Reader OMG! – Emma’s Family-Friendly Home in Knoxville

Reader OMG! is a series showcasing home tours from my favorite people…The DIY Playbook readers! Every month or so, I highlight the home of someone with some serious design style. I hope that these swoon-worthy spaces will make you say “OMG”…hence the name! It also gives me a chance to feature home styles outside of my own, so you can take away some fresh ideas for your space.

Reader OMG blog series

We have featured so many amazing homes in the series, check them all out here. Here are some of my favorites…

Emma’s Family-Friendly Knoxville Home

Emma and her dog
  • Homeowners: Emma, Mark, and their two college-aged children
  • Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Home Type: Single-family home with 4 beds, 4.5 baths
  • Year Built: 2004
  • Describe your Home Style: There was a very traditional, somewhat elaborate vibe to the home when we bought it, which I have attempted to update and simplify. I feel like our home is always evolving, and I am definitely a believer that design is never done. Drives my husband crazy, but I almost always have a list of projects to save and plan for.
  • Favorite Spot in Your House:  The screen porch off our living room. Although we cannot use it year-round, as soon as the weather permits, you can bet you will find me out there with a glass of wine or cup of tea in the evening.
Front of family home in Knoxville

When I received Emma’s submission, I instantly liked her. From the way she described her house, she felt warm, friendly, and unafraid to take on a few projects herself. My kinda woman!

Cozy Knoxville Home

Emma and her husband, Mark, are “part-time” empty nesters with their two children in college. They’ve created a cozy home for their family of four. And while the kids are away, Emma has gotten her hands dirty doing lots of projects around their house.

secret room bookshelf

Everything looks so comfortable and relaxed and I love that in a family-friendly home. I’m excited to show you around. And just wait until you see the secret door to Emma’s craft room…

The Entry & Living Room

front entry way
family friendly living room
Bookshelf behind couch
Family-friendly knoxville home

Sofa // Coffee Table // Console Table // Chair // Cubby Organizer // Pendant Light // Rug // Wallpaper // Console Table // Mirror

Paint Colors: Sherwin Williams “Accessible Beige” (walls) // Benjamin Moore “White Dove” (trim)

See what I mean about it being so cozy? I can just imagine Emma’s kids coming home from college and being eager to take a nap on that big sofa. The first thing to talk about is Emma’s salt and pepper collection. Can you spot it over the bookshelves behind the couch? What a cute way to display a collection!

Second, Emma did a few easy and doable DIY projects here. She added grasscloth to the back of the bookshelves and even used a remnant on her coffee table because the glass was always getting dirty and it drove her bonkers! Such a smart idea. She also stenciled the fireplace tile to make it lighter. You know I love a good painted tile project!

The Kitchen & Dining Rooms

A kitchen with a blue island
A dining room in a cozy knoxville home

Light // Quartz Counter // Tile // Cup Pulls // Knobs // Kettle // Toaster // Dining Table // Wall Shelf // Armchair

Paint Colors: Sherwin Williams “Balanced Beige” (walls) // Benjamin Moore “White Dove” (trim) // Benjamin Moore ” White Dove” (perimeter cabinets) // Benjamin Moore “James River Gray” (island, peninsula board & batten)

Emma and Mark started a kitchen refresh a couple of years ago, swapping out the countertops and backsplash, and painting the cabinets. I love the new look, especially that blue/gray color on the island and peninsula board and batten. During quarantine, Emma taught herself how to use a miter saw so she could add the board and batten to the backside of the peninsula. That little detail adds so much to the space!

Her Daughter’s Bedroom & Bathroom

Slim desk in bedroom
A blush, white, and gold bedroom for a teenage girl
Blush and Gold teen girls bedroom
Colorful shower curtain

Dresser Pulls // Bed Frame // Rattan Chair // Side Table // Bathroom Light // Shower Curtain // Bath Mat // Bathroom Mirror // Bathroom Shelves

Paint Colors: Benjamin Moore “White Dove” (walls & trim) // Benjamin Moore “Pink Bliss” (closet doors, wall treatment, dresser, side table) // Magnolia Cabinet Paint “Demo Day” (Hemnes shoe cabinet)

This is one of my favorite rooms in the entire house. What a dreamy bedroom for a teenage girl! I adore the blush colors, wood tones, and gold accents Emma used in here. Not to mention, she did lots of projects herself.

You’ll notice little bedroom nooks in both this room and their son’s rooms. These used to have built-in desks, but they knocked them out once the kids went to college. This one now has a cute reading nook with textured wallpaper behind it. Emma also painted the dresser a pale pink and made the headboard herself. And to make the most of the alcove outside of this room, she hacked an IKEA shoe cabinet for even more storage!

Family Room, “The Zen”, & Craft Room

A knoxville family-friendly home
Emma's secret door
A craft room and office space
A craft room and office space

Fan // Table Lamp // Sconce // Picture Light // Day Bed // Bedding // Chair // Writing Desk // Corner Desk // Office Chair

Paint Color: Sherwin Williams “Comfort Gray” (walls & trim)

Okay, I know I just said the teenage room was my fave…but guys, a secret door to a craft room?! How cool is this family room? Emma actually calls it “The Zen” because the green color is so calming. And I have to agree! This is a bonus room over their garage and it’s split into two rooms…the Zen and the craft room. They added the door (that looks like a built-in bookcase) to hide the craft space because it can get a bit messy. My future goal is to have a house with a similar hidden door. I love it!

Her Son’s Bedroom & Bathroom

Teen Boys neutral bedroom
Neutral Teen boy's bedroom
Painted bathroom tile and vanity

Fan // Night Stands // Loveseat // Runner // Shower Curtain // Vanity Light // Floor Stencil

Paint Colors: Benjamin Moore “White Dove” (walls & trim) // Sherwin Williams “Tricorn Black” (closet doors) // Magnolia Cabinet Paint “Demo Day” (bathroom vanity) // BM “White Dove” & SW “Tricorn Black” (tile floor)

With the kids gone, Emma has made their rooms into overflow guest spaces when needed. Again, you can see how she made the most of the built-in nook with a stamped wall treatment and couch. I also love the DIY picture ledge she made over the couch. She also stenciled the bathroom floor to give it some personality!

The Basement

Family Friendly Cozy Basement
Built-in bar in a basement

Sconces // Cabinet Pulls // Wallpaper // Bar Table // Bar Stools // Large Throw Pillow

Paint Colors: Sherwin Williams “Balanced Beige” (walls) // Benjamin Moore ” White Dove” (trim) // Sherwin Williams “Urbane Bronze” (feature wall)

This is one of the most stylish basements I’ve seen! That dark feature wall…yessssss! It’s giving me all the inspiration for our upcoming basement makeover. And, of course, Emma did it all herself! Onto the cute built-in bar nook that the couple tackled together- tiling, painting, and decorating. This basement family room opens up to their covered screened patio, so it really brings the outside in!

The Exterior

Screened in porch
Cozy screened in porch
Back patio space
Firepit area
Back patio
A gorgeous backyard in this Knoxville home

Screen Porch Rug // Wicker Ottoman // Fire Column // String lights // Patio Rug // Fire PIt // Pizza Oven // Outdoor Cart // Adirondack Chair

Can you even believe the number of outdoor spaces in this Knoxville home? They have the screened-in porch off the living room, the screened-in porch off the basement, the outdoor dining table area, and the firepit! Emma says they use all of these areas when the weather cools off to watch fall football. She stenciled the concrete floor during lockdown, switched out the wall sconces, hung string lights, and more. I’ve never been to Knoxville, but I’m so intrigued by this indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Yes, please!

Shop the Look – Emma’s Cozy Knoxville Home

Shop this family-friendly home

String Lights // Outdoor Rug // Adirondack Chair // Ottoman // Fire Pit // Pizza Oven // Blanket // Outdoor Pillow // Woven Basket // Outdoor Cart // Planter // Faux Juniper

Family-friendly home in Knoxville

A big thank you to Emma and her family for letting us take a peek at their gorgeous Knoxville home. And thanks to Brian from Secret City Studio for the photos.

A family-friendly knoxville home tour

Submit Your Home Tour

Want to see your home featured on The DIY Playbook? Send an email to [email protected] with the subject line “Reader OMG!”, including lots of photos and information about your gorgeous home.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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