A 100-Year-Old Mill House Was Given a Gorgeous Scandinavian-Inspired Update

A 100-Year-Old Mill House Was Given a Gorgeous Scandinavian-Inspired Update

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Name: Megan, Austin, and Edith Forbes, and our dog Zoe
Location: Pineville, North Carolina
Size: 999 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, owned

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Our home was built in 1911 and belongs to an entire street of similarly built mill houses and I love that it has been around for over 100 years. I somehow feel a greater sense of responsibility to look after it and leave it better than we found it.

Though it is small, we are often entertaining. While I work as a freelance prop stylist (at this point in time), I used to be a chef so I am always cooking and having people over. When we bought the house, the first thing we did was knock out the wall dividing the living room and kitchen. We also discovered that there were 10-foot ceilings above the existing eight-foot ceilings. In an effort to capture more vertical space we tore out the eight-foot ceilings, which helped make the space feel less small. In our case, I feel like that was a good move because it allows for better flow and a sense of community when we have people over without everyone feeling overcrowded.

My husband is a musician (among other things) and I like that we are able to keep some of his instruments around. It makes the home feel like it belongs to us. Most days there are toys strewn about thanks to my daughter, Edie. She is a very busy toddler and such a delight to be around. I feel very fortunate that we were able to find this house. Our city is growing exponentially and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find houses around here. We will likely stay put for a good while. My dad and my husband’s dad helped us renovate and I am forever in debt to the work they put in to make this old mill house into something truly special for us.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Scandinavian/eclectic. I think. I appreciate so many different styles that it is honestly hard to narrow it down. Generally speaking, clean lines and neutral tones are where I like to start at and then I like to build up the overall look of a space by adding texture and character with accessories and textiles. I think houseplants help a lot when things feel too beige.

Inspiration: I looked at Pinterest a lot when we were renovating. Leanne Ford is an inspiration to me. I also love to look at European and Scandinavian design Instagram accounts like @hej.mia and @sannehop and @thusthefuss. It’s nice because they all seem to have pretty small homes like ours.

Favorite Element: In general, the kitchen is my favorite part of the house. Specifically, the hood vent cover/ the single open shelf that my dad made.

Biggest Challenge: It seems that the lack of space is our biggest challenge right now. We don’t have a garage or shed, which basically forces us to be minimalists. I don’t mind that too much but we run into trouble every once in a while.

Proudest DIY: I made most of the artwork in the house. I am especially proud of the plaster on canvas piece in the kitchen (it’s white on white so it’s hard to see in photographs).

Biggest Indulgence: Our biggest indulgence in this house would be the marble tile in the shower. I have no regrets.

Best Advice: The best thing we ever did was wait until all renovations were finished before we moved in.

What’s your best home secret? I don’t have many secrets to tell but I will say that I find a lot of cool stuff from thrift stores.



  • The whole house is painted with Sherwin-Williams “Extra White” except for the half wall in Edie rooms, which is Sherwin-Williams “Intimate White.”


  • Sofa — Vintage
  • Coffee Table — At Home
  • Rug — Rug Vista
  • Rattan Chair — Vintage
  • Cabinets under the TV — IKEA
  • Light fixture — West Elm
  • Mirror — Vintage


  • Dining Table — It’s the Tavern table from Pottery Barn that we found at a thrift store. I don’t think they make them anymore
  • Dining Chairs — Target


  • Cabinets — Original to the home and painted with Extra White and CB2 hardware
  • Light Fixture — It is from Pottery Barn Kids and unfortunately, no longer available
  • Hood Vent and Shelf — Custom made by my dad
  • Concrete countertops — Surecrete
  • Tile backsplash — Home Depot


  • Desk — IKEA
  • Wardrobes — IKEA
  • Bedding — Target
  • Crib — Pottery Barn Kids
  • Dollhouse — Handmade
  • Play kitchen — Vintage
  • Dresser — IKEA


Thanks Megan!