The Story of Our House | From the Beginning

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The story of our house from the beginning: learn how the house behind the lifestyle blog, On Sutton Place, became a home, one DIY project at a time.

pitchers on shelves example of decorating in threes

Back when my blog was very new, I published a post that told the story of our house. That post is buried so deep in my archives that even I had a hard time finding it. So…I thought I would share the story again from my perspective now. As a self-employed blogger and photographer, a reluctant empty-nester, and as someone who tries to see the glass as half-full and not half-empty. There are so many things about this house that I would still love to change or update. But at the end of the day, it’s our home…and it was a wonderful place to raise our family. We now welcome our adult children and grandchildren to a home with history. Each room has a story to tell, and a history all its own.

centerpiece of peonies in dining room with board and batten

Arranging Peonies

We moved to Sutton Place in the spring of 1993. It looked vastly different then. Our yard was full of trees both in front and in back. We had no grass, no thriving landscaping, and absolutely no curb appeal. We bought it mostly for the location and size…and at the time, we thought we could afford it. Shortly after we got the keys, I came down with the most dreadful case of buyer’s remorse. There was so much more to fix and update than we realized. The amount of money it was going to take to do everything was overwhelming.

I couldn’t look at the big picture without wanting to cry…so I did the only thing I could. I tackled things one at a time.

limelight hydrangea bushes porch railing

All About My Limelight Hydrangeas

Slowly projects were completed and improvements were made. By slowly, I mean at a snail’s pace. A great deal of thought and budgeting went into every project that we completed. I love to DIY, but there were limits to what I could do on my own. I’m just not a girl who loves power tools! My husband has many gifts, but being handy is not one of them.

So with the help of various contractors and handy-men over the years, this is what our house looks like now. It was built in 1964, and still has the original windows and siding. (Believe me, I would love new windows!) Even though the footprint has stayed the same, the house looks nothing like it did when we bought it.

The Story of Our House | From the Beginning: Learn how the house behind the lifestyle blog, On Sutton Place, was became a home, one DIY project at a time.

We have, by necessity, removed most of the trees from the lot. Our plumbing was compromised by tree roots. Our foundation was cracking. Our patio, porch floor, and garage floor were cracking as well. I wish I had pictures of our yard before the trees were removed. It was literally a forest!

front porch decor with white rocker

We have replaced or fixed almost everything over the past 28 years. Here is a rundown of our home improvements:

My very favorite project has been painting the front door navy blue. I first used this color on a bank of cabinets in the kitchen, and loved it so much I put it on the front door.

summer front porch door wreath

Check this link for the scoop on the color. It’s been several years, and I love it as much today as when we first painted it.

Outdoor projects were at the top of the list during the spring and summer months, and the inside projects took place during the winter. One of my favorite projects was definitely installing hardwood floors on the first floor. A close second was when we renovated our entry. We removed old wallpaper, painted, tore up old carpet, refinished the stairway treads & banisters, and painted the stairway risers.

We’ve painted every room in the house at least twice, many have been painted more than that! Every room is decorated with family heirlooms and things we love. This house tells the story of our family, and I think that is what I am most proud of.

framed floral watercolors in entry

When we bought this house, I felt like I was a visitor. All I wanted to do was go home. It wasn’t until we began to slowly make changes and improvements that it started to feel like ours. Now I can’t imagine living anyplace else.

Owning this home has been a character-building experience.

I have had to learn patience and perseverance.

I’ve learned that hard work really does pay off.

Most importantly, I’ve learned to never, ever under-estimate the value of a good handy man!

back hallway with wall plate rack

Wall Plate Rack

Now that I’m self-employed, after years of leaving here every day, I can stay home. To say I am thankful is an understatement. This house has become so much more than just a place to live. It’s really become my whole life. Focusing my blog around my home has been life-changing. The two together saved me from a terrible case of empty nest syndrome, and for that I will be forever grateful.

This house is many things. It holds all of our memories…good ones, along with sad ones. Most importantly, it’s a safe place for my family. At the end of the day, this is where we return. It’s where my heart lives.

It’s home.

summer flowers in kitchen sink

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  1. CarolbinTX says:

    Ann, your story is mine too! I’ve had a love/hate relationship with our house for the past 30 years. It wasn’t until we painted our dismal grey brick two story fireplace white a few years ago, that I could start to see more potential! My husband and I could be contestants on Love It or List It! He wants to leave it and I want to stay. Mostly due to location, value and I don’t want to start a new mortgage in our 60s! I also want to give the house a chance…we were too busy to pay attention to maintenance and cleaning until we lightened our workloads.

    I appreciate your blog, because your DIYs and purchases, things that you love are doable. You aren’t afraid to site Walmart as a source! I just can’t pay $100 for a tray or a pillow that other designers so nonchalantly endorse. I love beautiful things, just can’t embrace the mark up! I am looking forward to following your blog!

  2. Linda Buchanan says:

    I am a new subscriber. I look forward to getting acquainted. Can you tell me the story of the 606 plate that you have hanging in your dining room?

  3. Love love love this house 💙 and more importantly, the family who calls it home!!!

  4. Teresa Snipes says:

    Our house is even older than most here! We built our home in 1983 from our plan and on 2 1/2 acres and it is only now becoming more of what I’ve wanted! We added a mother-in-law wing in 1996, which really changed it more to want we wanted. We’ve painted the exterior at least 4 times now and the interior more times than we can count. It was built in what was an old orange grove, so it was all Florida sand. My husband has made it his paradise planting over 250 trees, landscaping beautifully with berms and of course, a gorgeous lawn. Working inside in top secret labs over 60 hours each week, he wanted to be outside every moment he could get, which has made our outside spaces, a pergola with a gorgeous fireplace, a pavilion for cooking, etc., his canvas. I’ve always gone with the flow of decorating, but having found modern French decor that is clean, but lovely, I’m fascinated. All the whites and soft colors have transfixed my decorating style. I’ve just completed our daughter’s old suite into our newest guest suite in all French blue and white and had such a wonderful time doing it. I’ve looked at your gorgeous white iron pieces with envy and am working on collecting my own. So much of what you’ve shown in your simplicity and orderliness has spoken to me, so thank you for all you’ve helped me with unawares.

  5. Your life completely mirrors mine. We built our home in 1988. Everthing in it was normal ugly contracter junk. I never felt it was home. At the time we just thought we were so blessed to have it but like I said to me it wasnt home. We didnt have to deal with all the things you did but we had a few kids and after awhile we started to change things to how we wanted our home to be. Now here we are so many years later the kids are gone, but they would not be any place else for holidays and celebrations. This is their home and they bring their kids here and they have never spent a holiday or just a visit to Gramma and Gramps house anywhere else. Over the last few years I have brought up downsizing but my husband wont even discuss it and I probably would not be able to do it either. By the way our kids were horrified at the thought. I just wanted to let other people to know the memories you make at home are the most imporant.

  6. The link to the stairway renovation appears to be broken. Thanks

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Thank you so much…I’ve fixed it, so it should be good to go!

  7. Bente M. Radnofsky says:

    I love your piece about your home and feel as strongly about mine as you feel about yours. I live in a Victorian cottage in the English countryside and like you, my husband and I are always looking for the next project (I look, he reluctantly agrees. ) We have employed craftsmen for the big projects, and when I think about it, have made a lot of changes since we moved here in 1996. House prices in the U.K. are exorbitant and I am so glad we bought the house when we did!
    We are also empty nesters and it was difficult at first. Fortunately I teach part time, and that has helped me cope.
    I look forward to exploring your blog further.
    Bente in the U.K.

  8. Cynthia Reedstrom says:

    Oh my! I was so touched by “your story.” Mine is very similar….our fixer upper Colonial home was purchased in 1996 and when we closed and moved in, I cried and was so overwhelmed with the work that needed to be done, my sweet husband took me to a hotel to sleep for the first night. Ha. Many years later and lots and lots of hard work, we call it home and I love “most” everything about it. So fun to read a similar journey!!! PS we moved in with 4 daughters under 7 and now all are beautiful smart women with kids of their own. We often sit around and laugh and tell stories of the home improvement journey!!!

  9. Ann, I am enjoying getting to “know” you and appreciate you sharing about the progress of your home. Thirty years ago, I was complaining about MY house in NH (I now live in Maine in an unfinished house, too!) not being finished. Another church member said, “Well, Kathy, my house was built in 1840 and it’s not done yet either.” They were in the process of removing horsehair and plaster!

  10. I love your story of your house. Your house certainly is a reflection of you. Class and elegance.❤ I always like reading your blogs. I love the easy way of decorating that makes your home look so classic but loved and lived in. I love your gardening blogs, you are like me, you have learned through trial and error and have had fun learning . My garden is my refuge just like I can assume yours is. 😍Stay safe and be healthy. Looking forward to reading your 2021 blogs.💓

  11. Jan Brown says:

    A coincidence….I grew up on Sutton Place in New Orleans! So many wonderful memories! Your home is so beautiful and tranquil!

  12. Maria Stutzman says:

    Hi Ann,
    Based on your signature, I’m guessing you’ve already heard this song. But just in case you haven’t, I think you would love the song “Prayer for Home,” by Fernando Ortega. It’s what I want for my home, and it makes me cry every time. I painted a sign with the line from it, “May their table be blessed with laughter and with grace,” to hang over our table.

    Your home is lovely, and your stairway is a song. Thanks for beautiful pictures on a dreary November day.

  13. Hi Ann,
    I just have to share this with you. I originally subscribed to your blog to get all your wonderful printables, then today I actually went in and read parts of your blog! Love everything you do! We are empty nesters, for the past 17 years! My solution was to get our first ever puppy! We are very fortunate to have our grown daughters and grands very close by. We bought our home , brand new thirty years ago. And since have added our love to it. I am fortunate to have a husband who is amazing with woodworking, laying tile and just about anything to put my ideas into action.
    Again, thank you for your honesty and kudos to you for creating a wonderful blog.

  14. Francis C. Moore says:

    I love your home. I have copied your cottage garden (flower bed) to a certain degree. I love the rocks as a border so I did that. My space has a lot of shade so I plant hostas. I live in a small condo in a 55 and older community, but I do have a large back yard. I am so glad you have come to love your home. I love all your updates. Thanks for a lovely post.

  15. Merry J Christmas says:

    I love your home. It makes me want to do blue in mine. I especially love the plate holder that you made on the wall! Thank you so much for sharing!

  16. 5 stars
    Lovely story, I feel right at home!

  17. Sandra Warford says:

    5 stars
    Love them all Anne just like the content of your blog. Thanks.

  18. I love your house and the colors you use. Everything you do is my taste. Thanks for sharing your story!!

  19. Heddy Racinowski says:

    This home is truly yours. There is much happiness in your telling of how it has become your home.

  20. Dear Ann,
    I so loved reading the story of your house! So many beautiful projects!
    I’m saving this to refer back to for your many decor ideas!
    Such a wonderful post today.
    Thank you always, Ann

  21. I love your story from the unfolding to the end; which we know is not an ending as many more vibrant changes will take place. My husband is the best “do it your seller” and I am blessed with his skills and patience. We could pretty much check off your entire list and more. We replaced all the siding when we learned there were woodpeckers living in our walls. One Christmas with family gathered around the woodpeckers were pecking on the back of the Sheetrock in our family room. Talk about embarrassing and time to get serious about tackling that job. To say the least, our home is beautiful and well loved; in part by the inspiration and motivation I get from your posts and other bloggers. Thank You so much!

  22. Ann:
    Your home is gorgeous and I love the colors. It’s looks comfortable and is attractively decorated with the perfect balance of home decor. I plan to use your front door color to bring more of a welcome to my entry. Thank you for always sharing your best work.

  23. You and I come from the same mold. After 25 years at our last location, we downsized to a townhouse in Colonial Williamsburg. Gone are my labors of love in my gardens and home, but a change of pace makes life interesting as we explore our colonial roots, and the seashore

  24. JudyBogié says:

    Wonderful Blog, Ann. I’ve appreciated so many of your changes/improvements and always your tastefulness. I think my fave inside is your dining room, outside is your beautifully inviting home you present on your block. Thank you, Ann.

  25. Ann, I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog for many years! Your home decor and recipes are inspiring and delicious. Your grandchildren are adorable and I agree, family is the best thing around!!! Blessings to you and your family as you continue to provide ideas, love and laughter to your readers!!💙

  26. I think we all can identify with the never ending projects when you own a home, always a work in progress.Your home gets better with age and you have done a beautiful job.I love the your blue front door, timeless.I can’t wait to see the completed bathroom.

  27. Dee Brownfield says:

    5 stars
    oh Ann .. your stuff is always good!! I do not hesitate doing what you say! Your recipes are proven good! and your “new” book is awesome! I am continually going through your “site” and doing “what Ann says!” Job well done. and I thank you for sharing!

  28. Nancy Sharp says:

    Thank you for sharing this post. It’s fun to look back on all you’ve accomplished. Keeping a home up to date and in good order is an ongoing job isn’t it? My husband isn’t a handyman either. We are now 74 and things are getting harder to do. We are in that stage of should we move or stay put.😩

  29. Beautifully written! I understand what you went through and the ongoing projects. You have a beautiful home and it’s true…. if it’s a safe landing place for your family then it really doesn’t matter what it looks like, it’s HOME!

  30. Thanks for the morning visit. Your blog is a delight as is your home. Home— a lovely warm welcoming place. And that is exactly what yours is. I have enjoyed many wonderful inspirations over the years and look forward to many more. Thanks for sharing.

  31. After seeing your plate rack I asked my son to make me one gave him the dimensions and I 1 week he had it made. He came and installed it we wore masks and were safe distancing during this terrible time of Covid 19. It sure gave me happy and I do love it it’s perfect for my small dinette. Thanks for your inspiration. Your home is beautiful

  32. Anne- I look forward to seeing your blogs! Your home is lovely and so inviting. Our home is still a work in progress after 20+ years. Thank you for the inspiration.

  33. Barbara Moore says:

    I enjoy visiting your home every day. It seems so peaceful and is lovely. Thanks for allowing us in!

  34. Sue Daugherty says:

    I enjoyed this post so much and can relate to your buyers remorse. We will be selling our house in 2 years to retire in another state and after nearly 22 years it’s still not “done”. But it’s been our home and the the place we raised our children. The people in the house make it a home. I am finally going to have empty nest at the end of this month. I have had at least one child at home for 31 years–our oldest and youngest are 10 years apart. I am looking forward to this next phase of life. I tell myself it’s a good thing–it means I raised them to be functional adults which is the whole point. Your blog is my favorite–you feel like a friend and your home is so warm and inviting.
    p.s. Your peacock vegetables were a huge hit here. Very tasty.

  35. I had to laugh when I saw that purse, or fish basket hanging on the back of that dining room chair. I used to have one of those in the late 70’s early 80’s. Not sure what happened to it. You have a beautiful home.


  36. Doris Raab says:

    Ann, I love your home. It always looks so warm and inviting. I thoroughly enjoy your blog. Yours is one that helps and encourages me because you provide great advice and how-to instructions. Even though I am sometimes late reading your posts, I eventually catch up and enjoy a couple of hours of great Decor and stories!

  37. Ann Speir says:

    I enjoyed reading your story and look to more!

  38. I Love your home. It is beautiful . Thank you for sharing.

  39. Ellen Sorce says:

    This is the first time I’ve read your story and seen a full picture of the outside of your home. And it is more than a house, it is a home. I know I’m not saying this right, but you’re so normal and I thank you for that. You are so inspiring and I hope people feel the same warmth in my home, as I feel when I see yours. Thank you, Ann.

  40. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    Your home is lovely but better yet is how you ecpress your love for family and home.

  41. I can relate to your buyer’s remorse. We looked for 18 months for houses before reconsidering and ultimately purchasing our current home. We are old house people living in a mid century home. But, I do like the floorplan, a lot. Our first project, besides removing zebra striped wallpaper and painting was to remove the disgusting, I don’t even want to think about what was in it, brown carpeting and replace it with hardwood. That single act changed my entire perspective. We have moved on to replacing the kitchen and are currently gutting a bathroom because the subfloor is rotten. The life of a home owner, always something to do. If we weren’t handy, we might not have taken on this challenge. So glad you have found happiness in your current abode.

  42. Hi Ann!

    I found your blog while searching Pinterest for solutions to my recessed picture window in my living room. We pretty much have the same window as you and I loved the bench you have! This post has really resonated and inspired me. My husband and I recently purchased our first home and sometimes the to-do list has me questioning if we bought the right house. Our homes look like they were built around the same time with a similar style, and your list of everything you’ve done looks nearly identical to our list of things we need to do. It’s hard time to find the time to get much done with three little boys under the age of 5 running around, but it’s motivating to see someone who has done it! You’ve definitely gained a new follower in me!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Emily…thank you so much for writing. My kids were 5 and 8 when we moved here. It took me forever to get a project finished…but I just kept plugging away. It took years and years. Just take one thing at a time and keep breathing!

  43. Thank you for sharing your perspective and how you have come to be comfortable with your home.

    1. Kathy Menold says:

      Wonderful post and your home is just lovely. As you said so well a house is a reflection of those who live in it and yours glows with love. Thank you for sharing .

  44. Peggy Zortman says:

    I love your blue door! Your home is one of my favorites in the blogosphere. Is is always so welcoming and cozy. It feels like home. Thank you for inviting us in and sharing your wonderful story.

  45. We are very much in the same situation as you are…without the blogging. Maybe that’s why I feel so comfortable here. We’ve been working on our home for 34 years…and still not quite finished either. But it’s a labor of love….thanks for the inspiration! ;)

  46. I always enjoy reading your posts, Ann…..but I think this is one of the best you’ve written!
    Your love for this home and your family really shines through.

  47. Marlene Stephenson says:

    Well said Ann and so very true for me too. I love your home.

  48. Alison Baird says:

    I enjoy your blog because your home is beautiful, yet it doesn’t seem unattainable to me! Thank you for sharing how long it has taken! I often become frustrated and impatient with my decorating to do list. You inspire me to keep moving forward!

  49. Beautiful home! Always look forward to your posts. Thank you for sharing.!

  50. grammy goodwill says:

    Oh, Ann. I loved reading this post. I’ve followed you as you left full time work and have really bloomed on your blog. I’m thrilled that you are so satisfied with your house and, more importantly, the life you have made as a blogger. Good luck in the new year.

  51. I loved this post! I have been following you for quite awhile and I always eagerly look at my inbox for your posts. It is amazing how much love and care a house (home!) takes. It is well worth the money and sweat that we put into our home projects.

  52. HI Anne,
    I always enjoy reading your posts xo. My house is the same model as yours and we have been in the same situation…replacing and fixing everything!! Like you said though, it is my home And I love it! Thanks for sharing and happy new year!!

  53. I appreciate your candor regarding empty nest syndrome. Hearing both your vulnerability and therapeutic projects made me feel better personally. Congratulations on all of your successes in your house/yard renovations.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Heidi…I am still not a gracious empty-nester but I have learned to live with it. Some days are really hard (even now) and some are just fine. I try to be grateful for the time I have with my kids and not dwell on the time I don’t have. Easier said than done!

  54. Sandy K Park says:

    Ann, all your and the handyman’s hard work has really paid off. You really have a house you can call HOME. Thanks for this posting as I hadn’t seen all of the improvements you’ve made over the years. Happy 2018.

  55. Your home is beautiful…as is your post! We have lived in several homes over the years…and have built three from scratch. I love the home building process and have changed styles over the years, but always try to be frugal ( if possible) and maintain cozy atmosphere! Both my husband and I retired in January, have no children, and decided to downsize even more and move to a 55+ community – and then we found a Continuous Care/Lifetime Care community that was building a new apartment building and thought…that is perfect for us. It was sold out, and luckily for us someone backed out in April and in 6 short days we decided to go for it, sold our home, and started picking out finishes for the new place. January 8th will be our 41st anniversary and our 6th month anniversary of living in our new space. We really LOVED our home, but we are SO enjoying apartment living, meeting new people and making new friends, and enjoying all the amenities that come with our new home. In this cold weather it is a joy not to have to go out the driveway for the mail! Will continue to tweak our new space…and enjoy a cozy life. Look forward to more of your great posts. Happy New Year !

  56. You chose a house with “good bones” and it is a classic beauty. Our home is always a work in progress as well. We have a porch similar to yours, so I like seeing how you decorate it for inspiration. I am a homebody also and would love to be able to work from home as you do. Maybe some day…

  57. Michelle Poss says:

    Ann- you are a fantastic designer! Your home looks beautiful and I’m jealous of your eye. I’m so glad I found your page. I love reading about your love of home and decorating.
    Was also wondering if you could offer your advice as to how to start up a blog???i have no idea how to start one up.
    Bless you 🙏

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Oh Michelle that’s a hard question! There is so much that goes into running a blog. My friend, Abby, from Just a Girl and her Blog wrote an eBook that outlines it very well. I would suggest taking a look. Here is the link:

  58. Betty Burdick says:

    Ann, i’ve been following your blog for a few years now and always look forward to your posts. As I read your post i feel like I’m visiting with a friend. I love your style and the way you have worked and continue to work to make your house a home. Thank you for opening it to the world…may 2018 bring you many blessings.

  59. Margaret Robinson says:

    HI — I was perusing your wonderful blog and noticed that you foyer has a chest that is almost identical to one I inherited from my Mom some years ago. Do you have any history on yours, as I know virtually nothing about the one we have. They are both beautiful (and useful)! Thanks so much – MMR

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Margaret! That chest is not an antique. I inherited it from my mother-in-law but she purchased it in the 80’s from Bombay. Do you remember them? They had a catalog and some retail stores. They have since closed I believe. It’s super functional and fits perfectly on that wall.

      1. Margaret Robinson says:

        Sounds great and so interesting; you’ll be thrilled (or maybe just pleased) that the chest I have was purchased sometime around 1948-50 – I remember it being in all the houses we lived in when I was growing up. That’s a beautiful piece and you decorated it and everything in your home beautifully!

  60. I love your house story. I have similar chapters in my life. I have moved many times in my life and each time did some renovating of some kind. Hopefully always leaving it better. Thank you for writing your story. It is nice to see the love of a home expressed.

  61. I so relate to the empty nest syndrome. I love nesting around my house and that my children and two grand babies come on Sundays for dinner. My projects aren’t finished but the process is therapeutic. Love your blog!

  62. I just strolled through your garden, nicely designed. Thank you for a respite from our very cold January. You mentioned difficulty in achieving heavy blooms on hydrangeas. A few years ago, I came across Burpee Seed Co, Sea Magic “fertilizer”. It truely is magical how, by applying it to the soil around my hydrangeas which grow in sandy soil, I achieved blooms on one plant that rarely bloomed and very large blooms on others. It is used as a supplement to regularly used fertilizers. I am in Michigan.

  63. Love your style and all your hard work.

  64. Norma Rolader says:

    Beautiful story of your home and it is so gorgeous Thank you for sharing with us

  65. Barbara Kemp says:


    Thank you for sharing the beautiful spring/early summer photograph of your home. The photo brings a spark to my day as I look out the window at the snowy, cold landscape in northern Indiana.

    I also appreciate you sharing the time, energy and planning necessary to remodel/update with a budget. My husband and I have always done so and I think I appreciate every change even more.

  66. What a beautiful and inviting home you have made. And I use several of the recipes you’ve posted (the baked spaghetti is a family favorite here). Your blog is my favorite. I’m looking forward to what you have in store in the new year.

  67. Alina Carbonell says:

    Ann, you have a lovely home. I have printed several of your free printables and framed them. They have made a great addition to my decor. Looking forward to seeing any new projects you have for 2018.

  68. Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things says:

    I have enjoyed watching your house evolve over the years Ann. You have done a wonderful job! Happy New Year!

  69. Kathleen G says:

    Good morning Ann, I remember reading your posts about your home. It has evolved from a wood surrounding house that you and husband with the help of good workmanship to a warm and welcoming home. I’ll always love your blue and rich yellow colors with brass/gold accents, very inviting.
    Happy New Year and I hope you can see your Granddaughter many times too:). I also became a Grandma in 2017, Kathleen in Az

  70. Hi Ann,
    If you made the door arrangement is there a tutorial? It is gorgeous and your home is stunning!

  71. This is a wonderful post, Ann. I can so identify with so much of what you have done. We purchased our home in 1990 with a long “to do” list. And now, 24 years later, we are still “to doing”. It has been such a blessing.

  72. You have a beautiful home! I want to re-decorate! What is on the entryway floor? It looks interesting.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Tana! The mat in the entry is from Decor Steals. It’s a bamboo mat and they offer them once in a while with different typography. If you subscribe for their updates you will get an email with their daily deals. It wipes up just like the floor. For this time of year it’s the perfect thing for in front of the door!

  73. I seriously love your home (& your heart) , reminded me so much of where my hubby and I lived years ago, when we first got married (we were renting in a apartment back then) but we would drive around neighborhoods dreaming of raising our family in a home like yours , then i realized you are located not that far from where we were <3 . thanks for sharing xoxo

    1. Ann Drake says:

      You are welcome Becky…thank you for the lovely comment!

  74. Jennifer @ Town and Country Living says:

    Your home is so pretty, Ann! Love the blue!

  75. Such a sweet post-so nice to learn more about you and your home. Gorgeous photos- and I love your front door color!!

  76. Mary from Virginia says:

    Your home is always so perfectly neat! I wish I could accomplish that! Love your home colors.

    I hope I am not asking a question you get too often, but what are those beautiful flowering shrubs along your walkway?

    Thank you so much.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Mary! You can ask any question you want at any time! The bushes along the walk are yellow knock out roses. Last summer was their second year and they really grew. I cut them down this past fall so we’ll see what happens in the spring! Thanks for stopping by ~ Ann

  77. Hi Ann home is beautiful, could you tell me what the name of the flowers along your front walk.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      H Gerri! The bushes along the walk are yellow knock out roses. They really grew last summer so I cut them down this past fall. Hope they survive our awful winter. Thanks for stopping by ~ Ann

  78. Amy @ Ms. Toody Goo Shoes says:

    Your home is lovely, Ann. You actually had me teared up at the end. Love that picture of your stairway. Makes me want to rip the runner off mine!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Oh Amy I was so utterly sick of the awful carpet that was on those stairs. No matter what I did it never stayed clean. My dream has come true to have carpet-less stairs! I will say that my dog has had a few tumbles and now is scared to go up by herself. It’s so funny to watch her place a paw and then pull it back. Keep in mind too that my kids are gone so the noise level isn’t an issue. ~Ann

  79. Ann not only is your home incredibly beautiful but hearing about your heart and your passion for what you are doing makes it shine even more beautifully! I loved hearing the story of your house and I’m so thrilled to be part of this tour with you!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      I adore you Vanessa!

  80. Grace @ sense and simplicity says:

    What a lovely story and I’m so glad you grew to love your home and it helped save you from empty-nest despair.

  81. Hi Ann-
    Again one of my most favorite blogs.
    I so related to you when you said “you felt like you were visiting some place and wanted to go home”
    Pete and I sold our home 5 years ago (due to him loosing his job) – We now live in a condo (beautiful place)
    but I felt like I was on vacation somewhere. I have also painted, completed big projects, still one more to complete, hardwood floors – but for some reason it still does not feel like mine.
    I think I miss the space of outside the private place. I keep looking at homes, but I keep wondering “why am I leaving here” I guess it is going to take some time and patience – Thank you for your story. It has helped.
    Have a wonderful weekend

  82. Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique says:

    Oh Ann… I know that overwhelming feeling when you realise there is way more to do then you originally thought, but look at where you are now. Your home is so lovely… and I think I just found my new colour for our yet unpainted front door. Love that Naval blue!! Pinned and shared for Hearts at Home.

  83. Ann, your home is one of my favorites. It is so pretty and fresh with traditional flair. Love it all!

  84. Angela Ryder says:

    A beautiful home, Ann. I never tire of looking at all you’ve done. Class and elegance all around.~~Angela

  85. Ann, I don’t comment much. I know! Don’t fuss at me. But anyway I loved your story and love your house. I’m now living in the most precious little house I’ve ever seen. I know how you feel when you love every inch because you touched it in some way or another. It really makes life better. Your such a sweet heart, keep writing.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Oh Sharon I would NEVER fuss at you…thank you so much for taking the time to let me know you stopped by. I hope all is well. Sounds like it is! Enjoy your house and the weekend ~ Ann

  86. Hard work and obviously the love that’s been growing in your home for years shows in the pride you feel! Your home is magnificent! Would love to see a picture of what it looked like when it bought it.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      I wish I had a picture of it then…but I have looked and can’t find a single one. I was so busy back then and didn’t even own a camera! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! ~Ann

  87. Ann your home is beautiful and I can see the love that you poured into it.I think that is what makes a house a home,when you put love into it, it loves you back <3

  88. I am living in the same house but with only one garage Ann…. I want to rip off the carpeting on my stairs and make them look like yours! Your home is gorgeous as is your blog. :)

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Just go for it Susan! Believe me if I can do it, anyone can. I had no idea what I was doing on any of my reno projects. I just figured it all out as I went along!

  89. Your home is beautiful and I absolutely love the front door color. I am so confused about what color to paint our front door. I love red, your blue is beautiful (blue is my favorite color) and I love yellow. Our house is currently cream but we plan to have it painted gray in the spring. We are in Georgia and when it rains the red dirt splashes on the house and looks terrible.

    Also, We are new to Georgia and what hints would you have to locate a great, honest, reasonably priced and hard working handy man. I love your blog and your taste. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Debbie, I have a friend that painted the front door of her gray house yellow. It is beautiful with the house numbers on the door.

    2. Ann Drake says:

      I have seen pictures, probably on Pinterest, of gray houses with yellow doors. I love them. Just do a Pinterest search for “yellow front door” and see what comes up. As far as a good handyman, ask around. Co-workers are usually a big help. I found my best painter ever from the girl who cuts my hair. My son lives in Chicago and uses Yelp all the time. You could also try that. Good luck!

  90. This post was wonderful to read. Your blog is so motivating. I love your style.

  91. Elaine Drummer says:

    I now want a navy front door! What color are the walls next to the stairs? It looks to be a grey or blue grey…?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      The color of the walls in the entry is Sherwin Williams Upward. It’s very close to what I used in my kitchen…too close actually. I wish it was lighter but once it was up I didn’t have the energy for a do-over! Here is a link to all my paint colors.

  92. lovely!! love the stairs…..we plan on ripping the carpet up and the redoing the stairs….either stain or paint…not sure yet….or maybe a combo….I keep looking online for one that says THIS IS IT!!

  93. Mary of Front Porch Ideas says:

    Ann, someday I would love to meet you in person. Your blog posts warm my heart and I love your sincerity. You have quite a beautiful home – one that you have made that way with such caring and creativity. Thank you!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Oh Mary…this is one of the nicest comments ever. Thank you so much and I would love to meet you too!

  94. Your home is absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing your story!

  95. I knew it, I knew it…we are kindred spirits! I love the story you shared Ann! I love your writing & your home. My kitchen isn’t white either (it is red ); I renovated & renovated my home too ( and it is still never done ); I am blessed with a non-handy husband, so I too “call the guy” when I can’t do it myself; I know the day is coming that my girls will use their wings…and I think having my blog will make that transition easier. Glad to know it does.

    Thank you so much for being such an asset to the Tour!


    1. Ann Drake says:

      Thank you so much for asking me to join…I have loved it!

  96. laura@top this top that says:

    What a great story ann. Its a special treat to dig a bit deeper into the souls of a favorite blogger. Thank you for that.

  97. Lisa at Texas Decor says:

    You have such a beautiful home, Ann. Thanks for sharing this story! Our homes do require a lot of work and upkeep, but they’re so worth it. I love the sense of accomplishment I get when I finish up a diy project around the house. :)

  98. Your home is beautiful!

    That blue front door is by far a favorite of mine now! We live in military base housing and can’t really do too much with the structure or paint but I love to save ideas for our possible ‘someday’ home!
    I like how you said it was a long process. I sometimes forget that whenever I look at blogs or pinterest before/after pictures. It was money saved up and time in-between working on the projects as well.

  99. Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads says:

    Ann, your navy front door has become the perfect foil for all your pretty wreaths that you make, and this is one of my favorites! Your home says, “Ann lives here!” beginning with those gorgeous yellow Knock-Out roses out front!

  100. I love the Navy front door and the front porch. Thanks for sharing your homes story!

  101. You have a beautiful home – I love your sense of style, Ann!

  102. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    Ann, you have done a lot of changes in your home! I love the entry and that front door color is beautiful!

  103. Kathleen G says:

    I like that you were honest in how long it takes to make a house a home (on going). I love the naval on your front door and kitchen cabinets. Classic. Love this post and keep on blogging. Kathleen in Az

  104. Yvonne @ StoneGable says:

    Ann, You have such a beautiful and welcoming home! I am also a big fan of your front door color! What a lovely post about your home. Your story of renovation is so similar to ours. We are in the process of redoing every room! It’s a wonderful and hard journey isn’t it!

  105. I look forward to peeking into your home every day via your blog! This is a great blog, full of fun ideas and yummy recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  106. Ann, your home is beautiful, its story is inspiring. Hopefully this is our year to bring several updates to our home. And yes, your navy blue door ROCKS.

  107. Julie {Lilacs & Longhorns} says:

    What a beautiful story, Ann! Your house is so pretty and inviting and I absolutely love how you have made it your own.

  108. I love your style Ann. You made that home even more beautiful than it was before. applause on a job well done..

    Thank you for sharing your door color.