This post has been a long time coming and I am so excited that I can finally share 2 completed areas of our home! This fixer-upper has been a labor of love and it is so fun seeing it all come to life. It has not been the easiest process but we have learned a lot and are so grateful for the opportunity to be able to customize this home to our liking! Working with my family’s construction company, F.C. Batton & Son, has been amazing — being able to collaborate with my dad and get his professional advice on the build while picking out all of the finishes, pulls, color and everything else has been such a successful combination! We are confident we are maximizing this house to reach its full potential and we are transforming an otherwise boring rancher to a cottage with charm!
After completing the kitchen and fireplace we were able to get all of the painting and little finishing touches done like the light fixtures and outlet covers, so the last step was to shop! I collaborated with The Mall in Columbia to find all of the decor I needed to make this place feel like home! It’s always fun to start the process of decorating, I have been envisioning what I wanted to do to specific areas of our home for a while so it was nice to finally make that vision become a reality!
I was so impressed by this mall, first off, it was only a 30-minute drive from Towson which surprised me! It was so easy to get to and it was easily one of the most beautiful malls I have been to that is in my area. It was clean, airy and had the best stores! I loved that attached to the mall were stand-alone stores and restaurants that had entrances from the outside so if you didn’t want to be in a mall all day you could be in a promenade like area! It is such a great place for a girls day of shopping, date night or just to shop solo!
Our shopping trip was focused on home decor and the mall had all the best spots to find exactly what I was looking for! We shopped at Arhaus, Z Gallerie, Williams Sanoma, and Anthropologie — between those stores, we had the most successful trip! Not only did we find so many great things but the stores were affordable and there were so many sales going on — not sure if we were there at a good time or what but every time we went to check out we were surprised by things being on sale and my money went really far which is always nice.
It is surreal that our kitchen is 99% done and I am so excited to share it with you guys! It is truly my dream kitchen and besides a few minor details it is complete and every time we cook in it we are just smitten.
How insane is that transformation! Every time I see the before photos I cannot believe the difference, we really felt like there was so much potential and right when we walked in the house we had a plan on what we would do and we were able to execute that!
It was so fun to go to The Mall in Columbia and pick out some really fun decor pieces that helped finish off the kitchen like the tea kettle and towels! The best part about an all-white kitchen is you can really play with color and prints in the accessories to add a pop!
These soaps and spray from Williams Sonoma smell heavenly and look so perfect by my farm sink!
I have been on the hunt for new wine glasses and fell in love with these while shopping at Williams Sanoma! I also found new water glasses (below) that were on major sale at Z Gallery and I am obsessed, I love the hobnob look of them so they go perfectly with my other glasses and vases!
How cute is this bear honey jar, it matched my kitchen so well and is such a cute piece to display on the counter to go with my tea kettle! I think I will get something to hold a few teas to sit with it! I also found this note pad that says “Great thing are done by a series of small things brought together” -Vincent Van Gogh
It feels so good to have the kitchen completed and accessorized! You have to let me know about the transformation in the comments, I cant wait to hear what you think!
Again, I cannot get over the transformation! It went from a fireplace that was not up to code with rocks glued onto brick to a clean and modern functional fireplace that is up to code and so beautiful! We went with a super classic mantel since the tile and seat were busy, we just added a few lines to really give it some character without going overboard. My dad did not want me using white tile/grout (i totally would have haha) on the fireplace because it is functional which means smoke and sut could come up and get in the grout and make it look dirty. I am not a fan of contrast grout (just my personal preference) so we decided to go with a lighter gray tile and then matched the grout to that! I think the grey tile and multi-colored seat really complement and contrast with the all-white built-ins which adds a lot of balance.
From the moment I saw the built-ins I knew there was so much potential so all we had to do was change out the knobs and give it a fresh coat of paint! I love the statement they make and I am thinking about wallpapering the backs of them if I can ever find a wallpaper that I am in love with! It is such a fun way to really add my own style into the house and once I got them how I want them this place is feeling more like a home! If Steve had it his way he would have TV’s on either side of the TV but I had very different plans and in our next house he can get a man cave so he can do whatever he wants!
When I went to The Mall of Columbia to look for pieces to style the built-ins I knew I wanted to stick with my gold and white theme then add pops of color, texture, and greenery to really make it stand out! We found so many amazing things that really made these built-ins interesting while mixing in pieces I already had!
I found the white pot and the plant at Arhaus, they had it sitting on a shelf and the price said $29. I asked the sales lady if the plant came with it and she went in the back to ask how much the vase and the plant would cost, they gave the plant to me free of charge and when I went to check out the whole thing was on sale for $9! This particular plant doesn’t need a lot of light and is super low maintenance so it is perfect for this space! It is the only real piece of greenery on the shelves but I plan to add a lot more!
I found the bookends and the book “The Dress” at Z Gallery and I am obsessed, they are so interesting and serve as a statement piece which I love! I also found these stackable boxes there and they are so beautiful! I love that I can use them as storage for coasters, cards and such but they also add an element like nothing else!
I didn’t want to clutter up the mantel too much so I added a few delicate pieces to dress it up just a little! That crystal ball is a souvenir from the Cubs winning the world series, I love that it is sports memorabilia but it is still chic! I also got a frame from the mall and put in a picture from our wedding, it is one of my favorites bc it is on the pier at my parent’s shore house! The sun was going down and just the perfect shot and a moment I will never forget! I also added a little vase with some babies breath! On the other side, I added an hourglass and battery-powered candles that look and feel exactly like candles and flicker when they are turned on! Since they are under the TV I thought it was the best option so they create ambiance without the fire!
On the other side, I mixed new and old pieces to really add some balance to the built-ins! Both the gold bowl and gold weight are from The Mall in Columbia and I layered them to add some interest which I love! It’s always fun to personalize it a little bit so the M for Murphy fits right in! I also added some of my mom’s pottery which is my favorite!
This vase is one of my favorite purchase, I have been eyeing it for a while and finally pulled the trigger! I love the shape of it and the pops of gold! I also added a neutral candle (excuse the price tag) that I can pull down and light on the coffee table!
This bottom section is the largest area of the built-ins so I decided to make it both functional and fashionable. I do not have a place for my bar cart yet so I decided to put bottles on a tray with a pitcher and cups, I like the fact of having something be pretty but still useful out as decor! I found the glasshouse at Arhaus and I think it is so interesting to be able to put stuff in it and add another element to the decor. I have these beautiful plates so I displayed them inside, I really like the unique shape of it, it helps to fill out the large space. The basket is a piece that I thought would add dimension by placing it against the back wall and then the length of the vase in front of it along with the color/print and the addition of the greenery added the height I was looking for to finish it off!
I am so happy with the way the whole area turned out! There is still lots of work to do all around it but it was really fun to be able to complete that area to get a feel for how this house is going to look when finished!
Tips on Styling Built-Ins:
- Collect all of the decor you already have on hand and place each piece on the built-ins randomly — this will help you to see how many pieces you need to fill in with, what colors, shapes, prints and sizes the pieces are and overall what direction you want to go.
- Have a color scheme in mind — pick two neutral colors that will tie everything together then add pops of colors and prints to make it interesting!
- Make a list of your favorite quotes, sayings, places, items etc. and get creative on how you can incorporate them! Etsy and Pinterest are always great places to look!
- Don’t be afraid to layer — put a knick-knack on top of a book, a piece of greenery inside a jar, a globe on top of a tray, books inside of bookends, etc. It will add so much interest to your built-ins and will help to make everything not so uniform.
- Play with heights and widths — everything should not be the same exact size, find pieces that are long, fat, square and circle to change it up!
- Add in greenery — I have both real and fake plants in my built-ins but I will be adding a lot more real into the mix! Not only do they help clean the oxygen in your home but they look so pretty!
- Think about:
- Function – Adding a clock, a bar, storage for little knick-knacks, a candle to put on the coffee table for parties etc.
- Fashion – using pieces that really show off your style and aesthetic.
- Personalization – adding a letter for your last name, picture frames with your favorite memories, your favorite diffuser/oils, a wireless Bluetooth speaker to play music, memorabilia, pieces that are gifts, homemade or sentimental to you and your favorite books!
All of the items I just shared above are on my built-ins plus more! Have fun with it and don’t feel like you have to purchase everything at once. When you see something that you like, get it and add it in little by little! By being intentional you will create the perfect statement in your home that also tells a story about you!
If you made it this far — bless you! I am so happy to finally share these spaces with you guys and I cannot wait to continue to do so! Thank you so much to The Mall in Columbia for sponsoring this post and helping my vision come to life! It was so fun to work on! If you have any questions feel free to leave them below, DM me on Instagram: @hollybmurphy or email me: email@example.com.