Design

A Woodsy Cottage in New Hampshire

New Hampshire Cottage

After two decades in New York and L.A., Sarah Storella and her husband, Nick, moved back to his hometown of Bethlehem, New Hampshire (population 972!) and took over the family antique store. Their two-bedroom cottage in the White Mountains is the backdrop of their laid-back life with their young daughter, Cleo. Here, Sarah takes us for a peek inside…

new_hampshire_cottage_1

Wagon: Amazon.

On living in the woods: Our house is on top of a mountain in the middle of a national forest. The environment completely overtakes you, especially in the winter. When we first moved in, I was hanging out on the sofa one evening. Suddenly, a massive bear walked through the yard and filled up the whole window! I had been sitting there thinking about how to fix the creaky floorboards, but right then I was like, “I don’t even care, a bear is on the other side of the glass. I live in a hand-built hippie house and I’m going to get over everything.”

LIVING ROOM

New Hampshire Cottage

Kids table and chairs: Ikea. Standing lamp: Ikea.

On owning a store: We took over Nick’s mom’s antique store (she had been asking us for years) and have tried to make it more appealing to visitors from cities like New York, Boston and Québec. We’ve shipped in vintage clothing from California, and I make a line of apothecary. We sell vintage axes and knives. Music is always playing, like jazz and flamenco guitar and punk rock and old Dylan and rockabilly and Django Reinhardt. Now we’ll see families come in — the grandparents are buying things and so are the teenage granddaughters.

New Hampshire Cottage

Sofa: Ikea. Lamp: Ikea.

On slow living: Most of our days go at a relaxed pace. We don’t have a TV right now, but we use a projector to watch movies, and we listen to records 24/7. (Cleo and I are currently obsessed with Wes Anderson soundtracks.) Nick put a chair on the roof of the house, and we consider that our veranda. We like to sit up there, have beers and look at the incredible night stars.

New Hampshire Cottage

On keeping warm: Pretty much everything in the house has a practical use. Our enamel wood stove is from Vermont Castings. It gives off an ton of heat, and you can see the glow of the fire. We also keep a teapot on top in the winter and fill it with water. The stove heats it up, and the steam keeps the air from getting too dry.

New Hampshire Cottage

Sheepskin rug: vintage. Striped totes: from travels in Mexico, similar here.

On minimal decor: I’m not a huge fan of the dark wood that’s in a lot of old New England homes, so Nick and I painted most of the house white, which might be sacrilegious! I also gravitate toward minimalism because our store is so full of stuff. We have to be able to come home and see a little emptiness. Winter is a hard part of life here, particularly since I’m from Australia. Having bright walls was important because winter lasts for months and can feel very dark.

New Hampshire Cottage

Straw bags: similar here.

On living frugally: Living in big cities had become too expensive for us. When I got pregnant, we moved here to have a low cost of living and spend as much time as possible with Cleo. If Nick wants to take a day off from the store to hang out with us, we can do that. But, everything equals time and money at the end of the day. We try not to buy a ton of stuff and I’m a bargain hunter. I’ll wait until there’s some crazy sale. If I order something I don’t necessarily need, that’s a day of Nick being at work instead of with us. It’s simple math, and I like that.

KITCHEN

New Hampshire Cottage

Wooden bowl: similar here. Baskets: Lonesome Woods.

On the power of baskets: One of my mottos is “hide ugly stuff.” Whether it’s laundry or toys or makeup, I’ll put things in a nice basket and it instantly covers up something I don’t want to see. I love natural surfaces, so baskets also bring in that element. In the kitchen, one huge basket holds firewood and the other holds our linens.

New Hampshire Cottage

Kitchen island: Ikea. Toy kitchen: Amazon. Scooter bike: Amazon. Toy shopping cart: Amazon.

On cooking seasonally: Whenever I cook, I have this crazy little person trashing my house, so I have to be quick! I’ll try to have things set up ahead of time. In the summer, we grill and make cold pastas. I like to roast our garden garlic and keep it in the fridge; we use it as a spread for bread or roasted vegetables. When we have zucchini, I’ll cut it into slices and bake it with panko, olive oil and parmesan and then serve it with a dollop of ricotta. In winter, we roast acorn squash in the oven and serve it with brown butter.

DINING AREA

New Hampshire Cottage

New Hampshire Cottage

Placemats: Ikea. Woven trivets: vintage. Antique ironstone pitcher: Lonesome Woods. Woven lamp: vintage.

On raising a country kid: We compost our food scraps, and Cleo’s crumbs are saved for her to feed birds and small animals. She has some “pet” wild chipmunks that follow her around outside. She’s a total nature baby. She picks berries and wildflowers, and she eats mint and basil straight from the garden. When I put her down for her nap, she smells like sun and herbs.

NURSERY

New Hampshire Cottage

Mushroom lamp: Amazon. Moon light: Ikea. Fox: Manhattan Toy Company. Wooden animals: Holztiger. Wooden train: Melissa and Doug. Grey rug: Ikea.

On creating coziness: I remember going to an exhibit at LACMA a few years ago and touring a recreation of Charles and Ray Eames’ living room. You think of them as incredible modernists, but what surprised me about their space was how comfy it was. There were piles of pillows and blankets. It really stuck with me. In Cleo’s room, we do a lot of lying on the floor in the sunlight. The big rug is so cozy! It’s one of our favorite places.

New Hampshire Cottage

Crib: Similar. Rocking chair: 1st Dibs.

On layering rugs: The mishmash of layered rugs piled in Cleo’s room are there out of necessity. It’s a hand-built house and the squeakiest house in the world. You have to do ninja moves to get out of the room when she’s asleep. There are a couple boards near the door that I could never get past without waking her up!

New Hampshire Cottage

Fox illustrations: Etsy.

On baby treasures: Cleo’s most precious belongings are on her little shelves. We saved the first pinecone she ever picked, and the felted animals are from her grandmother. There’s a little antique music box from the Swiss Alps that she loves to listen to when she wakes up from a nap. She has a lot of little foxes, which people give to her as presents — her middle name is “Fox” after the fox families that we see near the house.

MASTER BEDROOM

New Hampshire Cottage

New Hampshire Cottage

Bed: Ikea. Bedspread: Garnet Hill. Rug: Ikea.

On windows as artwork: Our bedroom is very neutral, but it never feels stark because of the big windows. It feels like a treehouse, and we wanted to embrace that. If I ever get five minutes to myself, I sit on my bed with a glass of wine or chocolate while looking at Instagram or just enjoying the sound of the breeze in the trees.

New Hampshire Cottage

Floor lamp: Ikea. Fan: similar here. Apothecary products: Lonesome Woods.

On mood lighting: Our bedroom lamp was too bright and I didn’t love the shade, so I put a small linen tablecloth over it. It made it more visually interesting and textured. I also like the honey tones of woven baskets and how tactile they are. They make the room warmer.

New Hampshire Cottage

On Cleo’s drawings: The paper taped above our bed is the first pencil drawing Cleo ever did, for Daddy for Father’s Day. She looked up and pointed at it and said “Cleo!” and she was so proud of herself. She was this tiny little person feeling pride.

On letting go of perfect: There are aspects to this home that in my former life would have bothered me. For example, we don’t have any closet doors, so we put curtains up to close them off. Those kinds of things can wait, though. It enables us to live how we want to right now.

New Hampshire Cottage

On small town life: Having spent most of my life in cities, I’m used to a bit of anonymity, but you can’t really have that here. There are multi-generational families, and when we first arrived we would walk down the street and complete strangers would say hi to our baby by name and they just kind of knew everything. It was surprising but comes from a good place. The postmaster knows that someone’s mom was in the hospital and knows when your zucchinis are ready.

On a dream come true: We definitely miss having 20 ramen places down the street from us. But we don’t need that right now. We have a lot of other great things at our fingertips. I recently re-read a card that I wrote to Nick when we first got married, and this was totally the life I envisioned for us. It took us a long time — you have to work and save — but we did it. We always felt that something was missing before, and I think it was nature and it was Cleo.

Thank you, Sarah!

P.S. More home tours, including a New York apartment, and my twin sister’s home makeover.

(Photos by Lena Corwin for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Anna says...

    Thank you for this wonderful piece, Sarah, and for giving us a glimpse into your beautiful home and daily life. As others have mentioned, I appreciate your view on distilling life down to its essence, the “way it was meant to be” and focusing on what’s important. We too recently moved to NH from the city. We’re on a dirt road in a 300 year-old house that we’ve spent about 1.5 years so far fixing up [almost rebuilding] ourselves. I love living in the woods and having peace and quiet, seeing the bright stars every evening and coming home to a place that’s entirely ours (not a condo) that we’ve worked hard on. I’ve often see owls, deer, turkeys and beautiful birds on my morning and afternoon walks with the dog — always off leash and never having to worry about picking up after him. I enjoy Bethlehem and the surrounding area, from Cannon Mountain to Sugar Hill, the small towns all the way up to Colebrook and Pittsburg. The further north, the better, in my opinion.

  2. Peg says...

    Wow! I grew up in the northeast kingdom of VT, and now I live in Maine so I drive through Bethlehem all the time! Usually these house tours are so foreign to me but this house is so wonderful and familiar – the way the green leaves and woods are visible from all windows, the architecture, the wood stove in the center of the house… It’s so northern New England. It’s home! I love it!

  3. Really loving the relaxed vibe <3

  4. Lori Alderin says...

    Wonderful article! Lovely to see such a wonderful town and store highlighted, your home is beautiful! Being new to Littleton, it’s wonderful to have the store in Bethlehem and others starting anew in the area! So exciting to see familiar faces pop up here on Cup of Jo!

  5. Liz says...

    Joanna, thank you so much for featuring Sarah and her family’s home! More often than not, I read blogs for a peek at a life I can’t afford, but this was the first home tour I could relate to. It was inspiring in a whole new way—not just for art and décor ideas, but for life philosophy and contentment as well. Thank you again! This is one I won’t forget.

  6. Hannah says...

    I moved to a town of about 1,000, from Vancouver, B.C., because I knew if I stayed there, I would never own my own home. Good move, too – because I make less money where I am, but own my own home free and clear, yaaaay!
    It was great to read about a healthy family that has solid values, and priorities in proper order.
    Their place proves that it’s not what you have, but what you do with what you have.
    Also, I think the photographer is very good.
    Cuppa, you keep me tuning in. Thanks a bunch!

  7. AR says...

    :) so nice

  8. Rebecca says...

    This post was great!

    If anyone out there is a graphic designer, could you please make a print with Sarah’s phrase “I’m going to get over everything”? Need that on my wall!

    • Polly says...

      ha, I thought the same thing! I might just make it myself!

  9. Brandi says...

    Loved this home tour. So refreshing. I too am embracing minimalism and love the feeling of lightness it gives by purging things you no longer have a need or use for cluttering up your space and mind. Hoping for more tours like this to put living life simply in front of many more eyes :) Thanks for sharing.

  10. I loved this post. Her house is beautiful, yet simple and warm. And I love her sense of calm humor. “Whenever I cook, I have this crazy little person trashing my house, so I have to be quick! ” I can totally relate to this! And I also like to hide the “ugly stuff” and those baskets are a great idea. Thanks for opening your home to us, Sarah!

  11. Refreshing to see a house tour that is so light, connected to nature and put together with a resourceful and frugal approach – dammit this planet needs it! A favourite house tour – the rest all kinda look the same to me. And an Aussie too! Go you good thing!

  12. This was amazing! One of my favorite home tours to date! I would LOVE to live there, with such simplicity.

  13. Sophie Simonsdóttir Heiðdal says...

    Sarah, thank you so much for giving us such a lovely glimpse into your home! What a beautiful family, philosophy and lifestyle to aspire to. My husband and I moved to Reykjavik 5 months ago from London (he’s Icelandic) because we were just aching for simpler living and more time away from the hustle and bustle. While being here is temporary (I think!), we’re mulling over moving back to the UK to find our own little quiet patch somewhere deep in the English countryside, and you’ve inspired me all over again! What a wonderful reminder that living with less, and filling your heart with more is what really matters.
    Thank you!!
    Much love from Iceland x

  14. Sounds dreamy…
    Love the quirky house with the vent on the wall, the sloping ceilings…all that. I think painting wood white is a great idea (I’m not a huge fan of dark woods either).

  15. Amy D says...

    Nice to ‘meet’ the rest of Nick’s family and peek inside your lovely home. I was beyond thrilled when Nick re-opened Sherry’s store and the changes he made are progressive, yet still in keeping with the flavor of the space and area. Welcome, welcome.

  16. I’ll echo many comments above by saying this may be my favorite house tour to date! I love the acknowledgement of resourcefulness and frugality, and a connection to the natural world. The line about her daughter smelling of sun and herbs is just lovely. xo.

    • That was my favourite line as well. I want to smell like that.

  17. Talia says...

    I really loved this post. So very calming and her frugal attitude is so refreshing. I always measured a purchase by the work hours it took for me to buy it. Sounds like she has the same philosophy. A truly beautiful and serene woman.

  18. Sasha Tracy says...

    Thank you so much for this post. I live in Jackson, NH quite near Bethlehem and I am there for work all the time. I haven’t been to the antique shop Nick and Sarah run but I look forward to checking it out now that I know about it. Fabulous post.

  19. Kate says...

    I LOVE THIS! We just moved to my husband’s hometown and it is definitely the small town feel. We were so ready to be done with the hustle and bustle of city living and have settled into an old home, lots of walks to the park, and the simplicity of b e i n g t o g e t h e r.

  20. My favorite house tour, and quite possibly my favorite of all of your posts yet!

    Their outlook and peaceful, grateful spirits are stunning. This bit made me teary: “If I order something I don’t necessarily need, that’s a day of Nick being at work instead of with us. It’s simple math, and I like that.” What beautiful souls, what a rich perspective. You are doing it right, Sarah and family!

    • Amy says...

      I second this. Those words were a huge wake up call for me. We are a slave to our home and possessions in suburban Orange County, CA . I would do anything right now to downsize, get rid of all the extra junk, and move away from here. Sigh. LOVE this home and family. Wise and beautiful words, Sarah. Thank you.

  21. Jenny says...

    loved this <3

  22. Beautiful and inspirational. Sarah’s whole outlook on life really resonates with me, and she sounds like someone I would be friends with if we lived in the same town. :) Their lifestyle is very similar to my own. We also live in the woods, in a small town, and in an old farmhouse with quirks and imperfections–which are sometimes charming (awwww, the Amish family that lived here before us totally turned every closet into a bedroom because they had so many kids) and sometimes irksome (we have no closets) depending on my mood that day. ;) But I wouldn’t trade this life for anything! Thank you, Jo and crew, for featuring a home and family in the country!

  23. Cheryl says...

    I wasn’t necessarily inspired by the house, more the attitude of gratitude. This life is the antidote to Young Fabulous and Broke and I love it. Embracing your surroundings as they were meant to be truly speaks to me since we own a home from 1961 with three small bedrooms and a galley kitchen. But it’s 4 miles from the beach. It’s a beach cottage and until I made peace with that I drove myself crazy trying to make it something other people live in. New construction it is not. And that’s a-ok. Rock on, Mama.

  24. Nidhi says...

    I felt a sort of calm inside me while I read through this one. Part of Sarah’s last lines- ” It took us a long time — you have to work and save — but we did it.”, inspires me! I am at a phase in life where I just want to give up, but this brought back the courage to fight. Thank you for featuring this :)

    • Sarah Storella says...

      Hi Nidhi, Don’t give up! I try to be mindful of what I don’t want rather than what I do want, it simplifies things. I read about truly serious struggles and sacrifices on a daily basis in the world, so I don’t consider my ramen less situation a big deal.

    • Nidhi says...

      Hi Sarah, thank you so much for your kind words. Will follow your advice and start being mindful of my needs. It surely will simplify life :)

  25. What a great tour! Your home is so beautiful, and I totally agree with painting a lot white. It makes for a gorgeous contrast against the natural boards!
    I relate very much to your comment on anonymity. My husband, two kids and I moved from Amsterdam to a teeny tiny island called Saba, a year and a half ago. It’s a volcano in the Caribbean Sea and has stunning views. But everybody knows everything about everybody. It really does come from a good place though, usually. (If you’d like, you can read about where I live by searching my name on the Design Mom blog)

    • Sarah Storella says...

      Hi Meghann, amazing! We’re all for wild adventure and freedom! I’ll read your blog, thanks.

  26. Michelle says...

    So lovely.

  27. Fran says...

    I always enjoy these posts but would LOVE to see a similar house tour post but with different home tours around the world – would be great to get a sense of different lifestyles, decor styles etc – Parisian apartment, Swedish lakehouse, Russian dacha type of vibe

    • karinny says...

      What a great idea! Do it Cup of Jo!!!

    • Raina says...

      YES! Awesome idea!

    • Laura says...

      I complete agree! That sounds like a wonderful idea!

      This post is a wonderful reminder about what is really important in life. I love the writers spirit and I just may have to talk to my husband tonight about moving toward this type of simple, small town living.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you! what a fun idea! we’ll start scouting :)

  28. I have loved this post so much, it describes exactly the transformation we’ve been going through over the last months. Being a social butterfly, with lots of need to communicate and throwing events, friends and family have been worried, when we announced our move to a village with only 140 neighbors. It was and is the perfect lifestyle for us right now and I am loving it more every day.

  29. Klara says...

    Definitely striking a chord within me. Thank you for sharing Sarah!

  30. Kristina says...

    I love the idea of listening to Wes Anderson soundtracks at home! The music in his movies is so whimsical and charming and it would be perfect background music. Great tip! And you have such a beautiful, cozy home : )

  31. Sue says...

    Love this home tour, instantly peaceful and calming. The best part, after Cleo’s ability to eat mint and basil straight up and smell of sun and herbs before napping, is the sloped front steps. This home is truly perfect in all of its myriad little imperfections. It’s also evident the deep love that radiates for and from this house.

  32. Kim says...

    I loved this one! I grew up in rural VT, so I can relate to a lot of this.

  33. Amanda says...

    By far the most inspirational and “doable” for me as far as helping me to decorate my own home. More like this please! :)

  34. Such a beautiful interview! I felt myself becoming increasingly relaxed as I read it.

    • Deej says...

      Yes… I was reading this and was thinking this is quite calming!

    • Michelle says...

      Right?!

  35. Cynthia says...

    Great post! The cottage looks so cozy! I like how Sarah talks about frugality and priorities. I do have a curtain for a closet door in the bathroom, because a door would limit the closet’s access and it matches the window valance. Happiness is not about material things or a perfectly decorated house.

  36. This is such a dream life!!

  37. katie marentes says...

    Such a beautiful REAL home, there is so much to learn from their perspective on living with imperfection and spending time on what matters. May I be a bore and ask Sarah which white paint color they went with?

    • Sarah Storella says...

      Hi Katie the paint is plain old bright white semi gloss from Home Depot!

  38. Lisa says...

    While I don’t know how well I’d handle that degree of isolation for everyday life, “Our house is on top of a mountain in the middle of a national forest,” sounds truly amazing. And as a city dweller, that photo of mana and babe in the yard is envy inducing. (And a fantastic photo!)

    • Sarah Storella says...

      Hi Lisa, I actually have never felt less isolated peoplewise! We’re fortunate to be in a small community of several charming towns within the White Mountain region, so removed, but not completely isolated.

  39. Liz C says...

    Stunning family, and very refreshing! Living with simplicity is a beautiful thing.

  40. True New Hampshire living :) When we bought our house, my husband said “you have to be okay with the fact that the floors are sloped, the house is 200 years old”. Sometimes it bugs me, but we just threw a 200th birthday party for our house this year and that’s way more fun.

  41. Meggles says...

    Bethlehem–that’s pretty hardcore. I live in MA, near the NH border (Nashua is our mall), and I already have a hard time with the long winter here. But above the Whites it’s even shorter! Beautiful area though. Our dream is to have a cabin in that area someday, and we’ve started saving for it recently. Next time we’re up there, we’ll stop by and check out your shop.

    P.S. Have you been to Schylling’s brewery in Littleton? :)

    • Sarah Storella says...

      Hi Meggles, please stop by and say hi! The winters here seem to be about 2 mths longer than when I lived in NYC, but not colder. There is a very full, classic New England “Winter” lifestyle here that is embraced by all.

    • Sarah Storella says...

      And yes, Schylling’s, The Beal House, and Ski Hearth Farm are our favorite eating spots!

  42. Karin says...

    Just looking at this house is like a mini-vacation. One of my favorites you’ve ever shared! So peaceful.

  43. this was the most relatable of all the home tours i’ve read here before. my husband and i have had a galavanting couple of (6) years and we envision a life much like this for us in the future. just last night, on our (legal) anniversary…we non-legally eloped 4 months before that after knowing one another for five weeks…we sat out on our porch in the country, drinking pumpkin beer and framing our game plan to make a life like this happen for us too. i think it’s a sign from the Universe! i love it, Joanna. thank you!

  44. Love this – and as past city dwellers who have moved to the country her phrase rings true for us too….’we don’t need that right now’ either..!

  45. Trish O says...

    Beautiful. Lots of fun to see inside what people call home. Always such interesting people and places.

  46. Sarah says...

    I’m sure I have read every home tour and I usually love them. This is my all time favorite!

  47. Oh Congratulations – your happiness brings tears to my eyes. It’s so wonderful when people understand what they want in life, and have the courage to accept it (and its consequences). Thank you so much for sharing, it was such pleasure to read about your life, especially the animals that wonder into your garden. We do not have bears in Australia and so I am fascinated by them and my stomach did a little fire cracker dance at the mention of the bear at the window – there is a part of me that wonders if I would foolishly rush out the door for a cuddle (I know – you must think that is THE most stupid thing in the world, but hey, I am Australian, our bear is a koala).

    • Trish O says...

      I guess I never really thought about it before, but I had no idea you did not have bears in Australia. I also was moved by their desire to make the life they want.

    • Sarah Storella says...

      Hi Silver, my initial reaction was excitement and I ran to the window for a closer look, which is obviously not a great idea. I too am Australian, so bears seem so exotic.

  48. This home is absolutely lovely and it was refreshing to hear from a family whose priority is to spend time together! The gardening, too, so inspiring! I want my daughters to eat basil straight from the ground, to be able to breathe.

  49. Bethany says...

    This home tour is one of the most inspiring I have ever seen! What a beautiful and simple life–the values of this couple are so clear and so down-to-earth! They have made a lovely home for themselves and their little girl!

  50. I love the perfectly imperfect homes you feature here. I’m so tired of Pinterest perfection and this is such a reminder that you don’t have to have the most expensive finishes in the world to have tremendous style and a deep love for your home.

    I love this home so much and it’s just bursting with memories, character, and love.

    THANK YOU.

  51. Lauren says...

    Thank you for posting about rural/small town life! I live in a small town in Arizona and even though it is an amazing place, I sometimes feel “stuck” when I see my peers living it up in big cities. This post reminds me of all of the things that I take for granted in my daily life that I know I would miss if I lived in a city.

  52. karrie says...

    New favourite post! :-)

  53. What a change of pace! I have only ever lived in a city, and while I do love it that way, I would also love to experience the quiet simplicity this has to offer. I also adore the idea of windows as artwork – my husband is obsessed with views. Any time we have looked at property, his number 1 concern is the view. It doesn’t need to be extraordinary, but always interesting.

    xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  54. Katie says...

    I love this quiet life!!
    I’m currently lounging on my bed, hearing birds and breeze through my open window, with the afternoon sunshine pouring in. That’s one of the most wonderful experiences, and it looks like her life is full of it!

  55. Danielle says...

    I never want the home tours to end. I love seeing little glimpses of what home looks like across then nation.

  56. I am touched and refreshed by the honesty and sacrifices made in order to live the simpler life this couple dreamed of.

    Thank you for this post – it is absolutely lovely.

  57. This house tour is a true inspiration. Living a good life truely isn’t about the perfect sourrounding but about feeling light and free and being able to breath.letting go off things is so liberating and really enables you to think,develop,have ideas-the greatest gift you can make your Child!

  58. Heather H says...

    I LOVE THIS. Sooooooo refreshing compared to seeing expensively curated, magazine-ready, sprawling homes. This is lovely AND practical and homey. Simplicity and minimalism are really having a moment — I hope it’s long-lived.

    • Raina says...

      You took the words right out of my mouth! Really loved this one.

    • Janine says...

      YES! Beautiful AND realistic.

    • Lynn says...

      Yes!!! Sometimes the house tours are just so unrelatable to me – enormous, all the amenities, designer decorated etc. They are beautiful but don’t speak to me the way this simple and lovely (and 2016 appropriate?) tour does. Hope to see more like this!

  59. Chelsi says...

    I love how authentic this home tour feels. Like the linen draped over the lamp or the cracked concrete in the walkway. In no way does it look like they fixed or staged their home for the photoshoot which to me feels honest and beautiful. Thank you for sharing and reminding us all what’s really important.

  60. Lisa says...

    What a beautiful home. I loved the cabbage patch doll! I had one of those growing up :)

  61. Love love love that little wood stove! This whole house looks like the perfect place to raise a family.

    Sweet Horizon

  62. E says...

    Love all the rugs! I’ve needed some for my apartment and it appears IKEA has some good ones. I want big, fluffy, and neutral.

  63. Rachel says...

    “If I order something I don’t necessarily need, that’s a day of Nick being at work instead of with us”

    Such a good reminder, even if both people work. I often forget that every Amazon purchase is a choice – and being more conscientious about it could go a long way.

    • Katie says...

      This makes so much sense! I feel like we forget about how work = money, but less time at home, and we could make a trade off if we shifted priorities.

  64. Colleen S says...

    I lived in Littleton, NH for eight years and have seen the shop when we’d drive through Bethlehem on the way to the outlet mall in North Conway. I sometimes miss the slower pace of New Hampshire, especially now that it’s autumn.

  65. This post really resonated with me. My husband and I also recently made a big move, to a tiny cottage in the woods. We’re learning to not worry so much about it being imperfect (we also have curtains instead of closet doors) because right outside our door are trees, mountains, wildlife. The part about your daughter smelling like sunshine and herbs choked me up! What a beautiful life you’ve created for your family.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      That is exciting, Laurie! Best of luck as you settle into your lovely new life in the woods.

    • Sarah Storella says...

      Hi Laurie, good luck with your new life! We truly don’t feel like we’re sacrificing anything and are comfortable with our decision to leave the city. The urban exodus is not a new concept, there are Grandparents up here who did the same thing in the 1960s.

  66. Peggy says...

    How absolutely lovely. Thank you.

  67. Emily J says...

    Absolutely beautiful life. I loved the last line.

  68. Maureen says...

    Love this. I totally relate to the creaky floor boards as I live in a 300 year old house. I do interpretive dance trying to get out of my baby’s room without waking her up. Other thing as an FYI – I put a towel over a lamp once too to dim the lighting and it caught fire while I was asleep! It was a very cheap lamp, but just be careful! Love the house and your lifestyle choice and valuing what really mattters. Cloe is a very lucky little girl. God bless…

    • Amy P says...

      Yes, the same thing happened to my aunt when she was a kid! Although if it’s an LED bulb instead of an incandescent I don’t think they give off much heat and so it’s far less likely to cause cloth above them to ignite.

  69. kathy says...

    i really loved this. my husband and i have been longing for a slower life where we get to spend more time with the kids. this is a wonderful reminder for what that can look like. also, love that her beautiful home is so approachable and cost-friendly.

  70. Sarah says...

    Lovely, lovely post. Great philosophy, lovely home – all that was missing was a tour of the antique shop! I want to see all their stuff! Are they online?

  71. Kara says...

    So simple and lovely, and it looks like a lot of pieces are either vintage or from Ikea. A nice reminder that you don’t have to buy expensive things or have a complicated decorating scheme to have a beautiful and cozy home.

    I also have a soft spot for stories of people who leave the big city behind and pursue a simple life in the country, where they get to slow down, live with less, and spend more time with family. I would love to find some stories of people who manage to do the same while remaining in the city. Is it even possible? I hope so, but haven’t figured it out myself.

    • Georgie says...

      Reading my tea leaves is a good blog of someone living in Brooklyn who does this!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      And @lenacorwin who lives in San Francisco. xo

  72. Jessie says...

    I LOVE this house tour. I want to paint all my walls white! I think it’s so wonderful your daughter is going up in nature and you are living a minimalistic life. That is the way it is meant to be for both. I would love to live somewhere like that but my husband loves the City life too much.

  73. Rachel says...

    Love love love this post! We, too, moved to NH from a big city (NYC) and are so happy with our decision. So funny about the bear – people see them here all of the time and it’s no big deal. I’ve yet to become to calm about it. Lots of people also compost (we do now too!) and outside time is really prioritized here. Love NH! And your home is beautiful and inspiring

  74. Jenny Duck says...

    I love this so much! I recently moved from California to New Hampshire with my family and relate SO MUCH to this post – even down to names: our last name is Duck, so perhaps my little Isla Duck and Sarah’s little Cleo Fox will meet in the woods someday :)

  75. Abby says...

    I love so much about this post… but especially her dress!!! Where is it from?

    • Cindy says...

      I want to know that too! I am in love with her dress – please find out where she got it! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask! :)

    • Sarah Storella says...

      Hello Ladies, it’s a vintage dress I found at the Rose Bowl whilst living in CA. We sell similar in our store, and I list on Etsy etsy.com/shop/atlasfalcon when I have a moment! Thanks, Sarah.

  76. Kate says...

    It’s refreshing to have a simple house tour that I can relate to. I love the houses you feature but a lot of times they look nice because the property is expensive or the furnishings are expensive. I like that you featured this one, and love that she’s budget focused.

  77. That last line made my heart so happy for them!

  78. Cait says...

    My husband and I just got back (to Boston) last night from a long weekend of camping in the White Mountains. It’s our very favorite place . When I’m there I always wonder longingly about the lucky folks who call that magical land home. Loved getting a sneak peak into Sarah + Family’s charming life.

  79. Jessica says...

    I also have a bedroom that doesn’t have doors on the closets, and I don’t think I’d have it any other way now, it helps the room to feel more open! Great tour, it’s so in tune with how many of us feel about life.

  80. Heather says...

    I lived in Vermont for some time, right on the border of New Hampshire. This makes me ache to go back!

    • Louisa says...

      Me, too! I lived in a barn on the Connecticut River – Vermont side. Of all the places I’ve lived — the Outer Banks, Seattle, Santa Monica, Idaho — none felt more like home.

  81. Lindsey says...

    This is a DREAM. I wish I could pack up and leave NYC and live with nature, and have a little shop! Ugh! Thank you for this #goals inspiration!

  82. heather says...

    I love the part about a maniac destroying her house while she cooks. Yup. My first thought at seeing the lovely basket of linens is how quickly my toddlers would empty that onto the floor while I tried to even open a carton of yogurt to feed them…

    I loved everything about this post: the decor, the lifestyle, the sentiment… We also considered Fox as a middle name (mostly because we love the X Files); “Cleo Fox” is such a sweet name. I hope you will create a “Sun and Herbs” scented candle and let those of us living city lives order some country scents for our homes.

    If you ever feel like you want to give your daughter a real city-kid experience for a week, I will do a house exchange with you ANY TIME.

  83. Elizabeth R says...

    So sweet. Any examples of songs they play in the store? I would love a short playlist! :)

  84. Lee says...

    This house reminds me so much of rural NH that is home to a lot of artsy people, who use their every day objects and they aren’t there just for show. Everything feels lived in and solid. I grew up in NH and worked in the North Country for a little over a year and it’s an amazing place. Also lived in Bethlehem for a bit and loved being able to drive down the street to Meadowstone for fresh veggies and cheese. Bethlehem is the artsy town, Littleton has the great beer, and Franconia has the ski town hippie vibe. Miss the White Mountains so much. NH is a fantastic place to grow up. 603 for life! #NoNo

  85. Katy says...

    So refreshing to see a real wood kitchen, and white appliances again, and not another white/stainless renovation. Their lifestyle is refreshing too, a real home for a real family.

  86. g says...

    My absolute favorite house tour yet. This is wonderful in every way. Beautiful, simple living in the woods with nature as your entertainment and a baby that smells like the sun and herbs?! New life goals.

  87. Jill says...

    I love this series, and this was one of the best ever. So good.

  88. Jessica says...

    I really relate to this after moving back to upstate NY when I had my daughter. Also, old houses with squeaky / slanted floors- the struggle is real!

  89. Meg says...

    Her outlook on life is so refreshing and joyfilled. Her commitment to simplicity and contentment and the depth and richness that brings came through to me.

  90. This is so sweet! We have a lot of the same reasons for moving to Antigua from Chicago. Living a slow life in a small town is so wonderful :)

    http://www.eatsbyem.com

  91. This was so inspiring! Not only was their space beautiful (a minimalists dream!) but the focus on living within your means and connecting with nature and family was so refreshing. This life is so fast-paced and crazy (especially with kids) it was exactly what I needed to hear today. P.s. I will also do a major home purge this week. TOO MUCH STUFF. Thank you for the motivation!!

  92. Really lovely.

  93. Sarah says...

    I’ve never heard of anyone else with the middle name Fox! We named our son (18 months) Francis Fox. Francis after his great-grandpa and Fox after the town where we fell in love, Fox, Alaska. And you have a lovely, cozy home, Sarah.

    • My five year old daughter’s name is Clementine Fox and i almost named her Frances! :)

  94. Natalie Brennan says...

    i LOVE her, everything about her and her approach to life. the baby smelling like sun and herbs! i want to be sarah when i grow up ;-)

  95. Kim L. says...

    The dream!!

  96. Caroline says...

    Wow! Sounds like a little piece of heaven – and I liked how she is very clear about going without certain things, about understanding what she and her family needs at this point in their lives, about worki. I love the life philosophy combined with the living space philosophy.

  97. Perfection in the imperfection. I love the fact that it all went away when the bear was outside your window. I often tell myself that, the problems I’m worrying about are tiny little things compared to many issues in life…and I get over them.

  98. I am dumbstruck. Wow. I absolutely love this! The paragraph about raising a country child and they way she smells when going down for a nap was so sweet.

    http://brittanyisablob.blogspot.com

  99. Kellie P. says...

    It’s cool to see different ways of life represented in this series. It was starting to feel like all of the homes were pretty much the same. But this wasn’t just about aesthetics, it was about living.

    • Briana says...

      I feel the same way! I love how this post is more about her lifestyle than the house. It feels like getting a glimpse into someone’s world who is so different than my own. Great post!

  100. Robyn says...

    This was definitely a favorite! What a wonderful way of thinking about life!

  101. K says...

    This is utterly gorgeous. Word of (obvious) advice though, if you through fabrics over lamps to dim them, it can cause a fire! (love from someone that learnt the hard way).

  102. Pam says...

    What a gorgeous outlook on living and your home feels full of love and familial warmth. Thank you for sharing.

  103. “When I put her down for her nap, she smells like sun and herbs.” (<- I can't get over how sweet that is!) I think that, really, this is such a perfect home and life. Thank you for sharing and for giving me a lift first thing in the morning.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i loved that part, too!

    • heather says...

      I loved it, too.

  104. Ashley says...

    I love how Sarah talks about being frugal and planning ahead. So often, these conversations make it feel like a sacrifice or a burden to live without closet doors or save up to move to a small town, but Sarah’s approach eases that anxiety. I like how matter-of-factly she thinks about buying things in exchange for time.

    Thanks for sharing!