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.
I love love love it. It’s the most beautiful, bright, and playful house. If I had the budget, I wouldn’t change a thing!
What a huge undertaking, but how fun to be able to do that with no limits :) And the books! I can’t imagine just throwing them away- what a sad waste to my book loving soul! Glad you are able to use them.
I love the house so much! The future owners are going to be so lucky! With the baby coming soon I was just wondering if you guys have a PO box so readers can send a congratulations card? It may seem silly but I feel like I know you guys. :)
Aw, we love cards (and postcards) and you’re so sweet to ask! Our PO Box is: PO Box 36665, Richmond VA 23235
I am in love with the chalk painting/mural. *Sigh*
Wish I lived closer so I could come take a look in person – it looks great! Now for the hard part – are you guys responsible for making all the returns of the items you picked-up/borrowed after the show is over?
Thankfully those companies send them to us and come back to pick up their shipments for the most part – although with art we have met up with those artists to pick up and will bring them back (and hug them forever!) once the show is over.
First of all, I love what you’ve done with the showhouse!! It’s giving me lots of good ideas for our older home that we’ve had for over a year now, but still have lots of decorating to do in (though we’re still loving our Edgecomb Gray walls!)
Secondly, I appreciate that you guys bought some Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels, since my husband is one of their IT guys! Thanks for supporting the business that lets us have our home :)
Tell him the guys working at the house have been eating them like crazy! They were a hit just like the donuts.
I will admit that as a daily reader I’ve kind of glazed over the show house posts for months and I love seeing how it has come together. Where would I find the post that explains how this all came to be? Do you have a budget for filling the house?
It must be so much fun to just go wild spending money on stuff because yup it fits, and not spending time saving for it first, and doing one thing/room/space at a time!
Thanks Amy! Here’s the post with budget/donation info for ya: https://www.younghouselove.com/2014/02/showhouse-smorgasbord/ and here’s one about how it all came to be and how Habitat is involved: https://www.younghouselove.com/2013/07/our-other-new-house/
“From ‘meh’ to ‘heck yeah!'”
I think I have a new life mantra!
Well done, guys — and just in the nick (or Barnacle) of time. :)
What an amazing post! Just reading about all your shopping trips (and seeing those carts?!) makes me both overwhelmed and jealous. :-) I can’t believe you’ve pulled it all together with everything else you have going on. I wouldn’t blame you one bit for simply listing stores vs an itemized source list. What a pain! I hope you can disappear for a bit once Barnacle arrives. Speaking of which, I saw a Barnacle Fishing Boat shirt in the boys section of Target this weekend and immediately laughed and thought of you guys!
Love, love, love the aesthetic you got going on in this place. Did you ever think of leaving a few of the kitchen nooks open and papering the back? I envision 3 or 4 of them with a cool pattern and a single number/letter in the middle. Might create a random patchwork effect – which would add interest and cut out dusting around too many tchotckes!
So funny! People have been instagramming and facebooking that shirt pic to us! And as for papering those nooks, we thought about that too! We worried it might be too busy (and didn’t have much time to find cool paper) but it’s an awesome idea!
emily hassman says
Wow! Good luck this week, y’all. I freakin’ adore this show house. I’m looking forward to sources for so much of this stuff (the star marquee light above Clara’s head!) but I will be patient, I know that is going to be a LOOOOT of work :)
That painting of Burger really takes the cake, btw. <3
Oh, and one more thing I'm interested in, when you get around to posting more about this: who buys all the STUFF? I have noticed a lot of things donated, but what about your carts full at Target, etc.? I'm curious.
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 (like those cart-fulls from Target) will likely be re-used in future model homes.
The showhouse is awesome! I LOVE all your design choices. It’s beautiful!
So neat to read that John is a FitBit wearer, too!
Beautiful job! Love your choices and your styling. Can’t wait for the sources (when the rush is over & you have time)! Especially loving the coffee table in the playroom/reading room.
Thanks for the pics and the show house details!
You guys are doing awesome! I can’t believe you are powering through this right before the barnacle comes.
Who would have thought that having a baby would be an opportunity to rest?
I am LOVING this home! Seriously, I want to move in NOW!That bedding in the master- beyond gorgeous. I’m hoping it’s for sale (and a king size) after the show because I want it. I think I may stalk it for a while. Great Job Petersiks!
There is a link for the bedding! I want it to but $200 for a queen duvet cover— might have to think it over!
Looks awesome guys! Great work!
I was thinking maybe Sherry had gone into labour when I didn’t see a post on Friday… ;)
Sorry for the false alarm Peggy! We had a bolded ps note at the bottom of Thursday’s post about how we wouldn’t be posting on Friday due to showhouse deadlines. Turns out a lot of people thought it was baby day!
Congratulations on designing a beautiful house! I’m so impressed– clearly it took much work to get to this point, so you must really be celebrating that it looks this good! Can’t wait to see more pictures, especially of all the built-ins.
Wow!! Hard work pays off. It’s looking amazing. Also, if you’re looking for one of a kind table statement pieces not too far off when it comes to price then look here
Poor, Sherry! I seriously can’t imagine being on your feet all day for weeks getting this all done! I can just see you saying “I’m so glad I had this baby so I could just SIT DOWN for more than 2 seconds!” lol!!! Best wishes and glad the barnacle is hanging in there through it all! xo
I love love everything you have done at your house!! Great remodeling and decoration!!
It is just beautiful and original!!
Just go do what you need to do and don’t worry about us. We are big girls and boys and will be here when you get back. :)
Thanks Ruthie! You guys are the best.
Reshma Sanjeev says
You guys have done such an awesome job. It’s not easy decorating such a huge space in weeks….we have been in our 3 bedroom town home for 3 years and it’s still “a work in progress”.
I love all the turquoise colors in kitchen and other spaces.
Whew! So glad to hear that it’s just showhouse craziness that’s been keeping you guys so busy. When your regular daily post never showed up on Friday, I thought maybe the Barnacle had decided to put in an early appearance.
Tracey Bradshaw says
You are a super woman Sherry! This has to be the equivalent of moving house two weeks before having a baby (and deciding to redecorate)!
At least most of your nesting urges are being well and truly met with all the finishing touches going on here.
I am loving so many aspects of the house already so the big reveal is highly anticipated – a pity the house is 10,000 miles too far away for me to get a look see in real life :-/
I really hope you guys get some quiet family time before the barnacle arrives.
Gahhhhh. Pinning ALL THE THINGS!
This looks incredible!!! Can’t wait to see more!
jessica @fourgenerationsoneroof says
You guys have done a great job! :)
Marianne in Mo. says
Lookin’ good! IMO, I relieve you from daily posting duties, so that you can take care of deadline business…..and rest when possible! Sherry, you are a machine, carrying that barnacle with you as you slave away! Props to all of you!
You’re so sweet Marianne!
If it were at all possible for me to pack my family up and move to VA, we would be doing just that. I LOVE this house!!!
That kitchen is KILLING me! I’m dying to see the finished product. You guys are incredible!
Oh wow! Everything is really coming together!
And I’m super jealous of your Target/HomeGoods/etc. filled shopping carts. Buying home accessories on someone else’s dollar sounds incredibly fun :)
Ooooh, I am so excited to see some of the big reveals, I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what I’ve seen so far. I feel like saying, “Forget about us, just do what you need to do!” I can’t imagine how crazy life is for you all right now, so put your feet up and exhale. We’ll survive for a few days if we need to :-)
Thanks so much Heather :)
Elise @ Expeditions of Elise says
I’m having trouble with the photos on this post loading for me. Just wanted to let you know to see if there’s anything you could do!
Maybe try clearing your cache/cookies/data? So sorry!
Aww man I can’t wait to see each room!
I feel your pain in not having enough staging decor. We moved from a 800 square foot duplex to a 1800 square foot house and it was soooo bare! We still have 2 rooms with hardly anything in them… sigh
Is there a way to do some amazing photography of the coffee mural? I could see it as a great art piece for a kitchen, printed on burlap bags for coffee gifts, screen printed on dish towels, fabric for bar stools, etc….I’m having heart palpitations thinking of a magic eraser destroying it!
That’s a really fun idea!
Hi, thank you :) sherry assured me they aren’t looking to destroy it. But that is the nature of chalk, and I was prepared for that eventuality. I’m very happy you like my work!
It looks amazing! This has been one of my favorite projects to follow by far. Way to go!
You guys have done a great job! Shout out to Sherry for doing this so far along in the pregnancy. At this stage in both of my pregnancies, I moved only to go to the bathroom or get food, anything else was too much. LOL
Carrie K says
I think I have to admit that not hearing from you guys in a Friday post, I’m addicted! Missed you! But holy heck, I understand needing to miss a few more in the future. Hang tough!
Aw thanks Carrie!
You two are fantastic! This is a huge project you’ve taken on and it’s so fun to see it come together :-) I LOVE the gray on the back of the built-ins in the kitchen nook.
I wish I lived closer so I could see it all in person! Kudos to all your hard work. You have thousands of people cheering you on through the final push (no pun intended!).
Lisa E says
You are doing an amazing job, you two. I can’t believe what you accomplish on a regular basis, let alone this project house and Sherry expecting any day, with morning sickness on top of that! Totally inspiring. Congrats on another wonderful job and I, like the others, anxiously await the final reveal. There’s definitely no need to apologize to us and please take any time away from your blogs that you need to breathe and take in all the beautiful moments with the new baby. You guys really do rock.
Tracy Laverty says
I LOVE every single room you’ve shown us for the show house! Fantastic job you guys! You guys have such amazing style and make things look fun and fresh with your color palette. What is the color you used behind the fireplace? If you don’t mind me asking? Thanks for all your inspiring ideas.
That’s Hale Navy by Ben Moore.
Shelley @ Calypso in the Country says
It looks beautiful! I love the laundry room wallpaper. What a fun yet exhausting project this must be! Get some rest as soon as you can!
Britt F. says
I saw you all in my Garden and Gun magazine this weekend and squealed when I saw those familiar smiles on the pages! So fun to see you all in the Virginia is for Lovers campaign! The photos turned out perfectly!
Thanks so much! When VA tourism asked us to be in their real people campaign we jumped at the chance. Clara had the best time at that beach!
I am amazed at the amount of work you are putting in while Sherry is in her last leg of pregnancy. I am 28 weeks along and I can feel the pain later when I have been shopping and on my feet for most of the day. I have new respect for Sherry and feel I can and should take on more.
Keep it safe….and rest when you have to!
kelly g says
AMAZING work, you guys! I think a really awesome idea for a post would be if the chalk artist you hired would do do some tutorials/tips on her craft. Not necessarily the hand lettering portion, but maybe more just some tricks of the trade?? Could be fun!!
That would be fun! She’s amazing and freehands everything!
Lindsay L says
Y’ALL, i am just so proud of you!! The house is beyond gorgeous and all of your choices have really come together. That burger painting is so fun and really put your personality into the room, I hope you get to keep that one thing. I have a newborn and Sherry, I am just amazed. I was a big miserable grumpy mess the last few weeks, the second pregnancy was harder on me physically. John please get that girl a medal! Congratulations and xoxo!
MUST. HAVE. the laundry room wallpaper. love it. need it!! :)
If you search showhouse wallpaper on our sidebar, the last post with that info in it should pop up for ya. Hope it helps!
AHH love how it’s all coming together! Shopping for a whole house with someone else’s money sounds like the perfect job in theory, but I can’t imagine the stress of the deadlines. Eek! You guys rock!
Brittany M says
WOW! All your hard work has paid off!! The house is beautiful!! I really admire you for such dedication, blood (well maybe not blood but it sounds better), sweat and I’m sure some tears.
One question: Were you the ones to foot the bill for the 20+ car loads of decorations? I see there’s a budget from the “builders decorating budget” but did that include ALL the decorations?
Just curious. ;)
<3 Brittany M.
Oh yes we have a budget from the builder that breaks down to around $500 per space for all the furnishings (and curtains, rugs, accessories, art, etc) which of course can be met just by buying a bed or one rug, so we relied a lot on borrowing things and hustling to get donations since the show benefits Habitat For Humanity (we are donating our design fee to them, a chunk of money from the builder is going there too, and a portion of ticket sales do too).
So stunning and fresh looking!!!!
Love the styling of the house, would be my dream home in so many ways! I’ve always loved how you use colour, and especially in this project.
Jennifer I says
It’s like a Young House Love home on steroids, the years of work we would normally get in dribs and drabs on your blog all in one week. How cool is that?
Samantha @ Fabulous Fabris says
wow! It’s looking great! I can’t wait to see all of the final photos. It’s crazy how much stuff you need to fill a house (or even just to make it look like a full house).
Recycling books? Kelly can donate books to me any day ;)