My Living Room & Downstairs

We recently had a party at our home with some friends, so while our house was tidy without toys and project piles everywhere (the downstairs anyway) I snapped some photos.

Antlers, Textiles, Map, Wooden Farm Table, Michelle Smith's Home

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 Kindred, then Gather, (the coworking space & local goods gift shop that I own in downtown Cary, NC). 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. The map on the wall was inspired by my friend Amanda’s. I originally bought the large map for the conference room & classroom at Gather but ultimately preferred here.

A fun fact about Amanda and I, when she came over to my house for the first time she immediately asked if the wall color was “Sharkey Gray” which it is. I had spent ages deliberating over which shade of gray to paint the walls and chose this color out of dozens of other possibilities. Amanda, equally exacting about her paint colors, had chosen the same one, both having chosen out of stacks of options and painted without knowledge of the others plight prior. Very funny.

Green Glass Jar, Plants, Michelle Smith's Home

I’ve had a thing for green glass jars forever. I was reminded of that recently at my parents house when I came across a group of small green bottles I had begun acquiring when I was a teenager. I especially love these large green glass jars and have them in various places around the house filled with shells and other little collections.

Plants & Living Room Vignette, Michelle Smith's Home

Potted Succulent Plant Vignette, Michelle Smith's Home

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.

Industrial Lamp, Thrifted & Painted Piano, Portrait Painting, Sheepskin, Michelle Smith's Home

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.

Antlers, Twinkle Lights & Holiday Wreath, Michelle Smith's Home
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.

Antlers & Twinkle Lights, Home of Michelle Smith

Our upstairs has also seen a lot of changes too. One day I’ll post about those too.

If you like this post, you might be interested in seeing how my house has evolved in the past five years. Here’s a post of my house that was on Design*Sponge five years ago.

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  1. Stephanie Garcia says

    Hi there! Found you through Pinterest, love the piano! I have one I was wanting to paint, and was wondering how you painted it/what type of paint you used! Thanks in advance for your response. :)

    • michelle says

      Hi Brenna,
      The mini globes I picked up at World Market in late Fall just when holiday ornaments started being put out.

  2. Cate says

    Found your blog by way of Apartment Therapy. You’ve got a great space!

    How did you mount the giant map? I’ve also got a huge world map and I’m trying to decide how to hang it.


    • michelle says

      Hi Cate,
      If I were going to keep the map up for a good long while I just would have adhered like wallpaper as it was intended but since I have a hunch that I’m going to move it (or want to take it with me when I move) I had it dry mounted at an art supply store in the 4 pieces it came in.

  3. Katie says

    Thank you for sharing your home. I love the lighting, character and plants. My favorite, however, is the wall map – thank you for posting the link! One question: did you paste it on your wall like wall paper as suggested or did you hang it? How did this process work for you?

    • michelle says

      Hi Katie,
      The wallpaper pasting didn’t seem like a huge problem (although I imagine it might be tricky to line up the 4 corners to be even). I had the map dry mounted at an art supply store, then just hung with those velcro tabs on the back. This way I can move it as I need to another spot and can make sure those edges line up better. ;)

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