Tracy’s House Tour

One of the biggest sources of inspiration for me are the homes of my friends.  This charming home belongs to my friend, Tracy (she helped me slipcover my sofa).  I LOVE being in her home.  It’s better than a day at design school.  For the record, I don’t go into every home and make mental notes of everything.  But Tracy was nice enough to let me take pictures and share them and the more I sat here in the privacy of my own office and looked at them, the more I learned.

I took a picture of Tracy but, of course it was blurry. So I grabbed this one from Angela. Clearly, Tracy is multi-talented.

Whenever a home speaks to me the way Tracy’s does, I pay attention and see what I can learn and look for any idea that is sparked.  I’ll go ahead and write my internal thoughts and random observations under each picture (you know, since that’s so different from what I’ve done here for the past five years for this entire blog).

1. This table.  I think she said she got it from Metrolina (the closest thing we have to Scott’s or Round Top).  I look for a table guy every time I go.

2. Um, I think she might be brilliant with plants.

3. Love the door/shelf thing, that’s smart. Note to self, be smart with making shelves out of stuff.

4. Mixed metals of silver and gold and zinc.  Love.

1. Yep, the plants get even more charming under closer inspection.  She’s for sure brilliant with them.  Putting plants in three matching pots looks great.

2. Duh, pea gravel in a big tray and just set all the pots on top. I am so copying that.  The worst thing is when you water plants but don’t want water to get everywhere, this is smart.

1. Have mercy this is lovely.

2. That wall.  That meaningful, beautiful, playful, formal, random, well-planned wall.  I’ll take three please.  I really like that she mixed rectangular shapes with ovals and circles.  I think my gallery wall could use a circle or two.

3. This room draws me in and I want to look closer at everything.  Why?   Oh, I think it might be her vignettes on the table.  I’m a little obsessed with tablescapes.  I’m not that good at creating tablescapes so I really like looking at how other people create them.

1. Again, great use of plants.

2. Nothing in this room is matchy-matchy yet it works so well.  It has just the right amount of items and everything has a voice.  I like that.

1. I NEVER would have picked out all of those fabrics together….and I LOVE them!  I think I’m going to reconsider my mixing of pillows on our sofa.

1. Tracy dip dyed the drapes.  SUCH a pretty result.

2. Really thoughtful mix of colors with the eggplant and copper and greens.

1. More copper!!  Frames, sofa, big pot to hold the magazines.  I LOVE the use of copper.  Hey, I have the copper twins at my house, I bet they’d love to have a few copper friends.

2. The bold drapes finish off the entire room.

3. Another really neat table.  I think she said she got this one from the same table guy. I need to ask her again.

1. Why do I have to be so compli-mi-cated? Why can’t I be simple like Tracy and just have a large statement piece hanging over my mantle?  And two architectural pieces sitting on the ledge.  This?  Is simply beautiful.  Pretty attention to detail with the board and batten look.

1. A good reminder, dressers can be used in every room of the house.

2. Another beautiful plant!

1. Copper again.  SUCH a beautiful color.

2. Making a mental note to ask her about her rug.

3. Legos on the table?  HUGE yes!

1. I don’t know what this plant is in, but I love it.  Note to self, put plants in fancy things I don’t know what they are and hang them on the wall because I’m super in love with this.

My take aways from Tracy’s house are all encouraging.  Usually what I learn from someone is how they break the ‘rules’.  Most of us have some kind of unwritten design rules in our head and seeing other people bend or break those can be really freeing.

Here are some ‘rules’ I didn’t know I even had until I saw Tracy’s place:

1. I can’t use pea gravel just laying under plants on a tray that would be weird.

2. I can’t mix random pillows that drastically.

3. Dip dyed drapes would look dumb, that’s scary and messy and probably not worth it.

4. Plants are hard, only use them in a few select places.

Shhhh, hear that? That’s the sound of all those unwritten rules, rules that I didn’t even know that I had in my head, disintegrating.  Because that’s what homes like this can do for us.  That’s what those lovely pictures in the magazines can do for us.  IF we let them. We get to choose what to do with the pretty homes we encounter in real life, online and in magazines.  Do we feel guilt and shame and jealousy?  Or look at them with an attitude of learning, finding motivation and being inspired in our own quest for creating a meaningful, beautiful, purposeful home?

Tracy, thank you so much for sharing your lovely, warm and inviting home.  Your family uses it so well and also, you are now my house plant mentor.


Someone can tell me that I can mix all different pillows of non-relating fabrics on a sofa, but until I see it done well, I don’t seem to believe it.  What about you?  Have you experienced the sound of your own design rules breaking by being in a friend’s home or looking at these or other photos?


  1. beautiful, inspiring home!

  2. What a lovely home! I always feel like I have to hang things on the wall either centered or symmetrically. Love the little antlers over the dresser.

  3. Posts like this help me develop my own house style and that is very helpful. I have a lot of rules. Holding them up to the lights helps me see through them and decide which ones to keep and which ones have outlived their usefulness. Good thoughts today!

  4. I love a great dresser in just about every room! She has a beautiful home and I am definitely stealing the pea gravel idea as well! Thanks to Tracy for sharing her home with us

  5. Thank you so much for showing us her home. I love to see homes that aren’t too matchy but everything looks great together – mostly because I obsess about each and every detail and then feel like it’s boring. I love Tracy’s style….the plants, that cart table!, the drapes, the pillows, all of it. We need to see her rooms again or more of her house shortly. I bet she changes things around some. This one was very inspiring…I’ll be looking again. :)

  6. Dip-dyed drapes, big, emphatic yes! What a treat today.

  7. Love this post!! Love the home tour & I love that her home reflects her and her family, looks current but not like everyone else’s! Really beautiful! I’d love more post from you like this!!

  8. Nester, you are killing me. Where did she get the black and khaki striped drapes? Pleeeeeze ask her!!

    • Pat, I am wondering the same thing! I LOVE the drapes!!! All I can find are black and white drapes. I love the way the black and khaki looks together! So Please Nester ask Tracey and get back to us! xoxo

      • I told Tracy I was posting this today so I expect her to stop by tonight–she’s an avid sewer so my guess is she made ’em!

        • Hey there! Yes I made the drapes. Much less expensive than trying to find the ones I was envisioning. Solid colored fabrics are almost always less expensive. The hardest part was the math of the stripes. And even that’s not tough. To make it even less painful, I simply hemmed the top and bottom and used clips to hang them. Thanks!

  9. When I saw the dresser in the room, I said, “be still my heart”! Love the dresser and how it is used. I’m tired of my so called “cottage look” and want a new look and feel going on in my home. So glad to have this tour of Tracy’s beautiful home and the fresh ideas she has given me!


  10. I love that you have a “houseplant mentor.” I am the original houseplant killer. Plants go in…they do not come out. I try.

  11. tracy’s home is so inviting and homey. love that!
    i just purchased three deer antlers myself (so happy to see i’m on the right track b/c i love quirky things on walls and i hate “kirkland’s” art). my dilemma though is how to hang them as the back of them is hollowed out. does tracy have any tricks to hang them so they’re level and secure?
    thanks a ton :o)

  12. Absolutely love the bold striped curtains.. I have a square living room with 4 windows and a fireplace in there and couldn’t figure out how/what window coverings to do, well until NOW:0) Thanks!!! Love Tracy’s house!!

  13. I have a copper boot tray holding plants on top of my Grandmother’s piano bench and was frustrated that water from the plants created water spots on the tray. Good grief, Charlie Brown, why didn’t I think of pea gravel??? And, those dip-dyed drapes are amazing! Thanks so much for a very rich post today, Nester.

    • I was going to mention that just the other day I saw a Smith and Hawken copper boot tray at Target for $29. It would totally work for a plant tray as well.

      • Yes, I got mine at Target in the Smith and Hawken section and it is large enough to cover the surface of that precious piano bench. Looks great with a copper watering can amidst the plants. And, now, thanks to you and Tracy: Pea Gravel!

  14. How beautiful…I would be taking mental notes as well!
    Tracy’s home is gorgeous.
    And those dip dyed curtains…goodness! I think I have found a project I actually WANT to complete!
    Thanks for sharing!

  15. Have mercy that coffee table is killing me!!! That big wheel, the rustic wood. My stars! I love her very artistic approach.

  16. I remember adding circles to my gallery walls and it was literally eye opening! Something about a circle makes things feel less stuffy. A beautiful home and wonderful words on expanding our decorating eyes! xo

  17. So pretty. I agree … the perfect amount of furniture and accessories. I like that the living room was without a rug; the floor has such a pretty shine.

  18. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful home!

  19. That is EXACTLY the kind of decorating I love! Looks and feels homey, comfy, “collected over time” but still put together! I struggle with this…don’t wanna go too matchy-matchy, but want it to look like I gave it some thought and didn’t just throw everything I have together willy-nilly! Tracy is talented for sure. Thanks for this post!

  20. Yes she does have away with plants! And I have some trays in need of pea gravel. I do get inspired by friends homes in the same way too. Something just grabs you a pattern the way objects are collected together an unusual color. A unique perspective is always refreshing.

  21. Domestic Diva North says

    Love the “random” look of this home that is still so beautiful and inviting. Just lovely indeed.

  22. PLEASE find out what that silver goodness is hanging on the wall!! Is it a dome lid cut in half?? what is it cause i need to copy it IMMEDIATELY!!! :)

    • Hey there! I got the silver planter from the Brimfield fair in Massachusetts while we were visiting family. It’s actually half of one of those fancy silver domes that butlers always carry in cartoons. Someone had cut one in half and attached a back to it to allow it to be hung on a wall…

  23. Holy cow, I pinned the living daylights out of this post. Who knew that copper could act like a neutral?

  24. I am drooling!! Tracy is amazing! I love color, so white walls scare me, but she used so much color in her decor that the light colors of her walls simply acted as a canvas. I love it!! This gave me so many ideas for what to do when we move the next time. Thank you!

  25. I’m intrigued by the dog statue atop the dresser. THOSE are the vignettey things I’m never good at pulling off…but then I drool all over them when someone else does. I love Tracy’s home. Every stitch of it.

  26. Just lovely. I’ve never seen a table man at the Metrolina with stuff that good, either. Love the dresser in an unexpected place and the antlers – those are right up my decorating alley.

  27. Beautiful House! The drapes, the fireplace, the PLANTS! Wonderful talent. And I especially love that you can tell people actually live in the house…it’s definitely a home. Thank you for sharing :)

  28. Ummm…totally stealing the pea gravel under plants thing…and the awesome mismatched pillows…always so afraid to do that! Thanks for sharing your friend Nester! I love snooping in other people’s homes!!~Kim

  29. I love this house! I love her use of color. So many colors and patterns and styles but it all goes together so well. I get so hung up on things blending well (not matching mind you, but going together) that I won’t use something that I really love and would love to have in my house because I don’t think it would go. This has inspired me to break more decorating rules.

  30. I love this post! Thank you for sharing Tracy’s beautiful home. I now am on a mission to have more plants in my home ~ she mixes those into her decor beautifully! Also, that litle Boston Terrier on her dresser in the family room? I have the same little guy that used to be in my mom’s house. He’s been sitting in the basement waiting for a perfect spot and seeing him in Tracy’s house I jumped right up and brought him upstairs. Don’t know where to put him yet, but he’s too cute to keep hiding any longer. Thanks for jogging my memory:)

  31. Thank you , Nester for the tour! Tracy, you have a beautiful home and I am so glad that you were featured today!


  32. This post was fun to read!!!

  33. Great house! Running out to buy plants this weekend. I love the big navy/terracotta pillows on the couch (suzani print?). I was thinking of using those colors in my living room . Any chance Tracy would share the source?

  34. Great post! Very interesting and inspiring.

  35. Pea gravel. Who knew?? Sometimes it’s the simple things I miss while I’m trying so hard to over complicate everything. :) Thanks for sharing!

  36. Those great tables – “HELLO Mr. Rustic Industrial coffee table with the wheels!” and the unusual container with plant all screamed my name :)
    ~ Dana

  37. I’m back to look AGAIN. I can’t stop thinking about her plants…

  38. Great blog!

  39. Lisa Hankins says

    I am off the charts inspired by Tracy’s home! I too love the random coziness of it all. I use what I like no matter if it “goes together” and it never seems pulled together to me. I’ll be going over these photos in more detail and seeing what rules I can throw out! Thanks Nester!

  40. I love, love, LOVE real life home tours. Thank you, Tracy, for sharing your beautiful home. It is full of soul.

  41. totally love the dyed curtain!

    style frontier

  42. I just realized my unspoken rule is “Every wood floor needs a rug to anchor it.” What a lie! Sure, rugs are nice, and they can be a great addition. But, I love how open and breezy those spaces are, and (when I look closer) there’s plenty of spaces that don’t have thick rugs covering up those hardwoods. I am so stealing this concept…..

  43. this house is amazing… but… but… i would love it if you featured a normal, middle class, small family’s imperfect home. not a large, double sitting room, emaculate show house. I love this site for it’s simplicity, but I think there’s a segment of the population that just doesn’t have the time, space, money or ability… my friends’ houses (and our small apartment) don’t look like this. and some of them (us) never will.

  44. Ohmygoodness. Love it, love it!!

  45. Your Tracy does not have cats. Or they would nibble on all those plants and something might get sick or die. (Not sure if that would be plants, cats or both.) Otherwise, I like your Tracy’s home a lot!

  46. I can see why you love this home. It looks real and lived in but stylish. My favorite is the use of plants.

  47. Thanks for this post. I never thought about how many “rules” I have and how narrowly that defines what I see and do.

  48. The Suzani printed pillows — love! I’ve been eyeing that fabric print for some time. I better get me some. What a fun post this was. Thanks, Nester!

  49. Where did Tracy get the coffee table?
    I love her house, I love the legos, love the plants and the pillows.

    But I want a coffee table like that! But wait, do the kids try to ride it like a surfboard?

    And I don’t know what Metrolina is but hello, Round Top! You are speaking my language!
    Great post, Nester, and thanks for opening your lovely home to us, Tracy.

  50. Her home is so beautiful and warm. I was so happy to realize that I had only reacher “continue reading” and not the end of your post. I enjoyed those lovely rooms. I would be at home there.

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