How My Style Has Evolved Over The Years

I just realized our fourth anniversary (birthday? lol) of owning this home and moving to Tennessee is coming up. My nostalgic brain took a walk down memory lane and suddenly I was creeping around our 2011 blog post archives looking at photos of our previous homes.

I thought it would be fun to share with you today, as well as my thoughts on how my style has evolved over the years. There are nearly 10 years of rooms in this post. And I’m honestly proud of all (well, most) of them. I truly believe in the value of practice and time when it comes to decorating, and especially when it comes to renovating. I made lots of mistakes along the way, but I’m so happy I made them! The best part is I still believe I have so much potential to keep growing. I truly love this type of work!

Anyway, let’s time travel a bit. Shall we?

Welcome to Jeremy’s and my first home (circa 2011). We were newlyweds living on a tight budget. It was the early days of our blogs and this living room is the place where we began work on our first app. I look back on this space so fondly.

I think we painted this living room three times. It was red when I met Jermey (this was his bachelor pad) and then we painted it white, but it looked weird so we painted it green and then this crazy yellow—which actually worked!

During this stage, I didn’t have a vision for how I wanted my home to look. I just knew I liked vintage and color. And you can see that in this photo. I remember while we were living here someone brought up the idea to me of buying home things all in a matching color scheme and I thought, “How the hell is that even possible?”

Our second home was a dream home. It was a victorian from the late 1800s. It had a weird (unique!) layout as it had been reconfigured though many renovations. I remember the day we moved in so well … one of our happiest memories.

I learned SO MUCH from decorating this house. At the time, I felt we had done a big renovation, but really we just changed a countertop and painted our cabinets white.

We did countless statement walls in this home. Just kept doing them and then painting over them, on repeat. It was also in this home that my dad started doing projects with me like this dining room table (which we are still using!)

When I look back on these photos, I see how eager I was to try things, to learn. I love how fearless and thrifty all my projects were. Sure, some were better than others, but I believe the best way to learn is by doing.

This hand-stamped wall was my pride and joy in this home. I actually STILL fantasize about renovating this home again. I definitely get attached to homes for better or for worse.

We lived in this home for three-ish years. And next came the home you know now.

Our current home. A lot of good things aligned for us in this home.

I had recently become obsessed with mid-century design (hardcore Jonathan Adler cult member status). So finding this gem from 1972 with such a good layout but also BEGGING for a makeover was a dream come true. You can watch the empty home tour here if you want to see how it looked before we renovated. I was super inspired!

My friend, Ting, mentored me through the renovation and taught me literally everything I know about renovations. There is SO much to learn. I wish everyone could have a Ting to walk them through it. It was still the most stressful year of my life, but the outcome was infinitely better because of his guidance.

I leaned into a color scheme and style more than ever on this home and I learned that I truly love the vibe it creates in my own home. I will always use more contrast in other spaces I design (like our bnbs), but for my own home, layers of neutrals make me SO happy.

It took about two years to complete our home. I learned so much on this home and am very proud of how it turned out.

For the past two years, we’ve mainly just been “living” here, with little projects here and there. I’m really glad we were able to be mostly done before we brought Nova home because most weekends all I want to do is play with her now.

We love this home so much. We’re planning to stay for another year—maybe a few years. We haven’t decided yet. Currently, we’re focusing on our second adoption and it’s something we’ll talk about once we’re settled into our new life with two kiddos.

I can already feel how heartbreaking it would be for me to leave this home. Like I said before, I can get very attached and this home is very special. At the same time, the idea of new projects and new memories will always be exciting to me. I’m still not sure if I believe in the idea of a “forever home,” but I’m currently enjoying the dreaming phase.

Cheers to change and evolution! xx. Elsie

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • Please share where you buy sweet Nova’s dresses!!!!!! What brand is the one she is wearing in this post? Love your blog!

    • Hi! The brand is called Go Wildling. We get her dresses all over- our faves are June & January, Pink Chicken and random small shops we find along the way. xx!

  • Loved this! I am so attached to my home and still have plans for renovations I want to do in it, but my husband and I just started talking about the possibility of moving out of state in a little over a year. ???? I am so sad at the idea of leaving my current home, but hearing your thoughts and attachment tendencies comforted me to know it will be ok and to look forward to new, just as special, spaces. ????

  • I really love your first home’s yellow walls. I bought my first house 16 years ago, and still live in it today. I immediately painted my walls Ralph Lauren Goldfinch. Almost identical to your yellow walls. I LOVED that color so much. People would walk in the front door, and immediately have a look of horror on their face. But I didn’t care one bit. I’ve sense toned things down, but I have such fond memories of that color. I think one day yellow walls and I will meet again.

  • I love your style!! Everything is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing, hope you are having a lovely day.


  • I love all of these homes – so many pretty, thoughtful touches (I especially like that “I love you more than ever” bedroom wall!). Your home now has a dreamy, relaxed vibe that seems a dream for a child to grow up in 🙂

  • I *LOVED* your clementine kitchen — It inspired a version that I did . in my last rental. Painting over those babies was the saddest day… I was sure the next tenant would love it, and they should consider it a selling point, but the management company did not agree. Love seeing your evolution!

  • I love this post! I am so thrilled to see where you guys have come from, especially because my husband and I are still in the really tight budget phase. This gives me hope! I love your style and how you share it. Thanks so much for being consistnent in sharing your style journey.

  • I LOVE the bright and colourful home photos! My own style is going more and more towards that kind of style all the time.

  • This makes me realize how long I’ve been reading this blog!? I remember all these spaces & felt they were each SO HIP in their own way. I gushed over your hand stamped peach wall when you posted it. Happy house-aversary

  • Thank you Elsie for sharing! It was nice travelling back to time following your blog for almost nine years now!!! (Whaaat?? I can’t believe it myself). Keep enjoying decorating and making nice memories in your house!

  • I’ve loved following your evolving House fashion trends. They’ve always inspired me, even your pre-Jeremy spaces!

  • Ahh! This was so fun! I remember seeing some of those other rooms on the blog years ago, but it’s cool to see them side-by-side.

  • I love this blog post so much! I’ve been following your blog since your second home. Right now I’m 19 and living with my parents so I can only dream of having a full house to renovate haha. Maybe you could do this type of blogpost but with your fashion style evolution? I would really like to see that!

    • Hi! Yes- I’d love to do that sometime!! Thanks so much for following along! 🙂

  • I remember all these – long, long time follower 🙂

    It’s funny, but from an outsiders perspective there are still threads that flow through all these looks, though you may not see them, that have stayed the same…

    So the question remains: WHY would you move again? What would make you move? I’m guessing that once your kiddos are in school +/ have their own commitments, moving does become more problematic for their sake.

    Anyhoo, whether or not you move, your makeovers are always lovely to see.

    Wishing you + your family well, xo

    • We love our current home, but there are several reasons why we may want to move once more. Small practical reasons, like we’d like to move to a walkable neighborhood. And for my own creative challenge I feel like I learned SO much renovating this home and I’m excited to use what I learned for our next home. Once our children start school we probably will stay planted a long time.

      Thanks so much for following along!

  • The first few pictures are so different! But everything still looks great! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Of course it is all a matter of taste, but I really miss the old ABM-home days. Searching for inspiration for my own house I always came back to ABM, since there were almost no use of white walls and those light colors I often see on the blog nowadays.

    No biggie, I still like reading the blog, but I really miss that source of inspiration since I always enjoy bright colors in my own decor.

    • I just found this blog, and I’m in love because she uses a lot of colors and textures in her decorating. She’s just starting out, but maybe she can inspire you too!

  • sooo cute!! beautiful photos!! loved seeing all the different styles! 🙂

    xoxo <3

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