Katy Elliott

A daily design journal about new england life, home decorating resources, and renovating a 257-year-old house in Marblehead, MA.


Photo of me at Terrain in 2011 by the super-talented Chelsea Fuss.

I started my blog in 2005 when was looking for my first job out of college. I would attach my blog to every resume I sent out. My blog landed me a job as an assistant to an event planner and then a job at House & Garden magazine as a web editor. House & Garden unfortunately folded in November 2007 and then I went to work at domino magazine. After a little more then a year domino closed their doors in January 2009.

In 2008 we bought the house and moved up to Marblehead, Massachusetts. My family is originally from Waterville, Maine and to me New England feels like home. My blog has always been a place I share my inspiration in my free time—I try to post 3 times a week but don’t hold me to it! In my new day job I work as an online freelance editor for a print publication. Sometimes the internet can feel a bit like the Wild West but it’s amazing to be part of the progress as we carve out a path.

The renovation doesn’t have a set deadline because we plan to work on the house as much as we can ourselves and save up for larger projects. We don’t plan to flip the house—we’ve fallen in love with the bones and hope to make it our long-term nest. We’re in no rush and enjoy living our lives while slowing peeling away the layers of history and preserving the past. Expect to find a mix of posts about renovating, cooking, art, gardening and New England life.

For more information about me join my facebook fan page or follow me on twitter. Learn more about the house renovation here. Or you can e-mail me: elliott.katy@gmail.com.

Frequently asked questions:

Q: How long will the renovation take you?
A: I’m not really sure but I would expect around 5-7 years, which is fine by me.

Q: Would you renovate another house?
A: I get asked this all the time. I’m not really sure I would. We have a lot of hobbies and I hope renovating this house will have a place in our lives but doesn’t become something we do forever. But if it was the right house at the right price it would be hard to resist.

Q: Do you have any advice for couples buying a fixer upper?
A: Be realistic with yourself about your budget and how much you can truly handle/afford. Everyone renovates differently some rent an apartment, live with family or live in the house. Renovating is terribly stressful and hard on relationships. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I thought he didn’t care about design and now he suddenly has an opinion on which faucet I pick!” But if you’re aware of all the pros/cons going into it and willing to accept all the craziness, go for it!

Q: How do you afford the renovation?
A: This is always a tricky question for me because my blog is not about my finances but about the process and design inspiration. But I know a lot of you want to know! We are both lucky enough to have great jobs and we save up for every project we do. Owning a home is very expensive, renovating an old house is extremely expensive. Expect to see a mix of high and low products as our house renovation continues.

Q: Do you have any experience renovating old homes?
A: Nope, but we research everything and ask anybody that knows anything about renovating a lot of questions. I’m sure we’ll make mistakes but taking it slow helps us. If you have a tip to share or a book to recommend I would love to know!

Q: Where do live while renovating?
A: We live in the house. The house was a 2-family so most of the time we’re kinda isolated from the renovation. Everything in our house is bare bones but honestly you get use to it.

Q: Do you get worried the house will fall down?
Nope, if it’s been standing here for 250+ years I think we’re good for a few more. Floors, doors, and walls slope because their old. We feel comfortable that our house has old home quarks that will never be perfect. If you own an old homeowner or considering buying and feel unsure about the structural integrity have a professional check it out like an architect or structural engineer.

Q: Do you offer design services?
A: Ok, just to clarify I didn’t list this question to toot my own horn. I get this question a lot. I don’t offer design services. But if you need help e-mail me and I can suggest some friends who do!

Q: Do you accept submissions?
A: I do but be aware I write about home products. Even though I love to see your e-mail about your lovely new jewelry line I probably won’t write about it.

Q: Do you accept advertising?
A: At this time I don’t have an established ad program. The ads you see on my site are from Google Adsense. At this time I can’t juggle a job, blog, house renovation and advertising. For now I am focusing on blog content.

Q: Do you accept products for review?
Yes I do! But I don’t accept solicited paid reviews or will I post reviews of products I tested and didn’t enjoy. But I am happy to e-mail you feedback with pros and cons.

Thank you to all my supporters and online friends who continue to inspire and teach me new things everyday!

  • About Blog

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    A journal about new england life, decorating inspiration, and raising a baby girl while renovating a 262-year-old house in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Read more...

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    I love to share! Please credit my blog and provide a link when re-posting to your blog, website, pinterest etc. Please ask permission to use complete blog posts with my original written text, instructions or photos for web, tv or print use. E-mail me with questions: elliott.katy@gmail.com.