Do you ever have the urge to just pop into a fancy neighborhood, sneak into a house, and gawk a bit?
Of course, it’s not something I normally get to actually act on, but I always feel like it would be so fun to see how the other side lives. Lucky for me, Southern Living put on an open house a few minutes from where I work called the Southern Living Showcase Home. Can you guess how I spent my Friday afternoon?
I think I could probably handle living here.
So, settle in, grab a cup of coffee (or whatever you’re drinking this morning) and get ready to be inspired beyond belief. This house is absolutely incredible – so incredible, in fact that I wasn’t able to squeeze all of the inspiration into just one post. I took way too many photos, and there was way too much house to see, so I’m breaking it down to two posts – today we’ll see the main living areas, and I’ll share the bedrooms and bathrooms in a separate post.
Are you ready?
Let’s do this.
First up, can we take a second to admire those garage doors?
Ah-may-zing. I love the wood planks on them, and I also love the giant lantern-style lights next to them. Drool.
Okay, now that we’ve properly appreciated the outside of the house, let’s step inside. First up is the living room.
Sigh. I’m smitten. The white plank walls, the moody gray-toned wood floors, and that amazing concrete-molded mantel. Amazing. not to mention the giant sliding glass doors that lead out to the most amazing patio I’ve ever seen (we’ll get to that in a minute).
First, let’s talk about some of the inspiration I drew from this room. I was especially drawn to that shell-covered tray on the coffee table.
This would be so easy to re-create! Just grab a bunch of shells, a mirrored tray, and some hot glue and you are good to go. And it makes such a huge visual impact! I was also drawn to the herringbone-patterned brick in the fireplace (you can see it in the first photo of this room) – it was a small detail, but it was definitely noticeable.
If you turn around and face the back of the house, this would be your view.
Let’s step into the dining room, shall we?
I absolutely loved the giant chandelier and the bench-style seating. The place settings were all incredible as well, and it all just felt so lush and fancy. It was a nice contrast, because I typically see big open living areas like this as a bit more casual (versus a dedicated, formal dining room), so it was a really interesting juxtaposition to see such a fancy dining set in a more casually laid-out floor plan.
And then, of course, is the kitchen.
Well, the first kitchen.
Did I just say that? Yes. There are TWO kitchens. As it was explained to me by one of the people showing the house, this kitchen is the “show kitchen” that you can keep nice and clean and perfect for company all the time. The other one is the “prep kitchen” where you actually do the cooking. Because everyone needs two kitchens, right?
Can we talk about that backsplash for a minute? All of those tiles are hand-cut marble, and I wanted to lick it. I’m weird, I know, but I seriously wanted to drop everything and make out with that backsplash. It was stunning. It almost made me not even notice those trimmed glass upper cabinets, the giant window looking out onto the patio, or the planked ceiling with the amazing dark wood beams. Almost.
But, the backsplash isn’t the only makeout-worthy thing in this kitchen. There’s also this gorgeous oven and sleek black vent hood.
Just one more photo of the backsplash? Sorry – couldn’t resist.
Can we drool over the island for a minute?
The small sink was so cute (though I’m really not sure what you’d use it for, since there’s another one five steps away), and I loved the giant tulip arrangement on the island. It made me want to go out and track some down to sprinkle all over our house – I’ve never been a big tulip girls before, but I’m in love now. This island was so beautiful that I didn’t even notice the giant chocolate cake sitting on it. And that’s saying something.
And you can see the backsplash in this photo again.
Sorry. I have a problem.
Let’s just move into another room.
I say room, but I mean pantry. And the reason I say room is because it’s seriously large enough to be considered it’s own room. Check it out.
Amazing. Seriously, I could probably live in here. I loved the little prep area and the pretty warming oven drawer. And look at all of that storage space! I’m in love.
Okay, so it’s time to go back into the living room and step outside of those giant doors to the patio. Are you ready for this?
Mmm, yeah. You weren’t ready, were you? How could you possibly prepare yourself for this? That infinity pool made me want to dive right in, even though it’s February (let’s be real, I live in Texas so it was 80 degrees anyways – I could have gone swimming!) and I couldn’t get over how large the patio was.
I didn’t get a good photo of it, but if you turn the corner (directly behind where you’re looking in the above photo) there’s a whole separate section of the patio, with an outdoor kitchen, a sitting area around the fire pit, and a small dining area. I probably could have stayed there forever.
But I wanted to see the rest of the house, so we all headed back in.
Let’s take just one more look at the main living space before we head to the back of the house to the
servants’ quarters prep kitchen.
I seriously felt a little bit like I was in Downton Abbey going into the downstairs kitchen, only if the servant’s kitchen was completely gorgeous and updated, and an actual part of the house. And, you know, not for servants since we don’t really do the whole servant thing here in central Texas. At least, I don’t think we do. I’m not rich, so I wouldn’t know.
This kitchen was just as gorgeous as the last one, only less fancy and more liveable-looking. I loved the herringbone-style brick floor (it had a super fun texture under your feet!) and the pretty blue-ish/green-ish cabinets. This definitely looked like the type of kitchen you could do some serious cooking in.
There was also a giant, three-car garage off of this kitchen that had an automatic attic ladder (that my parents are now thinking of installing in their house – seriously!) and a giant go-cart virtual-reality game. Like…you climbed into the go-cart and there was a huge screen in front of you and you could drive it. Like an arcade game. But cooler.
But those photos aren’t particularly exciting, so let’s move onto the hall bathroom. It looked like it belonged in a magazine (okay, all of these rooms look like they belong in a magazine, but work with me here).
I liked the beveled subway tile in here – I have seen it before in photos and wasn’t a huge fan of the idea, but in person it’s gorgeous. It is just like regular subway tile but the beveled edges add a unique texture and make it feel a little more special. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but let’s just say this is the least impressive of all of the showers in this house (there are five). But, we’ll get into those next week. For now, let’s head upstairs.
Can we pause and talk about that staircase for a minute? I’ve never seen tiles on the risers like that before, and I adore how special it looks. I also liked that the treads on the stairs weren’t solid pieces – they were planked like the rest of the flooring. Again, it was a small touch, but it made an impact!
Oh, and those ginormous baskets hanging on the wall? Don’t even get me started.
At the top of the stairs, there’s this cute little bar area, with a gorgeous backsplash, and a copper sink that I fell in love with. Oh, and that blue light fixture? Gorgeous.
The main part of the second level is the TV room – it was a lot more casual than the rest of the house, and it looked like a perfect place to settle in and watch a movie.
I loved all of the lamps in here, like those gorgeous blue ones, and the beautiful white branch-y one. I kind of wanted to steal it, but I didn’t think it would fit in my purse.
Oh, and stealing is wrong.
And, with that, you’ve seen the main areas of the house.
Are you feeling inspired yet? Because I am. There are so many ideas in this house that I’d love to steal, and every time I look at the photos again I find something new that I hadn’t noticed before.
So, now that your head is probably swimming with awesomeness, I’ll stop bombarding you with photos of this amazing house and let your eyes take a break from bugging out of your head (because if you’re anything like me, that’s all they’ve been doing since you first laid eyes on this house).
What’s your favorite part so far? Find anything that you’ve absolutely got to copy in your own home? I think I might need a second kitchen.
Want to see the second part of the tour? Of course you do.