I bought my first house when I was nineteen years old, new baby in tow. I have always loved decorating and lovingly infused the new place with hand me down furnishings, trash finds, and funky antiques. Lace curtains, wood floors, black and white tiled linoleum in the kitchen. It was quaint, it was home. After a few years of modeling, I got a little high falutin’. I was tired of used items and old stuff. I sold my house and walked away with a whopping 30,000 in profit. I sold every single item in the house and moved to a nice townhome. I headed to American Furniture Warehouse and walked around like I was the Queen of Sheba, irritated that no one would talk to a twenty-four year old with $30,000 to blow. I spent nearly all of it on new furniture. Which all fell apart or was ruined by three children under the age of four (Emily loved to put lipstick on everything!). I can sure look back and get the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s but I try not to, because it was a lesson learned and what good is life if you learn nothing from it?
Fast forward…ahem…a few years and we are in our rented house on 2/3 of an acre. This house was built in 1920 and is just full of charm. It is a cute, little ranch style farmhouse. I painted it in colors that were warm and cozy to me. The huge windows cast such fantastic light in the winter throughout the open living room and in the summer it is shadowed and cool. I originally started painting it apricot, trying to create an adobe feel. It actually made me start to cry! It was so bright and little girl-like, I just stopped mid-wall and went and bought Cinnamon colored paint. You can do that. Don’t be afraid of bright colors. Color infuses the spirit of the place with warmth. Doug and I have decorated this place with Craigslist finds, antiques that we understand will have to be reupholstered at some point so we don’t stress over drinking coffee on the couches, or the cats climbing up the back. We filled it with items from our trips, or just trips to the thrift store. Items that remind us of New Mexico and the vibrant spirit there. Pick a place that you love…fill your home with things that remind you of it.
Old photographs of grandmas, our wedding, our children, goofy pictures, pictures of Maryjane. Only keep what you love.
I rearranged the house and moved the art/sewing room and all its chaos to the living room. I don’t care anymore about where things are supposed to be! If you sew a lot more than you serve fancy dinners, maybe the dining room is where you can sew or maybe the dining room table should live on the porch all summer for al fresco meals. There are no rules!
We infused the house with items that are funky and fun. One Christmas Doug kept telling me that I am going to love, love, love my Christmas present. I was so certain I was getting red high heels. Much like this last Christmas I was ever so wrong. I held my breath and opened the package and there was a stuffed moose head. A fake one. A stuffed animal to hang on the wall. I sat there with my jaw open for awhile. We named him Christmoose. I adore him. (And my girlfriend sent me some sexy red high heels from Montana!) Pat and Rodney gave me the cute wine sign. Doug got me a gift certificate to an antique store in the mountains one year. One of my favorite gifts. I was able to purchase something that I never would have for the price otherwise. This fabulous old door has a different color paint on each side so is essentially reversible!
I love this picture of the Rat Pack Andy so proudly bought me for my birthday one year. Their sheer joy and laughter makes me smile too.
This piece was out in the yard in a pile of debris when we moved in. I salvaged it. I love its folk art appeal.
I collect wooden saints. It is nice when under a lot of stress to simply light a candle in front of them and they can go on praying for me.
I fill the space with candles, oil lamps, and twinkly lights. It all simply feels magical. I took the bird feeders from the back yard and put them all around the front porch where I will see them more. I hung my own paintings up. I filled the house with cats and dogs….and chickens. I fill it with friends, and board games, and wine. Forget fancy furniture, this place speaks of home.