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.
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.
What is the process when selecting your pieces?
My go to places for items is usually thrift stores, flea markets and consignment stores. We purchased new dinning room chairs when we moved here from a consignment store. I found the perfect small dining table at another consignment store. And I found the perfect pair of "pillas" for the living room at the flea market. When we decide to purchase a new piece for our home I will look for a while and be patient until I find what I am looking for. Sometimes when I'm not even looking, I will find something that is perfect for the house. That was the case with the lamps I recently found for the dining room. When I spotted them I knew they would look wonderful. I usually don't make impulse purchases but I'm glad I did this time.
Did all the pieces make the cut from your last home?
I was not able to use a small antique china cabinet that was in my kitchen in Charlotte. It sits in the attic because I just can't part with it. It was one of the first antiques we purchased about 40 years ago in Fairhope, AL. One of these days I may figure out where I could use it.
Another piece that didn't make the cut was the oil painting we had above the mantle in Charlotte. Not because it didn't fit but because we wanted something different. We commissioned Jill Goldberg to paint an abstract piece of art for over our mantle. She did an amazing job and it is the perfect addition to our space. We love how the modern art works with our traditional furnishings. I have lamps, pictures, a coffee table and a screen that are stored in the attic. One of these days I will get motivated to donate them or take them to a consignment store.
What is your favorite piece in your home?
The before mentioned art by Jill ranks up there. Jill is Ashlyn's MIL and she is part of our family. Her painting is very special to us because she painted it specifically for us.
We have several pieces of furniture that belonged to different family members that mean so much to us. We have a washstand and an old Victrola that belonged to my grandmother, a desk that belonged to Paul's dad and our dining room table belonged to my parents. These furniture pieces remind us of people we have loved. They tell a story about our family and give our home such character.
What are your favorite shops in the Triangle to source from?
I'm still learning my way around this area and I'm sure there are plenty of places I have not visited yet. I enjoy going to Hunt & Gather on Bernard, Cheshire Cat Antiques, Pigfish Lane and the flea market in Raleigh. I volunteer every Monday at Dorcas in Cary and I have found some great things there. But I must admit my favorite place to shop is my daughter, Ashlyn's garage.She is a thrifter extraordinar! She has found some amazing items that I have been fortunate enough to purchase from her.
If your house was a drink, what would it be?
It would have to be a hot cup of coffee with cream and sugar. Just like coffee, our home makes us feel warm, comfortable and cozy! Our walls are painted a warm camel color that gives us a sense of comfort just like my first cup of coffee in the morning!
Describe your go - to Friday night in Cary.
That would be right here at home. There's no place we would rather be. We usually have what we call a 'Pizza Party". Paul may go and pick up a pizza or I will add more cheese, peppers and fresh basil to a store bought pizza. We will have happy hour, listen to music and just enjoy being together.
Any advice for anyone looking to move and how to create a home they love in their new home.
My advice would be to know what your priorities are in a new home and only look at homes that fit that criteria. If you find a home that meets your needs it will be easy to create a home you love. I am so happy with my present home with my beautiful furnishings that I have collected and curated over the years but it's the person I share my home with that makes me the happiest.
Thank you for coming along with us on our Curated Home Tour! We hope that you have enjoyed this read and are inspired. Like what you see? Follow us at @curatedhometour and keep up with Paula on instagram @woolleypaula. If you would like to see Paula's Charlotte home click here. Subscribe below to receive updates on the December Issue, news about the shop, giveaways and upcoming events. If you think that your home would make a great addition to our "Curated Home Tours" please contact us!
Thank you for your never ending support!
Until the next home,