Name: Michelle Smith
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Our wide open downstairs has evolved a lot in the seven years that we’ve lived here. In the past couple of years in between designing the interiors of my boutiques, Kindred, then Gather, I’ve made some changes at home too. I painted the walls a handsome gray which brightens up our townhouse which has limited natural light. I bought some flat file storage to store my photo backdrops by color and have available on the fly. We also got some new furniture including a chair, sofa and coffee table.
I really enjoy being surrounded by plants but again, because our space is not naturally conducive to maintaining thriving plants, I have to choose hardy varieties or keep them right next to the brightest windows.
I have fond memories of going to my Great Grandmother’s house on Sunday afternoons and sitting at her piano and plucking away at it. A few years ago I saw a piano at a thrift store for $50 and passed it up, not sure how I would transport it back home, tune it, etc. but continued to think about it wistfully.
Then, as luck would have it, a year or so later, I found another for $50 (!). One of its legs is broken at the base but the keys sound great. I snapped it up immediately. I painted it from a yellowish oak to this gray color and it still needs some touch up but its such a great addition to our home. Now my daughter sits here and does the same, and our house, already very musical, is even more so. The oil painting is a portrait of my husband’s Grandmother as a child and the black industrial looking lamp I picked up from Home Goods for about $35. I’m planning on hanging an old flour sack I found in Pennsylvania to the left of the painting and above the lamp in the near future but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
This antler and driftwood wall hook is another $50 thrift purchase. I found it piled and almost completely covered with old army jackets but could see the potential peeking through. I originally bought this for Kindred but decided that this too, I preferred at home. A few months back, and well before the holidays I added these white twinkle lights to brighten up a gray fall day. I love the lights here and think I’ll leave them up year round. For the holidays I added a wreath and a string of tinsel and bead garland.
Find more info about the space on Michelle's blog.
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(Image credits: Submitted by Michelle Smith)