Building a New Life Together
The couple spent the early days of their marriage symbolically and literally building their new united life together. They completed a major renovation of their home in Durham. Leading the renovations of their first home, the newlyweds carefully considered which areas of the design were most important to each of them. For Nathan, that was a highly functioning kitchen because he is the chef in the relationship. For Nicole, it was having a master bathroom. They had to create it from scratch – but it was worth the trouble for the little oasis they now have, including a bathtub overlooking their expansive yard. The pair even tackled projects by hand – such as the landscaping, and resurfacing and staining the fireplace.
This experience only further solidified their bond. The construction period concluded with the final stretch of labor after they moved in – while they both had work-from-home jobs. A couple that works together through blood curdling drilling, stays together, am I right?
“I remember the moment we first met in person. It was late afternoon, and the restaurant’s entrance was backlit by late sun. When the door opened, Nicole entered, and the sun transformed into a golden halo. For the first 15 minutes of us speaking, I could hardly form words I was so taken by her presence. If that’s not love at first sight than I don’t know what is.” – Nathan
Bold Colors and Mid Century Modern Decor
The house was built in 1942, and they embraced this era in their plans with mid century modern decor paired with bold colors for a fresh take – as Nathan explains, “Some changes we made were in fact peeling back layers of ‘newness’ that previous owners had veneered over the original design. The colors were inspired by Nicole’s nail polish, her car, and our dog Loki.”
(PAUSE: Loki is the world’s most adorable shepherd-dachshund mix, whom Nicole adopted from a shelter as an eight-week old puppy. He bears a strong resemblance to a fox, which has become somewhat of a theme in their home. There’s also a distinct possibility that Nicole fell for Nathan because his hair is a similar hue to Loki’s fur.)
In addition to fox knick-knacks, other personal touches around the house include their wedding wreath hanging on the bathroom wall, a painting of the wedding field, and cork saved from their honeymoon. As freshly planted as Nicole and Nathan are in this house, their personalities are everywhere. It feels like home.
“Your wedding day is about you. Have some fun with it! Enjoy each other. You might think that things aren’t going the way you wanted them to, but in reality they are, because of the person standing next to you at the altar.” – Nicole
Each of them spoke about their wedding vision being an emotive experience to remember – a feeling of coziness, laughter, food and friends. It’s clear that they crafted their home with this same intention. As Nicole gave me the tour, she painted a vision of friends gathered on the back patio under twinkling lights. It’s not hard to picture – and it’s also not hard to picture these two love birds sitting hand in hand on that couch surrounded by mid century modern decor for decades to come.
“Nathan actually came up with the name “Doctorette” and I thought it was a perfect fit because it asserted my femininity in an arena that is often intimidated by it. He’s always been my biggest fan.” – Nicole
Dr. Nicole Cranley started The Doctorette blog in 2017 after a woman told her that she “didn’t look like a researcher.” She turned that frustration with the stereotypes that are often associated with women in STEM into this creative outlet. Check out TheDoctorette.com and follow her at @TheDoctorette.