Remember this kitchen from Southern Living?

There's been a little talk in the design blogsphere (here, for example) about what has happened to Southern Living in recent months. They've been featuring spaces that probably wouldn't have made it into other magazines. Perhaps they are trying to show more variety to appeal to a broader audience, but while picking up some new readers, they seem to be leaving some wondering about the changes.

Case in point, this Charlottesville kitchen that was featured in the December 2010 issue.

Images from

Notice the round spice rack hanging by the range and the wine cubbies.

To be frank, I was surprised this kitchen was in Charlottesville when I saw it. I thought it might be in the mountains in Tennessee or North Carolina. I was also surprised that I hadn't read about this locally. It seems that national magazines have been spending quite a bit of time in Cville these days. In fact, there's a Charlottesville homeowner on the last page of Better Homes & Gardens this month showing off her painted dining room floor (awesome). I know a local blogger who will be in a future BHG issue, too.

Anyway, the home with the rustic kitchen just went up on the MLS for $1,695,000. Clicking through the pictures to check out the rest of the house was fascinating. I await your comments...

Isn't that beautiful? This seems to be the entrance used by the family, which leads to the mud room (see's pretty amazing). It's not the main entrance to the home.

This is the main entrance.
That beautiful door might need a little love...and maybe a second set of hardware?

A first floor hallway. I think there are four tables in this one little area.
It's begging for a little staging, isn't it?

Next, that kitchen that inspired some raves and some critiques...

I think it looks much lighter than it did in Southern Living.
Maybe it's the ginormous skylight.

I know some people think antlers are over, but they'll always be in style in hunt country.

Okay. Hold up. I'm no real estate agent, but you'd think that if you were trying to sell a $1.7 million home, you wouldn't bother posting this photo or you'd revisit the home to take a better picture. Maybe the intent was to show the view, but I find myself peering at the sofa and pillows instead of looking out the window. This isn't helping the family sell their house.

This family has seven children in it, aged 15 to a few months old. Pretty amazing, huh?

This must be the kid zone. I guess when you have seven kids, you need spaces like this. Points for being dog lovers.

Here's the mudroom/locker room I mentioned above.

The mud room isn't just for the kids...

It's a beautiful home...but I think they need a professional photographer (there are quite a few local photogs who are great with interiors) or at least a reshoot of these images. I don't think the MLS photos do the house justice.

What do you think? I almost sent this to Julia at Hooked on Houses because she loves to post about MLS photos


  1. 1. Love that you said "hold up." :)
    2. WTH? Yes, they ABSOLUTELY need a pro photographer. Good grief - any agent, selling any price-point home, should ensure that quality, well-lit photos are taken. Period.
    3. At the price they're asking, I think that house is desperately begging for a professional staging, because it's way too cluttered.

    But I do love that kitchen! And the family entrance to the house.

  2. Speaking as a real-estate professional -- I agree with Borrowedabode - no matter what the price, any agent should be able to take quality well lit photos. If you can't - hire a professional.

    Also - they need to remove 80% of the things from their house. I'm drawn to the clutter rather than the features when looking at the photos.

    It's amazing, and a great house, but I think it needs a total overhaul.

  3. Yikes!! Not a terribly beautiful home, in my opinion, but they could make it look so much better by just taking some things OUT. I can't believe all the crappy furniture in that expensive of a home!

  4. I agree with you immensely! They could use a much better photographer, they could use also a designer to help stage this beautiful house. Place the furniture in better places, clear some areas, put clutter away, hide some of those toys and family photos.

  5. Raina @ If the Lamp Shade FitsAugust 5, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Good night. I want to take a leafblower to the place. They're about 3 storage bins and another stuffed animal away from being classified as hoarders.

    And 7 kids?! Do they not have cable TV?

  6. It is a beautiful home that could use some TLC. But I also needs better photographs! (hint, hint) :)

  7. For that price, I'd expect a home that's nearly perfect, not one with a beat-up front door and clutter everywhere. I sure hope they've staged it better than is shown in the photos.

    As for the kitchen, I have very strong negative feelings about it, except for the stove, which is fabulous. As a prospective buyer, I can always see past the bad and imagine the possibilities, but the kitchen would put me off because it would need an overhaul before I'd live there.

  8. I think its a lovely property with way too much clutter. We spent a month decluttering the kid stuff and getting our staged and I realize that it is an enormous inconvenience. It seems like the owners have a wonderfully eclectic aesthetic that got covered up by Fisher-Price and PB kids.

  9. Far be it from me to criticize a house with seven children in it. My own four kids trash my house on a daily basis. However, my problem with this house is that it's all over the place. There's no cohesiveness. Each room looks like it could belong to any house and none of them work together.

  10. Totally agree with the pro photog request, Jeanine. For a home listing for $1.6 mill, listing agent should have more than enough to get a professional to do the job. If you happen to know who listed it, I'd love to contact them and solicit my services.

  11. Holy crap that's a lot of kid stuff!!!

  12. I just want the house! Leave the bad pics and clutter.. maybe that would (drastically) decrease the price into my range.

    ... oh, and I guess I'll need a Cville job. Huh.


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