Interiorssneak peeks

sneak peek: amanda wright of wit & whistle

by Amy Azzarito

Amanda Wright and her husband, Daniel, have lived in this home in Cary, North Carolina, for nearly four years. Though the house is flanked by two cities and several highways, the huge windows in the great room provide panoramic views of the forest behind, giving the home a secluded mountain hideaway feel. In decorating the space, Amanda worked to highlight its bright and airy quality. She found herself drawn to neutrals and a bit of mid-century modern with a hint of rustic thrown in for good measure. The home is also Amanda’s workspace; she runs Wit & Whistle, a company that offers quirky paper products, art prints and greeting cards, from a studio space in the basement. Thanks, Amanda & Daniel! — Amy Azzarito

Image above: We have a two-story exposed-brick fireplace in our great room. We moved into our home in the middle of the paint-your-brick-fireplace-white craze, but I’m glad we left it alone, since the natural brick suits our house well. The zombies print is from YeeHaw.

Image above: A while back I decided to hand paint our coffee table with a herringbone pattern. It took me hours and hours to complete, but I think it turned out pretty well.

See more of Amanda’s North Carolina home after the jump . . .

Image above: This is my favorite room of the house. We spend most of our down time in this room playing Xbox, napping, reading and relaxing. While house hunting, we visited more than 30 houses, but when I stepped through the front door into this room, I felt at home. We’ve been able to enjoy all sorts of wildlife thanks to our window wall and wooded backyard. Foxes, flying squirrels, owls, deer, gray squirrels, woodpeckers, and once I even hand fed a raccoon on the back deck. (Granted, that wasn’t my brightest idea . . . he came back every night for weeks with his little raccoon nose pressed against the window begging for more.)

Image above: We have a little piano nook in the loft above our great room. I’m still working on learning “Claire de Lune.” It gets really hard after the first page!

Image above: The old letterpress drawers over the sofa in our office contain my dirt collection. Whenever we go on a trip, I collect a little vial of soil or sand from each place we visit. My dad built the pedestal the globe is sitting on. He made a pair of them for our wedding decor out of wood from my childhood changing table, and now I find all sorts of uses for them around the house.

Image above: My ridiculously tiny (but cute) desk. This one is just for paying bills, not for doing any real work. Daniel’s desk is also in this room, but you do not want to see that — trust me!

Image above: I found this credenza at an antique shop, and it’s definitely my favorite piece of furniture. It sits at the opposite end of the basement from my studio so I can look at it all day. The Ws are for Wit and Whistle, of course.

Image above: This is the fireplace in my basement studio space. I’ve never used it because two fireplaces sharing one chimney in a 40-year-old house seems like a recipe for disaster, but at least it looks nice! My husband got me this adorable chair for Christmas. He hates it, but he bought it for me anyway because he loves me. Isn’t he the sweetest?

Image above: We have a shingled roof over our kitchen that people either love or hate. It has grown on me over the past few years, and the patio string lights help a lot. This doorway originally had saloon-style swinging doors, but removing those was one of the first things I did the day we moved in!

Image above: This is our little dining area. Many card games have been played at this table. Dutch Blitz is our favorite, but I’m pretty sure no one else has ever heard of that one. I do all my product photography on this table, as well. There’s something remarkable about the lighting in this spot that works wonders for my photos.

Image above: We like to read before bed, and I have a never-ending stack of books to get through. The paper cube string lights were a little DIY project I did, and here’s the tutorial.

Image above: Oliver and Mabel are usually not allowed on the bed, but don’t they make awfully cute throw pillows?

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  • What a stunning house! And that window…to die for…loving the ‘zombie’ print in the first pic, lol x

  • Beautifully decorated and painting that coffee table was worth every minute! It looks great! Love how they repeated the herringbone on a small rug in the kitchen! Great details!

  • I’ve heard of Dutch Blitz! Some girls in my dorm in college used to play it in the common room all the time.

    This house is gorgeous, and I love the colors–muted, neutral, but not bland. They’re so relaxing.

  • Such a “homey” feel here. LOVE the zombie print – I will definitely be gifting that. And Dutch Blitz is a new favorite game of mine – I was introduced to it over Christmas and immediately ordered two decks. It’s already been played at several family and friend game nights. AWESOME game.

  • this is stunning. right up my alley. such a great example of a warm and organic feeling modern home. great job!

  • Love love love this place. Totally digging the zombie print, haha. Must have.

  • Dutch Blitz is the first card game I ever played and the only one I actually like. :) And I love this house, especially the windows and the view.

  • I’m so envious of those floor to ceiling windows! I live in Oregon & half the year we need all the light we can get into our home. I’m curious as to what poem or quote is on the throw pillow in the common room? I’m a sucker for any home furnishings with prose!

  • Love all the open space! It would be so awesome to be that close to nature also! …and dutch blitz is fun, didn’t realize so many people knew about it :)

  • I really like the softness of the curtains at doorway and around the chalk board. Beautiful and not too far from me here in Virginia.

  • Gorgeous! I certainly don’t blame you for spending a lot of time by that window. What is the paint color in the pictures with the desk and credenza? It looks so warm and a bit ethereal.

  • My mantle here in Savannah looks eerily similar to this, down to the empty frames, tall white vase with sticks, the pinecones that I hunted for around town, and the candles in the fireplace. We’re mantle twins :) Although my small apartment is in no way as dreamy as this place is. This is such an amazing space, thanks so much for sharing!

  • Well, I have bought from Wit and Whistle’s Etsy shop several times, and I’m not surprised at all by how amazing this house is. Amanda has a great eye, for graphic and interior design.

  • In a very non-creepy way, I think I’ve driven by your house before. I’m from the Cary/Apex area and I love that part of Cary. I’m always curious to know what interiors of homes with beautiful exteriors look like. I’m in Europe, missing Cary badly, and this was such a treat. Gorgeous home.

  • I do believe this is my favorite Sneak Peek ever! I am such a fan of Wit & Whistle. I love how the overall look is quite modern, but very warm and cozy.

    Does anyone happen to know where the planter and the candle holders on the coffee table are from? I’ve been looking for ones just like those!

  • Love the whole feeling of this place, the colors, the little graph paper looking lines in all the decor, very gorgeous!

  • I don’t think I’d warn zombies of danger, but then, I didn’t realize they could read.

  • Thank you Design*Sponge for the feature, and thank you everyone for your kind comments! I’m so glad there are other Dutch Blitz lovers out there. You should all come over for a tournament!

    @Kristin The quote on the pillow is… “We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” (by Dr. Seuss) I actually blogged a tutorial for stenciling your own pillow like that if you’re interested. :) http://witandwhistle.com/2012/01/16/diy-stencil-pillow/

    @Hyzen: The paint color in the photo of the desk is Martha Stewart’s Whetstone Gray, and the paint in the credenza photo is Martha Stewart’s Sharkey Gray (both from her Home Depot line).

    @Stacey and @Amanda: The yellow/white patterned chair is from Target.com believe it or not!

    @Kelsey @ Pingate Road: Nice to meet you, mantle twin! :)

    @Melissa: The planter on the coffee table I found at Urban Outfitters a few years ago. The two gold candle holders are from Target, and the clear one in the back is a vintage drinking glass.

  • 1. I love your style!
    2. From knoxville tn, got a degree in printmaking there and I LOVE yeehaw, great to see it here :D

  • im on the “love” side of the love/hate the shingles over the kitchen debate; they make it feel like its own seperate enclave, something i truly appreciate as a chef. Then, i am on the “love” side of nearly everything about this house: the sheer decadence of the windows only accentuate the details, like the mustard yellow tidbits, personalized wood peices, the calming use of light, the enhancingly calming use of neutrals and quiet blues. Ive heard of to pretty to eat, but this is almost to perfect to live in…kudos

  • A stunning home! It’s so well styled yet still looks like you can actually live there. It just looks so warm and inviting!

  • I live in Cary too and never realized there was such a cool house in this neck of the woods. I love seeing something unexpected for this area. Thanks for sharing.

  • Oh, I love that great room of yours — the window is fabulous. Your saloon-style doors comment made me laugh. I too moved into a home that had them on the kitchen entrance, and I also got rid of them the very first day. My dad said, “You’re making a mistake,” and I think I laughed in his face, poor guy. I love the curtains you hung in the doors’ place.

  • Gorgeous! The table you painted–beautiful! And the pillow! Wow. Your tutorials are impressively clear & concise. I, too, had the saloon doors on the kitchen. I thought they were whimsical and wanted to kitsch-up the tacky kitchen and run with it. The doors kept slapping my kids in the face when they were running around, though. Of course that wasn’t a deterrent. It took me a couple of days to remove them. Thanks for sharing your amazing home.

  • Amanda, thanks so much for the answer! And wow, those are two paint chips I have taped to my wall at the moment, so it’s nice to see them working so well in your house and feel I’m on the right track!

  • Beautiful home…and what a nice husband to compromise on the chair you love.

  • Beautiful! Can you tell me where the lovely round rug in the office (in front of the sofa) came from?

  • Very cool to see this post! Everytime I peer into someone else’s house via DesignSponge everything just looks too exotic for me to accomplish in my own home. Seeing this Cary home makes me think maybe having such a cool decor would be possible in my own place, just down the road in Raleigh!

  • Loved the “Danger Zombies Run” poster. I guess I need it too! :) Bright & natural colors – so calming yet so gorgeous!

  • Wow. a truly gorgeous house filled with love!! My favorite was the sofa that your husband got you. It’s very sweet.

  • My husband would get a kick out of the zombie print! Ha! You have such a lovely home. Would love to know where you found the sheer floral panels in the doorway?!

  • Oh my, that room with the triangular window is absolutely perfect. This home is so beautiful and cozy, very inspiring!

  • Thanks for sharing! I love Wit & Whistle and it was fun to see a whole tour. And Dutch Blitz? One of my favorite games! I grew up playing it with my family. We can get really into it sometimes :)

  • What a cool house! I hope I too have a home someday that so perfectly harmonizes style with comfort. I’m on the fence about the shingle roof myself, but may I just say that those are some dandy shingles.

  • I love Design Sponge but usually feel like the homes are too staged or not suitable for family life…but I still obsess over every detail;) This one is kinda how we live – but much much more pulled together and interesting. I can’t stop looking at your photos and appreciate your unpretentious style and descriptions –very refreshing. Would you please let me know where you found the curtains you have in the kitchen door way? Love them.

  • In love with the Penrose tiling on the blackboard – did you draw it yourself? Fabulous. Definitely going to give it a try myself.

  • LOVE your graphic aesthetic…some of the furniture seems a little…contemporary and doesn’t seem to jive with the punch of the rest of the house. Overall, rad home and thanks d*s for showing some NC love!

  • So very jealous – I want the Zombies print really badly, but just checked and they don’t deliver overseas (I’m in the UK)…. Agree with all the comments here – love the monochrome touches with colourful highlights. The wood, the brick, the light, the rugs – just stunning.

  • I LOVE this home! Could you tell me where the round rug in front of the couch is from? It’s stunning! Thanks!

  • Love your home! Has the yellow chair fabric held up well? I’m thinking of using it to reupholster a chair in my home. Thanks!