“Home & Harmony” Blogger Selling Her Charming Victorian-Style Farmhouse in North Carolina

by hookedonhouses on January 30, 2013

front door decorated for winter corners

Never take good blogs for granted. That’s one thing I’ve learned from seeing so many come and go over the years. It was always inspiring to follow Rie’s projects at Home & Harmony as she and her husband worked on their new Victorian-style farmhouse. She stopped blogging last year, so I was excited to hear from her this week. When she told me they’re selling it, I knew we had to take a look!

white Victorian overlooking quarry with lake

The house is in Rolesville, North Carolina, near Raleigh. The listing describes it as a, “Stylish Victorian home overlooking Fantasy Lake. Country living on 4 acres with wraparound porch.”

Rie's new Victorian farmhouse for sale-exterior 2

Every porch needs a porch swing…

front porch swing

It may look like an older home, but it was actually built in 2000. When Rie and her family moved into it, it had a modern vibe with IKEA light fixtures and vaulted ceilings. Let’s take a look at how she gave her house a more vintage, new-Victorian feel. Here’s a mirror from an old Barber’s shop that she repurposed for her front entry:

Barber Shop mirror in entry

Rie says, “When we moved in, the living room was vaulted about 25 feet up. Not only was it an absolute waste of space, it made the room feel cold and unwelcoming. In addition, the acoustics of the room with so many people sharing the space were almost unbearable.”

before-half wall separating kit from liv rm

“We decided to floor it in, and as an added benefit, we now have another big bedroom above our living room.” Here’s how it looks with the ceiling lowered, the half-wall removed and a new kitchen island put in its place:

kitchen and living room after

They even altered the look of the double-glass doors to make them look less contemporary by adding paneling to the bottom halves. Genius. Here’s how the living room looked before they moved in:

living room before

And after:

living room after-Home and Harmony blog

So charming.

faux fireplace in living room

old bench in living room

white living room Rie's house

staircase and birdhouse

Rie and her husband have 6 kids, so it definitely made sense to create an extra bedroom above the living room for their boys:

boys room-former vaulted living room

boy's bedroom with rocker-Rie's house

A sweet bedroom for their girls:

girls bedroom with pink pom poms

bathroom at Rie's house

master bedroom Rie's house

master bedroom sitting corner

I wouldn’t mind doing laundry in this room:

laundry room 2

laundry sink

One of my favorite spaces is the little “Writing Nook” Rie created for her daughter Charlotte, who is visually impaired. Those are Braille flashcards hanging over the desk. Unable to find any that had a vintage look to them, she made them herself.

writing nook for Charlotte with Braille flashcards

The kitchen went through quite a transformation, too. It looked like this when they moved in:

Rie's kitchen before reno

After busting down that half wall, adding an island, removing some of the odd upper cabinets that she wasn’t crazy about and installing a sleek hood over the range, it looks like this:

Rie's kitchen after reno

They created the island from an old wood buffet they found on Craigslist:

buffet before turned into island

She says, “The frame holding the mirror made the perfect brackets, so we took the mirror out, flipped the brackets upside down and attached them to the back for the overhang. We cut out the panels on the front doors, and replaced them with wire sheeting and backed them with gathered linen fabric. Then we painted the whole thing a bluish-green and replaced the hardware.”

island created from old buffet

“My handy husband made the top with furniture-grade pine. We mixed two colors of stain until we got the perfect color. We love the result! The whole thing probably cost us $350.00.”

Their house has been featured in magazines like Cottages & Bungalows, Romantic Homes, and Flea Market Style. When it appeared in Kitchens magazine, the article focused on Rie’s creative organization ideas:

kitchens magazine page

“We snatched up 4 ft. old surgeon’s sink for $100 on Craigslist. It was taken from a local hospital. It had a very awesome crackle finish glaze, but there was so much discoloration that we couldn’t keep it as it was. We had it refinished for $300. So, for $400, we got a truly unique piece for our kitchen! (Have you seen the prices of farmhouse sinks? This was a good buy!)”

farmhouse sink-Rie's house

“We got it because we loved it aesthetically, but it’s actually extremely practical, especially for our large family of 8! Do you know how many dishes and giant pots we can hide in there? There are dirty dishes in this picture in fact!”

You can see her kitchen “before and after” post with more details here.

beadboard backsplash Rie's kitchen

Here’s a wider shot of the kitchen before they moved in that shows the dining area:

kitchen eating area before

And after:

kitchen island and dining area after

Here’s how that loving kitchen nook looks now with new chairs, including a bench seat:

kitchen dining area after

So pretty! Want to live here? Check the listing for more photos and information. Kind of interesting to see how the rooms look without their furniture in it.

new front door

They just moved to this old country farmhouse built in 1930 that needs a lot of work. Hope we get to see how it turns out, too!

Rie's new old farmhouse

P.S. Here’s another farmhouse that was given some charming vintage style:


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Emily A. Clark January 30, 2013 at 8:25 am

What a beautiful house!! I’ve never heard of her blog but am excited to go back and read through it. Hopefully, she’ll start blogging again about her new home.

Maddie January 30, 2013 at 8:28 am

This home takes my breath away. I absolutely love everything, & I mean everything about it. I would move into this stunning home in a heart beat. The decor & style inside is so comforting & warm. The girl’s bedroom with the 3 delightful beds made me instantly think of goldilocks & the 3 bears. So sweet…….

Peggy January 30, 2013 at 8:45 am

A wonderful house. Love that kitchen sink; and I agree with the comment about hiding dirty dishes. I’ll never have a double sink again, if I can help it!

Katy January 30, 2013 at 9:04 am

wow this is fantastic!

Christy January 30, 2013 at 9:11 am

I used to follow Rie’s blog faithfully, and I miss it (her) so much! Thanks for the peek into her home again, and I can’t wait until we get to see pics of their new place!

Trish @TheOldPostRoad January 30, 2013 at 9:12 am

I cannot believe she used those same kitchen cabinets and could make them look so much better! She has a great touch.

baileywife January 30, 2013 at 9:16 am

I don’t think I could’ve left this home! Too bad she stopped blogging! But totally understand why she did…. We all wish her continued success with or without blogging! ~Kim

Barbara H. January 30, 2013 at 9:43 am

Thanks so much for the update, Julia. I, too, greatly miss her blog. And I, too, dearly love that sink!

Luciane at HomeBunch.com January 30, 2013 at 10:16 am

Oh, if we could move… I’d buy this enchanting house in a heartbeat! I love its charm!

She’ll sell it soon. It’s a happy place!


Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Cheryl in Wisconsin January 30, 2013 at 10:38 am

What a fabulous example of visualization and ambition.

House Crazy Sarah January 30, 2013 at 10:52 am

They did a great job giving a new house that old-time charm! Great repurposing! I can imagine how tough it must have been to find time to write a blog with 6 kiddos!

Janette@The2Seasons January 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

Making an extra room out of that wasted air space was ingenious. And the buffet turned island was also perfect.

Amanda @ Serenity Now January 30, 2013 at 11:34 am

Soooo much better after Rie workd her magic. The home has the look of one that’s been around for many years, but still has some updates. I really like the dining area.

margie January 30, 2013 at 11:55 am

The house is perfection but living that close to the lake with six children would scare me to death.

Jane George January 30, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I thought the same thing. Gorgeous house. Breathtaking location. But I hope there’s a fence or something between the kids and that cliff!

hookedonhouses January 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm

There’s a fence–you can see it in the listing photos. I kind of doubt the house is as close to the water as it looks in that photo, anyway, if that view from the front porch is any indication, and it sits on 4 acres. You always want to be careful when there’s water around with kids, though, definitely.

Sue January 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm

No wonder it was featured in so many magazines. It is superbly charming. My favorites are the sink, island, and bedrooms.

Rebecca C. January 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Love this house. I cannot believe it’s not an older home. Thanks for sharing this lovely home.

tammyCA January 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm

They sure improved on the house…turning the wasted ceiling space into a bedroom was the best idea…and, salvaging old items another. Still I wonder how all that work gets done with 6 kids!!

Linda January 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm

What a charming house! I love the update on the kitchen and the new island, also lowering the ceiling on the double height living to gain an extra room upstairs – brilliant!

ShabbyChick January 30, 2013 at 2:25 pm

SO JEALOUS!!!!! Oh how I abhor those before shots! She did such a magnificent job! LOVE, LOVE it! Will def be pinning this one….. 😉

Kiki Nakita January 30, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Love it. She has added so much warmth and a sense of comfort.

Wonder, where is the birdcage in the foyer is from?..I’ve been searching for one just like it.

Rhon January 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Love both the current and former houses. How do people go about finding these places?

65andcounting January 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm

I’m glad the homeowner posted the photos of when she was in it, her before and after, because the real estate listing, the house is empty, except for a few pieces to stage a room. I guess they’ve already moved? Thankfully, any new buyer will have Rie’s blog to see how fabulous and warm the interior can be.

Maybe it’s my advanced age, but we would have LOVED a house on a cliff for the kids to jump in a lake. That’s more than half the fun of growing up – a tall barn roof to climb up on, a lake to jump in, a town dump to learn how to shoot rats – the good stuff so many kids today never get to learn.

Joan January 30, 2013 at 4:30 pm

That island makes my heart beat faster :) And the girls’ rooms with the three beds! Perfection!

Beth@Unskinny Boppy January 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Man, oh, man… I just went on a pinning and facebooking spree!! What a gorgeous home. I hope she starts blogging again so we can see her new place!

Victoria January 30, 2013 at 7:29 pm

If I could, I would definitely move in! It’s beautiful and I love her design style! Plus, it’s only $319,900. IN LOVE!

Laura January 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm

She worked wonders with that house – it’s beautiful. Great idea to get rid of the vaulted ceiling and gain another room. It did not go with the farmhouse look at all. I also love the kitchen island – very creative.

Destiny January 30, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Oh, I love it; every single, perfect, little touch!

Sarah January 30, 2013 at 8:41 pm

What an amazing amazing property. Even more, what a talent she is!
That price makes me feel like crying.
I hope it’s sold soon to a loving family.

Su January 30, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Fabulous home! love the new touches…who wouldn’t buy this house…Thanks for showing us!

Susan January 31, 2013 at 1:06 am

So peaceful — I could see living there forever. Lovely home.

Kim January 31, 2013 at 2:47 am

I love what she has done with the house. It looks very nice.

Screendoorgirl 3 January 31, 2013 at 7:38 am

Yes! I remember her blog. I loved her seat covers and just pinned them. What a pretty home. With six kids, no wonder the blogging took a back seat! Good luck to her all around. :)

Missi at havoc-to-heaven.com January 31, 2013 at 8:15 am

I love this house so much I can barely breathe. I have already sent it to my husband with a please please please message! This house is screaming for me to live in it. Too bad we are not moving anytime soon since I have 3 teens in high school and 1 in middle school. Sorry kids …. mommy needs this house so you need to leave your school, all your friends and everything you know. If only …

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com January 31, 2013 at 9:01 am

I love everything about this house. Wow.

Carolyn January 31, 2013 at 9:35 am

What a wonderful charming feel she gave to the home. Love her creativity. I most applaud them for having the vision to drop that ceiling in the living room. So many of the builder houses of the 90’s and 00’s have that double height ceiling in the ‘great room’ which people are finally figuring out is not really a good feature after all. One, it is typically loud as you noted here – in the living area you hear everything upstairs especially if there’s a loft or railing overlook (or conversely hear the TV below upstairs) and the acoustics are awful; two, it’s a waste of valuable real estate; and three, it’s not to a human scale so never feels really comfortable or cozy. Leave the really high soaring ceilings to the churches and auditoriums where you’re meant to be awestruck or impressed. It’s just not homey. A lower vaulted ceiling is OK, as are 10′ flat ceilings, but those boxy rooms with a full two story height are loud and just not comfortable! Plus they usually have really high windows that are nearly impossible for a homeowner to clean. Sorry if I’m stepping on any toes here, but a lot of people have learned this the hard way after being impressed with the sense of volume space when they toured the home, and found it quite different living there.

Rhon January 31, 2013 at 9:48 am

Carolyn, that is so true! We had that problem in our last house and are having a hard time finding a new one that isn’t built with the tall ceilings. Most of the newer houses have the same design and we’re not interested. Soaring ceilings in LR, formal DR open to LR and kitchen out in the living area with octagonal shape – no character…. :-( I’m bored with the open floor plan. This house is open in a different way — windows in the kitchen! Most new plans have the kitchen stuck in the interior area – microwave over the range. Not really a “cooks kitchen.” This kitchen has room and windows.

Terry January 31, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Carolyn and Rhon,
Exactly!! Don’t forget the trouble of changing light bulbs in the ceiling fixtures, or the fun of trying to paint these gymnasiums. Then there is the cost of window fixtures and coverings. After a certain age, climbing a 10′ ladder is simply not an option. I have to hire people to paint, clean windows, hang window coverings, even change light bulbs (more often than not those extension claw thingies break rather than unscrew the bulbs). A modern high-ceiling house looks (at first blush) stately but it takes a lot of money, time and “practical magic” to make these rooms human scale. I would take Rie’s beautiful home any day!

hookedonhouses January 31, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Amen! I ranted about those two-story rooms a few years ago and still hate ’em: http://hookedonhouses.net/2010/02/01/the-two-story-family-room-trend-out-or-in-for-2010/

We did the same thing with our two-story family room that Rie did and created a big playroom upstairs. Much more practical for the way we live than that empty space would have been. I’m the envy of all my neighbors who still have those vaulted rooms. :)

Tracie January 31, 2013 at 8:56 pm

I’m with all of you ladies! I’d love to drop our ceiling in the living room. I wonder how much something like that costs….off to read your rant right now. :)

Christina from Dallas January 31, 2013 at 10:16 am

I’d never heard of this blog before. Too bad. I love the house so much! Why did she stop blogging? I love her decorating style and she did wonders with her house. I wonder how she had time to decorate and take care of six kids and blog? Maybe that’s why she quit?

Stephanie @ The Hardscrabble Home January 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Beautiful house!

Cindy January 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Love love love this house! I don’t know why she stopped blogging, but I hope she’s able to pick it back up as she makes her new house into a home for her family!

Alie B January 31, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Wow, this lady is super-talented! I love her recycle/reuse mentality and all the beautiful country touches. I look forward to seeing what she does with the new old house! :-)

The Country Girl January 31, 2013 at 3:57 pm

I do like the new light fixtures and better use of space. But isn’t anyone else tired of the old-suitcases-with-nothing-in-them and birdcages-with-no-birds style of decorating?

josie February 1, 2013 at 6:07 am

The charming suitcases could have magazines, books, candles, stored inside. The birdcage is asthetically beautiful to look in the same way as a piece of sculpture would be but in a country, casual way.

Jen January 31, 2013 at 4:02 pm

beautiful house love the wrap around porch and swing

The Glamorous Housewife January 31, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Are you kidding me? Amazing. I would live there in a second.

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife

Kathryn Griffin @TheDedicatedHouse January 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm

What a fantastic house! Reminds me of my Great Aunt’s victorian in NW Arkansas. She too had a wonderful wrap-around porch. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you a pretty evening. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

Tracie January 31, 2013 at 8:50 pm

That house is amazing! Lots of great ideas! I would absolutely terrified living on that cliff, though! I’d have nightmares of one of the six kids falling right off. Is that why they’re selling it?

Rebecca@MidCenturyModernRemodel January 31, 2013 at 11:44 pm

I gotta comment. Ya know where you said “I wouldn’t mind doing laundry in here.” She has 6 kids. She is always in there. I bet she is sick of the laundry room.

Simone February 1, 2013 at 12:50 am

I’d love to know where she got the cute cream coloured cardigan hanging on the black hooks near the piano…?? Not a very housy comment, I know!

julie February 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Oh my goodness. I nearly fell off my chair when I clicked over to the listing and saw the price of this amazing home. I tell ya, I live in the wrong part of the country!! sighhhhhh…

Krista February 1, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Not sure about the “surgeon’s sink”. But love the rest!

Rhon February 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Yeh… :-/ that sink gave me pause…. but it looks great.

Kelly February 2, 2013 at 10:42 pm

I love the sink!!!!!!

Austin Turner April 9, 2013 at 12:51 am

The house is very tastefully done. I really like the Victorian touches to the place in the earlier pictures. I think this house is a good deal.

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