“I’m a math teacher,” says Brittany Goodman. “So, designing my house has been a creative outlet for me.” Brittany lives with her husband, Aaron, and their three kids — Emma, 8, Maddie, 6, and Colton, 3 — on eight acres of land in Crozier, Virginia, where they are embracing a quieter life. Here’s their comfortable hideaway…
On moving to the country: We’re only about 30 minutes from Richmond, Virginia, where we lived before we moved. My husband always wanted to live in the country, and now we’re surrounded by woods and farms. I was resistant to moving at first, but I don’t feel cut off like I feared I would. I feel more at peace, and I like being able to go outside and breathe in the fresh air. We have the space to appreciate nature and spend time together. One day we hope to have chickens and goats and vegetables.
On the timing of move-in day: We moved into our home last February, just before everything shut down. It gave us a chance to get situated. Our home is a new build; we broke ground on this plot of land in July 2019. It can be tough to avoid a cookie-cutter feel with new construction, so it’s been my goal to warm things up.
On building a gallery wall: I didn’t want to hang a random collection of family photos on the wall. I really wanted it to feel cohesive, almost like an art installation. So, I picked out craft paper in a mauve color to match the rest of the room, and stuck it to black-and-white prints of our favorite memories. As the kids grow, I can switch out the prints!
On life imitating art: When I was designing my office, I knew right away that I wanted to have a black wall. There’s just something about black that draws your eye in, and the moodiness really works for this room. I was looking through different pieces of art that would go with black and remembered this vintage piece my grandma once had above her fireplace. Growing up, my sister, cousin, and I always saw ourselves as that little girl with the dog, and now my family has a lab, Kauai.
On that cabinet color: It’s what people ask me about the most! We ended up going with Echelon Cabinetry, and they had this latte color. I love the way this shade catches the light at all times of day: sometimes it reads more blush and other times it’s more like putty. I know I’ll be happy with it for a long time.
On giving kids space to run: My husband and I call the aisle between the island and stove ‘the runway’ because our kids run through as we cook dinner. I love having the brass rails because everything I use most is within reach. It makes prep and cleanup easy.
Side chair: Anthropologie. Pillow: Crate & Barrel. Ottoman: Article. Sectional: West Elm. Rug: West Elm. Side table: Pottery Barn. Mantel mirror: Crate & Barrel. Wooden stool: Target. Log holder: Crate & Barrel. Paint: Sherwin-Williams “Pure White”.
On creating design corners: I live by the famous William Morris quote of only bringing things into our home that we find beautiful or useful. It’s about combining textures, and colors, and things that tell a story. When I’m looking around my house, I see these nooks and crannies filled with pieces that catch my eye and it makes me happy. Isn’t that what a home is supposed to do?
On creating a bold powder room: The powder room is right off our main living area, and I wanted it to be something people wouldn’t expect when they opened the door. I was inspired by a dusty rose color on the runner in my kitchen, and originally, I was only going to paint either the top half or the bottom half of the walls. But painting everything makes for such a bold statement.
Wallpaper: Anthropologie, similar.
On the chalkboard wall: Emma loves all things art, so I knew she’d use a chalkboard wall. She and Maddie pretend to be teachers, which is really sweet.
On the hummingbird wallpaper: I gave Emma three options for the wallpaper and let her pick the one she wanted. I like to include the kids on these projects to help them feel involved, but make sure their choices still work with the rest of the house.
On building a father-son bond: My husband and Colton both love the outdoors, so we hung a print of national parks. Our last home was built in 1938, so I want to bring that same character to this home, even though it’s a new build. It’s important for me to make sure it has a soul.
Armoire: West Elm. Bedding: West Elm. Bed blanket: similar. Bedside lamps: Anthropologie. Chandelier: Anthropologie. Floor mirror: Crate & Barrel. Nightstand: Ikea. Letter “G” art: Etsy. Rug: West Elm.
On following in family footsteps: My grandmother and grandfather lived on a farm for 50 years, and this leather chair was given to us after my grandpa passed away. My grandma inspired the earth tones in our home, and wanting every room to feel personal.
On a private place: Our bedroom and bathroom feel like a retreat, and it’s the first time we’ve had this kind of grown-up space to ourselves. I like to come in here and hide.
Thank you so much, Brittany!
(Photos by Paige Daniels for Cup of Jo.)