...because home doesn't happen overnight.

I’m about to show you a house tour. Don’t peek! First, I need to tell you how this came about. A few months ago, I blogged about my affection for fig trees. Many of you kindly offered green advice for my black thumb. But one reader actually sent me a picture of her happy little fig tree. Just from the image of the fig tree vignette, I could tell this reader’s home was special. I graciously thanked Heather for the picture and advice she openly gave, then all but begged her for a house tour. Four months later, here it is! The time lapse is all my fault – not Heather’s. As the saying goes, “Good things are worth waiting for.”

Enjoy!

Who lives in your home?  I live with my husband, Win, and our dog, The Baron.

Where is your home located? New Orleans, Louisiana

What do you do for a living?  I work in the Oil and Gas industry and Win is a documentary filmmaker.

What is the architectural style of your home? We live in a Victorian shotgun cottage.

How would you describe your style?  The best way to describe our style is cottage/contemporary. We paid homage to our 100+ year old cottage in most of the design elements, but also incorporated a few contemporary pieces to shake things up a bit. Our style may be a bit all over the place for some, but I love that everything in our house has a story, whether it be original artwork from Win’s talented family, an antique night stand salvaged after Katrina, or an old soda bottle I dug up in my garden.

Where do you find inspiration for your home decor? When we first bought our home in 2008, my best friend Rachelle brought over three binders filled with gorgeous images and articles pulled from Cottage Living magazine. She compiled the binders while rebuilding her home after it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. I spent an untold amount of time poring over the binders, soaking up the inspiration brought forth from its pages. Cottage Living was such an amazing resource to me. I still have a hard time believing that it’s no longer in publication. I would say that most of my current home décor inspiration comes from the web. I cut my teeth on amazing blogs such as Young House Love and The Lettered Cottage, and lately it seems like my day is not complete until I check out the latest projects over on Chezerbey, Manhattan Nest, The Brick House and House*Tweaking.

Where did you splurge? Those who know me know that I pride myself on being a serious bargain hunter and that I rarely splurge on anything other than a great meal. Looking around my house, I can say that 99% of the furnishings and appliances were either passed down from our families, bought on sale, picked up at a thrift/consignment shop, or plucked off the street. With that said, there have been one or two splurges along the way and our custom walk-in shower in the master bath is definitely one. Everyone was trying to convince us to install an inexpensive fiberglass shower stall, but Win and I wouldn’t hear of it. We knew what we wanted and even though it was a quite a splurge, it’s been worth every penny.

Where did you pinch pennies?  As for as supplies go, we definitely saved quite a bit of money by reusing our existing cabinetry and purchasing IKEA wood countertops in the kitchen. Our carpenters pushed the idea of custom cabinetry, but being an avid reader of house blogs, I knew that all they needed was a paint job and new hardware. We also saved by purchasing stock tile and stone from a discount retailer for our bathrooms and kitchen instead of custom ordering it from a tile shop or stone yard.

Favorite space in your home? For meit’s got to be our kitchen. Being an avid cook, baker and collector of all things culinary, I love being in the kitchen. I still can’t believe that it took us over three years to get around to gutting and rebuilding it. Thankfully, we worked with an amazing carpentry team that worked tirelessly to develop my kitchen vision into a warm, inviting area that maximizes every inch of usable space.

Least favorite thing about your home? We both love the fact that we have reached the point where there are many more positives than negatives about our home, but there are still a few things we can’t wait to transform. Our backyard is definitely something we try to avoid because of the sheer “ugly factor”. It’s downright hideous and that’s no joke. My main problem with the yard stems from my love of gardening. The gardening gene runs deep in my family. Some of my favorite childhood memories include digging in the dirt with my mother and grandmother. Currently, I have planted and pruned every inch of my front yard, but unfortunately, my back yard is completely useless to me because it is covered by a virtually impenetrable 10” thick concrete slab. One of these days Win and I will rent a jackhammer and get to work on transforming it into an inviting space filled with fruit trees and a large vegetable garden.

From your point of view, what’s been the best improvement you’ve made to your home? It’s really hard to pick one improvement over the others since each project has made such a significant difference to the house as a whole, but if we had to pick one, the renovation of the master bath is high on the list. When we bought the house, it was two separate spaces: a huge fire-charred laundry room and a miniscule bathroom with the toilet falling through the floor. Until the space was renovated in 2010, it was a depressing, dark disaster area that I only ventured into long enough to do a load of laundry. Now, it’s bright, inviting and absolutely fantastic. Friends that have witnessed the slow transformation of our home still can’t believe it’s the same space.

Do you have any special housekeeping rituals? I don’t know if this is a ritual or a sign of OCD, but I cannot go to bed with a messy kitchen. When we host large gatherings, I am sometimes up for hours afterwards cleaning the kitchen and putting everything back in its place. Win can easily nod off with a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink, but I cannot fathom the idea of relaxing when there is a chaotic mess going on in my favorite room of the house.

What’s your next home project or purchase? Realistically, our next project will probably be tweaking the remaining bedrooms, but our dream project is gutting and renovating a cinderblock workman’s shed in our backyard. It is already equipped with a bathroom and power, but the amount of work required is quite daunting. Ideally, we would like to turn it into a guesthouse, but that’s years away.

What’s your favorite thing to do at home? I would say that it’s a three-way tie between working in my garden, relaxing on my front porch with Win and The Baron, and whipping up meals for the people that I love.

Advice for other homeowners? I would say the best advice to new, first-time homeowners like ourselves is to take your time when it comes to renovations. When we bought our home, we lived in it for a full year before embarking on any interior projects. That decision was partly due to financial constraints, but mostly for the fact that we wanted to get to know our “new” old house first. Living in it for a while allowed us time to develop a plan of attack as well as refine our slightly contemporary style around such an old house. On a lighter note, never underestimate the transformative power of a can of spray paint.

Isn’t that one amazing cottage?! I absolutely adore the cottage aesthetic mixed with industrial touches and pops of happy color. Thank you so much, Heather and Win {and The Baron!} for letting us peek into your happy home.

SOURCES:

Living Room/Dining Room

wall color:  Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee

trim color: Benjamin Moore Decorators White

sofa: Ikea

chandelier: Design Within Reach

 

Guest Bath

wall color: Benjamin Moore Nightingale (25%)

trim color: Benjamin Moore Decorators White

tub, toilet & sink- Kohler

fixtures: Kohler

tile: Floor and Décor

medicine cabinet: Home Depot

shower curtain: Urban Outfitters

 

Kitchen

wall color: Benjamin Moore White Dove

trim color: Benjamin Moore Decorators White

cabinet paint: Behr Graceful Gray

countertops: Ikea

lighting: West Elm

ceiling fan: Hunter

refrigerator: Samsung

range: LG

sink: Kohler Vault

 

Master Bedroom

wall color: Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee

trim color: Benjamin Moore Decorators White

lamps: Target

headboard: Wayfair.com

bedding: Macy’s

 

Master Bath

wall color: Benjamin Moore Nightingale

trim color: Benjamin Moore Decorators White

sink: Kohler

fixtures: Delta

toilet: American Standard

tile and stone: Floor and Décor

medicine cabinet: Home Depot

armoire: Nadeau

washer and dryer: Samsung

 

Guest Bedroom

wall color: Martha Stewart Plumage

trim color: Benjamin Moore Decorators White

bedding: TJ Maxx

throw pillows: Bliss Living

Do you have a room makeover, DIY project or house tour that you’d like to submit to House*Tweaking? Great! Please contact me at danarmiller@hotmail.com. I’d love to see what you’ve been up to.

images: Heather Riley

59 Comments

13.September.2012

AWESOME house! That master bath is causing me to have jealous fits and text my husband about how we need to buy a new house. :)

reply )

13.September.2012

Love this house! I grew up 45 mintues from New Orleans and now live in Central Louisiana (3 hours from NOLA.) Does Heather have a blog? I would love to follow her!

reply )

replied on September 13th, 2012

Ditto! I’d love to follow a blog if she has one!

reply )

replied on September 13th, 2012

Hello fellow Louisianian!
Thanks for the compliments! No blog, but thanks for the encouragement. :)

reply )

replied on September 13th, 2012

I love that you are interacting with readers!

reply )

replied on September 13th, 2012

I’m chatty on the web!

13.September.2012

Well done Heather and Win! A truly beautiful transformation. Thanks for sharing!

reply )

13.September.2012

What an awesome home tour!! Their home is perfectly done, I loved every inch of it!!

reply )

13.September.2012

I love everything about this house! Wow! The eclectic decor is beautiful, I love the history of the house, and that kitchen turned out PERFECT. And who doesn’t love a walk in shower?? Love it all!

reply )

13.September.2012

What a lovely home! Ok so I LOVE everything but one thing that caught my eye (besides the adorable furchild) is the IKEA ceiling fixture that’s sitting on top of the blue cabinet in the bathroom! It’s so much more sculptural like that and I really like it. We have the same light hanging in our daughter’s room so I guess that’s why it caught my eye! Do more of these little reader segments. I likely!

reply )

replied on September 13th, 2012

Ha, I love that you noticed my lighting project/bathroom sculpture! When I bought it from IKEA, I had every intention of hanging it in our spare bedroom. I bought it right in the middle of the kitchen renovation, and being a bit overwhelmed with our kitchen project list, I put it on top of the armoire for another day. Well, that was over 9 months ago! I actually love it up there and I’m glad you do too.

reply )

replied on September 13th, 2012

One happy mistake if you ask me.

reply )

13.September.2012

Love this adorable home!! It feels so cozy and comfortable! I am trying to bring a little more “country” items into my home to make it feel warmer and this gave me lots of ideas. Love all the paint choices too. Thanks for sharing! Great job Heather & Win! :-)

reply )

13.September.2012

Obsessed! I may have just pinned a bunch of these photos–I think this is my dream house!

reply )

13.September.2012

Thanks for this great house tour, Dana! I’m a big fan of smaller homes, and this one’s been shown a lot of love. Perfect.

reply )

13.September.2012

Lovely home. It is so nice to see a “real” home. One of the reasons I love House*Tweaking is for the realness of the home. So many sites show you homes that appear beautiful but have no soul. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that aqua table in your living room.

reply )

replied on September 13th, 2012

Thanks, Kirsten! I still can’t believe that I got on House*Tweaking, one of my very favorite blogs. I love that you love my aqua table. I was helping clean out on of the offices in my building, and I came across this huge table/lamp thing that was straight out of 1962. I asked my boss about it and he told me I could take it if I wanted to. So, after I lugged it home, I deconstructed it by removing the wiring/electrical components. I was then left with the table top and “artichoke” bottom which I just glued together to make a table. Originally, it was a weird bronze color, so I whipped out a can of my favorite spray paint and went to town. I think it’s a hoot.

reply )

replied on September 14th, 2012

Oh, that story makes it even better. I was going to say “artichoke table” but I figured it was some fancy French style and didn’t want to appear lacking in French stlye knowledge (even though I am). My current remake passion is lamps. On my sixth right now.

reply )

13.September.2012

Hi Dana.
Would you consider a post on embracing fall and brining it into the home. Both products/decor items and craft ideas. I know you could pull this off without it being too themed.

reply )

13.September.2012

What a well-curated home! I would move in today.

reply )

13.September.2012

Dana,
You rule. Thanks for taking an interest in our “fixer-upper”! And thanks to everyone out there that has left such lovely, encouraging compliments. I’m so flattered.

reply )

replied on September 16th, 2012

Your home is gorgeous! I like your style.

reply )

13.September.2012

I have taken four tours of the fabulous NOLA cottage today. Every time something new has grabbed my attention. It has a collected over time, minimal effort feel that is often lacking in magazines. I love the kitchen and front porch! You should do a follow-up if/when you do the backyard space…or start your own blog! Such a fantastic space!

reply )

13.September.2012

CONGRATULATIONS HEATH & WIN ON BEING ASKED TO DO A HOUSE TOUR. YOU’VE DONE SUCH AN AMAZING JOB ON NOT ONLY BRINGING BACK ORIGINAL DESIGNS THE HOUSE ONCE HAD BUT INTRODUCING YOUR OWN IDEAS. YOU CAN SEE ALL THE LOVE THAT WENT INTO TRANSFORMING IT INTO A COZY & WARM SPOT TO CALL HOME. YOUR DECORATING IDEAS MAKE IT SO INVITING BY MIXING THE PAST WITH THE PRESENT. WISHING YOU ALL MANY HAPPY AND ENJOYABLE YEARS.

reply )

13.September.2012

Any chance we could get a layout or floor plan of the house? I’m not familiar with this kind of house and am a little confused on how it’s setup.

I’d also love to see photos of the areas you have yet to tackle. I know the backyard is a mess and you don’t like it, but it’s interesting to see what kinds of challenges people have to tackle before they can get results like this.

reply )

replied on September 13th, 2012

Thanks for your interest, AK. Our house is what is locally called an “L-shaped” shotgun, though it actually is shaped more like an upside down L. :) The living/dining area, spare bath and kitchen all line up in a row. The kitchen has two doors that lead into the rest of the house, one on the left and one on the right….this is where the house gets a lot wider. The right door leads into 2 bedrooms, one spare and one housing my husband’s office. (You have to walk through my husband’s office to get to the spare room with the blue walls). If you go through the left door in the kitchen, you walk into the our master bedroom. Behind our bedroom is our master bath/laundry. It’s nice because you can access it from our bedroom and from the spare bedroom. I hope I haven’t confused you even more…

reply )

13.September.2012

What an amazing house! I love all the John Besh cookbooks :) I spy my west elm chandelier too and it looks like it’s been split up into multuple fixtures – genius! Thanks for sharing. NOLA is my favorite place on earth.

reply )

13.September.2012

Dana,
I just love your posts! I haven’t started decorating our new home yet… I just don’t even know where to begin. But reading your posts does help. Thanks.

reply )

13.September.2012

What a BEAUTIFUL home! Thank you for sharing!!

reply )

13.September.2012

What a beautiful home. A home that has some real soul, which I’m sure is a testament to its inhabitants. Thanks for sharing! I’ve looked at the pix 3x already.

reply )

13.September.2012

Thanks for the house tour Dana! And thanks to Heather for sharing such a lovely home. As other commenters have posted, I felt the ‘lived in home’ vibe from the photos and it really made my morning. Just beautiful.

reply )

13.September.2012

It’s beautiful! I love her advice of living in your home awhile before renovating… we’ve done that a little bit.. more by accident I guess… but it’s given me plenty of time to really decide what I’ll want in the long term for our home. What a great little cottage, I love all the bright color!

reply )

13.September.2012

Another house fan here! Love how personal it is. Love lots of the art on the walls too. Would love to take some home with me! :)

What kind of dog is baron? I looked in the source list but it wasn’t there. Ha Ha.

reply )

replied on September 14th, 2012

The Baron will be thrilled to know that someone asked about him. :) He has gained quite a following here in New Orleans…for his very original look and big personality. I wish I could answer your question better, but the best we have come up with regarding his lineage is pure terrier mutt. We adopted him in 2006, while living in Austin after Hurricane Katrina. He is our best buddy.

reply )

replied on September 17th, 2012

Thank you for your answer! He’s a cutie. Very serious eyes.

reply )

13.September.2012

Such a beautiful home!

reply )

13.September.2012

Wow – this is a really awesome home – love it!

reply )

13.September.2012

I too kept touring the house over and over. Such a cozy but fun home. I think your personality really shows through your home. Lovely.

reply )

13.September.2012

So proud and excited that Heather and Win’s house made this blog. I have known them for years and can definitely attest to the frugality of Heather. We spent many hours shopping and while I always went for the big items, Heather would go through every nook and cranny coming away with an armful of bric and brac! I saw this house before they owned it and it had been so lovingly transformed into a place that reflects their personalities. I love them, and miss them (including The Baron), and adore their house.

reply )

replied on September 14th, 2012

My, sweet Jen. My partner in bargain-hunting crime.

reply )

14.September.2012

Oooo…LOVE the house tour…more please! :)

reply )

O EM GEE Dana! Thank you a trillion times for sharing this amazing home with us. This home is absolutely a breath of fresh air. I love eclectic design more than words can express and this beauty definitely doesnt disappoint. My family is from a tiny town in Louisiana and I spent my childhood summers in the Sportsmans Paradise. This home reminds me of, well, home. Wonderful job Heather and Win. If you ever do decide to start up a blog please let us know.

reply )

14.September.2012

OH MY!!!!! This is my absolute dream house. Forget a fancy 2 story cookie cutter, THIS house is perfect. So my style. I too, would have loved to see before photos. It’s great to see how people tackle projects. Heather, you must be so proud of your lovely home. And of course…the Baron is the cherry on top. What a cutie. And I have to add…I totally admire how organized and clean it is. Absolutely fabulous. Sharing on my Facebook page now. Xo

reply )

14.September.2012

I love it! Thanks for sharing!

reply )

15.September.2012

Heather…..please start a blog! Your design sense AND cost sensibility will garner a huge following! Loved your home and how you transformed it!

reply )

16.September.2012

Precious house! Y’all have done a fantastic job. My daughter recently bought her first place in New Orleans and is desperate to find a reliable contractor. Would you share the name of yours? Thanks!
Margaret

reply )

replied on September 17th, 2012

Hi!
I would love to share the scoop on our carpenter. His name is Andew Smith and he is hands down the best in New Orleans. Instead of posting his cell phone online, just send me an email and I will forward it on to you. I can be reached at heathedora@gmail.com

reply )

16.September.2012

This is probably one of my very favorite house tours!!!! It is so relaxed and real but beautiful and colorful! Love it!!!!!!! I pinned a few pictures of the bathrooms and used them in a blog I did today on classic bathroom design. I linked back to house tweaking, so I hope you don’t mind!

reply )

replied on September 17th, 2012

Thanks for the compliments, Kirsten. I’ve been truly blown away with all of the kind words out there for our home. What’s your blog? I’d love to check it out.

reply )

replied on September 17th, 2012

I’m not at all surprised people love it so much! I immediately had repins of the pictures I pinnned. I would love for you to check out my blog! I will warn you it’s only a few weeks old and very much a work in progress though.

reply )

replied on September 17th, 2012

sorry, forgot my url doesn’t show when I post on here,lol realinteriorsk@blogspot.com

16.September.2012

I cannot stop looking at these pictures! Those soaring ceilings, the transom windows, that awesome kitchen! I am in love.
I used the same tile in my bathroom but went with the safe all white choice which I regret but my floor space is so small I wasn’t sure how well the black would look.
Such a beautiful home!

reply )

17.September.2012

Thanks, Carrie! We love our house and I’m so tickled that others do to! Revealing the original 12 ft ceilings and reinstalling the transoms were an absolute must when we started our project list. It sure was messy, but so worth it.
I knew that I wanted black and white tile in the bathroom, but I was unhappy with the tile options within our budget. I felt there was too much black in the prepared sheets, so I went with 12×12 white tile sheets and then removed 1 white tile from each corner and substituted it with a black one. That way, I achieved the look I wanted without turning our bathroom floor into a checkerboard.

reply )

replied on September 17th, 2012

I wondered if you had done that. I could tell it was much more random, for lack of a better term.
I had really wanted to do the true octagon tile until I found out how much it would be! Yeesh! Existing in store sheets were for sure the answer. I lived in a shotgun duplex that was built in the 20’s and it had the awesome black and white octagons… loved that place!
Those high ceilings keep the space feeling big. And I have an unusual obsession with transoms. I am lucky enough to have a few arch doorways in my house but would trade those for transoms in a heart beat!
How many rooms are we not seeing?

reply )

replied on September 19th, 2012

Transoms make me swoon. I was delighed to discover a original transom hidden my a piece of plywood in our master bedroom. We have 5 in our house…it might be a little excessive, but we love them.
I didn’t include photos of a bedroom that is being used as my husband’s office. It has not been renovated, so it has 10 ft ceilings, a busted light fixture and cheap paneling on the walls. That will probably be our next project. I’ve been collecting some inspiration shots on pinterest, so hopefully next year we will get started.

reply )

18.September.2012

totally in love with this home! It’s small but perfect for 2 people + dog. We are in search for our first home, hopefully we’ll find something that is similar to this layout! Great house tour :)

reply )

21.November.2012

Hi there! A little late, but I came across these pics of your super-inspiring bathrooms and wondering if you can tell me what color grout you used? It seems like the perfect shade of gray, not too dark. Love the look! I’m redoing bathrooms in my house and this would be so helpful. Thanks!

reply )

replied on December 4th, 2012

Thanks for the kind comment. We used Delorian Gray grout. It came straight from Home Depot. I hope this helps and I’m not too late.

reply )

replied on December 5th, 2012

Heather, thank you!!!! This came just in time… our tile came in this week so we haven’t started the grouting just yet. Yay!

reply )




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing