As people across the country are being encouraged to stay home and practice social distancing, some of us may now find a bit of extra time in our schedules to spruce up our spaces and make them both comfortable and functional. If you’re looking for a little decor inspiration to make your house as cozy as it can be right now, look no further than Molly Martin’s inviting Seattle abode in our newest Everymom Home Tour.
Cheesy as it may sound, walking through Molly’s 1,600-square-foot home is like being embraced in a warm hug. Complete with soothing neutrals, practical storage, just the right amount of greenery, and the cutest little girl nursery, their space is all the stay-home decor inspiration you need. Seriously, if we could just hang out and relax in the Martins’ blissful master bedroom forever, we’d be totally zen.
Keep reading to find out how Molly and her husband knew this house was “the one,” see where this mama loves to shop for home items, and learn the touching story behind the heirloom piece of furniture that Molly cherishes in their family room.
Name: Molly Martin
Location: Seattle, Washington
Home’s Square Footage: 1,690
Years Lived In: 5.5
Rent or Own: Own
Children: Nora, 18 months
Before we get into chatting about your beautiful home, tell us a little bit about yourself and your family!
My husband, Dustin and I live in the Seattle area with our toddler, Nora, and a boxer pup, Ruby. Dustin works in the aerospace industry, and I work my side hustles—operations manager for a flower subscription delivery service, part-time fitness instructor, and I have a hand-lettering business. In our free time, we love exploring local trails, finding the best neighborhood happy hours, and spending time with friends and family.
SHOP THE LOOK
You live in the Seattle area. What is it like living there? What are your favorite and least favorite parts about living in the Pacific Northwest?
I’m obsessed with all of the natural beauty that Seattle has to offer! I’ve been lucky enough to live and work just minutes away from the water for the last 10 years. I love the smell of salty, fresh air in the morning.
There are so many great pockets and neighborhoods to explore in the city. Some of my favorites include Ballard, West Seattle, Pioneer Square, and Georgetown. Outside of Seattle, I love spending time in Gig Harbor which is located about 45 minutes south of us.
The tail end of winter and early Spring are usually very gray and wet here in Seattle, so those make for long days, especially with a busy toddler. Overall, we love being just a short distance from hiking trails, ferry boats, waterfront activities, and unique dining options.
Has living in Seattle influenced the style of your home at all?
In some ways, yes. My husband often makes fun of me for the amount of plants that I bring home, but I love to bring the outdoors in. Our house doesn’t receive much natural light, and I love the brightness that plants add to any space. A few years ago, our in-laws gifted us a wood fire stove, and it makes our living room one of the coziest places to be during the winter months. It also means that we almost always have a wood stack near our front door, which is a quintessential thing to do in the Pacific Northwest.
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Tell us about the process of finding your home. How did you know this house was “the one” for your family?
It’s actually a wild story. Our home search began just a few months prior to finding “the one.” We weren’t finding much but needed to take a break house hunting because my mom was entering her final few weeks battling cancer. On the night of my mom’s memorial service, we returned home to our West Seattle apartment and received an alert for a new house listing. We truly fell in love with the home, and the location was perfect for us. It felt like a crazy time to purchase a home (and our wedding was only two months away!), but we followed our gut and put in an offer the following day. I truly believe this house was a gift from my mom.
What were the most important things on your “must-have” list while looking for homes? Did you end up having to sacrifice any items on your list when you chose your house?
We were pretty young when we purchased this home—so a home that we could improve over time was important to us. Primarily, I was focused on finding an open-concept kitchen, and Dustin was hoping to have a garage/shop option in the backyard. We both knew that we wanted to be walking distance from shops, restaurants, and the water. This house truly checked off almost all of our “must-haves.” But we did sacrifice on our master bedroom. The space is so large yet only has one window, one small closet, and a very tiny ensuite.
How would you describe your overall interior design style?
In my dream design world, I would begin each room design with a neutral base—wall color, curtains, photo frames, and cabinetry. I want color and personality to shine through the room accents like thrifted/antique furniture, books, raw wood accents, photos and prints, textiles, accessories, etc.
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Do you think that style changed when you became a parent? Why or why not?
Yes! We live in a pretty small home that lacks storage (my husband and I share one small closet). I try my best to make sure that everything has a purpose, is functional, or brings us joy. I’ve also given up on household items that just don’t make sense for a toddler right now, one of those being a rug under our kitchen table. I enjoy mealtimes a lot more knowing that I don’t have to clean a rug afterward. 🙂
What are some of your favorite places to shop for furniture and home decor?
I love West Elm and Crate & Barrel for key pieces that we’ll have for years to come. I think IKEA is a great option for furniture that might not be as permanent, like nursery furniture. We’ve also scored several great deals on Craigslist, but truly cherish our heirloom pieces.
We love the light and airy color palette of your home! Do you have a favorite room?
Thank you! I enjoy my time most in our living room and kitchen area. However, Nora’s room might be my favorite.
SHOP THE LOOK
Why do you love it?
We don’t receive much natural light in our house, and Nora’s room always gets the best light. It makes me very happy being there during the day. I love the family memories that we have in that space, reading books and watching her grow and play.
Do you have a favorite piece of furniture or home decor in your house? If so, tell us about them.
My favorite piece of furniture is a family heirloom: our media cabinet/toy chest! We inherited it shortly after my mom passed away. It’s definitely too small for the space, but it makes me really happy to see function in our living room and used as a vessel to store Nora’s toys. I also inherited my grandmother’s stemware and my parent’s wedding china, which is stored in our sideboard. I love getting to see those pieces every day!
What were your biggest influences or inspiration when you were designing your home?
I love following Jessica Garvin on Instagram, everything that she designs is pure magic!
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You’ve done a few major updates to your home. Do you have any more home projects still to come in 2020? If so, tell us about your plans!
No big plans! We’d love to put a little work into our front yard this Spring and plant a garden for Nora, but that’s about it. We’re hoping to move in the near future, so we’ll pause on home projects for now.
What was the biggest challenge in designing and decorating your home and how did you handle it?
I’ve always struggled with the color palette in our kitchen (dark cabinets, dark granite, and dark floors), but we knew that a full kitchen renovation was not for us in this home. A few years after we moved in, we added bright white subway tiles and new light fixtures to the space, and it really lightened up the space. Recently, I installed floating shelves and added a few plants, and the space feels balanced now.
Your daughter’s nursery is so cute! What was that design process like?
It was SO fun. The room is small and awkward in size, so once we found furniture that would fit appropriately, it all came together pretty easily. My husband painted the room, installed a new light fixture and added shiplap, so he is the real MVP for this space.
Originally, the room had a sleeper sofa tucked away in the nook that I absolutely loved during her newborn days. We recently swapped it out for a rocking chair, play kitchen, and a few baskets for books/toys. Nora loves it and plays in her room all of the time now. It’s a good reminder that that function is more important than aesthetic, sometimes. 🙂
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Do you have any advice for other moms who want to create a beautiful yet functional space for their children?
Be flexible and patient, which is something I work on every day. We may not have a kitchen rug right now, or trinkets on our coffee table anymore, but this is just a short season of life. Be choosy with what you bring into the home, and rotate toys in and out if you don’t have a dedicated playroom area. Also, if you have the option, purchase a toddler helper tower for your kitchen. This occupies Nora’s time about 95 percent of the time while at home. She eats, colors, and helps me in the kitchen—all from her tower! It takes up just a small bit of space, but it’s the most functional item for Nora’s age right now.
What has been your favorite memory as a family in your home?
We moved into our home just two weeks before our wedding. After we returned from our honeymoon, we invited our family up for brunch to open wedding gifts with us. We never had an official housewarming party, but I like to think of that gathering as one.
My second favorite memory would have to be the night we brought Nora home. My family came over with pizza and baked macaroni and cheese. It felt so surreal to have a baby girl with us—and to be able to enjoy a glass of wine again!
Molly Martin is The Everymom…
My ideal Sunday is… I would wake up early to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and watch Food Network or read. After everyone was up, we’d walk to Bakery Nouveau for a quiche and cinnamon roll. Depending on the weather, I’d either catch a barre class, or go on a walk with Dustin, Nora, and Ruby. Later in the night, we’d build a fire and enjoy a big pot of my mom’s spaghetti recipe and pair it with a big glass of red wine. 🙂
Go-to takeout order? Teriyaki
Funniest thing your daughter did recently? She’s been playing barista in our kitchen at night. She turns on our Keurig, tilts the carafe into a mug (minus the hot coffee, of course) and loves to grind coffee beans.
The last TV show I binged was… Gossip Girl
Top three places you’d like to visit? Banff, AB; Santorini, Greece; Florence, Italy—I studied abroad there one summer in college, and would love to return as a family!
This year I want to learn how to… Use Photoshop
Most surprising thing about motherhood? I think Jenna Kutcher said it best in her Goal Digger podcast. She says, “Whenever I am working, I feel like I should be spending time with my baby. Whenever I am with my baby, I feel like I should be working.”