A House Tour & A Love Story

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mirror over fire place

I have an amazing house tour to share with you today!  This house belongs to my husband’s cousin, Cindy.  Cindy was gracious enough to have my daughter and I over to photograph her home and share her story with us. I called this A House Tour and A Love Story because to Cindy and her husband, Gary, creating this home was a labor of love. Wait until you see what they did with the place with an eye for design & an ultimate DIY attitude!

This first photo is of the entry way.  Those amazing floors are one of the oldest, if not the oldest, tile designs from Greek architecture.

view of foyer

When you walk in, the dining room is to your right.  This room was originally the living room but Cindy and Gary flipped these rooms to better accommodate their large dining set.

view from foyer

All the work done in this home was done entirely by Gary and Cindy. In the dining room, Gary designed and installed the beams as well as the recessed lights in them.


mirror over fire place


Dining Room Beams

Here is another view of the dining room from the entry hall.

Dining Room 2


beautiful dining room

This fireplace is double-sided.  Gary made both mantles.  He got the inspiration for them from the movie “An Affair to Remember”.  He had to soak the trim in water in order to mount it on the rounded design of the sides.

double sided fireplace

Here is the living room side of the fireplace.  The columns on the mantle echo the columns in the foyer/dining area.


Notice here the octagon shape on the ceiling mimics the octagon in the inlaid wood floors.  This is one of my favorite things in the house.

Living Room

The ceiling trim detail took 144 cuts to create!  All of the crown molding, trim, and wall panels were done entirely by Gary.  This goes for all the ceilings, crown moldings, trim and wall panels throughout the house.

Ceiling detail


ceiling and floor pattern

These angel sconces were bought while on vacation.  They had seen them in a shop and originally didn’t buy them.  But it was one of those things they kept thinking about, so they went back the next day in a horrible storm to get them.

Angel Sconce

French doors lead into the kitchen.  I really  love those ladder back chairs.  They were originally a light maple color.

Beautiful Kitchen

I also love the clock collection.  It fills that space perfectly.

clock collection


Ladder Back Chair Love


gorgeous kitchen

In the kitchen, the original cabinet doors and hardware were a cathedral design.  About a year and a half ago Gary and Cindy decided they wanted to update the kitchen to a more modern look.  They wanted to do this on a budget, so rather than ripping out all of the cabinets, they replaced just the cabinet doors and the hardware.  They painted the crown molding on the top of the cabinets black, to tie in with the island and the kitchen chairs.

Kitchen island


Kitchen Mirrors

The mirrors above the pantry doors are from an old church.  I love how they draw your eye up to the 12 ft tall ceilings.  The black beetle on the wall is actually a boot jack.  So cute!

boot jack


This is one of the bedrooms.  They couldn’t find a headboard that they liked, so Gary built one.  He used the column details to tie into the columns in the rest of the home.  The vintage night tables were found at a flea market.

feminine bedroom

This is the amazing ceiling detail in that room.

pretty ceiling



Cindy has had this white dresser and the chair since she was in grade school.  She has refinished them several times!  The vanity originally belonged to Cindy’s mom.



Amazing Ceiling

Quick stop in the laundry room, which is also full of amazing details.  They remodeled this room about two years ago.  Cindy said it took about 2 months of planning, as they wanted to utilize every inch of space.  They installed a towel bar to hang clothes that can’t go into the dryer.

Beautiful Laundry Room

The beautiful picture frame moldings on the right contain cheerful pictures of seashells.

picture frame molding

The next bedroom now serves as a guest bedroom/office.  Cindy said this room looked much different when her son was living home.  Look at this amazing ceiling detail!

Guest Room

The bed and the nightstand (which now serves as printer stand, paper stored inside, very functional) were repainted white when their son moved out.  The desk is vintage and was found in PA, along with the pedestal table.

Home office

Next is the en suite master bedroom.

Master bedroom

More ceiling detail.

Master Bedroom Ceiling

We totally forgot to take a picture of the full master bedroom.  The reason why is because your eye is immediately drawn to this hall off the room which leads to the most amazing bathroom.  They designed this room with an open feel.

Hall to Bath

The his and her closets in the hall separate the master bedroom from the master bath.

Master bath


bathroom window

The swag in the bath is held back using actual door knobs.

bathroom tie backs


bath accessories

I am in love with the basket weave tile surrounding the tub.  Cindy said they chose this tile for its clean look.

basketweave tile

Here is one side of the bath.  That door contains a water closet.  The opposite side of the bath is a mirror image of this, which anchors the room, with a shower opposite the water closet.

His and Hers vanities

Now, let’s go down to the basement.  When you enter the basement you have a bar area to the right.
basement bar 2

A sitting area straight ahead. Those white chairs belonged to Cindy’s grandmother, and have since been repainted white.  The dresser had belonged to Cindy’s other grandmother.  Cindy refinished it and now uses it to store her table linens.  The table was a curbside find that Cindy also refinished.
finished walk out basement

Gary used doors to cover the walls as paneling!  He got the doors from a friend who had them stored in a barn.  He then used chair rail to cover the door knob holes.  Genius!  You can see why Gary’s nickname was “trim man”.

Finished Basement

Basement Paneling

Beautiful Finished Basement

The basement leads out to the gardens.  Check back here to next week to see the garden tour.  You have to see the potting shed!

I am sad to say that Gary lost his battle with leukemia earlier this year.  More important than the beautiful home that they shared, are the beautiful memories Cindy has of the last 20 years spent creating this home together.

Thanks again, Cindy, for sharing your beautiful home and memories with us!

Update:  See the garden tour here.






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15 thoughts on “A House Tour & A Love Story

  1. That house is amazing! Gary was definitely a master craftsman. I’m so sorry to know he passed away. Stopping by from Home Matters Linky Party.

  2. Wow! So many architectural details. Sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. Creating a home together is definitely a wonderful memory to share. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday.

  3. Oh my, just beautiful! Those floors are amazing and love the bedroom…such a pretty headboard!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY…

  4. You have such a beautiful home with such great details and character. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us at Your Designs This Time.
    Emily & Erin

  5. Many delightful decor ideas. What I really enjoyed was seeing the creativity in making this a home. Yea Gary! I’m not seeing young craftsmen with a passion for making a house a lovely home. We are in the last half of updating, larger bathroom, enlarging door openings and halls, and creating a home that is lovely but one that we can be “old” and live here. Our workers are all over age 45, most in their mid-50s. All of them looking for young guys to mentor in their successful businesses. We live in Ok-Tex region where homebuilding is still thriving, but where are the young ‘uns who want to learn the biz? It’s a mystery. This is a lovely home and I am missing Gary for you.

    1. Kay, thank you for your thoughtful comment! I would agree that also here in NJ, I do not see many young men pursuing this noble & creative profession. Good luck with your bathroom remodel!

  6. AMAZINGggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!! Specially cause they DIYed it themselves, wow!!! Maybe I should hire them, or maybe they should open up they’re own business of REMODELING homes!
    I am in total awe of the gorgeous home and specialy, the gorgeous job they both did!
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Wow .. I love this! So much detail. I also like how everything is not so matchy and has a lot of mixed colors and furniture. Just go to show that done right, you can use any type or style. Thanks for Sharing. Have a great day!

  8. Love the tile floors! And the basketweave tile! Doors for walls in the basement–they were so pretty. Beautiful gardens and deck. May I ask what state?

  9. Wow, it looks like they put a good deal of time and effort into customizing this home, and did a heck of a job in the process! That just goes to show how well we can do things when we are motivated!

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