'The Harvested Home'

November 2019 Issue

Meet the Home Owner:

To welcome us back with a fresh start is the familiar face of Paula Woolley and her new home in Cary, NC. If you have been following along with The Curated Home Tours then you may recognize Paula from her feature in the January 2018 Issue, 'Happy Nude Year'. I thought Paula would be the perfect person to bring us back to something we enjoyed capturing and sharing. See how Paula has transformed her new space after a big move from Charlotte, NC below.

Her Story

What made you select this house in Cary?

 When we decided to relocate to Cary from Charlotte we had four must haves. We wanted to be in close proximity to our daughter, Ashlyn, and her family. We live about 10 minutes from her. We wanted a first floor master bedroom. It was important to have a separate dining  room so we would be able to use all of our existing furniture. And lastly, we wanted an outdoor space. We loved our courtyard in Charlotte and wanted a space here to enjoy evenings on the patio. We looked at houses and condos in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary. We were fortunate to find this house in Cary that met all our must haves.

How has the big move been like?

After living in our house in Charlotte for 24 years this was a big move for us. I admit it was stressful but the outcome has been wonderful. By stressful I mean having to decide what to keep and what to part with. The buyers of our house in Charlotte got cold feet at one point but then came around. We are feeling more at home here after a year and a half and are enjoying being with family and being available to keep our grandsons when needed. We love celebrating birthdays and holidays with family.

What do you love most about this house?

This home is very different from our house in Charlotte. We had a condo in Charlotte and it was an interior unit so we only had windows in the front and back. This is a single family home and has an abundance of windows. We love all the light streaming in all day. I also love all the storage this house has. I even have empty cabinets in the kitchen! We have a walk in attic which is so easy to access. In Charlotte we had pull down stairs and they were difficult to go up and down. We also love having grocery stores within walking distance to us. Often we will walk to the store to pick up a needed item. We are a 5 minute drive to the American Tobacco Trail which is a great place to walk in the heat of the summer.

What is the biggest difference from your last home. 

The biggest difference between this home and our home in Charlotte is that this is a single family home and not a condo. We have a yard of our own and I can plant whatever I like. It also means we have to maintain our yard but it is small so doesn't take too much time. This home has more square footage than our previous home but we do use all the rooms. We weren't looking for a larger house but this one met all our needs so it works for us. It's funny because even with the additional square feet I have furniture and artwork stored in the attic. Because of all the windows we have less wall space to place furniture and hang pictures. 

Has your design philosophy changed or evolved since the move?

My design philosophy has been the same for many years. I love traditional and classic interiors. I furnish my house with antiques, flea market finds and pieces passed down from family members. However, I want my house to look fresh so I like to use some modern touches with accessories and art. I want our home to tell a story about the people that live here. Having collections and books on display and plants in every room makes our home comfortable to us and to our guests. It's important to me for my home to look like it has evolved over time and not like a furniture showroom! I have pieces that I have collected over time and have a special meaning to me. So many items in my home bring me wonderful memories of friends  when I purchased the item. I have always liked to shop thrift stores and consignment stores for furnishings that don't have that new look and feel. I firmly believe you don't have to spend a lot of money to have a beautiful home. So many of my favorite pieces have come from flea markets, thrift stores and consignment shops. 

Who or what is your biggest design inspiration (now)?

Honestly, nature is my biggest inspiration. Paul and I walk almost every morning and I love seeing all the beautiful wild flowers, the moss growing along the path and the foliage that changes each season. I often bring home flowers or greenery which add so much to our home. I have collected decorator books for quite some time and I enjoy looking through them for inspiration. I have many old magazines that I still enjoy leafing through. Because I love traditional interiors I can open a 2005 Traditional Home magazine and it is still relevant today. I also enjoy Instagram. There are so many talented people on Instagram and I have gotten so many wonderful ideas from them. There is inspiration around us every where. We just have to make sure we are paying attention!

Why is creating a beautiful home important to you?

I have always been passionate about decorating my home and making it a calm and comfortable place for my family. It is important to me to be in a place of calm. I need to be around order with everything in it's place. I want my home to be warm and welcoming but I can't handle clutter. I love being surrounded by my collections and items I have picked up over the years. I believe our homes should tell a story about who lives there. So many of my things remind me of a time, a trip and being with friends when purchased. I love that my home tells a story about who lives here. Having a beautiful home (to me) makes me and my husband happy!

What was your biggest challenge in this space?

I really didn't have any major challenges in this home. The only issue I had was not being able to use all our artwork and a few pieces of furniture because of less wall space. We have so many windows so therefore less wall space! But we do love all the sunlight that the windows allow. We have never had a house with an open concept living and kitchen area and this was an adjustment. I do enjoy the openness when preparing meals and Paul is close by in the living room. We can chat and listen to music while I'm cooking in the kitchen. 

Sometime I do miss the coziness of a smaller kitchen where you can close the doors if needed.