sneak peek: amanda wright of wit & whistle

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?

  1. @Tina W: I got the rug at Urban Outfitters a few years back.

  2. Melissa says:

    Thank you so much for the reply!

  3. PaintRobot says:

    Absolutely love every detail in this home!
    The floor to ceiling windows have always been my dream..beautiful!

  4. Suzy says:

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

  5. Brandy says:

    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?!

  6. @Brandy: The sheer floral panels are from West Elm.

  7. Katie says:

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

  8. Ha, I love the humble “I think the table turned out alright”. It’s lovely! Wish I had the patience to hand-paint something as nice as that table. Beautiful & comfortable home, Amanda!

  9. Miss B. says:

    I am speechless, all you needed to show was THAT WINDOW, it’s impossibly beautiful. Love all the light.

  10. Lauren says:

    Absolutely gorgeous. The overall styling is wonderful and that window seems like a dream.

  11. kellie says:

    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 :)

  12. Rachel says:

    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.

  13. Melissa says:

    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.

  14. Rachelbee says:

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

  15. Charlene says:

    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!

  16. Amber says:

    Delurking to say I LOVE DUTCH BLITZ!!

    lovely home, thanks for sharing.

  17. Jane Kostelyk says:

    Love your house and love dutch blitz! Its a childhood favorite. :)

  18. decotales says:

    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.

  19. Eva says:

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

  20. Eva says:

    Oh, never mind, i’ve just read you got it in urban outfitters. Thanks!

  21. Nancy-Jo says:

    Is your sofa from Pottery Barn, by chance? The Pearce??

  22. LOVE the painted coffee table! It was worth it for sure!

  23. Imke says:


  24. Felicia Madsen says:

    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!

  25. Really stylish ways to accessorize. Loved it! Will check out the shop.


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