Michelle Milowe's Instagram account was once your typical account with food snaps and photos from her life. It has since evolved into a beautiful collection of pictures of her cottage-style home where viewers can see her preference for vintage pieces and tasteful details. She recently completed a kitchen remodel that included installing Nostalgic cabinet hardware in an unlacquered brass finish. Scroll on to learn more about Michelle's style and see the photos of her beautiful kitchen.
Please give us some more details on your Instagram account. How did you develop it, and what sets it apart?
When I started my online vintage account, home decor became the focus of my personal Instagram account. Then we bought this home, and I started sharing projects and before and afters. Seeing how my style has developed over time through my posts is incredible. Everything used to be all white and very rustic, but now there is more color, pattern, and elements of different styles. And my love for thrifting and vintage makes my home and Instagram account unique and genuinely my own.
Did you remodel your entire home? If so, were there specific rooms that were more challenging than others? Why?
While we have been primarily making cosmetic updates to our home since moving in three years ago, the kitchen was our first complete remodel. It certainly had its challenges and surprises! We had to rip up all the flooring because the previous owners had not installed it correctly. Once we did that, we found two uneven layers of vinyl underneath the boards. To say it was a headache is an understatement.
How did you choose the hardware featured in this project? What attracted you to Nostalgic Warehouse?
I was looking for a classic, timeless look for my European cottage-style kitchen, so I chose the Farmhouse Large Cup Pulls and the New York Cabinet Knobs in Unlacquered Brass. I prefer an old, lived-in, and loved look over shiny and new, so the unlacquered brass finish was a no-brainer. The patina that will naturally form over time perfectly complements my vintage cottage look.
I have long admired Nostalgic Warehouse's vintage-inspired hardware and knew they make quality products. I also knew their hardware would stand the test of time in quality and style.
Will you use this hardware again in other projects/areas of your home?
Absolutely! I have purchased cheap hardware in the past for quick, band-aid makeovers and have regretted it. You can absolutely tell the difference in the quality of Nostalgic Warehouse hardware, and the beauty speaks for itself.
Did you learn any beneficial tips and tricks about cabinet hardware?
Make sure you order enough! We have three very wide cabinet drawers, and it only occurred later that two sets of pulls on each drawer would be best. Also, be very precise about placement.
What is your design style, and how do you incorporate those decorating decisions within your home?
I would describe my design style as modern cottage. My Domaine describes cottage style as "equal parts charming and cozy. It gains personality from playful prints, mismatched hand-me-downs, and is softened by inviting cozy furniture."
I decorate my home with many thrifted finds, including old cabinets, antique dishes, and vintage art. I love mixing patterns, especially gingham, buffalo check, and florals. All my furnishings have a traditional and cozy feel. What I love about cottage design is that it welcomes mixing old and new and blends many different elements and pieces to create a unique and personal home. I fill my home with things that speak to me, with meaningful things, and somehow, it all comes together.
When starting a project, how do you organize and plan for it?
I always start with a mood board! I take a million screenshots, remove backgrounds, and arrange them together. It helps me visualize how the elements I have floating around in my head look together. Next, I order samples of the paint, wallpaper, hardware, etc., and create a flat lay to see how the colors, patterns, and textures come together. I love having a clear vision to reference as we work through a project.
How did you choose a house to buy and renovate?
I walked in and immediately saw the potential in our '70s ranch. Everything was outdated, but the bones were good, and it felt like a big empty canvas I could pour my creativity out on. My husband initially took some convincing, but we both love it now.
What are some recommendations for readers who wish to do an extensive remodel project?
Remember that it will always take longer, be more expensive than you think, and there will always be surprises and setbacks you did not plan for. But it is an excellent opportunity for problem-solving and creativity! Help from a few good friends is everything.
What are some tips for readers who wish to make a transformation in their home?
Living through a renovation is HARD, but it is so worth it! And it makes you appreciate the space you worked so hard for—especially when you have had to do dishes in your bathroom sink. Repeat after me: it will be SO worth it!