For the last few weeks we have eaten, slept, and breathed all things showhouse. We knew it was going to be a lot of work, but I’ll be the first to admit that we completely underestimated how much time, effort, and – well, shopping – it would take to turn a 3,500 square foot blank-ish slate into a lived-in-ish looking home. In two weeks, no less. So as you can imagine we’ve pretty much been camped out there. Or driving back and forth with a car full of stuff, unloading it, placing it on various surfaces, and repeating.
We thought most of the major hurdles had been cleared after choosing fixtures and finishes over the last few months, but that’s because we didn’t realize just how many surfaces there would be to decorate. We’d been gradually collecting items for the house since January (which is when we picked out a lot of furniture, honed in some art selections, ordered curtains and bedding, and started stocking up on general accessories) so after our furniture-unloading-day two weeks ago, we (naively) expected the house to look pretty complete. Instead, most spaces just looked like this. #sadtrombone
Sure, those breakfast nook built-ins were a big task on their own, but we fell short everywhere – on tabletops, vanities, counters, porches, beds, desks, etc. Everything looked sparse, and we had a minor freak-out. But our builder and the Homearama folks reassured us that we were in good shape. We just had to shop our little hearts out. Thank goodness we bought a bigger car because it looks like this almost constantly. We estimate that we have made close to 20 car-completely-full runs from small local boutiques, thrift shops, and larger retailers with everything from pillows, rugs, planters, tabletop accessories, bedding, books, and beyond.
Picture us filling multiple carts at HomeGoods, Target, and World Market on at least four occasions, to stock up on everything from frames and pillows to dishware and towels. And as we rolled towards the checkout (and watched various cashiers get wide-eyed) we profusely apologized every time.
We even found ourselves at the grocery store to pick up items to stock/style the kitchen. I think the cashier just chalked up our unusual purchase to pregnancy cravings. Well, at least the 9 bags of powdered donuts. Which, btw, pro-tip: don’t put your donuts out so early that they get mostly eaten by everyone working on the house (there are still people dropping by to fix scratches in the floor, touch up paint, make last minute electrical updates, finish a few carpentry projects, etc). But it was nice to reward such an awesome team… so maybe the tip should be: motivation can be handed out in donut form.
As of yesterday, the house was looking about 85% done – including those breakfast nook shelves. Sherry still has a bunch of tweaks that she wants to make (just sharing this not-completely-done shot makes her twitchy) but they’re a lot further along than they were a few weeks ago. A crew rolled through on Friday and shot video & photos to use while promoting the show (our first deadline) and the builder is hosting an event there today (our second deadline), which is why it has been such a rush to get things in order – even though each of these seven showhouses don’t open to the public until May 1st. Oh, that and there’s a baby coming soon for us (nine days and counting) so we have our own little deadline going on too.
You’ll notice the shelves above also got painted gray in the back, which was one of those 11th hour tweaks that we found ourselves making. We’d thought they might need some color back there, but it wasn’t until things started to come together that we decided that the same gray tone from the kitchen cabinets would tie them together, so we held up paint swatches to find a match (the winner was Timber Wolf Gray by Ben Moore if anyone’s wondering).
So yeah, they juuuuust got painted yesterday afternooon by Parker, the same guy who hung the laundry room wallpaper for us. Speaking of which, we made a last-minute change in there too. We were staring at it with the builder and the woman who runs the entire event and said “should we add a shelf? A chunky white floating one would probably be really functional.” Both voted yes, and it was on. The carpenter came over and knocked one out within 24 hours (including hanging it and painting it) and we all love it. Hooray for final-hour updates.
Here’s the foyer area, now sporting a big white driftwood mirror that we grabbed at HomeGoods on Thursday. We had hung framed art there just two days before, so our decorating process definitely hasn’t been a straight line. Trial and error is the name of the game. Sometimes we just have to see things before we know if it’s IT or if it’s “meh” – and then there’s a mad scramble to turn as many “mehs” into “heck yeahs” as we can.
In the background you can see a bit of the living room, which plays host to a big painting of Burger that our amazing friend Lesli Devito made just for that spot. Sure the real homeowner probably won’t put a giant pet painting up there (there’s a TV hookup behind there in case they want to mount theirs in that spot) but we thought it’d be a bit cheeky and fun for the show. A nod to our handsome four-legged friend, if you will. Especially since there are a bunch of more serious furnishings and accessories in the rest of the kitchen and living room.
A lot of you guys have asked where these furnishings and accessories will go when the house is sold since they’re all purchased (or donated or borrowed) just for the show. The answer is that once the show’s over, the homeowner has the option to buy a few items of furniture or art if they’d like – but they will mostly be furnishing/decorating this house so it works for their family (and not the fictional family that we’ve created in our minds). So many of the donated items will be paid forward to the Habitat ReStore or returned to the vendors, while things that came out of the builder’s decorating budget might be re-used in future model homes.
One of the toughest spaces to fill was the playroom/reading room upstairs, which I don’t think we’ve shown before. We wanted to do big bookshelves (with a built-in bench) in this room so it could be used as a quiet reading spot if the future owner didn’t need a younger kids play space, although we decorated it somewhere in the middle – both with games and books so everyone in the family could picture a spot to chill out and relax. We’re still waiting on our upholstered bench cushion for the window and a few other touches, but it’s coming along.
Of course last fall when we chatted about this room with the builder and the architect, we didn’t really think about having to get books upon books to fill all of those shelves that flank the window bench on both sides. So a few weeks ago in a moment of desperation, we called our buddy Kelly at a favorite local bookshop (Fountain Bookstore) and she said she had boxes and boxes of early-sample paperbacks that she was just going to recycle (they’re not allowed to be sold or donated since they’re advance copies). Phew!
We realized that we also haven’t shared this fun light fixture in there. It’s a spun glass chandelier from Shades of Light that looks great against the Dragonfly-colored walls, but is a little tough to see when photographed against the window. Can you tell we’re still learning our photography angles in this house?
One of the biggest car-fillers when it came to shopping was bedding and pillows. Not just decorative pillows for the couch and stuff, but more basic things like shams, duvets, quilts, sheets, bedskirts, and other various staples for the four beds that we had to make. A lot of it was picked up on the fly, but we did get this pretty patterned bedding donated from Pine Cone Hill for the master. It looks pretty awesome with another Lesli Devito painting that she loaned us for the show.
It’ll feel good to have the last remaining bits checked off this week, so we can hopefully squeeze in a few normal-ish days before normal gets redefined by baby Barnacle’s arrival. Our parents have been a big help in watching Clara outside of school hours, and she has clocked some pretty great quality time at the showhouse with us as well. She’s “breaking in” a lot of the rooms – like coloring at the desk in the girls room, playing make-believe with the Monopoly pieces in the playroom, and assembling Legos at the desk in the boys room.
This week will be showhouse heavy since we haven’t had much time to do anything else. But being so close to “finished” is getting us really excited to fully shoot each room and share the full monty details (listing sources, alternate angles, explanations for what went where and why, etc). So if you could hold any “where’s that from?” questions until we share each room, we plan to source every last item for you in those more detailed posts, which we’ll hopefully be rolling out this week (we’re planning to start shooting “after” photos before the party today if things come together like we hope).
I’ll leave you with one last glance of a space that we’re CRAZY excited about. We hired a local artist to deck out the chalkboard wall in the butler’s pantry (which has become a coffee/wine station for our imaginary family) with a chalk pen mural full of coffee and wine terms, and boy is she decking. it. out. It’s not dusty or smudge-able with a finger, but it can be scrubbed off with a magic eraser if the future homeowner doesn’t want to keep it. She’ll be back tomorrow to put the finishing touches on it, and then we can’t wait to shoot a million wide shots to show you how that awesome little hallway between the kitchen and the dining room has evolved.
We realize it – as well as lots of other design choices in the house – aren’t necessarily everyone’s cup of
coffee tea, which might be an issue if we were decorating a spec or a model home (where the goal is to sell it by appealing to as many potential buyers at possible), but as a showhome, the purpose of this house is a tad more complex. Each of the seven Homearama teams have been encouraged to make unique and specific choices to keep the show varied and interesting – and oddly enough, these homes tend to sell pretty fast thanks to all of those special features, even though they might not be safe/universal.
So while these builders create dozens of more basic and mass-appealing homes each year, these showhomes aren’t like that at all. In fact, on Friday we got to run through a couple of the others in this year’s event, and we can’t wait to share some wide shots when everyone’s done decorating. In the meantime, here are just a few examples of some specific choices that other builders & design teams are integrating:
Please bear with us while we power through this last intense week of showhouse stuff (knock on wood) and slowly work our way around the house to share all of the afters (and sources) with you guys. Speaking of powering through, I’ve been killing it on my FitBit steps thanks to this job lately. And poor Sherry, her feet have just been killing her. That reminds me, seeing as it’s 10:32 on Sunday night as I wrap up this post, I probably have a foot rub that I should be getting to…
Psst – Wanna see more showhouse info & photos? Click here for Our Full Showhouse Tour, which includes final pictures of every room, the floor plan, budget info, a video walk-through, and shoppable showhouse furniture & accessories.
Anele @ Success Along the Weighn says
Good choice on painting the back of the shelves that gray color. (Which might now be going on my living room walls this summer, thanks for the color ID)
Oh and where did you get that one pillow in the…
Just kidding! :D
Rene @thedomesticlady says
lol. this comment cracked me up.
Ditto! That is hysterical!! We’ll all be holding back our “where did you get xxx?” comments.
The house looks amazing!!!! Love the coffee sign so much fun.
Life is crazy good for you right now!
Home stretch baby, bet you can just taste that finish line now! I’m loving the last min switcharoos like the gray backs and the laundry shelf, looking forward to the detailed posts! Seriously debating on making the trip from WNY down to Homearama!
Mary | Lemon Grove Ave says
Dang, you guys!! Knocked it out of the park on the staging – everything is so dang gorgeous!!
Sarah J. says
love how it’s coming along! can’t wait to see it all put together. and so excited for you guys and your coming barnacle. ;)
Mary Beth says
Looks amaaaaaazing!!!! All the bits and pieces are what make it a home, and how fun to shop your hearts out! : )
I was inspired by your side table in the nursery to redo an old table of my own yesterday – one of those old vintage television tables believe it or not – but it looks awesome!
Thanks for always giving me ideas!
Really cute! I love how that came out.
Sarah @ Sarah's Daybook says
Gah, that is so gorgeous! I want you guys to come to my house!!
Looks so nice….you guys are so great at what you do!
Michelle | Birds of Berwick says
The house is looking amazing!!! And I really wanted to ask where the painting in the playroom came from, but I’ll be patient and wait for your post on the sources! :-)
Great job guys!
I’m tired just reading this post(doesn’t help we have an 8 week old Corgi puppy that has been waking me every two hours) Sherry please put your feet up!
Love the color change in the breakfast nook.
caroline [the diy nurse] says
I’m dying of excitement! Can’t wait to see it all in person. I love all of the color you guys used- its never too much but enough to be fun and unexpected. And I love that Burger took his rightful spot over the fireplace- where he belongs!
Love it all! Can’t wait to tour!
eRin @ Growing Up Senge says
It’s looking SO great! I can’t wait to see all te finished details & shots!! Great call on that laundry room shelf!
I’m so glad you were able to use those advanced copies to fill your bookshelves! I used to work at Fountain, and I can attest that the gallies threatened to take over the back room if we weren’t careful.
I can’t even tell you how grateful we were to hear that Kelly had those for us!
Oh man that place looks great! I wish I lived in your area, and could afford to buy that house! I would love to buy it as is, with all hte furniture and decorations you have in there. Seriously, you guys are so great at what you do. In other exciting news, I bought my first YHL hooks at Target last night, and they look great hanging in our newly remodeld bathroom!
Aw thanks Megan, you’re so sweet!
WOW! Everything is absolutely AH-MA-ZING! I’m blowing up Pinterest with all of the pins from the showhouse! :)
The finish line is in site, for both of your “projects”! Can’t wait to meet Barnacle!
Everything looks great! I have to admit, though, that I got hung up on the BOXES AND BOXES of advanced reader’s copies. Boxes and boxes of books that haven’t been released yet? Be still my beating heart! Better make sure no one makes off with those for an early read :)
Isn’t that awesome?! All of the ones she gave us are now out (they’re just the first printings of them that they sent out before the final versions came out). Kelly has read millions of books though. You can walk in there and say you’re looking for a book about antelopes that have jobs and wear clothes and she’ll have ten recommendations for you!
Jennifer T says
LOVE the light fixture in the playroom/family space. I’ve been drooling over similar ones for my entry way, but just can’t bring myself to spend that much money. Pretty to look at though!
Great work on the whole show house and I’m looking forward to the final pictures. Really goes to prove what you two have been blogging about the past few years that a home doesn’t always look perfectly styled and put together when you first move in- usually takes months or years… Unless you’re doing a show house then it has to be fast forwarded :)
FYI, I found a similar, cheaper version here: http://www.homedepot.com/p/204722850
AND! It’s on sale!
Erg… this link might work better! http://www.homedepot.com/p/BAZZ-Lume-Series-15-Light-Ceiling-Mount-Chrome-Chandelier-with-Pendants-Clear-Balls-Covered-in-a-Metal-Meshsed-P12421CH/204722850
I am going to sound like a broken record but as much work as this has been, it must have been so much fun! All that decorating, all that shopping! :) The sneak peeks look wonderful, can’t wait to see the full monty in pics and in living color.
This place is looking so awesome! Can’t wait to see the room by room posts! You guys are amazing! Also jealous of your loads of stuff from Target. There’s just so many things I want from there to add to my home it’s sick.
Wow, this looks amazing and your hard work is obvious! I don’t know how you envisioned/decorated so many rooms at once. I would love a future post on what inspired you/how you worked through each room. We are building a house and move in next month. I am trying to plan each room…but get so overwhelmed.
Please share with the locals when the items are for sale and/or at Habitat Restore! I’m a lucky one who gets a preview tonight. :)
Will do! And we’ll be there tonight, so we’re excited to see you!
Mary | Two Happy Lambs says
Great idea, Betsy! I love the process. Sarah Richardson once said she tries to work in 10 or 11 textures into each space, and it was such a useable bit of information. I love hearing those mood board to reality tidbits, because you always glean something new from the process.
Great job, guys!
Yes! I would love to hear about the process as well. You two have been such an inspiration to me. Thank you.
Jennifer R. says
It looks so good!
Wow, I can’t believe he is due in 9 days. It seems like a few weeks ago we were reading the pregnancy news!
I’ll be sending you good vibes to get through the next couple of very busy weeks! Good luck Petersiks!
Leslie @ Oh, the Fun of It says
You’re almost home! We’re rooting for you… and you’ve done such a GREAT job so far! I know you guys must be tired, but just think how great you’ll feel when all is said and done :)
Sherry, put your feet up, we are all coming over to take turns rubbing them!
Haha! Foot massage relay ;)
Kayla Aimee says
The staging is really pulling everything together – I’ve loved watching the process! And I am so sorry to be THAT person but if you have a minute: the teal crate on teh breakfast nook table with bottles in it – source? Please say currently at Target or World Market so I can go buy it rat nao. :)
Kayla Aimee says
P.S. Y’all don’t have to answer this- I know you’re crazy busy but I’m hoping another reader will have seen it somewhere and know ;)
We’ll be back with a full source list when we reveal the rooms (those will start rolling out this week if all goes well and we get our shots!).
Kayla I’ve seen one that’s super similar at Target so I’m going to guess that’s where it’s from. I’ve had my eye on it for a while now but haven’t made the plunge because I can’t finger out what to put in it! Also, it’s still in stock!
Just a note to Sherry. I don’t know how you are doing this. I am three weeks to my due date and I have to take breaks all the time because my hips and legs hurt from being on my feet and carrying the extra baby weight. I wish you good luck and if your hips hurt, have John do a hip squeeze on you. My Doula taught us that and its amazing! i know they talk about it during labor, but I have my husband doing it this whole last trimester to help any hip or low back pain I have.
Aw thanks Christine! Other than still dealing with morning sickness I have been a ball of energy! Not sure if it’s all in my head (I’ll probably collapse as soon as the showhouse is done and never get up again) but that “just a few more days” thing is keeping me going!
Sherry, you are seriously amazing. I was imagining myself that pregnant and doing all that you’re doing and wow… it just exhausts me thinking about it! I had a few similar staging experiences in the past and it is incredible how much time it takes and how many small details you need to think through and then do and FIND! The finding locally can be a big challenge.
Question, but feel free to ignore me if it’s too personal or intrusive… do you guys have to front all the cashola to buy this stuff? You’ve talked before about your showhouse budget and the donated items. Did having to go out at the end to buy all of this blow your budget or are you still in track. Thanks in advance for whatever details regarding these questions you can share. And no worries if you’re going to talk about this in an upcoming post. I’m just so curious how you tackle something this large scale in such a short time. Oh… and I’m so excited! My BFF and I are coming down from Jersey to see the Homearama!
Yup, we are fronting the decorating budget and then just invoicing at the end, but finishes like tile and lights and “building supplies” are all on the builder’s tab.
It has to be so much fun to do all of the shopping for staging! Probably a lot more fun if there wasn’t the time-crunch factor…
Congrats guys on getting this wrapped up! Looking forward to more individual posts and it is looking great!
Also, got any tips on how you keep Clara happy on epic shopping trips to Target or even Home Depot. We’ve got good kids (4 year old and 2.5 year old) but we’ve definitely tried their patiences on more than one occassion as we (parents) talk out a project or try to decide between items. And Home Depot is always a little more challenging since it is a lot more dangerous.
Clara seems to really like being engaged in conversations, so as we load up our carts and have side chats about what to get, look at our list, etc – we both try to keep Clara involved. She’s really into letters/spelling right now, so when we put a pillow in the cart we’ll say “what does pillow start with? Pppppp, ppppp….” and she’ll shout “P!” Or we’ll play I-spy as we roll around (“I spy something orange that looks like an animal”, etc). Of course sometimes she’s tired or hungry and it all falls apart, but those seem to work when her belly is full and it’s not creeping up on bedtime or naptime.
love those ideas!
Alex the Airhostess says
My mom was the master of distracting my sister & me when we were little-she’d make a list for us to follow along & check off things, she’d make a simple 9 square bingo board of things to find in the store (imagine a tic tac toe board with 9 simple words or drawings), she’d point to colors on boxes/clothing and ask us, “what color is this? Is it a happy or sad color? Is it warm or cold? What should we paint this color?” when we were older she’d send us off with a coupon to find something in the aisle and taught us about meeting the brand/size/etc requirements. I still think fondly about “treasure hunting” with coupons, and that was probably 24+ years ago.
Love these ideas and this whole conversation! I have a 2.5 yr old and grocery store trips are sometimes challenging– I love these ideas about ways to really engage with her. She does love to have a job as we go!
Love the house – it looks great! Where did you get the coffee table in the living room? Or the table with the game on it in the sitting room? They are absolutely perfect.
We’ll be back with all sources for each room when we shoot them from multiple angles for the full monty reveal. Can’t wait to start rolling those out (this week if we’re lucky and get the shots we’d like to get… come on weather, cooperate!).
I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure I saw the coffee table at target the other night when I was there.
This place is looking so amazing! I can’t wait to see the final shots!
For the Homearama, do you know if we’re allowed to take photos inside the showhouses? I’d love to come see them all and I’m sure I’ll get tons of decorating ideas to bring back and use in my own home.
Yes, I think photos are allowed (we have taken those in the past, and I don’t believe there’s any ban on them). Come and snap away!
You guys should be so proud of this house. If is really coming together and it is for such a good cause.
Mable Burt says
Congratulations on your accomplishments thus far. I love the way you decorate. Everything looks awesome and that little desk area is so cute.. All the best:)
Laura @ Rather Square says
Wish we were going to be in your area so we could check this out in person at the show! It looks amazing. Can’t wait for the room-by-room details.
I just have to say – you guys are doing such a great job and working so hard (with such beautiful results). Do definitely try to find a little time for yourselves and some rest before little man arrives. We just had baby #2 recently and it’s amazing and wonderful but definitely takes some energy – try to get a little rest squeezed in there (even if it means missing a post here and there…we’ll completely understand)…
Today is my due date, and I’m trying to imagine doing all this a week ago. I hope you do get some chance to put your feet up before you’re wrangling a newborn, Sherry!
Happy due date day Schmei!
Andrea Enright says
Wow, it all looks so incredible. CAN NOT WAIT to see every little nook and cranny of it! And that Master Bedroom Bedding is to die for!
You guys have done such a fabulous job. I just love it! And even though you did make some really fun, bold choices, a lot of the more permanent features (like the flooring, kitchen cabinets/counters and built-ins) are more classic and pretty universally appealing – so smart! I mean, it’s easier to paint a room than it is to rip out a kitchen after all :)Great job!!!
Like many families these days, we have been watching and playing at lot of Disney’s Frozen and no-joke what came to my mind when looking at your staging pics was Princess Anna’s little kid voice saying, “THIS IS AMAAAAAZING!!” Please tell me a video tour is in store for us when it’s all done :)
You’re so sweet Constance! We’d love to take you guys on a video tour (inside and outside!).
Abby @ Happy Food Happy Home says
Please oh please do a video tour! Indiana is too far away to come, and I want to see every detail!
Congratulations on getting to the home stretch, you guys! Everything looks beautiful so far!
I love seeing your unique areas! My tastes are different from yours but you inspire me to break outside my comfort zone in my own home and I am so grateful. Also, while I love a good baby bump shot, I am anxiously waiting to see some baby pictures! I am so happy for you guys. Wishing you a little relaxation time before the baby! xoxo
Found myself reading this post super fast as I can sense the pressure you guys have on you to get the house done. Everything looks amazing!!! We have a fall and spring Homearama here in Va Beach too and I LOVE LOVE going to see all of the latest things!!! Good luck!
Looks great guys! What type of stone did you use for the countertops? I absolutely love the look of it.
It’s leathered marble (sealed well) called White Moura which is supposed to be more durable than the shiny stuff. So far with a crew of people in there putting drinks down (and paint cans, ack!) it has held up awesomely!
Are you going to be taking pictures of the other showhouses too? Those brief peeps have me intrigued!
Yes, we’d love to crash them and share a big post of full room photos! We did that last year (or was it the year before?) and it was so much fun!
Lindsay J says
Thank you for sharing. Looking at the other Homearama houses, I still LOVE everything about yours! You have done a fantastic job. I know this was a lot of work, and it has paid off.
Amanda K. says
It looks so great! I bet buying design items would be sort of like building a wardrobe from scratch — there are so many “oh, i didn’t think about that!” pieces that you just collect over time.
(which i realize when the seasons change and i realize i have NO summer clothes for my 2-year old! suddenly we need summer shirts, shorts, shoes, pjs, church clothes, rain coat, swim suit, gah!)
That’s the perfect way to put it! You think about cute vases but you forget about stacks of books and you think about pretty duvets and decorative pillows but you forget about regular old standard pillows and pillow cases for each bed.
Rachel @ The Sunny Disposition Home says
Really lux!! Nothing beats a gray kitchen, although I am partial to them, after having white cabinets then black, we decided to go gray and we love it. You can see them here. :)
So pretty! Looks like a totally different room!
Jade Payne says
Sheesh, you guys. Why yall be so cool? I feel like I should be throwing gold coins at yall’s feet. Masters of styleeeee! Weeeeeeeee!
Thanks so much for sharing the photos! I LOVE the master bedroom photo… that bedding and painting are perfect!!
Kelly Reber says
Love it all!! Cannot wait to see the final pics!! You guys are awesome…
PS – Is anyone else worried for Clara’s life in that pic where she is on the bottom of the cart under to haul of home stuff at Target… ;) Brave girl ;) (JK)
Haha! No Claras were harmed in the shopping of this showhouse.
Sherri and John, you two are amazing! I too can’t believe all that you have accomplished. The house has come together so beautifully. Oh, to have your knack for the staging/decorating. (I wish!) I wish I was closer to peruse through the house in person.
Clara looks like she is having fun under there. :) My kids used to ride under the carts too. She is a sharp cookie and you are on the ball, so I am sure she was just fine. ;)
The house looks amazing! Congrats on putting the final touches on it!