Elsie’s Dream Home Mood Board + To-Do List

Hello friends! Today, I’m here to share our inspiration and plans for our new home. We’ve been here a few weeks now and we already feel pretty settled even though we are still unpacking boxes, hanging curtains, and doing those little annoying joys that come along with moving. It’s truly been a dream come true. Our second move was much easier than our first for many reasons—we were already partially in boxes and already unsettled, and we hired movers to knock it out in one day (this was our first time to ever hire movers if you can believe that—we typically do it all ourselves).

The past few weeks, I’ve been unpacking all our stuff, arranging and rearranging furniture, and starting a list of what we want to complete for the rest of 2020 and into the new year. It’s refreshingly simple to know we won’t be ripping out a kitchen or a main bathroom during the pandemic (because we need them too much, haha), and it’s been nice to focus on smaller, attainable projects like decorating our girls’ new bedroom (they are still loving sharing a room—it’s so cute!) and doing small upgrades here and there like adding bookshelves, painting wood cabinets white, and customizing stuff.

From your perspective, through the lens of this blog, I think this home content will feel instantly gratifying because you don’t have to wait through construction to see finished rooms begin to come together. And from my perspective (as an enneagram 7), I am loving having things to occupy my mind now, but also BIGGER projects on the horizon for later. It’s a good fit all around and I’m so excited!

MOOD BOARD TIME. This is the big/huge mood board that I made as soon as we put an offer on our house way back in May. It’s somewhat random, but it pulls together a lot of what’s in my mind—a mix of styles, a mix of colorful and bright whites, some familiar go-to projects, and some new things I want to try for the first time!

Some things to note: 

Color: I expanded the color scheme a bit since our last home. I wanted to include all the colors I love, like a ton of white and pink, but I also wanted to make room for some new tones including some that aren’t warm. I think there is a TON of value in staying on a color scheme when designing a home, but I also realized that this home is pretty large and I want to design rooms on a spectrum—not all the same. So I made a little more space for that this time. Excited to try some ochre, some orange, some greens, and even blue.

Style: I definitely love a mid-century feel that leans heavily 1960s and 1970s. But there are other styles I love bits of and I’m SO excited for a chance to bring it all into one space. If you look through this mood board you can see little bits of bohemian, traditional, transitional … it’s not all strictly mid-century. I’m very excited to mix it up!

Old faithfuls: There are things I have learned that I just LOVE and will continue to do in this home (even though it’s not “new”). For example, a fresh white exterior is a must for me. I just love it! I love a majority of white walls, even though I plan to do some deep colored rooms and lots of wallpaper as well. I love that super light whitewash wood (and it’s so functional for our lifestyle because it always looks clean even when it’s not). I’m still loving brass and low-contrast generally feels like home to me. What else? Lots of plants and a pink front door—there are lots of things I want to do in this home that are very predictable. As a blogger, you don’t want to be predictable, but as a human it’s totally worth it! 🙂

New ideas: I’m excited to try some colored tile—I’ve always used white tile in the past. I’m excited to try some new wallpaper. We’re totally embracing the travertine tiled floors even though it’s not what I would have picked if I had custom built the home. I mean, they are nicknamed “Olive Garden floors” for a reason (haha). But you know, we kind of like them.

In general, I’d like to turn up the volume on a lot of my go-to choices and go a more bold, especially with color, fixtures and pattern. We’re doing a super moody room. And when it comes time to design some bathrooms, I am going to try to channel my inner Justina and Kelly and really go for it with color.

You can read more on other design habits I’m trying to change up here!

(Here’s our living room 3 weeks in … feeling better, but still a lot to do!)

To-Do List for 2020: 

For the remainder of 2020 we want to focus on the living spaces as well as decorating our girls’ shared bedroom. The living spaces we’d love to complete are: living room (seen here), movie room, dining room, and possibly our guest room.

The only big renovation project we have coming up is that we are planning to replace the upstairs carpet with hardwoods. At first, we toyed with the idea of putting this off until next year, but since it can be done quickly (and we can stay in our Nashville bnb for a week or so as it is done). The MAIN reason we decided to go for it is that the floors need to be done before quite a few other projects we have planned, especially a lot of renovations for Jeremy’s music studio and my office. So we are moving forward with them so as not to hold up the timeline of other projects later.

With that said, we feel SO CHILL compared to what we’ve been doing the past year or so. We feel so relaxed here and very flexible. With no construction of major renovations on our plate, we can fully focus on being present for our two little girls, which is our number one priority. It’s been so fun to watch them learn to swim every day and to fill our weekends together with walks around our new neighborhood and trips in our time machine (one of this kids showers is a “time machine” and it’s very fun).

Life is beautiful. We’re incredibly grateful for this home to make new memories in, quarantine as long as we need to and make some fun blog posts for you along the way! Thanks so much for following along. I love you. Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Kelly. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • Hi Elsie! Love your color inspo, I would love it if you would be able to share your paint colors! Especially the oranges and pinks, I am struggling to find the perfect shades for a particular project and these are right up my ally! Thanks ?

  • Hi everyone!!! I use photoshop to make mood boards! Here’s how- I save images in a folder on my desktop, then bring them into photoshop. I resize them and them copy/past them onto a new blank file. Then to make the color part I just use the brush tool blown up big to make each dot. I hope that helps!!! XX!

  • Hey Elsie,
    What program did you use to create your mood board? I know you’ve talked about mood boards before on the blog but it’s been a long time since I’ve actually done one myself. Thanks 🙂

    • I have the same question – practically what digital tool do you use to make this moodboard? I got fabric samples from most of the rooms and paint chips – its all currently non digital, but it would be nice to figure out how to make it that way.

  • Love the color scheme! Thanks for sharing, it gives me some ideas for my own home.

  • Hi Elsie,
    it’s so great to see how you’ve already settled into your new house. I love how you and the rest of the family pulled through the move during these very uncertain times.
    How do you get started with a mood board? Is there a post on your blog already? I will be moving soon and am overwhelmed with all the choices so it seems a mood board would be an awesome tool to start with.
    Enjoy every bit of your new house with the family.

  • The one thing I regret from my first home renovation is colored tile. I had been going with so many neutrals that I thought a little color would be nice. I used an aqua trim tile that said Mexico to me. Unfortunately the tile is still saying Mexico and I’m ready to move on. The lesson I learned is to save color for the things that are easily changed. Just sharing my experience. As a blogger, this may not matter as much to you. Enjoy your home.

    • You seem more at peace in this home than the last and that is worth so much! I can’t wait to see you embrace some bolder choices with your beautiful style. My first thought when you said you could stay in your Nashville bnb while the floors are done was “what a fun vacation!!” 2020 vibes for sure ?

  • wow you work so fast. That mood board really speaks to me, especially the first master bedroom and the yellow kitchen. Beautiful!! your new house is beautiful, and huge!! do you have help to keep it clean?! We bought our small house two years ago and still don’t really know where to go from here. We slowly figured the downstairs living/eating/fireplace area out and are pretty happy about it, except a wall color and a small rack besides the wood burner that I really need. And the toddlers room was the first thing we made anyway. Now we are planning a bathroom reno, and we argue a lot about colors and tiles. who knew my husband could be so unreasonable lol. All I want is my mini hammam oasis and he goes on about wallpaper here, wallpaper there..we’ll get there. In the meantime I’ll go buy a few buckets of paint and redo our bedroom area, I really need a refresh, and a project I can finish by myself in a few days.

  • Do you have any suggestions where to make a mood board? Is there a program, app or website that you use the most?
    Love you guys and how you just do what feels right.

  • I love the color palette! It’s smart to branch out a bit and definitely to create unique spaces throughout the house. I also think you’ll have a lot of fun playing with layers of light in some of these bigger rooms with few windows. Sconces, lamps, and pendants for each room! Oh, and all on dimmers, if possible.

    Ps. Travertine has been forming in the earth much longer than Olive Garden has been around lol. It’s a gorgeous stone with so much natural variation!

  • So exciting! Can’t wait to watch it all unfold and TRY not to be entirely too envious! xoxo

  • I wish I could get in a time machine and see the house allll finished- when it blows my mind! You are my favorite interior designer of all time! Well, you and Miles Redd! ?

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