Ever since I can remember, I have loved style. For fashion, clothes, hair, jewelry, handbags, heck, even socks of decent quality made me drool. But the one area that truly makes my heart flutter and sing with excitement has been home decorating. I have always believed that pillows, curtains, paint colors, furnishings, fabrics, art, pillows, linens, furniture, rugs, even appliances that reflect your identity can make you feel the most at home in your space, no matter how big or small.
Some of my earliest memories involve me rearranging toy furniture beds, desks, and couches to make it reflect the made-up personalities of my Barbies and American Girl Dolls. Any chance I had to play with a dollhouse, or Little Tikes playhouse and I would take it, or as my mom would sure attest to, I would soak up every minute for hours on end. I could be seen arranging and rearranging plastic or wooden furniture until it felt just right for me at that moment in time, even if it meant that I didn’t even get time to play in the space I’d created.
It lasted through my adolescence to when I was an angsty teen. When my mom got remarried, and informed me that they were going to finish the basement, the entire basement, to be my new bedroom, I meticulously picked out the paint colors, sketched how I wanted the room to look (built-in bookshelves included!), and filled it with special items that made it feel right for me.
If you have been following along since the summer of 2017, or even December 2019, you know that I am still doing this now. Every apartment I am in, I try to reflect my–and now our–distinct style. Trying multiple spots for the perfect place for a flea market find, carefully fluffing the pillows on our couch to it feel more inviting, or even dreaming of new ways to update our space when I only have $20, are the most rewarding challenges for me.
Since moving in together, Phil and I have worked at combining the elements of a space that make us feel at home, comfortable, and relaxed, while also being a reflection of our individual personalities, and partnership, simultaneously. After four years of living with each other, this apartment that we’ve been renting feels like home. From those conversation pieces sourced by me, like our cow hide rug or purple rattan side table, to Phil’s choice of art and leather upholstery on our dining room tables, our place accurately represents who we are, inside and out. Even this past holiday season, we both felt that the decor finally reflected us to a tee. Heading into our ninth year together, and we just now nailed what the holidays should feel like in our space (if interested, check out some of our holiday decor here).
Lately, I have realized that decorating doesn’t come easy for everyone, and I may be able to use my passion for design to help those who’d like their space to be a teaching ground for their growing family, an oasis for re-energizing at the end of the day, or the location to host friends and family at holidays.
Enter, a few of our closest friends who bought a house about a year ago now. They recently shared that they were still overwhelmed by the amount of space to fill, and the fact that the house still didn’t really represent them as a family. Ultimately, what I heard both of them say is that they just want it to feel like home, without breaking their bank. They didn’t want to renovate or paint, or even fix holes in walls if they could avoid it, and they definitely didn’t want it to feel like a rental. I jumped at the chance to help them figure out just how to make that happen, and I also realized this could be the start of a new way to follow my passion for design, while creating some pretty unique content for Phil and I, both, on this blog.
Since it’s just getting started, we wanted to share a few images of me talking to them about their styles, and how to incorporate both preferences into one space — their dining space connected to their kitchen. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for updates on progress, resources I’ve used for inspiration, and even some best practices along the way.