House update

Wow it’s been a whirlwind around here. It’s amazing how it can feel like its going so slow with home renovations and then suddenly you are amazed at how it’s coming together. I have the best people working on our new old house and I am so thankful for their diligence and talent.


First off, the exterior is now completely painted white no longer gold! (Later the roof will be dark gray, someone on Instagram asked) and no we are not doing shutters.  I like the simplicity and clean look of it without shutters…seems true to the salt box design. The exterior color is SW Pure White.


Choosing a door color has been an adventure.  I love red doors but I knew from the beginning I wanted a soft pretty gray door on this house.  Dove gray. I think I tested a total of 11-12 grays.  All were too blue or too brown.  I even tried some Farrow and Ball colors.  I finally settled on SW Dorian Gray which was my first one to try! Funny how that happened.  For now, we plan on painting the entire surround AND the door.  I think it needs the color and visual weight in the middle since we aren’t doing shutters.  But I may change my mind once it’s done (sorry honey) and have just the door be gray.

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 6.03.19 PM

I have been eyeing some amazing lanterns at Bevelo Lighting but ended up spotting some at Lowe’s of all places that I really like.  Thank you Allen + Roth, they are nice and long and large and less than  $100! That is nice on the budget when you have so many other things to cover.

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 7.28.22 PM

After getting a handle on the exterior we moved inside. We (meaning Kevin my awesome contractor and his trusty assistant Alex) uncovered some great wood under the popcorn. Honestly I think there are lots of issues related to keeping shiplap in old homes. . . like “industrial really isn’t my style” and “but its gorgeous wood” and “but its so rough” etc… trust me there will be exposed ship lap somewhere (closets ha or maybe a boy wall one day) but this will be the last time you see this in this state in the living room . . sorry . . . Bottom line, hubs doesn’t like too rustic and we have lived with shiplap walls for years . . . before everyone on HGTV was doing it;; It’s cute and charming and I love it in the upstairs of our current home but I think it sifts dust possibly . . . it is rough and probably not great for asthma and allergies which the boys and I struggle with . . . so there you go. I could do a whole blog post on that decision believe me!

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 6.04.07 PM

But yes that ceiling is gorgeous ! What is wonderful beyond the decorative possibilities of old wood walls and ceilings i s just to see how old houses were constructed and the beautiful materials used in construction.

Moving into the kitchen.

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 4.32.15 PM

 The uppers came down on sink side.  But the soffit stays, yes it can happen and be okay.  More shiplap under old paneling but it was really pieced together and lot of holes, so those walls and around door will be covered with basic white subway tile and then shelves.  We are painting the remaining cabinets. Everything in kitchen is SW Pure White. I considered doing new shaker doors but didn’t want to wait for them.  They would have arrived in time I now realize but painting these has been fine too since we removed so many on sink side. Again another budget saver.

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 4.31.49 PM

I love how my contractor put the doors up on the garage wall to spray them. I am in AWE of the awesome finish he sprayed on these cabinets.  The kitchen has various issues, and we obviously aren’t gutting it but paint in here has been huge.  He also retrimmed out doors and windows, HUGE improvement.  I will be honest, I had a little designer hissy fit in my heart and head wanting better cabinets.  But the truth is they are fine, they have tracks and they have painted up nicely.  And it was silly to pull them out when we have other changes planned down the road….way down the road..for now and/ or the next 5- 10 years this is perfect!

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 4.31.41 PM

And there is the farm sink pictured above waiting patiently in the garage, OF COURSE it is going back in…along with wood counters.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my posts about the IKEA wood counter drama.  Again this could be another blog post.  Basically, I had heard and read online that IKEA was discontinuing their solid wood counters.  Then the IKEA Houston person told me that wasn’t true they just “fly off of shelves” because they are popular.  Friends helped me make sure there were none in stock in Texas at our three IKEA locations.  Once I was sure I moved forward with Williamsburg Butcher block counters via Lumber Liquidators.  They are more pricey than IKEA but they look fab and they are way less than marble or even granite.

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 7.28.02 PM

I won’t lie, I will miss my marble;( But we are gaining square footage and other wonderful things in this house so I will survive; These will be a bit darker and richer in color once I oil and seal them.

Okay, and I also need to say this . . . several people have said “wow this is going so fast how do you get so much done?” Well I have had my eye on this house for five years.  I was in talks with the owners for over  a year and it was under contract for months.  It’s been a long time coming and I have had plenty of time to plan and think about what I would do with this house if ever given the chance.  Sounds cheesy but I feel like I have been decorating this house in my heart for my entire life. Nutty sounding but if you are house person you know what I mean.  We love our current house but this one feels so right and like home! That has made some decisions easy (knock on wood) and flow somewhat effortlessly.  Like I just KNEW the outside HAD to be white.

But that is just the ideas, on the practical side this is all possible and is happening quickly because we have blessed with a great contractor.  They are hard to find y’all.

Oaks Renovations

Thank you to Kevin Gilmore at Oaks Renovation for all he is doing to help us get in our home and settled before school starts.  Kevin and I worked on the Old Glory project and I was so thrilled he could help with our new old house.  He is patient and creative and honest/realistic about budget and what is feasible.  I totally recommend him if you are in the Houston/Brenham/Woodlands area.  His email is above. You won’t be disappointed.

{On a side note: It’s humbling and a bit embarrassing on some level to write all of this “ME ME ME, look at us we have a new house” stuff I know but it is a design blog and what I do. But I want you to know I struggle with it a bit. Yes we needed a larger home and we are excited about the space and other things but need is relative as are wants.  #Firstworldproblems we all say. And though this isn’t hugely grand or fancy I still don’t deserve this.  That is not how things work.  Yes we have worked hard and been blessed but others work hard too.  I guess I just want you to know I am not bragging, I am grateful and I give glory to God for everything we have and I know my true treasures are stored up in heaven.  But I also appreciate beauty and creativity. And my life ins’t perfect. Anyone who knows us knows that. I don’t intentionally NOT share hard times they are just often private.  Enduring those times don’t make us deserve good times like getting a new home but I am excited and enjoying it and giving Praise to God above. At the end of the day I know even charming old houses can’t make you happy. Only God.}


Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. Holly,
    Your last paragraph reminds me of a verse: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.~James 1:17. I am so happy for you, Elton, and the boys…and I know that you are indeed grateful. Thank you for sharing your “newoldhome” journey with us.

  2. The “side note” was the best part of the entire post! I for one am SO happy you are sharing this journey.

    My husband learned on Monday we will be making a major move to Texas (Fort Worth area) in just 6 short weeks. It’s a whirlwind…trying to sell a home…trying to find a home. Yes, I have kids and have no idea where we will be living or going to school. Everyone keeps asking when I am going to freak out. My reply is “God has it all under control.” 🙂

    • I’ve lived in Fort Worth practically all my life and would like to welcome you to town! FW is a very friendly place with many wonderful people, museums, schools, restaurants, and music venues. Moving in such a short time can be quite an adventure and I hope that you enjoy all of it. As you probably know, August will be quite warm, but most every place has wonderful air conditioning! Again, welcome to Fort Worth, “where the West begins!”

  3. I love your precious heart! I know I can relate to the struggle between wanting and needing. Thank you for sharing your amazing talents with those of us {me} that aren’t as talented and are hoping to glean what we can from you! What a great home and such a blessing it will be to your family over the years.

  4. Love your heart and how you shared it so beautifully.

  5. I have been following your blog for quite some time because I love your style of decorating AND we’re trying to redecorate our 21 year old home ourselves (ugh). You are so inspiring in so many ways! Your last paragraph was so precious and I just had to comment to let you know that God does bless us in abundance. In no way did I ever think you were, “bragging” about this wonderful blessing you and your family have received. I am soaking up e.v.e.r.y single bit of design advice you bestow upon this blog. Thank you for sharing your God-given talents of design. I look forward to more of your design choices!!!

  6. SHANNON K says:

    I’m so excited for you and look forward to your blog and instagram photos…i can not wait tosee what you do with this house 🙂 you never come off braggy and no need to justify 🙂

  7. Natalie says:

    Holly…I have been a long time reader of your blog and love all you do! I wish I could bring you to our new to us home and give it your magical touch!
    I am so excited for you and your family. I just know it is going to be beautiful!
    We just recently after a long wait purchased our home….it was by HIM that we are here and I don’t doubt HIS hands are in every detail of our lives!

  8. It is so exciting to see an older home brought to new life. I’m hoping to be blessed with my first home next year. I enjoy all your posts, and all the wonderful design ideas you give. I might even decide to get a new old house. Holly, your sweet spirit comes through posts. This post reminded me of Ephesians 3:20, and I am thankful that God is doing immeasurable more than can be asked or imagined for your family,

  9. Your side note was my favorite part too! Thank you for sharing your new home with us.

  10. Amen, my dear. I know that you will use this home to HIS glory. No doubt! Love to you!!!!

  11. This is such a happy house with all of the light pouring in from the windows. I can’t wait to see the front door. Love the white exterior… surprise surprise. xo

  12. Congratulations! The post about your “new/old house” is inspiring and fun to read. Most of all, your disclaimer at the end makes me love your heart for The Lord!:)

  13. Holly, looking great!! So excited for you! Can’t wait to see more progression! I KNOW it’s going to be amazing!

  14. Holly, we are all so excited for you and you shouldn’t feel shy about sharing something so wonderful. You are blessed and you work hard! I am in awe that you’ve found a salt box style house in Texas. Can’t wait to see what you do with it. 🙂

  15. Holly, it is so interesting getting to watch the process unfold. Thank you for sharing it with us! And, congrats to you and your family!!!

  16. I am loving the updates on your new home and am so excited for you and your sweet family. Your style is so inspiring — not just your decorating but your heart! Love your last paragraph– I am a great fan of yours and those last thoughts are probably the biggest reason 🙂

  17. I love your new home! Congrats! You should not feel uncomfortable about sharing your new home with us. You inspire me and I so appreciate you willing to share your life, your job, and your home. Keep it up! Can’t wait to see more of your home!

  18. Heather says:

    Holly I’m so happy for you! Congratulations! Wish you could give my new construction home some of your homes beautiful “old” charm . God bless

  19. You are a dear woman with sound priorities and great style. xo

  20. Holly, just clicked over today and saw your new/old house! How exciting! It looks beautiful, so I’m going back to read more about it. Just wanted to say congrats & have fun with it. I know it will be stunning when you are done. I’ve always dreamed of an older house too, not sure I could tackle one at this point though.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Holly, you are far from being braggy. I’m sincerely happy for you and your family. I’m so in love with your house. So in love!!! Enjoy this journey.

  22. i’m loving watching you renovate this house! i can’t wait to see more! and hey… you are an interior designer. this is what you do… it would be weird for you not to share! but the sincerity in your last paragraph did make me love you a little more. 🙂

  23. Dear Holly,
    I am so happy that you and your sweet family have been blessed with the home that you’ve been dreaming of for five years; what a blessing!

    I have been following your blog for awhile now…never have I ever felt you be egotistical or showy. If anything, I have found you to be humble, gracious, and so unpretentious. You are a lovely designer and most importantly, a wonderful Christian testimony.

    Please- please continue to share with us your new home’s journey; we are craving for more!

  24. You are awesome. Love this post so much.

  25. I love everything you are doing! How great are the lanterns you found! I pinned them.

  26. Great blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What web host are you using?

    Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast
    as yours lol

  27. Tamara Salmon says:

    You helped my friend Cindy T. with her new east shore home. I love your style but I love that you are so very humble even more. CANNOT wait to see the final product with your new home. Thanks for being a real person!

  28. Love how you think! Sometimes we all think what you wrote, we know that we don’t deserve any of it – yet HE wants these good things for all of us.

  29. Your heart and character come through in every blog post. Your love for the Lord and your recognition of His Sovereignty is also apparent. Enjoy the blessings God has given you without guilt or worry about what others think. So very happy for you and your family!

  30. I came here from Boo Mama’s blog … my first visit.

    What a lovely home. Even more lovely, your note at the end. I don’t know you a bit, but your heart of gratitude comes shining through, and it blessed *my* heart.

  31. Love every bit of this. Excited for you!

  32. I do not comment regularly but have followed you a looong time! You deserve this home and it’s absolutely beautiful, just like you and your family are! I love following along in your renovations and am so happy for you all!

  33. Sallie Baker says:

    It’s a shame that you even have to have a side note, for as others have said, if they follow you
    regularly, who you are and what you represent shines through without having to say it! But there are always haters in this sinful world . . . and you explained beautifully that there is nothing wrong with being excited about the gifts God bestows us with! Sic ‘ em!!

  34. Holly – you are so sweet and humble. So happy for you! Can’t wait to see how your new home comes together.

  35. What a sweet side note, Holly. We (your readers and friends 😉 are so happy for you and would never think for a second you are bragging. Looking forward to following your progress!
    All the best,

  36. The times I have met you at Marburger, Urban Mkt, etc, you have just oozed niceness and that can’t be faked. God does bless us in big and small ways so let yourself feel free to enjoy this one! We love seeing your thought processes. Keep sharing and ease up on Holly!

  37. Yay, I’m SO excited to follow along. You deserve it. And your honest perspective about sharing online is so humbling and honorable. God bless as you go through this amazing process. 🙂

  38. Okay, the house is awesome, your ideas are awesome, your contractor is even awesome…but the disclaimer is why you rock. Glory to God. May your new home be a blessing to you and your family. 🙂

  39. So thrilled for you and your family Holly. Thank you for this lovely update. You’ll make such wonderful memories in your newoldhome.

  40. M, L, & P says:

    Sneak Peak Gratitude~Thanks so much for graciously giving us a “new home” tour this evening. Your hard work and creativity are shining. It already feels like the definition of HOME especially with the laughter echoing off the beautiful new paint.

  41. I love the house renovations, but also your thankful heart! I am in the same boat- just very lucky to be able to be doing what I do. The house will be home because of the love that is inside it 🙂 Can’t wait to see it all finished!!

  42. Rachelle (in Utah) says:

    So exciting! I really appreciate you sharing so much of your new home with me – it gives me great ideas and inspiration! I love seeing your designing/creating gift God has given you bless so many lives, and now again, the lives of your own family. Creating a house into a home! This home will be a blessing to your family and many others you will share it with, no doubt. Thank you! ❤️

  43. Fantastic site. Lots of helpful info here.
    I’m sending it to some pals ans additionally
    sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you for your

  44. Katherine says:

    Holly. Are you planning on mounting the sink under or over the wood countertop? Have you had experience with wood countertops next to sink, and water issues? We are considering doing the same. If you stain and seal your wood, how do you handle cutting, heat, etc.? So encouraging to see the progress on your beautiful home.

  45. How on earth did I miss such big news?!?! Farm life means much less blog reading/internet browsing. I barely even get to post all that I dream and think about these days! So excited for you and can’t WAIT to see all of your creativity and talent play out in this new home! Blessings to you in the chaos of it all! xoxo

  46. The changes you are making to your new old house are so inspiring. You don’t come across as bragging in the least. Enjoy your new family home. I’m sure it will be filled with love and happiness 🙂

  47. Girl…thanks for the sneaky peek into your lovely new home. Gosh if you think you sound braggy then crikey we all sound that way:) So no worries here. I am just selfish enough to think…”look at all that good blog material she has:)” Like you said “first world problems” ……Keep sharing with us please!

  48. Happy moving!!

  49. christine says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog before but I’ve been reading it for years. Your PS… is what made me want to comment. Just that you took the time to explain this shows your grateful heart and spirit. That you could think of how it might be to others over your excitement. I for one, never once thought any of this sounded like bragging. I would say 99% of us are just as house and design obsessed as you are so we are just thrilled for you and to see another before, during and after. 🙂 It looks fabulous!!!

  50. Holly, I so appreciate your final remarks. Sometimes we go through tough times. We’ve been going through a stretch that is waaaaaay too long. But, even so, I am thrilled for you. When we make choices based on the needs of our family and seek God’s wisdom and direction and wait for his approval we can be confident and rejoice in our blessings. Keep giving God the glory and don’t ever apologize for his blessing. And Holly….I love your new house!! And since I’ve never been to Texas I’m thinking…colonial houses in Texas? (I know!!!)
    Big hugs!!

  51. Janice Ratliff says:

    Holly!!! I am so excited for you!! Where have I been???? I am catching up on your blog and see the news about the new home!! I look forward to every little detail! This is what you do sweetie!! And you do it so well!! Congrats and I can’t wait to see how you decorate for the holidays…… and the boys rooms and EVERYTHING!! xoxo

  52. I just found your blog and was so touched by your side note – I, too, feel like that in this world of blogs and instagram and facebook – so much can seem MEMEMEMEMEMEMEME! Your humble words of appreciation are sweet and your glory to God is so appreciated in this world where He often seems forgotten. And, not a side note in any way, your home looks lovely!!!! I am a “house person” and I love all of the beauty of your older home! 🙂 So cool!


  1. […] This post by sweet Holly Mathis made me smile like […]

Leave a Comment