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Welcome to my blog where we talk about all things interiors, colourful, dramatic and more importantly home designed interiors that you can re-create on a budget

Melissa Norris The Old World Bohemian

Melissa Norris The Old World Bohemian

Today's Home Tour is with Melissa Norris of Old World Bohemian, who is currently remodelling her home in the USA. Much of the work you see in this house has been achieved by Melissa and her husband and an odd YouTube tutorial which is massively impressive given what she has achieved so far.

They started by creating an office space for Melissa and have gradually moved out throughout the house over the last 7 or so months, all while working full time jobs.

Read on to see more of this stunning home and hear all about what they have done and the styles that influence them.


I was born and raised in Kansas. However, my best friend throughout high school was British and I've always felt a strong connection to the UK. I believe my style has a predominantly Hygge, European feel to it which I absolutely gravitate towards. 

My husband and I met 5 years ago. We both work for the local school district, and neither of us are classically trained in interior or construction. However, we have YouTube and a saw, so we give things a go! We have built a pergola, a trestle dining table, a massive desk, 2 kitchen islands, a sideboard, and a bathroom vanity... not to mention all the smaller projects of pipe shelving and television camouflage.

We wanted to replace our carpet with wood, but didn't want the expense and formality that comes with store bought hardwoods/laminate. So, we bought sheets of plywood and had them cut into 8"x8' strips at the hardware store.  We sanded the edges of each board, nailed and glued them into place, then stained and polyurethaned each room. It was a laborious process, but we love them! They fit our home perfectly.


This process has been long and difficult. I mentioned my husband and I both work for the school district-- which also means we have some time off in the summer. HOWEVER, we started the whole home renovation in October and we are currently wrapping it up. This gave us two full time jobs for about 7 months-- all day with students and all night with the house. Stress levels were high and this was only our second year of marriage. We learned a lot about each other in a hurry!

I thought we were great communicators until we started this journey. Now, 7 months later, I can say we are even better at communicating... I hadn't met this level of communication before.


It all started, in the middle of October, with my office. My husband's youngest child moved out, and I thought it would be a perfect time to create a workspace for me. We started by changing the wall colour from beige to grey. Then we decided we wanted to paint all of our walls grey. Plus, the trim was off white which looked terrible with the grey, so we also repainted ALL the trim in the house to bright white. Finally, in my office, we knew we had been interested in taking up the carpet and trying plywood floors-- why not try it in my office first?! And of course, we loved them, so the rest of the house got the plywood floors too. From my office, we went to the hallway and across the hall to a guest bedroom.



This is when the great shuffle began... it never felt like one room was complete, because furniture from the next room always went into the previous room. Our lives began to be very chaotic. We knew we wanted to do the guestroom next so we could move into it and do our master bedroom next. The day after Christmas we started renovations on the main floor. First the dining room and living room, followed by the kitchen. It was nice at this point to at least have our bedroom completed and calm space for us and the dogs to retreat to during the chaos.

And the dogs during the renovation are worth mentioning. They didn't like the chaos any more than we did, and they pottied in the house a few times to let us know. They particularly enjoyed peeing on the plastic tarps (not the worst place, but still), but not exclusively... they also peed in two of the newly renovated spaces. They seem perfectly fine now that our spaces are back to normal. I researched this phenomenon and didn't find anything online about it. Although, I have read a few comments by other Instagramers mentioning their dogs struggled with this issue during renovation too. 


Like the bedrooms, the main floors got repainted walls and trim, new crown molding, and plywood floors. The kitchen was more complicated with taking a wall down, building islands, and creating a coffee bar wall. I took my inspiration from a roadtrip we had all been on just the previous summer. Our last stop on the trip was Chicago and we ate at a restaurant called The Dearborn, not only was the food amazing, the design was everything I wanted my kitchen to look like. It had a classic industrial kitchen feel that I absolutely adore-- black and white subway tile, industrial lighting, wood tones, herringbone patterns. I was in love! My kitchen doesn't look just like the restaurant by any means, but I think I captured the mood of the restaurant.


We then repainted walls and trim in the basement, and came back upstairs to the hall bathroom to renovate it and complete our renovation. We are close to finishing the bathroom and the reveal is happening sometime the week of July.

I have to give a ton of credit to my husband for being willing to try anything. He was also the driving force of motivation and keeping everything moving. I did however have to be persistent about many of the design aspects I wanted. If it had been up to my husband-- all the walls would be blank, there would be no coffee bar, and no subway tile. He'd say, "it would have been a lot faster/easier without all that." I'm so glad we did it though! Plus, my husband has said more than once that it turned out really well.

The savings of doing the whole home renovation ourselves was enormous. Am I ready to do it all again? Not anytime soon. I'm really hoping this can be our forever home. I think it would be MUCH easier to renovate a home we didn't also live in.



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