White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

Serene white kitchen with #Belgianlinen armchairs and window seat by Hello Lovely Studio

White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

Since I never tire of beholding beautiful interior design, you might think I would enjoy snapping and sharing pictures of my own home and sharing house tours like so many home decor bloggers do. But I’m one of those bloggers who would rather put YOUR home in the spotlight. I would get big time bored and burned out if day after day it was my home (or my face or my garden) on the blog. But. My husband subscribes to Hello Lovely so he never misses his dose of daily lovely (Subscribe if you do not already!), and he suggested I regularly include more personal posts. So I will aim to get in the habit if you agree it’s a good idea.

I’m also aware that some of you are new followers, and I’d love to get better acquainted. I live with my husband, a Chicago attorney, in this home we have been completely renovating ourselves since 2015.  It’s obvious I have a love for white paint and white decor! It is located in Northern Illinois where the snow is piling up.  Here’s the front of our house just after the first snowfall:

Light dusting of snow on hill in front of rustic modern cottage

Our home’s front exterior in winter

Below is the back exterior of our home…it is sort of a modern custom cottage in the woods built in the ’90s

Our backyard in winter.

When we bought the house, it wasn’t even visible from the street since it’s surrounded by mature woods, and the weeds completely swallowed it up! We could see the potential, and the courtyard below became one of our favorite features. We simply cleared out all the weeds, replaced the eroded top of the stone walls, brought in pea gravel, and added a few pretty things.  The interiors were another matter! The kitchen and bathrooms had to be gutted, all sorts of faulty wiring and plumbing needed to be addressed, the windows and roof were failing, and we couldn’t even catch a break as far as heating and cooling. It needed a lot of love, and that was just what we brought.

French inspired pea gravel #Frenchcourtyard with lavender, bench, and stone wall by Hello Lovely Studio

Hello Lovely’s French-inspired Pea Gravel Courtyard. White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

Manel Grain Sackthrow Pillow

Grain Sack Pillow: FIND HERE

While I’m passionate about design and decor, what fuels my creativity is my love for home and ideas inspiring us to live more beautifully at home. Oh, how I love home! The sights, the smells, and the comfort of a lovely nest..living beautifully at home is a topic near and dear to my heart.

Knotty alder front door with speakeasy at Hello Lovely Studio's DIY renovated cottage

Hello Lovely Studio’s Front Entry. White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

I recently shared thoughts about what living beautifully at home means to me on a friend’s blog, and just in case you missed it, I’m continuing those reflections here. While I’m at it, I’m taking you on a tour of some of the interiors in our DIY renovated home where you will spy lots of white walls, Belgian linen, and unfussy European inspired modern country style.

This post contains affiliate links which if used for purchases may earn me a small commission and won’t cost you extra.

Belgian style in my living room with French fireplace, arched windows, and white oak flooring #modernfarmhouse #Europeanfarmhouse

White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

Living beautifully at home is more profound for me these days. Maybe you feel it too. Decades ago, before increased globalization, before the internet, before modern media, and before advanced satellites, home felt more to me like a private sanctuary.

White oak flooring and #Belgianlinen furnishings in rustic elegant cottage with open floorplan - Hello Lovely

White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

Agda Classic Elegant Traditional Upholstered Dining Chair

Louis Style Dining Chairs: FIND HERE

Jonesboro Outdoor Hanging Lantern

Similar lantern: HERE.

I am aware the sense of lost security I’m describing is a highly complex matter which is frequently politicized, and I am not naive enough to suggest we were safer from harm within our four walls back in pre-internet days.

White modern farmhouse kitchen with white oak floor and marble subway tile - Hello Lovely Studio

White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

It may well have been illusory, but before the world began to shrink and appear within our phones, life at home harbored a different sense of privacy,  protection, and personal boundary from threats near and far. Our shelters felt more like…well, shelter.

White Shaker cabinets and #farmsink in #modernfarmhouse kitchen by Hello Lovely Studio #minuet

White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

Modern culture and “advances” continue to alter the shape of our shelters. With cameras outside and inside our homes, boundaries between the personal and the public indeed have blurred. My own Millenial sons were relentless pediatric paparazzi as teens, whether they were capturing video of my Christmas Eve (private) dancing or their father’s snoring!

Shop my Home!

Rustic French Farmhouse Table
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Teak 3 Leg Stool
Bonjour Pillow
French Linen Upholstered Dining Chair
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Campaign Style End Table
Louis Upholstered Bench
Oak Laminate Flooring
Knotty Alder Interior Door
Alabaster 30″ Lamp
Louis Ghost Chair
Rustic Wood Candleholders
French Linen Dining Chair Set of 2
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Beachy White Slipcovered Armchair
Antiqued French Lamp
STOCKHOLM Framed Print
PARIS Framed Print
Light Grey Rattan Chair
Tulip Style Modern Round Dining Table
French Industrial Metal Cafe Chair (Set of 2)
White Farmhouse Lantern Pendant Light
Oak Accent Stool
Bridge Kitchen Faucet (Stainless)
Jute ARea Rug
Leather Club Chair
French Linen Sofa
Venetian Etched Mirror (24″ x 36″)
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Polished Carrara Subway Tile
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Magnus Table Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
White Honeycomb Mosaic Tile
Fireclay Farm Sink
Linen Slipcover Dining Chair
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Wicker Patio Chair
Teak Farmhouse Stool
Be patient with yourself...inspiring quote on Hello Lovely Studio

Your time to bloom is now.

Rustic alder wood door and #stikwood wall and romantic decor in cottage style bedroom by Hello Lovely Studio

Hello Lovely’s Rustic Romantic Bedroom with Stikwood and Knotty Alder Doors

Montauk Panel Bed

Rustic Wood Panel Bed: FIND HERE

Treport Panel Headboard

Panel Headboard: FIND HERE

Modern farmhouse style linen arm chair

Modern farmhouse style linen arm chair: FIND HERE

As a blogger, I regularly welcome thousands of strangers, whose eyes I will never meet, into my heart and home online. It’s strange at times. With social media, so many of us peer into the lives of souls whom we may otherwise have never given a single thought.

The thing is…it has all happened rather quickly.

White Bathroom with vintage style and clawfoot tub by Hello Lovely Studio

White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

Rustic Cedar 3-Legged Accent Table

Rustic Cedar 3-Legged Accent Table: FIND HERE

The shelter of our homes is different now as our four walls have grown more permeable. Surely cultural shifts affect how we regard HOME consciously and subconsciously. Perhaps, the changing shape of shelter explains my growing desire at 50-something to become even more intentional about living beautifully at home.

Window seat with linen pillows in a soft, serene, romantic kitchen by Hello Lovely Studio

White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

Similar Linen Slipcovered Chairs: HERE

Rustic Round Dining Table

Rustic Round Dining Table: FIND HERE

As you can see from these images, my style embraces the timeless and the tranquil. I come alive in the presence of quiet color, timeworn finishes, and unfussy elegance.

Viatera Minuet quartz countertops and farm sink in white serene Shaker style kitchen by Hello Lovely Studio

White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

Living beautifully at home creates warmth for connections with those whom we love most, it nourishes the body and spirit, and it can even feel like a sacred pocket of interior quietude.  Living beautifully at home transcends decorating a structure with objects or art; for me it encompasses creating harmony, tranquility, and balance so daily living is infused with more loveliness and depth.

Beautiful dark grey wicker chairs with linen pillows on patio by Hello Lovely Studio

Wicker Chairs on the patio. White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

Clipped Corners Stool

Clipped Corners Stool: FIND HERE

Daily life can quickly grow complicated, and when dark days come knocking with chaos, heartache, or illness, home should feel like a balm. Living beautifully at home is so much more than living with a collection of the right objects and the right art or perfectly organized closets. Living beautifully at home involves the peace that comes when your personal spaces reflect what brings you hope, comfort, and joy. A lovely nest provides: a safe landing for relationships to thrive, a place to rest and recover, and a shelter to experience and grow in beauty.

Give like the sun and the whole world grows tall - inspiring quote about giving

Mmmmmm…that’s a great thought.

Belgian linen armchair and stone fireplace in renovated cottage by Hello Lovely Studio

White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

If you have a minute, I’m all ears to hear your thoughts on what beautiful living stirs up for you.

Knotty alder door in serene white bedroom by Hello Lovely Studio

White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

Similar Side Table: HERE

My heart is often soft and overflowing, and I’d love to let the wonder and wishes overflow a little bit right here.

I wish you the blessing of beautiful living in the shelter you call home.

I wish you sweetness, this very moment, to counter any bitterness within your being.

I wish you heartfulness to soften the beautiful edges of your soul.

Michele of Hello Lovely Studio

White Decor Around My House & Reflections on Living More Beautifully at Home

I wish you loving kindness, lavishly overflowing from hidden wholeness within.

And peace to you, right where you are.

~michele

Shop my Home!

Rustic French Farmhouse Table
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Teak 3 Leg Stool
Bonjour Pillow
French Linen Upholstered Dining Chair
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Campaign Style End Table
Louis Upholstered Bench
Oak Laminate Flooring
Knotty Alder Interior Door
Alabaster 30″ Lamp
Louis Ghost Chair
Rustic Wood Candleholders
French Linen Dining Chair Set of 2
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Beachy White Slipcovered Armchair
Antiqued French Lamp
STOCKHOLM Framed Print
PARIS Framed Print
Light Grey Rattan Chair
Tulip Style Modern Round Dining Table
French Industrial Metal Cafe Chair (Set of 2)
White Farmhouse Lantern Pendant Light
Oak Accent Stool
Bridge Kitchen Faucet (Stainless)
Jute ARea Rug
Leather Club Chair
French Linen Sofa
Venetian Etched Mirror (24″ x 36″)
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Polished Carrara Subway Tile
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Magnus Table Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
White Honeycomb Mosaic Tile
Fireclay Farm Sink
Linen Slipcover Dining Chair
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Wicker Patio Chair
Teak Farmhouse Stool
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36 Comments

  1. February 13, 2018 / 1:37 am

    All that sunshine streaming in is marvelous, and just makes the white interiors all the more luminous. You have a lovely home. There’s a fine balance between uncluttered and austere, and you land on the right side of it. Cozy yet airy and uncluttered is not an easy thing to pull off.

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 12:50 pm

      Thank you so much for the encouragement. I find it’s often challenging to capture the airy vibe with pictures…which keeps me shy about posting too often. Off to catch up on your fantastic site. 🙂

  2. February 13, 2018 / 5:52 am

    Such a beautiful way to start the day with this post. A constant and true reminder of all things “home” that make each of us a viable piece of goodness in the universe. Your home befits your heart and gives pause to take in all we have around us everyday. Big or small, heavily decorated or minimally styled, home is the haven for family, friends, and life.

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 12:38 pm

      So happy and grateful you are in the world, Joan. What a light you are. xox

  3. Sue
    February 13, 2018 / 6:38 am

    Found your beautiful site.
    Was thinking of getting stikwood for my dining room. Are you happy with yours and would you recommend it?
    Thank you for bringing me joy as I do get that when I read your blog
    Suzanne

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 12:38 pm

      Hi Suzanne. I love the Stikwood (Hamptons) in our bedroom. It was the perfect solution for our ugly wall since it is so subtle and was so easy for us to install. As for your dining room, feel free to email a photo if you like if you care to have an opinion. It is a very rustic look — much more rustic than a traditional shiplap or wainscot. Hope this helps.

  4. Alice Genzlinger
    February 13, 2018 / 6:47 am

    Sweet! I don’t live in a white home, rather I love soft color. Green, yellow, pink and blue. I love mood lighting, a fire in the fireplace, clean smells and a clean home. I love getting up early, 5 a m and awaking the house. Sometime I will bake filling the house with smells of cinnamon and cloves. The quite of the hour gives me time to hear what Gid has to say to me. Sometimes He wakes me with music and it will continue with song most of the day, and I love that. My husband is retired now and so am I, but when he worked, he was gone much of the time. He would call from which ever country he was in and his first words were “What are you doing, playing in your house?” Exactly! I don’t work in our home, I play to make it a special place to land for us. Love that you share your heart with us.

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 12:31 pm

      What a gift your words are, Alice. You have painted a lovely picture of living beautifully at home where any house ‘work’ can become ‘play.’ I will be marinading in these thoughts today since that is a powerful, gamechanging idea. I can also sense harmony the layers of your home bring to the melody God provides. I too come alive in quiet and stillness where God’s voice comes forward with beauty. Is there anything else like it? I don’t think so. Thank you for adding so much beauty to this space with your reflections and heartful sentiments. What a blessing you are. xox

  5. Suzanne Doin
    February 13, 2018 / 7:59 am

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful home! It’s lovely,and I feel just as you regarding the place that home has in our life. I always wake early and this morning, I just felt so fortunate to look outside and inside and cherish our home. We all know as we grow older that we may not be in our home as we have over so many years and I am becoming so aware of living in the moment, right here, right now and feeling very the precious gift of life.
    Peace to you Michele! I open your page every morning and look forward to reading your honest and open feelings on life and decorating!!!

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 12:25 pm

      Thank you for being here as a companion with me on the journey, Suzanne. Your words of gratitude have added beauty to this space and lifted my heart this afternoon. Being fully present is where all the fruit is! xox

  6. Alice Genzlinger
    February 13, 2018 / 8:14 am

    Make that “What God has to say to me”

  7. Chantal Lacasse
    February 13, 2018 / 8:24 am

    Good morning Michele,

    Beautifully said, and I couldn’t agree more. I am from Canada and we also moved a year ago to a new town for my husband’s work. We embarked on a major overall renovation project similar to yours…. Everything was changed and it was a stressful time, coupled with living in a town where I knew no one… This past fall, when the renovations were coming to an end, my husband fell sick and within a week, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at age 50. This news shattered my world and I was broken deep down to my soul. What I managed to do, under stressful circumstances was to make this house our home as quickly as possible so that my husband could find peace and comfort during his treatments. This house, it didn’t feel like home because we were too busy with renovations to bring out its soul. Therefore, I focused on bringing mementos, art, texture quickly and it made such a difference in providing a sanctuary for my family. I focused on all our senses, sight, sound, smell and touch… Now, even though we are faced with a difficult challenge and we don’t know what the future holds for us, I rejoice that I could at least provide a beautiful, comfortable and safe home where he can rest and heal. Thank you for sharing what home means to you…

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 12:23 pm

      What an inspiring glimpse of your personal life, Chantal. I honor you and your husband and hope his journey will be full of light. To respond to heartaches and setbacks with beauty and hidden reserves of strength as you have done is encouraging and uplifting. Thank you for sharing this very poignant portrait of what living beautifully at home looks like. It truly looks beautiful to my eyes, and I’m grateful you are here in this peaceful space. xox

  8. Tracy
    February 13, 2018 / 8:58 am

    Oh Michelle I love all your posts and creative writing. Your blog is one of my simplest pleasures to each morning. Peace from Houston.

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 12:17 pm

      Music to my ears, Tracy. So happy you’re here and so grateful for the peace you send. xox

  9. February 13, 2018 / 10:33 am

    It is very beautiful
    I wish the best for you.
    In my opinion, white is the best color for decoration.

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 12:16 pm

      Thank you for the wishes and for reading. 🙂

  10. February 13, 2018 / 10:43 am

    Thank you for glimpse of the serene beauty of your home! I’m one of those who readers who truly appreciates the blogger who will share her own world with us. Hope you have a lovley Valentine week?

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 12:15 pm

      I appreciate your feedback, Pat. I’ll try to share more of my world even when the work feels less than blogworthy. Happy Valentine’s, friend. 🙂

  11. February 13, 2018 / 11:12 am

    I share your passion for home, a comforting, beautiful surround where you really live. Happy to come upon your blog. I like seeing a mix of things writers find inspiring (from magazines, outside sources) and how they really live or incorporate these ideas. I don’t like it when people just re-post other homes all of the time. It looks like you have a nice balance.

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 12:14 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Emily. I am an avid reader of all the shelter magazines and can’t help but be richly inspired. Peace to you. 🙂

  12. Sandy
    February 13, 2018 / 11:14 am

    So beautifully written Michele! And your home is simply lovely!

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 12:12 pm

      I’m so happy to share it with you, Sandy. Thanks for reading and brightening my afternoon. xox

  13. Anonymous, Therese
    February 13, 2018 / 11:55 am

    Hello Michele:

    Thank you for another beautiful post :). You took me back in time, to Illinois. (Rockford, and Wayne Illinois).

    There is a calm and peaceful feeling when you are surrounded by beauty, in whatever form that may take. I live on a farm, so part of that beauty is being able to see the land and the animals too!

    I enjoy your blog because of the strong current of peacefulness that flows from it ;). Really. You are inspiring because you live with purpose. I have always admired “purpose” and believe it to be a good thing to strive for.

    Thanks for the work you share for us. TEW

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 12:11 pm

      Oh, thank you so much for this encouragement and for sensing the current I truly want to emit. I’m grateful you’re here and appreciate all this light you send. xox

  14. Karen
    February 13, 2018 / 7:02 pm

    You so often speak to my heart and that brings me beauty. I try to look for beauty every day because that brings peacefulness. Thank you Michelle for adding loveliness to my life.

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 7:23 pm

      Oh, Karen, you honor me, friend. It’s beauty that can save the world. xox

  15. Karol
    February 13, 2018 / 10:40 pm

    Perfection!

    • michele
      Author
      February 13, 2018 / 10:52 pm

      Merci, Karol. xox

  16. February 14, 2018 / 10:02 am

    Thank you for my daily does of sweetness and beauty. I especially love the quote about patience with ourselves – nothing blooms all year. We too live in the Chicago area and someone told me the recent snow storm was the 9th worst in Chicago recorded history! Just think how nice all that moisture will be on the bulbs and buds very soon.

    • michele
      Author
      February 14, 2018 / 12:18 pm

      Hi Linda! You are so welcome. That is a very positive attitude about the moisture, and I am soaking it right up. Happy Love Day, friend. 🙂

  17. DL
    February 19, 2018 / 4:43 pm

    Hello,
    My name is Denise. I would like to know where you got that white egg chair, please?

    • michele
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 7:01 pm

      Hi Denise. It’s a Copenhagen chair from RH. 🙂

  18. Blaise
    July 29, 2018 / 2:51 pm

    Your home is lovely! Thank you for the tour and all your wonderful tips and insights. I stumbled upon your blog on the hunt for the perfect white paint and have enjoyed so many of your other posts. I love your lantern above your breakfast/dining table, would you mind sharing where you purchased it?

    Thanks!

    • michele
      Author
      July 29, 2018 / 8:49 pm

      So glad you found me. I found the lantern at Lowe’s years ago, and I don’t think it is offered anymore. It is an outdoor light similar to this one: http://shrsl.com/12yqc. Hope this helps, and thanks for reading. 🙂

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