Pittsburgh native Kacie Johnson and her husband, Josh (a Cleveland transplant), moved into their Matthews home in June of 2015. He is a middle school math teacher and she works for an education nonprofit and writes a blog called Changing Chaney that documents their DIY home renovations.
Kacie shared her thoughts and her space for this edition of CharlotteFive Home Tours.
How did you end up here?
My husband and I lived with a friend for a year before we were married to save for our wedding and down payment on a home. That year was great because it gave us time to really explore neighborhoods. Once we saw Matthews, we knew it would be home. We love how quaint it is.
Favorite thing about your neighborhood?
Our neighborhood is full of big, beautiful trees and each home is a little different. Because we live far back in the woods, we see so many different animals—deer, owls, hawks—and even had a turkey on our roof one day. As someone who grew up as a city girl, it is all very new to me. My husband, on the other hand, has binoculars and sits out watching nature all the time. It is pretty endearing.
Favorite/least favorite parts of your home?
Favorite: Our home was a total fixer-upper, so it is hard for me to pick one part because each room makes me think of the people who helped make the space possible. It has really been a family affair—my parents, my in-laws, my husband, his best friend, I see them in each room. If I had to pick one part, it would be our family room and its vaulted ceilings. My husband and I pretty much live in there. It [is] far from finished, but it is comfortable and where life happens for us.
Least favorite: I am pretty horrible at doing laundry. I am convinced I would be a little better if we had our washer and dryer on the second floor. I probably would not be any better, but I like to tell myself that!
What advice would you give on in-home entertaining?
Leave some dishes in the sink. It sounds crazy, but I intentionally leave a dish or two from whatever I am cooking in our sink when we have guests over. It brings people’s guard down. No one wants to be in a home where everything is perfect—they are afraid to spill, afraid to put their feet up, always looking for a coaster. To me, the best compliment I can receive on our home is that it is comfortable. Entertaining, to me, is not about putting on a show. It is about being with your people.
What has been the most innovative DIY project you’ve done?
We have done 95 percent of the projects in our house ourselves and we have learned a lot over the past two years. We have ripped up floors, painted kitchen cabinets, built a dining nook, changed out lighting. My favorite is probably our bookshelves. We built them from four thrifted bookcases and had some major hacks for the lighting. My parents helped build the header piece, my husband and his best friend did all the trim and lighting, I painted them. The whole thing cost us under $300 and the impact has been huge.
Photo Credit: Kacie Johnson
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