Set in the idyllic landscape of the Virginia countryside, sits the home of Brittany Goodman and her family of five. Filled with earth tones, vintage finds, and calming textures, the Goodman’s warm hospitality and love for design is evident in every thoughtfully curated corner. Finding ourselves charmed by her modern farmhouse and positive life philosophy, we spent some time with the creative behind the @thegoodmanhouse to chat through home-building beginnings, motherhood, and balancing passions with everyday responsibilities.
Tell us about your home! Could you share a bit about the designing and building process?
At first, it was incredibly intimidating! I had never designed a house before, but the more we got into it, the more I realized how much I enjoyed it. It just solidified my love for design. We worked with a custom builder, so their architect helped us map out our floor plan until we nailed down what we wanted.
I loved being able to pick out what I wanted, and I found the challenge of keeping it in our budget fun (it must be my math teacher side)! Mood boards were my best friend as I tried to pick out lighting for an entire home that felt cohesive. I chose some paint colors ahead of time, but for most of the rooms, we left them white — so that I could design them once we had lived in the home for a little while and knew what we wanted and needed.
What prompted the decision to move to the country and basically start from the ground-up?
My husband, Aaron, had wanted to own land for a long time. I had to grow into the idea because I was so used to being in the city and loved being so close to everything. We started looking for homes that were for sale, but we didn't find any houses that met our needs and had the size of land that we hoped. That's when we looked into doing a custom build. We found the lot of land that we wanted first (location is always key), and then we built!
What were a few must-haves for your forever home?
Location was the most important, so we found our lot first to make sure we were where we wanted to be. Durability was also necessary for us, so we selected building materials that would last a long time (like our metal roof and Hardie plank siding). We wanted enough room for our whole family and guests to be able to stay awhile. We also made sure that our suite was on the first floor, so it would be easily accessible when we got old (and so we had some privacy from the kids upstairs)!
How would you describe your interior aesthetic?
Gosh, this is always the hardest question because there are so many different styles that I am drawn to and that I incorporate in my own design. Most importantly, I want my home to feel like us. I firmly believe you should be surrounded by things that you love. I love a good mix of vintage and new, texture, earthy colors, layers, art, meaningful decor, and a little bit of the unexpected in each room.
"Whatever brings us joy and reflects our family, that's my interior aesthetic."
Have you always been drawn to the arts & design?
Yes, I have! I think I started realizing just how much I enjoyed it when we were in our first home. I loved making it our own. It has always felt like a creative outlet for me and also rewarding at the same time because I'm getting to create places my family loves.
What’s your favorite room of the house to spend time in?
It would probably be the kitchen. It's the heart of our home, and we always find ourselves hanging out in there, whether it's just us or with friends.
What are a few of your favorite Schoolhouse picks and why?
Everything? Ha! The thing I love most about all of our Schoolhouse pieces is that I know I'll be able to pass them down as heirlooms to my kids one day. The Winter + Summer Coverlet was one of the first pieces I bought years ago because of its vintage feel and classic design. I knew I could use it anywhere we lived.
Our gold Donna Pendant is another favorite piece. It was one of the first lighting selections I made when we were designing this house. It's a showstopper. It still catches my eye even after walking past it every day. One Schoolhouse product we don't have yet, but I'm dying to put in our house is the new wallpaper line! It is stunning and fresh but would still look great in our home in 50 years!
What are some of the first questions you ask yourself when designing a room?
It always starts with function. I figure out what would make the space the most functional for the purpose it needs to fulfill. From there, I challenge myself to find creative ways to make function also beautiful. My inspiration for a room could come from anywhere – a color palette, a rug, or the feeling of my grandparents' old farmhouse.
Once I have a starting point, I start putting it all together like a puzzle. It's the best feeling when you have found a mix of color, pattern, furnishings, and textiles that simply feel right. I want to make the whole room impactful and cohesive, so I try to pay attention to even the littlest details. That said, I think a home is ever-evolving. I want our home to feel like we are always adding layers to it over the years.
How have you been getting (and maybe more importantly staying) inspired these days?
This year, my goal was to focus on adding more color and pattern to our home. I've had so much fun experimenting with mixing patterns and layering in colors. I also recently read the book, "Every Room Should Sing" by Beata Heuman, and it was incredibly inspiring. It made me want to keep pushing myself creatively to create authentic and unique spaces!
Between being a mama, a math teacher, and documenting on @thegoodmanhouse, how do you make time for it all and yourself? Any nuggets to share for the rest of us working parents?
I think the key is figuring out the right balance — having a supportive partner has also been incredibly helpful! I never expected @thegoodmanhouse to grow as it has, and it has been a fun and exciting ride. However, there were times where I just felt burnt out from trying to do everything.
In those times, I had to remind myself that I started the account as a creative outlet for myself. My family always comes first. I love teaching, and I also love design! I'm a firm believer that if there is something you truly love to do, you should and can find time to make it happen.
I've found that sweet spot over the past couple of months where my family gets the best of me, and I'm still able to fuel that passion for interior design without letting it interfere with work or family time. My husband also pushes me to do things I love and is incredibly present with our kids. We are a good team together.
“When it starts feeling more stressful than fun, I know I need to slow down a bit.”
Last but not least, what’s something that you and your family are looking forward to this year (or next)?
For the home: we want to focus on landscaping and gardening this fall and next year. We dream of having a large vegetable garden and flowers everywhere.
For our family: we have our eyes set on the beach in a few weeks. We are so excited and will soak up every second!
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