Growing up, my mum would take me (okay, more like drag me) to different home stores. I would follow her around closely and be moaning about how bored I was. We’d regularly watch HGTV together, and laugh over the large budgets people had when all they do for a living is babysit butterflies.
I knew people say you become your mother. But, I had no idea that my mum’s interest in homes would become one of mine, too.
While my first experience as a homeowner happened when I was 19, I didn’t genuinely start appreciating homes until I met my husband. Before we got together, Riley had been flipping and selling homes and was in love with the whole process.
As we merged our lives together (which you can read about here), we decided to build a custom house.
Although we have lived in the house since January of 2017, and I’ve shared here and there about my love for Homesense, I haven’t felt the urge to share a full walkthru of the house until now. When we were building the home, I was seen as one thing – fitness/nutrition influencer (although that name wasn’t commonly used then). Yet, as humans are made up of multiple layers (like onions), I always had other passions. I’m so excited that I have arrived at a place within myself where I feel comfortable sharing different areas of my life.
With that being said, allow me to welcome you to the Gray home:
Our Light & Airy Office
The combination of wainscotting, full wall bookshelf, french doors, and a beautiful custom desk, makes our office one of my favorite spots in our home.
Having worked from home for 7 years, I wanted to create a space in the house that I actually wanted to work in. I may be working out of an office now, but I still love sitting at my desk whenever I’m looking to get work done at home. I’m writing this piece as I’m sitting in here right now!
Aside from the plants, my favorite addition to the space is the Mitzi light fixture we recently put in. Previously, our light was dark and didn’t necessarily fit the light and airy space. When I found this light on Mitzi’s website, I knew it would fit the space perfectly – and it did.
I’m. In. Love.
You can few the exact light here.
Our Custom Dining Room
While I love our kitchen (which is coming up) and my office, I love our dining room differently. Is that a thing?! It is now. When moving into my first home, I was told I wouldn’t use my dining table. But I did every night. It’s no different than this one. Every night we eat at home, Riley and I make our way to this beautiful table.
We actually had this table custom made for the space. We love to entertain, so we had it made with that in mind. When we have Christmas dinner, we can perfectly place all of the food in the middle while still having enough space to eat comfortably. It can also fit two people on each end, making it perfect for 10 people. It’s a win-win!
Our Plant Filled Living Room
To be honest, I don’t feel like I’ve figured out our living room yet. I love our couches, but I feel like we need more plants! As we build up our collection, expect me to update the images to share its progression.
While my sister and mum have recommended a rug in this space, we have an excellent reason for not having one. We’re in love with our floor. It features different sized panels that are hand scrapped. We thought this was perfect because of the dogs. If they scratch the floors, no one will know!
One thing I do love about this space is the wooden barrel. It was gifted to Riley by his grandpa, so I’m so glad we found such a perfect spot for it.
Naturally, we had to add a dog bed directly in front of the fire for our pup Biggie. It’s his favorite spot in the house. I love joining him on the bed and having Rio journey. While the bed doesn’t really fit three beings, we make it work.
While you can’t see it too well, our living room has what’s called an ‘open to below’ ceiling. We then did a feature ceiling with the same grey found in the kitchen. We are not looking forward to changing the light bulbs up there, but we’ll make it work when the day comes.
Our Pinterest’able Kitchen
As mentioned, I’m in love with our kitchen. I loved it when we moved in. But when we added our new kitchen pendants, I like… can’t even handle it. When I walk down the stairs every morning, I take a moment to pause and just appreciate them. Initially, I had wanted to make a bold decision with our pendants, but I was told to play it safe. Throughout the process of designing the space, there were a lot of things I chose with reselling the house in mind. With the lights being one of them, I never truly took to the ones we had. When we made the decision to update a few fixtures, I took three weeks going back and forth with Riley and my family on whether I wanted to give such a bold color a try.
I am so happy I did.
When designing the house, I knew I wanted to have glass cabinets (is that the name for them?!) beside our hood vent / stove. I was adviced against it because of the potential grease splash from the oven. I was told they’d be a nightmare to keep clean. Honestly, I must not cook enough because they’re not a problem at all. I feel like they really lighten up the space.
During the process, Riley was the one that insisted on having our kitchen island a different color. We also used this color in our mudroom and our master ensuite. For our next home, I’ll for sure dig up the color code because we just love it so much.
While I’d love to say I have our stove and countertops looking like this all of the time, it’s certainly not the case. Rio, our beloved cocker spaniel, loves to pull these towels off of the stove. It’s forever a battle. My favorite thing is when I put it back on, he looks at me and immediately pulls it off again. He’s such a little shit, but I love it.
You can take a look at our beautiful pendants here. They have a few different colors with different sizes, too!
I have talked a lot about my love for organizing my pantry. Whenever we have people over for the first time, they almost always comment on our pantry. Every 6 weeks or so, I pull everything out and reorganize it. It brings me so much joy. And guess what? It’s really inexpensive to organize your pantry this way. We use a combination of crates and mason jars. We also just take the time to organize our canned food – really nothing fancy here!
Another great point about mason jars — we use them for our glasses. They look great in our glass cabinets as they all perfectly match. Riley doesn’t always position them exactly where I like, but we’re working on that.
Our Perfect Place For The Pups Mudroom
When designing the house, we opted to have our pantry accessible from the mudroom as well as the kitchen. We thought it would make putting groceries away easier. While that would be the case, we lock the dogs up in this space, and Rio knows how to open doors. For that reason, we have to have the door locked. While that wouldn’t be a problem, we accidentally put the lock on the other side, so we can’t unlock it from the mudroom. Therefore, we have to walk all the way around to the kitchen instead of benefiting from the floorplan we laid out. *insert emoji where the girl is throwing her hands up in the air*
While we keep the blind down in this room, the space somehow still feels light. I feel like it has something to do with the light grey we went with.
I’m in love with these custom build benches plus cubbies. I’m still looking to fit the benches with custom cushions, so I’ll update the post when that happens!
Our Essential Oil Infused Downstairs Bathroom
Throughout our home, there are definitely rooms that I want to make slight improvements to overtime. Our downstairs bathroom is one of those spaces. While I envision updating the space with wainscotting to match the rest of the house, one improvement we made was the light.
Since it’s a bathroom, it’s not a bright space, but our previous light gave off no light. I love this fixture from Mitzi’s collection as I’m a massive fan of the exposed light bulb look. You can view the light here. (PS… This light is called RILEY, so you know that makes it even more awesome!)
Our Open Concept Staircase + Upstairs Hallway
I feel like it’s a strange thing to appreciate, but our staircase is another one of my favorite features of the house. It’s situated right in the center of everything, so I guess I’m glad I love it. I actually spend a lot of time sitting on the stairs whenever Riley’s in the kitchen or living room. Rio always makes sure to join me as he can perfectly see out the windows. He enjoys watching people outside.
Our upstairs hallway is where we really take advantage of our open to below living room. We can stand at the far end of our bonus room and see all the way through the house.
For that reason, I wanted to have a light fixture that suited the space, and this chandelier from Mitzi definitely does. I’m not one for glammy over the top chandeliers, so this more subtle but still commanding fixture makes my heart really happy. It also like blows my mind how bright the light is. It’s like studio lighting (which is perfect for an evening selfie, hahaha). You can view this fixture by clicking here.
Our Chic Side Bedroom
At the top of our stairs to the right is our first upstairs bathroom. Across from the bathroom is our first side bedroom. While it took me two and a half years to finish this room, I’m thrilled I finally did. Riley’s parents live out of town and stay with us a few times every summer. We finally have bedside tables for them!
While I love more traditional finishes, I feel like I gave this side bedroom a bit of a glam finish. I don’t think I could handle the whole house like this, but I enjoy it in this space.
Our Boho Side Bedroom
Down the hallway from our first side bedroom is our second. If you follow me on Pinterest, you’d think I would have furnished our entire house with a boho look. There’s a part of me that wishes that I did, but a more significant part that’s glad I contained the boho vibe to this bedroom.
Our ‘A Bit Too Big’ Master Bedroom
Is this the first picture Rio is making an appearance?! When we shot the majority of these photos, Rio was desperate to be photographed. It was a constant back and forth of me pushing him out of the shot. But, I let him stay in this one because… Well… LOOK AT HIM! So cute.
Okay, I have to be honest… Our master bedroom is way too big. Anddddd, let me be honest again, I don’t sit in that chair. I am, however, proud that I don’t pile my clothes on it. Surprisingly, the only time it gets used is when I’m recording my podcast. There’s something about the noise in this room that works for recording.
When we built the house, I didn’t think much about the size of this space. While I regret that, I feel like we’ll sort something out eventually.
One thing we recently updated in this space was the light fixture. When we were changing it out, I talked about how much I disliked the initial one we had. It was just so… Nothing special. Now? It’s that exposed light blub with glass look I absolutely love.
You can check out our new light fixture here.
Master Bedroom Ensuite + Closet + Laundry Room
There are our beloved grey cabinets again! Although we have two sinks, I find myself using both of them. I think it’s one of Riley’s biggest pet peeves, but I also put my hair dryer in his sink. Does anyone else do that?
With our ensuite, I’m forever adding more plants. With the humid atmosphere bathrooms have, then our natural light, it’s the perfect place for them to thrive.
When we were designing the house, one thing Riley insisted on was the steam shower. I really didn’t think it was something I’d use, but we both love it. I also love being able to see Rio through the glass. I’m just hoping one day he’ll respond to my hand on the glass with his paw. It will happen one day, I know it.
For the longest time, I hated baths. I hated them so much that it took me 8 months of living here before I had my first one. These days? They’re not my go to, but I love it once and awhile. I’m forever on the hunt for a tray thingy that can prop up my book. I think we’ll just have to get one custom made!
Through our bathroom, we have two doors. We have our closet which has an awesome bench with a window at the end for when we’re putting socks on. Then, the other door leads into our laundry room!
Our Cozy Bonus Room
Our laundry room takes us full circle (actually) of the upstairs and leads us to our cozy bonus room. We spend most of our time in this room. It features vaulted ceilings, wainscotting, and a couch that we have worn in to the point of needing a new one.
When I had ordered this media unit, it appeared to be the same turquoise as you see throughout the rest of the house. It wasn’t. With absolutely zero crafty experience, I bought chalk paint and went to town. If you zoom in on the photos, you can see my not so excellent work around the glass, but overall, it looks great! While it isn’t quite the same as the other grey found throughout the house, it’s pretty damn similar!
I think this is another room that still needs some work. We’re on the hunt for a new couch (which I’ll share on here when the time comes), and I think we could load this space up with plants.
When we started the home building process in 2016, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. While I enjoyed the process (although it was stressful), I didn’t think I would enjoy what we built as much. It feels strange to me to really say all of these things about the house, but it’s true.
When we started the home building process in 2016, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. While I enjoyed the process (although it was stressful), I didn’t think I would enjoy what we built as much. At the end of the day, it’s just a house – and it took me a couple of years of being in here before I began to see it as a home. I’m thrilled to have shown all of the wonderful things that make up our house. However, at the end of the day, it’s these three creatures that I get to live with truly make it what it is.