An Inspired Room from an Inspirational Family

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

There are some projects you know will always be engraved in your heart, and working with the Smith family is definitely one of those “captured” moments in my career. This is a family we stumbled upon when Rip and I were looking at some land. We found Tom Smith of Tom Smith Land and Homes, and from the get-go we both loved this guy! He was real. Down to earth. No pretense. Lover of land. And just a remarkable husband (still refers to his wife as his bride!), devoted father, and one exceptionally gifted business man. God has enriched this man with talents, skills, experience and knowledge that’s not intimidating, but inspirational!

Then came the day when I got to meet his bride and … hardly any words can describe how giving, kind-hearted, family focused, and an AMAZING entrepreneur this woman is! You get around her and out the gate, you know she has a heart of GOLD! Loves all people. Not a smidgin’ of unkindness in her, and yes, … she is THAT mom! The one you will find at the soccer games in the freezing cold, and the one who surprises her girls with concert tickets! She puts her hand to something and … well, you just need to turn her loose because she will get it done, and done with excellence!

I can’t TELL you how inspired I have been working with this family! They love each other so hard and they give their work their all. Dedicated and devoted folks!

I was invited to help renew their home with fresh life, giving it a more updated look. While looking for vision, I had to keep in mind the heartbeat of this family and that is mama! She loves pretty things and she also loves to be frugal; being a wise steward of all God has given them.

Some of you know that when I redecorate any house, I do so based on what THEY like, not necessarily what I like. I personally may place only 1 item on a shelf – giving it all the attention in the world – but when I know my client likes sentimental treasures, family photos, etc., then we create the look and style that makes it Home Sweet Home for them.

When I first walked into the Smith Home, this is what I saw…


I entered into the home through the front door which is  behind the two tufted back chairs. So as I walked inside, I saw the back of chairs with a table in-between. But what stumped me was the sofa and the sofa table blocking one of the most gorgeous views of Lake Caroline I have ever seen in a home! The view was breathtaking and they have a large beautiful fountain on their back patio. I could only see half of the view and I couldn’t just walk straight ahead toward the windows to take it all in because of all the furniture blocking the walk way.

The trim in the room was a yellowish/white and the painted builtins were brown, but the walls were paper lace white, and it really made the trim look more yellow than it actually was.


The coffee table and the furniture pieces in the room looked “weighted” and heavy and she was telling me (as we toured through her home) that she did want to lighten, brighten and soften the surroundings.

The first thing I did was rearrange the furniture. After doing only a little shifting, the room was now conducive to a much more inviting traffic flow and more people could enjoy the view … no one had their back to the lake.


As I made a mental “picture” of what was, I could also begin to see what could be as I did one thing – listen. I listened to Ellen as she talked about what she would like to see, to feel in their home. I listened to how she spoke about their children, and I loved the story she shared in how her husband swooned her off her feet! One thing that is so important in every project Interior Inspirations takes on is listening to how “HOME” is defined by the client. It’s not always packaged as a southern home with simple farmhouse flare, sometimes it’s with the elegance of traditional charm. That would be Ellen! She loves the Fixer Upper farmhouse trends, but as I would listen to her and watch the things she liked, and as I learned to appreciate her own personality, there was more to her.  She is one elegant and traditional lady, and (as her husband has recently described her to be) … one of the coolest people he’s ever known!

The trim, the built-ins, some of the furniture got painted and then it was time to bring in new decor, rearrange a few pieces and help create the space into a place the family would enjoy.

II Smith Family Room Cover photo

The built-ins are painted Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams, the trim is painted Dover White by SW.

Dover White Agreeable Gray

Because Ellen continual exemplified a heart of gold … the touch of gold simply had to be in this room. So, I added gold pillar candlesticks to the mantle, a gold lantern (both from Pier One), inside the builtin and gold paged books, a gold plate with white edging and a little gold trim on other decorative pieces. With the gold, came plenty of boxwood topiaries and wood trim pieces because after all Tom Smith IS Tom Smith Land and Homes … so the room needed subtle touches of the great outdoors!

Here is the new view while coming into the home through the front door.

II Smith FR 12

II Smith FR 2

II Smith FR 4

I could have placed only 1 or 2 items on each shelf, making it very simple…but Ellen has treasured photos and sentimental pieces that she enjoys seeing every day because her heart beats hard for family.  We also removed the nickel knobs on the builtin to now have beautiful brushed gold pulls.

II Smith FR 8JPG

Most of what you see in the photos came from either Pier One Imports, Homegoods or from decorative accessories Ellen already had in their home.

II Smith FR 5

II Smith FR 7

Below is a shelf that tells a story — A photo of Tom when he was just starting into adulthood. Next, is a captured moment of just him and his bride. And then, their two beautiful blessings. What a story!! The aloe vera plant represents life, the avocado represents health, and the gold leaf in the box represents God’s promise of a fruitful and prosperous life.

“They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do,” Psalm 1:3.


II Smith FR 6

This is a very unique piece that needed to lighten it up a bit. Blackberry Farms Homemade Cooked Bread, Annie Sloan French Linen and Annie Sloan Ochre did the trick.

II Smith round table BEFORE

II Smith round table AFTER

Meet Tom and Ellen Smith! They are quite a team … and quite a family!

II Tom and Ellen Smith Photo






Posted in

lisa rippy

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest thoughts and ideas from Interior Inspirations!
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.