. That ironwork piece is insane. I’ve never seen anything like that! I would love to know how to get that finish on there…
I know, right? It’s this cool brushed blue tone. Maybe drybrushing? It feels very matte (not shiny) which is cool.
Love the bed in the spare room….do you know where it is from? I love your mom and dad’s place!
That’s from Ballard Designs. I think I’ll add that to the post since it’s a popular question already! Haha.
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says
Having just had to re-mulch an entire bed outside after the Hurricane and subsequent flooding in the northeast last week, I like your mom’s retirment goal! I may be 30 years away from retirement but I’m adding that to my list.
They found a beautiful house! Love the kitchen, the bed in the guest room and the custom cabinet.
Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove says
Okay, I LOVE that hall bathroom – gold mirror and all. Something about the pattern on the walls, the mirror, and that light work so well that it would be silly not to. I’m not sure I could do a whole room like that, but I love it in such a small space. And that custom cabinet is amazing! It makes the space so interesting.
John, your parents have great taste in decor!
So do I!! I love that half bath….with the almost “gawdy” looking mirror and wallpaper to the light fixture. I wouldn’t change a thing.
LOVE that built-in cabinet too….her new breakfast nook chairs. Love the front of the house too…but would love to see how it looks now with the red door.
All of it is so cute and homey looking =)
Melanie @ Mailbox Journey says
what a lovely home, thanks for sharing!
This house has a LOT of charm and love in it – I love it! :-)
What a cute house! I love all the ornate details and that cabinet is AMAZING!! Thanks for sharing!:)
Love that half bath wallpaper, and I’ve had my eye on Pottery Barn’s natural arm chair options for a good year now. Nice to see how one actually looks in someone’s home!
That color in the guest room is very much like the color on our office walls: Benjamin Moore Green Tea. It is such a cozy soft color, especially in a flat finish.
Thanks for sharing that info, Sarah!
This is such a sweet Crash, to see how your parents are discovering new styles and really enjoying a new house in retirement. I know the feeling — my mom has recently been helping me with some of my DIY projects, even though my style has always been a little more eclectic than hers, and she’s really gotten into it.
The house is terrific. And they’re so lucky that it came with so many cool features!
Last fall, we bought a house on the street where my husband grew up. We’re 2 houses up from his parents (whom I ADORE) and the best thing of all is that our 2-year-old can see them all the time! I know Clara will love having her grandparents so close as well:)
Wooohooo for Baltimore Ravens purple! :)
Amen! I was coming here to say, nothing wrong with Baltimore Ravens purple. Currently wearing it on my toes….
Haha – go Ravens!
Rachel Tatem says
What a lovely house!
i love this house!! your parents must be thrilled!! i love that your mom is getting so excited about buying chairs…no wonder her and Sherry get along so well…lol!! best of luck to them…i hope they have many happy years in their new home!
I’m in LOVE with those blue doors! So pretty.
What a great house! The kitchen is fabulous and that custom cabinet seriously has me drooling!
The brick is also so-so sweet; love that it has substance, sentimentality & that the message is hand written :)
I’m in love with their breakfast nook chairs, too! Love the fabrics!
Holy cow,I LOVE that cabinet.
Though we would probably turn it back to a liquor cabinet. Ha.
Your mom seems to be just as addicted to Ballard as my sister is. I laugh at her all the time, but they really do have some great stuff.
That is a really beautiful home! That’s something I could see myself doing in, oh, 50 years time – moving in somewhere different and trying out a new style for a change!
Oh, I forgot to mention, the brick is such a cute idea! That would make a nice little doorstop somewhere.
Melissa @ HOUSEography says
I’ve also noticed my mom’s style changing as they get older – more modern which is surprising. I guess I expected them to get more “grandma” but it’s not that way. They downsized to a townhouse in upstate NY but then got bored once my dad retired and bought a bigger house than where we grew up (crazy people!). The also have a place in Florida which I wrote about on my blog a few months ago – definitely not granny style! http://houseography.blogspot.com/2011/04/meet-parents-beach-condo.html
Cait @ Hernando House says
My mom is going more modern with their house, too. She jumped on the ORB trend a few years go, and recently she has been picking up a lot of West-Elm-ish furniture. So funny to see, but I love it.
any idea where the bedspread on the guest bed is from? its beautiful!
I think HomeGoods? Hope it helps!
Emily Z says
I thought that bedspread was gorgeous, too!
I love this house!! They have fabulous taste, and the things they’ve added definitely give it a unique kind of sophistication and charm! After checking out the guest room, I am guessing we may have that same paint color in our master bedroom. It’s called Military Tan from BM…definitely greenish undertones. We love it!
Lindsay @ A Walk in the Closet says
It looks like good taste runs in the family! I love your parents place!
I love that house!!! Totally my style! Glad your parents are enjoying their new home.
Oh wow, what a lovely place!
Victoria R says
Frist of all, such a cute house. It looks loved and lived in, even though they haven’t been there long.
But there’s one thing I’m dying to know. In the picture of the guest bedroom, behind the shelf/nightstand with the great storage, there is a tiny little door… I’m dying to know why! Does it link the two guest bedrooms? Is there attic access or storage or something?
In my parent’s house, my brother and decided that we wanted a secret passage, so my dad cut a hole that linked our closets and put a little door there… That picture just reminded me of it.
Yup, attic storage! You have a good eye. I wondered if anyone would notice that. Since they don’t go in there very often Kathy just put that shelf right in front of it.
My parent’s house has two of the under eaves “hobbit holes” like that. Good thing, since the attic is pretty inaccessable. There was one in the master, which was actually my bedroom growing up (the folks wanted a downstairs bedroom) that I “furnished” with rug scraps and a bean bag chair and “papered” with rock and roll posters – it was my own little hideout.
That’s so cute! I want one for Clara!
anna see says
angel p says
That built-in cabinet is freaking amazing!!!!!!!!! I want one just like it. Where oh where could I do a built-in in my house?! :)
Jen Adair says
As a HUGE Baltimore Ravens fan, I HIGHLY APPROVE of the color choice. It’s better than Redskin Maroon any day of the week!! :)
Hi…Quick question. I recently bought the same (exact) cane rocking chair at a yard sale for $10! The cane is in perfect condition but there are quite a few deep scratchs on one arm. Thinking of using wood filler and priming and spray painting the entire thing white. It’s currently the same stain as your folks. Any thoughts?
I bet that could work! I would just read the directions on the wood filler can and follow those to the T. And use high quality spray paint (like the Rustoleum All-Surface Universal stuff). Good luck!
I would never have chosen anything (wallpaper, mirror, light) in that 1/2 bath, but when I see it all together…I love it! Like, seriously love it. I’m trying to decide if I can pull of that look in my own house for cheap. (or if I even have the personality to pull off a look like that) I wish them many happy memories in their new (BEAUTIFUL) home.
Jess @ Little House. Big Heart. says
What a great retirement pad! I love the wallpaper in the half bath, too!
My parents are looking to upsize… I grew up in a 1300 square foot house and they want plenty of room for future grandkids. Someday.
I must have grandma taste because I love everything about their pad and would take all of it in a heartbeat! Nice job on all the selections. Pier One is really outshining the competition as far as furniture goes. We just had a Home Decorators store open in Atlanta area–no comparison with Pier One.
Staci @ My Friend Staci says
I want to say, “I’m retired, so who says I can’t have an ornate gold mirror in my half bath?” someday!
Looks like a great place to escape from home/work :)
Great post! The house is very charming. Can’t wait to see the rest of it when they are all finished settling in!
John, Swooning over your parent’s house! LOVE!
Aww, their house is so charming! I love all of the character in it, especially those closet doors!
Your parents’ new place is awesome!! I’m totally in love with the light fixture your mom got for the half bath.
Not gonna lie though, wallpaper gives me heart palpitations. When my husband and I moved into our house, we tore down 5 rooms’ worth of HIDEOUS wallpaper. I had shooting pain from my pinky to my elbow for MONTHS after that. Once in a great while I’ll see a pattern I kinda-sorta like, but then I remember how AWFUL tearing it down is and it’s right back to heart palpitations and cold sweats. :-P
It was probably very old wallpaper with the brushed on glue. That stuff is a you-know-what to get down. I know because my parents used to pay me to do it for them due to their hating wallpaper removal so much. There is actually a new application technique that allows you to tear down the wallpaper in a full sheet with the glue included…nothing gets left on the wall! If I ever do wallpaper, I’d definitely go that route.
Thanks for the advice, Krystal!! Maybe one day I’ll get brave and try wallpaper on a small area. (Baby steps!)
And yeah, our house was build in 1959 and there was only one layer of wallpaper in every room except the kitchen (which had many layers, and we eventually gave up and hired someone to put up drywall over the original walls!), so I’m sure most of it had been there for decades.
That custom cabinet is pretty incredible! It sounds like you have a great family.
Kaytie @ GardenKitchenHome says
I can’t get over that built-in cabinet! Gorgeous!
Amy L. says
Is the master on the main floor? Not asking for a floor plan, just wondering given it’s in a retirement community. Both of my in laws opt for houses with a master on the main and all of the guest space on the second floor.
Yup, the master is on the main floor. Very cozy.
When I found out that Sherwin Williams was getting the NFL paint line, I begged and pleaded for a Jacksonville Teal bedroom…no slice. Those new home owners just earned awesome points in my book, despite their being Ravens fans.
I can’t explain it, and I don’t often love gold things for housing – but I *looo-hhooovveee* the gold mirror in the bathroom. Really love it. Can’t help it. Just do.
I am swooning over all the built-ins. I dream of built-ins.
Mom & Dad Petersik’s attitude toward their new place is totally inspiring me to embrace some of the things about my own “new” house (a 1949 Colonial, in which we have resided for a whopping 3 months) that I immediately put on the gotta-change-that list. My immediate reaction was to tear out all things that are still in the former owners’ style. Instead, maybe I should see if I can bridge the gap between the remnants of their style and what I THINK mine is. It could be totally new and exciting! Cool ‘rents, John! Thanks for sharing.
I love their home. It’s so bright and comfortable.