ceramicsDIYinterior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: michelle smith

by Grace Bonney

today i’m thrilled to share a sneak peek into the beautiful raleigh, north carolina home of michelle smith. you may know michelle from her beautiful design work, her indieNC shop, or the fantastic indie design show she produces, rock & shop market. she is a wonderful supporter of indie design in north carolina and i’m proud to have her lovely home on the site today. michelle has sent over great descriptions for each room so i’ll let her words to the talking. be sure to click here to view full sized and additional images of michelle’s home.

also, michelle will be hosting the 9th rock & shop market this saturday, june 20th. click here for more details. she’ll also be curating window displays in empty storefronts in raleigh and durham, so be sure to check those out if you’re in town!

[image above: Our bedroom is serene and light-filled. I love the color on the walls. The print on the left is from Danna Ray, the poster was designed by FloraFauna. The blue pillow was custom made for me by my friend Bliss. The pillow in front is from local North Carolina designer Modern Radar. The olive tree is a nice little reminder of my husband and my trip to Florence. The table is a family heirloom and the mirror and frames I got from a thrift-store and painted white.]

[image above: Hallway. We replaced the standard hallway light fixture with a paper lantern that we hard-wired. It was an easy and inexpensive change that made a big difference in the look of the hallway. The poster is from Bold & Nobel, a company that hails from the UK and prints all their pieces on recycled paper. My dream is to have a live/work space in a renovated barn. The shelf, is reclaimed barn-wood and brings a small piece of that dream into this house.]

[image above: I got this dresser from a thrift store for $30, then sanded and painted it. It makes for great hideaway storage and a place to set the mail & keys. I love the original knobs on the cabinet fronts.]

[image above: This gorgeous table had been sitting in my parent’s garage and was functioning as my Dad’s work table. Luckily for us, he came to his senses and offered it to us as a dining table. The chairs are from West Elm and are our first officially-adult furniture purchase. The pictures above the table were taken by us on road trip across the gorgeous Southwest terrain a few summers back. The capiz shell lamp was a bargain find at $50.]

[image above: I have a thing for textiles of all sorts and in addition to tablecloths, have a growing assortment of napkins and linens. I covet Martha Stewart’s prop-closet filled with decorative dishes, accessories and linens for every imaginable occasion and photo shoot.]

[image above: Music is a big part of our lives. Many evenings you’ll find us sitting around making music. The picture on the mantel above the fireplace was painted by Ben’s 90 year old Grandmother who attended RISD as a young woman. My Grandmother, too, is a painter. It’s nice and inspiring to have their pieces in the house.]

[image above: A few years ago my husband built me this converted closet office in our guest room. It’s a quiet place to sneak off to and get work done while the baby is napping. When guests stay we simply close the closet doors. My creative process, when working on new product ideas, can be a little messy so I do most of that work in my studio in the garage, but this space stays organized and calm and helps me stay efficient in the administrative side of my business.]

[image above: My good friend Ryan created this letterpress poster for The Bain Project, an innovative art project here in Raleigh that featured artists creating site-specific installations in an abandoned water factory on the outskirts of town. Ryan also created the poster for the upcoming Rock & Shop Market, the biannual event that I produce, which features live bands & emerging designers selling their wares.]

[image above: Our downstairs is completely open and has high ceilings. The kitchen opens onto this area and functions especially well when we have friends over for dinner and “cookie-fests”. The club chairs are hand-me-downs from my parent’s first place and are a retro orange and green stripe underneath the slipcovers.]

[image above: My husband and I are both avid cooks and passionate about using local ingredients from our garden, our csa or our local farmers market. Ben’s specialty is baked goods (he won 1st prize for scones in the State Fair!) and mine is in using herbs and veggies. I guess you could say we collect cookbooks. Some of our favorites: The Herbal Kitchen, Tartine, The Bread Bakers Apprentice and Super Natural Cooking. I also collect creamers (the one above houses salt for pinching in dishes at the last minute), tablecloths, and vintage tins.]

[image above: We keep a chalkboard near the front entry to write little notes, doodles and to-do’s. Chalk pens are the coolest thing ever!]

[image above, left to right: The hanging paper lanterns give the nursery a soft, pleasant glow when they are lit and are a fun touch. The rocking chair, wooden clock on the bookcase and school chairs were all picked up at local thrift stores for absolute bargain prices. The chairs were $5 a piece. I’m a big believer in shopping second hand. Flea markets, thrift stores and craigslist are my go to source when I need a piece, not only is the thrill of the hunt satisfying, but the price tag and environmental impact (or lack of) is as well. Right: Ah, the backyard: our little retreat where we grow veggies and herbs and eat outside in the summer. It’s my favorite thing of all about our house. The vegetable garden is behind the white fence. My husband and I made the table from a window that had been sitting in a friend’s backyard. We love to sit outside in the evenings, turn on the twinkle lights and enjoy a good meal with friends. It’s heavenly.]

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  • oh michelle! your place is beautiful. I love how much and how subtlety the nature theme appears. and thanks for the shout out!

  • What paint colors did you use? I’m loving the cool grey blue and the paler blue in the child’s room, which contrast nicely with the warm brown wood.

  • I too would like to know what colors you used, particularly in the bedroom, living room, and office space. Everything is so beautiful and calm.

  • What a great space, nicely done! What color/brand paint did you use for the living room? I love it!

  • What a beautiful, personal home! Where did you find the lovely leaf prints in your living room?

  • like the homey feel of your pictures….obviously not a stage set or showroom, but a real environment that is simultaneously liveable and stylish

  • Like me, Grace…this place is perfection! ;) Really though, it’s such a great balance between warm/cool, modern/rustic…I just wanna move right in! So homey. :)

  • i love the openness of the living room/kitchen area. and the nursery looks so soft and sweet. what a lovely home.

  • I’m currently trying to choose paint colors, could you share the brand and colors used in the rooms?

  • Wow – Rock & Shop sounds exactly like the type of event I’ve been wanting to organize in my neck of the woods, but have had no idea how or where to start. Any pointers or online resources for this sort of thing??

  • Thanks, everyone! It is surreal to put pictures of my house up and hear a bunch of compliments – but I like it!

    The paint colors are approximate because I had them mixed in no voc paint but their inspirations are below:

    Bedroom, Nursery: Benjamin Moore, 1563, Quiet Moments

    Living Room: Glidden, 10BG 38/069, Moon Rock

    Hallway: Glidden, 40YY 33/118, King’s Canyon Grey

    Closet Office: Swatch does not say who it is from and I can’t remember either, but it is 301B-4, Smoky Mauve

  • I love the rug in your living room. The big bursts of blue flower buds against the brown is amazing. Where did you find it?

  • This place is absolutely fantastic! The lack of clutter inspires me to stand up and get to work right now!

  • I LOVE this sneak peek.

    While I gather ideas and inspiration from all the sneak peeks, this one seems especially attainable and affordable. Thank you for posting!

  • Raleigh, woo hoo! Michelle, the dresser turned out great it gave me some inspiration. And hey the Bold & Noble poster looks great in action!

    Sarah in NC
    The Estate of Things

  • Wow, I think this is my favorite sneak peek yet! And thank you for the intro to West Elm. I’ve bookmarked that one!!

  • I love your home! Thanks for sharing! Could you tell me where your leaf prints are from? I love how they are identically framed but the leaves themselves are placed differently! Thanks!

  • Now THIS is a place I could love livin’ in! Light, airy, and cozy at the same time, without that “in your face, look at me, I’m a designer” sensibility. A wonderful home for real people!

  • Your home is dreamy and absolutely lovely.

    My husband and I enjoyed and were inspired by your sneak peek, thank you.

  • This is my favourite sneak peek ever. I love how open the living room/dining room area is. It’s beautiful.

  • Beautiful home! I know i am a little late to this post but was looking through old post for something and found you. Where are teh leaf prints from in your hall?

  • Hi everyone thank you for your comments. It’s surreal and flattering to hear them. I made the leaf prints above the dresser. I can make some for you too – email me michelle @ michelle-s dot com

  • One of the best sneak peeks! Minchelle, we can feel in every space a peaceful spirit, thanks for sharing!

  • This is my favorite sneak peek! I love how you balance design and practicality. It is looks welcoming and comforatable while still keeping clean lines and open space.

  • Gorgeous. My hubby and I just transformed our closet into an hide away office space too, and I was wondering if you could share your source for that awesome pendant light??