stephmodo: Real Life Home - Chelsea's Michigan Farmhouse

Real Life Home - Chelsea's Michigan Farmhouse

• 05 March 2012

Putting together this real life home post was a bit torturous because Chelsea happens to live in what I'd call my dream home...a gorgeous farmhouse built in the 30's (old, but not too old) nestled up against rolling hills.  Think: lots of moldings, exposed beams, brick and hardwood.  Mmm...all of the most endearing features of an old house, yes? 

I first "met" Chelsea when I ordered a few of her darling felt barrettes for my girls and it turned out she was a friend of my sister-in-law Caroline.  Small world!  It's been fun to follow her adventures from Utah to the Caribbean to Michigan, where she hopes to stay put for awhile.  Today I'm excited to share with you some snippets of her's so darling and well-curated.  And I love that her sweet husband took all 3 of their little ones out of the house for the day so she could tidy up and snap pictures for all of us to enjoy and be inspired by--such a "real life" touch.  In fact, I call this the "divide and conquer" approach--something we practice in our home too.  It's seriously what all parents have to do if they want to get anything done :)

Okay, let's start this home tour!  I cannot wait a moment longer...

For those of you just tuning in, this series showcases living spaces decorated by people who are not formally-trained interior designers; people who mix new finds with antiques and secondhand pieces from Craigslist (or the like). People who have figured out, on their own, what looks and feels good in their living space, be it a free-standing home, an apartment, or in one particular case, a tower :)

I chuckled when I saw this first image...apparently she and I share an "interest" in cows and own the exact same high chair (this is the best high chair by the way--modern, clean, lightweight, cheap!).

One of the first things they did when the moved into this new home was paint a chalkboard wall--something they've done before; therefore evoking a sense of familiarity.  In Chelsea's words, "it feels more like us now".

Such a lovely spot for a kid-size table and chairs.  I'm especially fond of the modern print in the window and the banner of "original art" :)  What a cheerful nook!

Chelsea's ever growning collection of white dishes on display in her dining room.  What a clever storage solution...showcasing her favorite pieces on top and then storing the rest inside the armoire.  Love the contrast of dark and light!

Her daughter Tate is not a girly girl (I can oldest is the same!) so the pink needed to be applied sparingly.  I love the way Chelsea described the decorating process for this room:

"Tate's room was so fun to decorate because of the pitched ceiling. Every kids dream, right? She is not a girly girl though, so even though I wanted it to feel magical and whimsical, I couldn't go too overboard. I knew the gray and white striped bedding would tone down the frill factor a bit, and she'd appreciate that.  Her art collection has taken some time, as I didn't want it just thrown together. I really like to buy pieces that speak to me and remind me of something or someone. The little bottom painting I bought at the Salt Lake City Arts festival a couple years ago, and in tiny pencil it says, "waiting for the party to start". It just reminded me Tate, so full of life. I really love finding neat little prints, paintings, photographs. I have a stash of them that I've yet to find a home for."

This precious vanity has been in the family for decades--grandmother then mother and now Chelsea's daughter, Tate.  Because I do not own anything that's been handed down through my family, I think this is particularly inspiring and love to hear sweet stories like this.  Speaking of sweet, how about that precious teepee?  What a darling hideaway! Also, one thing I've noticed is how cleverly placed the books are--under the vanity, on a chair and propped up in the thick window sills.

If you don't peek at Craigslist regularly, then you're missing out on some fabulous decorating finds for in point right here.  That fabulous pink chair was picked up on C-list and is Chelsea's favorite find to date.

Another "hand-me-down"...the bed has been in their family for even longer than the vanity as it once was Tate's great, great grandmother's when she was a little girl.  Chelsea finds the worn patina endearing and wasn't afraid to gussy it up a bit with modern bedding.  I love the mix of old and new.

Art can be a tricky matter due to so many factors (price, size, colors, whether or not it speaks to you, etc.), but Chelsea found a piece that fits in seamlessly with her other pieces and has worked well in all her previous dwellings too.  Chelsea writes, "I've always loved this piece of art, and we've had it for years. It's moody, and I think I'll always respond well to the colors.

And those fun they are saddled up side by side with the pages exposed.  Someone needs to add that to their pinterest board labeled, "ways to display books"!  (p.s. I pinned my first pin last week!  I love having so many images in one tidy place.  But I see how one can become addicted...)

Chelsea picks up almost all her furniture from family, a second-hand store (like the Eames chair above), Homegoods (miss that here in WA--utilize that resource if you live near one!) and Ikea.  She says about these things, "I've learned how to make those things work on a med student's budget. It's funny, the things in my home that mean the most to me, that I would be the most sad to see ruined, we didn't spend a dime on."

I love that.

I always enjoy seeing how different people display their books and other tchotchkes.  Such a simple act, yes, but it takes some time to get it just right.

Chelsea's twin boys also enjoy a beautiful space thanks to their mama's skills and resourcefulness. She writes:

"As soon as we found out we were having boys I knew I wanted the Dwell Draper Stripe rug. I went bold with that, and simple with everything else. You can really see my love for Ikea in this room, and proof that their stuff does last because that tall dresser is 10 years old! The real steal in here is the orange leather drum though, which I'm using now as a side table. I scored that for $1 at a garage sale this fall. I LOVE how bright and happy their room is. It's definitely my favorite room in the house."

Little vignettes from the that Sophie la Giraffe ! My little Gray loved gnawing on that as a baby...wait, he is still a baby, right?

I love how the exposed brick fireplace is painted white, along with the walls.  What a beautiful canvas for all the colorful accents Chelsea added to the space.  So calm and cheerful, the perfect combination for a nursery; especially one full of so much energy!  And that rhino...such an ecclectic addition.  I love that it even ccurred to her to add a rhino :)  It's the perfect mascot, yes?

Chelsea, thank you for allowing us to peek inside your home and be inspired by some of your favorite nooks and crannies.  How generous of you to share! 

Feel free to peek at more inspiring spaces in the Real Life Home Series:

Real Life Home No. 15 - Erin's Upcycled Hollywood Glam
Real Life Home No.14 - Nadia's Converted Barn in Vermont
Real Life Home No.13 - Dottie Angel's Mossy Shed
Real Life Home No.12 - Aunt Patty's sophisticated mid-century home
Real Life Home No.11 - Rubyellen of Cakies and her French-inspired flea market finds
Real Life Home No.10 - Julie's coastal home with reclaimed materials
Real Life Home No. 9 - Petra's Tower in downtown Seattle
Real Life Home No. 8 - Kayce's Nashville Home that's both Southern + sweet
Real Life Home No. 7 - Sara's colorful and eclectic Portland Home
Real Life Home No. 6 - Amy's Calming Neutrals in California
Real Life Home No. 5 - Lynne of Sugar City Journal and her whimsical details
Real Life Home No. 4 - Emily's gorgeous whites and woods in Dallas
Real Life Home No. 3 - Kirsten of Simply Grove's clean and textural Idaho home
Real Life Home No. 2 - Maria of Two Peas and a Pod and her white kitchen
Real Life Home No. 1 - My sister Cherilee's eclectic, mid-century home

all images by Chelsea Horsely


  1. Спасибо ... ) получила удовольствие. Valentina

  2. This is my favorite one yet. Her home seems so beautiful and yet real and approachable. Wonderful job!

  3. looooove it chelsea! now can you cme to my house to help me decorate?

  4. Oooh, really love this one. I want to have a collection of white dishes and a pretty place to display them. Love the orange rug and drum. Curious how the babies sleep in that bright room! (Were their window treatments hidden in there somewhere?) It's so cute, though. Really beautiful home.

  5. I love it. Her style reminds me of my sister's home, where we love to visit. Such a happy home. I am so glad you do this series. It 's a keeper!

  6. perfectly decorated and yet so homey! i want to live there! thank you for the inspiration.

    ps i LOVE this series! keep them coming.

  7. I love it!! Pretty much want to move in immediately!!

    Xx. Patience

  8. Oh wow, she nailed it with those kid rooms. And so nice to See books displayed in the window.....something i've never seen before. Thank you for this one!

  9. Pretend Fancy...Chelsea will be so happy when she reads that!

    Bridget, that's what I said!

    Mary, I think there are roller shades on the windows, rolled up tightly...but I'm not positive. Chelsea?

    Kathy, Mary & White Laquer: thank you for saying's increased motivation to keep up the series!

    Leslie, she really did. I cannot agree with you more! Her children's rooms are perfection. She really has a knack!

  10. Pretend Fancy...Chelsea will be so happy when she reads that!

    Bridget, that's what I said!

    Mary, I think there are roller shades on the windows, rolled up tightly...but I'm not positive. Chelsea?

    Kathy, Mary & White Laquer: thank you for saying's increased motivation to keep up the series!

    Leslie, she really did. I cannot agree with you more! Her children's rooms are perfection. She really has a knack!

  11. Oh my goodness, my confidence is sky high today! Thank you Stephanie for your compliments, and fellow bloggers for your kind words too. You are all too nice!

    Mary- there actually are not any shades in their room. It's always pretty bright in there, except when the sun is down obviously. So far it hasn't seemed to bother them. They still take great naps in there. I think they like the warm sun coming through. Or, that's just what I tell myself:)

  12. can i move in? this is SO GORGEOUS and is absolutely my dream house. I love it!!

  13. This makes me homesick for Michigan and homes with charm. So wonderful!

  14. these real life homes are always an inspiration. i especially love the books with exposed pages!

  15. So beautiful! I love this series!

  16. I love her home!! SO BEAUTIFUL! :)

  17. I love this house. And when I scrolled down to the photo with the two cribs in that gorgeous, fresh! We're about to tackle our first real redecorating project and this gives me courage and inspiration.

  18. She amazes me! What a beautiful home. I love everything about it!

  19. Beautiful house and beautiful pictures. I especially love the children's bedrooms. What a great idea to showcase "real" houses.

  20. I love it so much. Where are the cribs from?? :)

  21. Oh my goodness- i love it!! Where are the cribs from?? :)


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