Remember when I showed you the stairs?

And the new paint color.

And the rug that travels around my house trying to find a home?

And Buddy’s daily nap?

Did you ever wonder what was around the corner at the top of the stairs?

Did you wonder why I’m starting off a post with five questions?

Oh, good.

Me, too. 🙂

The staircase greets you when you walk in the back door.

You can’t miss it.

It’s kind of all about itself.

If you walk past the mirror and the fresh flowers from Trader Joe’s, you’ll arrive at the bottom of the staircase looking up.

(total picture aside:  I just wanted to show this mirror of my mother’s one more time.  It used to live in the butler’s pantry. But now it’s keeping the back door company.)

When you arrive at the top of the first set of stairs, you’ll see this landing.

There’s a window seat that’s perfect for Nancy Drew books and a giant window and a mini landing.

And then?

When you turn the corner, there’s another set of stairs with the cutest little room at the top.

Here’s kind of an overall view so you can get the idea.

The tiny room at the top of the stairs has three doors that lead off of it.

You can still see the old attic fan in the ceiling.

We used to use that all the time when I was growing up and the house didn’t have any air.

Yes.

You heard me.

Texas and no air.

SERIOUSLY.

I had to put my make-up on in front of a fan.

And then run out the door before it melted.

(total aside:  in good news—the fan helped with my Aqua Net bangs.)

I have big plans for this space.

We are going to do built-ins on either side and on top of the door.

There’s a stair runner with stair rods with the cutest pineapples on them that will be installed in a couple of weeks.

And I’m working on the doors.

I want to restore them to the original wood.

It’s so pretty and will go so well with the original hardware in the house.

I am so happy.

Seriously.

Like the happiness that comes from the first smell of spring and the first sip of coffee on the last day of February and the joy of a quiet morning with the birds chirping outside the window.

I love this house.

And I think—it loves me right back. 🙂

PS  We have central heat and air now, so I apply my make-up without a fan.

PPS  In nervous news, the oldest twin, Westleigh, is trying out for cheerleader today.  Praying for calm hearts and high jumps.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    haha KariAnne, I grew up with an attic fan too and no a/c...in Texas. whoo whee. I adore your stairs and the landings. I can't wait to see it all done up in your vision. What a wonderful house to grow up in and to own now as an adult. I'm curious though...what does your mom think? hugs, Cecilia

  2. Image for Michelle McDonald Michelle McDonald

    Love it! I may have missed a post or two along the way – but did you restain the upstairs landing floors and railings? Or are those original patina? We are under contract to purchase a home that was built in 1997 that has just awful honey oak floors and railings everywhere. I'm trying to decide on a nice stain that looks rich. I can't decide if I want to go towards that white weathered gray flooring that's popular now, or stay traditional with the rich brown. Love this color!! I'm sure since it's old and original, it has a lot to do with how much I love it. Glad to see buddy's doing well !

  3. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    Charming, quaint, rich with history...its just all so amazing! I LOVE the hardware, little desks with the sweetest slipcovers, those crochet baskets ( I want to make one!), those gorgeous patina floors. Ok, silly question....do those floors squeak? Because, that would just be the cherry on top of charming! Enjoy soaking it all in. PS: the rug appears again....or maybe you bought several.😉

  4. Image for Donnie Donnie

    Go Westleigh! I grew up with an attic fan in Florida. Also one in our first home. Sure did get acclimated to a/c quickly when it was installed. I love that luxury - do not miss the "sticky" days. Love the room at the top of the stairs,,such a cozy space.

  5. Image for Missy Missy

    Reminds me of growing up in FL without air conditioning. I know. Crazy, right? I used to do basically the same thing....put a fan right next to my face as I applied my makeup, only to have it melt off in no time! Look forward to all your posts. Written with such heart. Btw, I love your house! So warm and welcoming .

  6. Image for Judy Judy

    I always love your posts, so happy and positive, I can see why you love your house and I believe it does loves you right back, Hope the cheerleader tryouts went well! Judy

  7. Image for Carolyn Carolyn

    Love the home and I'm looking forward to the pineapple stair runner and book cases. Can you refresh my memory on your paint colors please?

  8. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Jump, Westleigh, Jump!! Best of luck!!! You're a winner already with the biggest cheerleader who always offers all the 'extras', your MOM.

  9. Image for Leslie Leslie

    Always love Buddy and that traveling rug. Thank you for taking us up those great stairs. The fan! Had one of those, too, for upstairs air when I was growing up. Downstairs had air conditioning for escape. Amazingly I can remember getting cold at times with the roar of that fan at night. Don’t envy the stripping of paint on those doors! Maybe there’s a place that those doors could go for a dip?! And saying a prayer for that sweet Westleigh to have a great high flying tryout.

  10. Image for Deedra Deedra

    Oh how pretty! And can I just say that when I saw the stained door upstairs that my heart went pitter patter! I love the natural wood with all of its beautiful surroundings. If I didn't live in Virginia, I would just come right over with my coffee in hand. I'd call first of course. Thanks for sharing! And good luck Westleigh!

  11. Image for Kelly Kelly

    It is lovely that your family gets to live in the house you grew up in. I grew up in GA with no A/C. My parents had a pool put in before we got central air! My mom said that if they had the extra money, she wanted to use it on something they really wanted. They would get the air one day because they felt it was a necessity. The pool was enjoyed by four generations before it fell into disrepair.

  12. Image for Terri Terri

    There is obviously a "I love you " ... and a... "I love you right back" thing going on here between you and this amazing house "Home"!!! I love love the history behind each project that you so graciously share with us .... :) ... and I feel your pain... NO AC,, growing up in the Sunshine State ... near the ocean !!! Can we allllll say HUMIDITY !!!!!! I so clearly see myself in front of our huge fan trying to keep my hair from falling !!!! lololololol... and my make up on !!! :) :) :) .. (psst: That mirror though... I can't Even!!) .. LOVE ....

  13. Image for Mary S Mary S

    Thanks for sharing pictures of this house!! And, please contiue to share. The house is beyond spectacular! You and your family are so fortunate to be able to live in and love this structure. You're doing such a grand job restoring it. Keep up the great work (and pictures so we can follow).

  14. Image for Jeanie Jeanie

    Fingers crossed and praying for Westleigh. Please let us know if she made the team. I love your home and your decorating style. I'm in the process of buying a home and am enjoying your how-to book so much. I do so appreciate all the tips and helpful ideas your book includes! You are a jewel!

  15. Image for Lisa Lisa

    You guys are as busy as cranberry merchants over there! Praying Westleigh will be as cool as a cucumber today.♥️♥️

  16. Image for Marilyn craighead Marilyn craighead

    When I saw the title of your post I immidiatly heard Paul Harvey saying it! Lol! I just told my age I’m sure. And the best part of an old house for me has always been......what’s around the corner or up the stairs.....

  17. Image for jillian jillian

    Oh ha ha...I remember growing up in the humid midwest looking for cool spots under the pillow at night. My mom gave us these little cloth bags with screw on metal lids full of ice, not much help. Not the good ole days that way. :) Pretty stairs love the top floor.

  18. Image for kddomingue kddomingue

    Love the muted jet engine take off roar of an attic fan! And the pull of fresh air through the house can't be beat to keep your home smelling fresh! Lived with them in Alabama and Louisiana and found that they kept a one story house quite comfortable in all but the most miserably hot and humid dog days of summer. Then again, I seem to tolerate warm temperatures better than most peop!e do. :)

  19. Image for Charley Charley

    We had the same attic fan when we lived in Decatur, GA. Our first child was a newborn there. We ran that fan all the time. Being Northerners we didn't realize you have to be careful otherwise you will pull in damp air that will turn your shoes, etc. moldy. Being in the center of woods kept the house pretty cool. The mosquitos ate us alive. The mosquito truck would come thru the neighborhood weekly spraying pesticide. I would keep my baby inside and try to keep that pesticide out of our lungs. We had a tiny window air conditioner in the master bedroom. I loved that time in my life and would go right back to it, sticky, damp heat and the whole nine yards. Take your time making your house perfect, you have a lifetime to do it.

  20. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    Most of my growing up years were spent in a Crafstman house, in Texas, with an attic fan and a box window fan, and a deep porch. I don’t remember being uncomfortable except when I went to my aunt’s house, with air-conditioning, lol! Your house is wonderful and you’re making it even better!

  21. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    Woohoo from West Leigh from Webster County in Kentucky! Good luck! And praises for the courage to even try out. We cheered for Livingston for her this year. Love your memory keeping home. How special it is! Still need to add my memory keeping mementos from our home of 30 years to our new farm. Yep going on 4 years and still looks the same past time. Your ideas help me to at least think about it again.😂 love stories about items like your mom's mirror. Can't wait for your next post! Crossing fingers n toes for your sweet girl.

  22. Image for Linda Linda

    Your home is so pretty. I love the steps and I know when you get the room finished it will be pretty too ! I loved seeing Buddy....guess in the last picture ...nap time was over and he was up following you around watching you take pictures.

  23. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    Calmest of hearts and highest of jumps for Westleigh today.... and peace for mama, as I'm all too familiar with how we hope and wish along with them. Be sure to keep us updated!!

  24. Image for Rebecca Platt Rebecca Platt

    Beautiful home. Question. What are those white pieces on either side of the doorway above the cute little gray desks? They look like cabinet doors with something on them. I'd like to try that. Thanks.

  25. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Oh, I hear you ~ I grew up in Austin without AC ~ and I wonder now how we survived ~ we had just the usual huge attic fan for mostly nighttime breezes! And then, moving ahead to our children's youth, we survived cheerleader tryouts (x2 daughters!) from Elementary through High School/Senior Year, so we have also lived those times: the endless practice, try-outs, then nervously waiting for names of the successful kiddos! Thinking positive thoughts for your Westleigh ~ that she will be chosen as part of the squad!

  26. Image for Judy Judy

    Love the house and the stairs! Especially love the monogrammed chair covers. Do you happen to know the name of the monogram font?

  27. Image for Linda Miller Linda Miller

    Ha Ha. We had one of those fans in the hallway too! When my dad turned it on it sounded like a 747 taking off! Good memories. #lifebeforeair

  28. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    The house is beautiful! Can't wait to see all your finishing touches! Westleigh is a winner! She will do great.

  29. Image for Pamela Griner Pamela Griner

    Love that house! And cheerleading...I was a full time college cheerleading coach...with a competition team. I stll have cheers in my head 12 years later!

  30. Image for Debby Debby

    I love your house and blog. Anxiously awaiting the new book. Where did you get your white barstools? Hope tryouts went well!

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