Goodbye, Old Charm


Well, friends, it’s official. This past Friday I signed the papers and sold my house in St. Marys.

If you are new to IBC (or just want a quick refresher), back in 2008, I bought a bed and breakfast called Old Charm. In 2013, I closed the B&B and used the entire house as my home.

Sidenote: For those of you who didn’t know, the name of my blog “Inspired by Charm” (which premiered in 2009) is based on the name of the B&B.

In June of last year, I decided to spread my wings a bit and move to an apartment in Pittsburgh. Although I hadn’t intended to sell my place in St. Marys, an opportunity to do so presented itself recently, and it was just too good to resist.

For the past six months or so, I’ve been hunting for a house here in Pittsburgh, and if you check out my Instagram post today, you can get a sneak peek at how that’s progressing.

As you might guess, selling my home (and previous business) of almost 10 years was bittersweet. However, as I’ve made this transition over the past year, I am confident that everything is working out as it should. And that, my friends, is a great feeling.

With the travel back and forth between homes and the ups and downs of selling and buying, this past year did not go as planned. And although at various points, it made me want to pull my hair out, things could have been so much worse. Most of the rough times were when I let myself get caught up in the downs and drama of life. Now I’m aware there was something bigger at work, and while difficult, this process was essential.

At the end of the day, I’m moving on to the next chapter of my life with joy, excitement, and anticipation. Even though it’s sure to have challenges, I firmly believe this new era will be bright, happy, and beautiful.

So, as I turn the final page of the Old Charm chapter of my life, it seems fitting to take a walk down memory lane. If you don’t mind, I want to share some reflections on my previous home. Obviously, there are dozens and dozens of memories, so I’m going to limit myself as much as possible.

I’d also love for you to join in. If you’ve been following for a while, please leave a comment below with your favorites from my previous home: favorite room, best makeover, coolest craft, tastiest recipe, and so on. It would mean so much to hear from you.

Let’s get to it …. (in no particular order)

The view looking into my dining room.
This was easily my favorite view in my entire house. It was almost magical. Not only does it look pretty, but it was so easy to photograph. The light almost always worked perfectly, and I was able to create many truly magical moments there.

Dining Room - Dior Gray

White Christmas Tree Dining Room Dior Gray

I also have fond memories of this room because at one point I got to chat on the phone with Nate Berkus about it. In fact, he chose that gray paint color. I still love it!

The deck.
This house was located in downtown St. Marys so yard space was lacking. In fact, I didn’t have a yard.

Adding a small deck to a yard.

Adding a small deck to a yard.

Installing this artfully placed deck in the back of the house was one of the best decisions I made. It gave me space to create an outdoor seating area, have a small fireplace, and hang string lights.

100-year-old character.
I unofficially moved out on the 100th birthday of the house. (Not the exact day, but the year.) This old house solidified my love of older homes. I was enamored of the detailed/wide woodwork, all of the built-ins, the pocket doors, and the high ceilings.

Kitchen Woodwork Detailing

My work in this home brought Inspired by Charm to the attention of others. Not only was my St. Marys home featured in several magazines (most notably the cover and a spread in BHG’s Christmas Ideas magazine), but it allowed me to work with many amazing brands and people throughout the years.

Aqua Bedroom Decor

And I’m not telling you this to be braggadocios, but it makes saying goodbye a little easier. I gave this home so much, and it gave so much back to me. I’m especially grateful to have this blog as a journal of my journey

Lots of practice.
As I mentioned last week, I’ve been working on improving the backend of the blog, which means looking through old posts. Blogging was so different back in 2009 in some very good and some very bad ways. When I go back that far, my inclination is to be judgemental of my work. However, I’m forcing myself to take a different approach, and that has helped me realize how much I’ve grown and learned.

Colorful Bedroom Decor

basement stairwell makeover

My photography has improved, my decorating skills have evolved, my writing has changed, and my overall style has shifted into something I’m actually proud of.

On top of that, I’ve learned some handy skills, including how to hang light fixtures, add molding, and even do minor plumbing.

This picture / view of my living room.
To this day, I still get a couple emails a month asking where this rug is from. (It’s from CB2, but they haven’t sold it since 2013.)

Colorful Modern Living Room

Anytime I would share this picture (or a similar shot on Instagram), it would get so many likes and comments. It was a beautiful space.

Okay, I think I’m getting a bit carried away, so I’m going to stop here. However, a few quick honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions:
My Mom’s 60th Birthday
Rainbow Christmas Tree
My Home Tours
A Small but Mighty Kitchen
Forged Nail Curtain Rod

Thank you all so much for being a part of this journey. Whether you have been following along since 2009 or just joined yesterday, I am thrilled that you are here. I look forward to sharing my next chapter with you!

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that receives a small commission by linking to and other sites at no cost to the readers.

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  • Mandi/Mementos at

    Congratulations!!! I’ve been following since the early days…found so much inspiration in every project, even the things you sold in the gift shop! Can’t wait to see your new home!

  • Opsylvestet at


  • Kristin at

    Hi! I just recently found your blog. I am pretty picky/selective about which blogs I will follow, but I knew instantly yours was one I wanted to tune into.

    Your content and your fresh, real way you write and share is excellent. Good luck to you with your new home and I’m so glad to be along with you for your next adventure!

    Best to you Michael!!

  • Kim R at

    It’s wonderful to hear the upbeat tone in this post. I wanted so much for the move to Pittsburgh to be a positive step for you. I can’t wait to see your new home.
    My favorite in Old Charm is hard to choose. The living room is so pretty and I’m a huge fan of that rug too. I loved your deck. I have to mention the espaliered tree. You’re the blogger that I would love to have give my home a makeover. Oh – the Christmas trees – they were always fabulous!

  • Vanessa at

    I just loved your house in St. Mary’s, but I know your new home will be just as in as inspiring! One of my favorite places was your living room, especially at Christmas! The vintage tree with tree toppers and the rockin’ around the Christmastree video…loved it!! Good luck to you, so very happy for you!

  • Debbie at

    I think I have been following you for two years now. I love your blog posts and adventure you are now taking in finding a new home! I cannot wait to see what you finally get to call home and see how you decorate. You are a very talented young man and I love you sharing your life with us. Hugs!

  • Gail at

    My favorite room was your dining room and I loved all of the great tablescapes, your bar cart and the food you filmed there. I have loved seeing your fabulous Christmas trees each year and that banister full of baubles was beautiful! Best of all Michael I love that in this post you sound happy and at peace with closing one chapter and excited and positive about the future. You must be so excited! I already love those big windows and the natural light in the new house and can’t wait to see your creativity at work as you turn it into your home.❤️

  • SoCalLynn at

    This is still my favorite home on the internet. I can’t wait to see what you do with your new place.

  • Elle at

    I’m so glad you’re moving forward while taking time to reflect on your journey with the house. Probably my fave thing you’ve ever done is that multi-colored Christmas garland on your stairs a few years back. And of course your trees are always amazing. I’m very excited to follow your next chapter.

  • Peg at

    I so enjoyed staying at Inspired by Charm, Michael, and think of you and the B&B and gift shop on my annual visits to St. Marys for our family reunion. You created a beautiful space there and I know you’ll do the same in your new home in Pittsburgh. All good luck!

  • Liz Sullivan at

    Omg, can’t believe it’s been since 2009!! Glad to hear you are in a good place now, the rough times make the good times so much more sweet! I have enjoyed so many things in your posts over the years, but I have to say, l really loved the outdoor space you created. It is so cozy! And all of your holiday decor is stunning and inspires me to do more.

  • Emelia Lawrence at

    I’m a newer reader, and didn’t know that it was a B&B. How incredibly charming, I love your style and pictures…especially during Christmas 🙂 Congratulations and Good Luck!

  • claudie at

    the mouse over the entry door’s trim and your wizard of oz shelves

  • Allan at

    I would REALLY love to know more about how you started a B&B and why you decided to end that part of your business? I think it sounds like so much for to be a B&B owner. 🙂

  • kelly at

    your Christmas trees have KILLED me every. single. year.
    it has really inspired me to have fun and think outside of the box for my own Christmas tree decorating the past several years. 🙂

  • Dave Bush at

    Loved the old house at Christmas time!! Also your outdoor area. However I have also came to realize you have the talent. To make any space beautiful.

  • Ann Murphy at

    Congrats Michael on your courage to move forward. Life is hard and closing the chapter is bittersweet. Keep moving forward, I love your blog.

  • Adrienne at

    Oh man. So many good spaces. Of course I loved the Christmas posts. But going far back, around when I first started reading blogs, you did the chevron wall in the gift shop. It’s still beautiful to me, even after we all moved on from that pattern. It inspired me to paint something chevron as well. Good luck in Pittsburgh!

  • Damara at

    I have been following for years and love it all! Especially the living room, the Christmas trees, and the Nutella Rolls recipe. Yay! Excited to see the new house and what you will do with it, you are so talented. Also love your life posts. 😊

  • Kyle at

    I loved your home in St Mary’s, and following along your journey has helped us target historical homes as we think about our future plans. So excited to watch you tackle another new space soon!

  • JoEllen at

    Congratulations on this new chapter! It is so exciting, and what a fun recap this post has been. I was hoping you would mention the rain bow Christmas tree because it is my favorite!! One of my very favorite recipes has been the buffalo chicken zuchini boats. I share that recipe all the time. It’s delicious. I’m so excited to see your next space!!

  • Jen at

    I always loved seeing your posts about Christmas decorations, especially the spectacular trees! I look forward to seeing what you do with a new space.

  • megan at

    i love your living room! and don’t hate me, but i’m not even crazy about the rug! i’ve always loved your holiday decorating as well. i’m not sure when i started following your blog but based on those dates, i think it might have been from almost the beginning. here’s to a new chapter!

  • Terri at

    Michael… I love your old dining room too! Love the color! I have been following you for long time. Just never really posted much before. I agree with others that the new positive tone in your posts is encouraging. Trying something new and moving to a new place is brave. Can’t wait to see what happens next… Sending you a hug.

  • Christy at

    Your Christmas trees had me at hello and I’ve been following you since I stumbled across your blog. Congratulations on the big changes, however bittersweet they may be.

  • Cindy at

    I’ve been following you for awhile and have always loved your style! I can’t really pick a favorite post because I love them all but I think the deck you built would have to be up on the list. I want to hang market lights just like that on my deck! Good luck in your new home!

  • Pam Clark at

    I found you through your spectacular Christmas trees and other Christmas decor. I can’t wait to see next year’s ideas!

  • Monica at

    Wishing you all the best as you close one chapter and begin at your new home. I love all that you do and I too have evolved in the best way by following wonderful bloggers like you.

  • Pam at

    Best of luck on your new adventures! Like everyone else, I always look forward to what you have up your sleeve for Christmas. But, my hands down favorite thing ever was the Hocus Pocus Broom Co chalkboard wall art you drew. That image just got burned into my brain and showed me once again how incredibly talented you are!

  • liz n. at

    It’s bittersweet, isn’t it? I remember when the espaliered apple tree produced two whole apples!

    But you’re never one to back down from an adventure, so onward and upward!

  • Sue at

    I always felt a coziness through your St. Mary’s house photos, especially your Christmas posts. Favorite recipe, so far, Brown Sugar Pecan cookies.

  • Melissa Newell at

    Our outdoor space was my favorite! GOod luck on the search!

  • Susan McMenamin at

    Everything you put into your home shows your heart and creative soul. I especially love your holiday decorating and fearless use of color throughout. Somehow I thought that someone else took your photos. They are incredible! Keep on keeping on 😍

  • Meryl the chaletmomma at

    Michael this is all thrilling!!! I heartily congratulate you! 🎉🥂🎈. Your entire home is FREAKIN’MAZING… but my top 3 in order are: the Livingroom- it’s Gorg, Diningroom is so Inviting & Stylish and lastly the Hall because of the Art!#saynotoemptywalls 😍❤️😍 I’m so excited to follow along as you go on this journey! Can I live vicariously through you ? (I’m being buried in the way back of the chalet 🤣#neverleaving) 💕xx

  • Sandra at

    It’s so hard to pick one specific room! But, I guess, I’d have to say the dining room! I always loved your different tablescapes and especially around the Christmas holidays. Now that that time is over, let’s move into our next phase. Praying for nothing but good things for you. I do love your recipes!!

  • Heather Jameson at

    I have only been following a year or so, but have loved it all!!! The pumpkin spice cheesecake dip was one of my favorite recipes… But what popped in my mind as my favorite was learning how to put ribbon on a Christmas Tree!!! I’d had ribbon struggle for so long and then poof – one tutorial and I’m an expert! Thanks for everything!

  • Charlene Fledderman at

    The best part of Old Charm – was you. You may not remember but I was having a rough day at the Chamber and you brought me over some treats in a Old Charm coffee cup and made my day. You are such a thoughtful person and I will always remember everything you did for our community and at the Chamber. Your friend always. Charlene

  • Pamela Smith at

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to see what’s next for you! I love the Christmas trees you have decorated over the years, but the ombre’ tree was my all time favorite. I loved your outdoor space, seeing your kitties and your moose ( forget his name). Life is always a grand adventure!

  • Heather at

    I’ve loved your blog and Instagram feed for years. Your decorating style is spot on. My very favorite thing you’ve created is the rainbow Christmas tree! It’s hard to name a second favorite because I love everything you post especially real life struggles about life not going as planned. It’s so relatable.

  • Reenie at

    Whoever bought your home, surely got a gem. Oh gosh….how can one pick a favorite of your beautiful home? I love the deck so much ~ it’s just so cozy out there. Can’t wait to follow along in your new home.

  • Sue at

    I’m sad to see the magnificent St.Mary home go. I’ve followed you for years and loved everything you did to add your personal “charm” to the house. My all time favorite room is that vintage kitchen with the living room a close second. Looking forward to your next project.

  • jae at

    I love how you took a grand old house and kept the charm while adding a modern flair. But my absolute favorite was your fat pants sign. I smiled everytime I saw it! Congratulations on the sale, know it is rather poignant, and looking forward to reading more about your adventures in the city!

  • Oscar E Bravo at

    Congrats this is so exciting! One of my fave spaces in your home didn’t make the cut, lol. It was your pink kitchen. I remember when you shared it (nervously) and when I saw it, it made me like you even more as a person because the way you captured your kitchen and presented it with such care made me know that even though things aren’t “perfect” you are still able love them in your own way. Ok, I’m probably reading too much into this lmao but yeah that’s my favorite space 🙂

  • JudyCinNC at

    Doesn’t it feel freeing since selling you house as you can now use all your energy for a new you in a different place? Have you ever considered having you past blog posts and pictures made into a book for preservation of the blog. I did this for my quilting blog and it turned out quite lovely. I used Blog2Print and they were wonderful to work with. I set the date range of my posts I wanted to have printed. I did select just the comments I wanted to be included since I did participate in blog hops and people responded that I never heard from again. This is now a keepsake. Looking forward to new posts as you spread your wings. JudyCinNC

  • Jean at

    Congratulations!!! Now you can focus on your new life and the next adventure!

  • Funky Junk Interiors - Donna at

    This post was such a lovely way to pay tribute to a home that started this all for you. You did this home so much justice! I remember when you were still sleeping in some attic or basement, offering the very best for your guests. It warmed my heart when you changed things out and started treating YOU just as well through your beautiful spaces that became yours, one at a time.

    I’m celebrating you from afar and personally, cannot WAIT to see what your new digs holds for you… and more selfishly… for us! 🙂

    All the very best M, and am eagerly cheering you on from the Canadian peanut section, eh?!

  • Linda at

    OH MY WORD! Do you ever see so many great things at once that you are just like, “Wait…I have to get a long look…at…every…single…thing?” That was me just now looking at your previous home! Holy Moly! I am new to your blog, so I had never seen photos, except from your apartment. (Which is also AMAZING.) I found SO much inspiration that I want to go shopping right now. lol I’m having a big Memorial Day party at the end of May and plan to use some of your recipes. So, I know you said in your post to leave a comment about a favorite thing – I CAN’T! I’m loving everything I see. Seriously. So glad I found your blog. Good luck with your new house – I’m excited to see how you decorate.

  • Daphne at

    I am so happy for the wonderful progress you have made in your life! Doing what you love is always awesome! The B and B was always extra incentive to get my brother to come visit me in St. Marys. I will always thank you for hosting him so warmly

  • Sharon at

    Congratulations on this new chapter! I will miss that old house though! I remember the red and white curtains you had it seems like I commented or something… And you said you bought the fabric at Walmart. Don’t know if those facts are correct but I did/do love those red and white curtains! Also I copied your Christmas tree where you did each color grouped together. I love that look I think I may do that this year ha ha. Best of luck Michael you are such a sweet soul!

  • Cathy Clark at

    Congratulations on your new home! I know it will be equally as beautiful as the “Charm” I look forward to all your new posts coming up!

  • Jane R at

    Following since the early days..I always loved your seasonal home tours. I love the simple changes (and sometimes pretty big) to transform a room, I look forward to your new adventures…

    • Jane R at

      I forgot! Your recipes! LOVE your recipes too!

  • Ella at

    I have been following IBC for a few years now, probably since 2013. The room that drew me to your blog was a post on Pinterest of your living room. I then went to your website and have loved it all since then. Congrats on the next chapter. I’ll be here.

  • Vickie at

    Yes Bittersweet I am sure.
    I LOVE this home. And, have been with you from the beginning…because of this home.
    I am envious of the new owner 🙂
    Good luck with the next chapter.
    I will watch, quietly, as I always do from the sidelines.

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