i’m overwhelmed by the response to my new site! even though i didn’t realize until last night that i hadn’t enabled comments! many of you commented on the old blog and emailed. thank you for all the positive comments! change is usually difficult for me, even positive change, so this was a big step.
so it’s tuesday, and i will continue to try to keep up my *b* lists. even though the website is primarily a photography site 🙂
*b* list of tips for a cozy nest, making our homes a refuge, because who doesn’t need a safe place to fall?
- make it personal. our home is filled with things that are personal to us. it’s totally and completely a reflection of us. it’s deliberate for the most part…although the piles of reading material and projects may be a little less planned. i do not enjoy living in a home that is too precise and fussy. because of my love for photography, our home is filled with family photos. real photos. not posey-fakey studio looking shots, but real everyday, less than perfect shots. i have photos of tom and i when we were young and current shots. i like to mix it up. i change some photos out often and others remain the same for years. tom and i both have favorites that will always (Lord willing) be out at our home. i break all the realtors rules for making a house sell-able….but i’m not selling, so it doesn’t matter! i can honestly say, that there’s not one thing in our home that either tom or i or both of us, don’t enjoy….we’ve eliminated stuff that doesn’t matter to us. i just love walking into a home and feeling the energy and life of the people who live there.
the shot of brooke and grif is not a technically good shot (obviously!), but i adore it just the same. these two shots will be framed in our home forever.
2. art. this one could fall under #1, but i think it deserves a spot of it’s own. i used to go out and buy framed prints at the local discount store. but i found that i tired of them quickly no matter how well it “worked” with my color scheme. i think the reason was, it didn’t have any heart and soul. original art is totally different than mass produced pieces. duh, right? there is something so soulful about art. it’s as if, the more you live with it, the more you love it. not so with mass produced pieces. there is a depth to original art. i made most of the art on our walls…but the pieces i’ve invested or been given by other artists give me just as much joy. i know the process of creating and i appreciate it. so the next time you are in the market for a piece for your home, find an original artist whose work you admire and invest in something that you won’t tire of. (check out etsy)
3. light. to me this is one of THE most important aspects of a home. i can walk in a house and *feel* whether i can be at home and comfortable or not, according to the natural light. i adore natural light. granted i’m a natural light photographer, but i think we all feel it. we are not cave dwellers! light depravation can lead to depression. we need light. i am such a light lover that i will spend time working in rooms that have the best light at certain times of the day and avoid the darker rooms until the light floods them! one of the first things i notice and that i’m drawn to when buying a house, is the light. we were drawn to the house we’re in now, as much by the light and outdoor space, as the floor plan. here’s another thing about light: i think evening light is almost as important. soft lighting from sources other than overhead cans is vital! overhead lighting in the evening is drab and depressing. we have at least 3 table or floor lamps in our main living areas and at least one in each bedroom. it makes a huge difference! also, i think it’s important to keep your large surfaces in mind when it comes to reflective light. dark walls, floors and furniture, will have a definite effect on how the light *feels*. so be careful to keep some surfaces light and reflective.
4. authenticity. i have kept an inspiration notebook for years. it really helped me to narrow down what exactly my style is. now, i have no doubt about my style and rarely make a mistake when i make a purchase. i know myself. there have to be advantages to aging, right?! it’s okay to have an ecclectic style, as long as you pull it together in some way….whether it’s through juxaposing old and new, or tying it together with color. if you are good with fashion, try to translate your wardrobe with your home decorating style. one of the highest compliments i can get is when someone walks into our home and says it is *so me*. i think it’s important not only to see me, but to see tom too. we have framed photos of the harley all around, as well as his books and magazines…it’s obvious a dude lives in our home. i made a real effort in our family room to make it more masculine. that’s where we hang out as a family and tom comments very often on how comfortable he is in our home…particularly the family room.
5. ambience. light candles, set the table, light a fire, move an outdoor table inside near the fireplace….don’t forget to go to a little extra effort once in while to make things a little more *moody*. we eat by candlelight in our dining room at least a few times throughout the winter and i often take candles outside when we’re dining alfresco. i refuse to be one of those couples who fill their plates and walk to the couch and watch wheel of fortune!
6. invite others in. i think opening your home up to others is one of the best ways to share who you are and to let walls down. i love to have people in. in the summer there are rarely more than a few days that go by, that we don’t have family or friends over. granted a pool is a good drawing card! i love it. i want our home to feel home-y to our loved ones. the memories of times shared in our home contribute to the feeling i have and love about home.
7. purchase with comfort and attractiveness in mind. we don’t buy any large furniture pieces without checking for comfort. tom is the best at this! he points out things that i would never notice (being the visual person that i am!) i like to buy things that are visually appealing….but that’s not enough! i don’t think i’d buy something that i didn’t find visually attractive, BUT i think it’s possible to have the best in looks and comfort.
8. texture. for me, it’s important to have lots of different textures in a room. i’ve been very intentionally adding in different textures, as i build the layers of decor in our living room. the floors are wood, so i knew we would need to add lots of different soft textures to make the room cozy. the velvet polka dot window treatments have added so much to that room! linen, crushed velvet, and cotton textures in the upholstery add a bit of sophisticated texture. painted wood pieces, as well as an unmatching wood stain table, give the room just the look i want. i did NOT want a room that looked like a standard *furniture mart* display….all matchy, matchy. not me at all. if that’s you and you know how to add enough interest through your accents, go for it!
9. heirloom pieces. i have incorporated quite a few pieces throughout our home that were tom’s parents and my grandparent’s. i have gram’s fosteria footed cake plate, her framed baby photo (not refinished…love that it’s original), lots of her dishes and serving pieces, my gramp’s desk chair (which i’m sitting on right now), as well as tom’s parent’s table (the first piece they bought as a couple) and a couple of hull pieces….i’m sure i’ve forgotten to mention other pieces. i love that i have these sentimental pieces. it’s not just that they’re sentimental either, it’s that i love them anyway. it’s a reminder of them and things that they loved and now i love. jennifer gave me a beautiful linen tablecloth that belonged to her grandparents, and it means the world to me! the fact that she saw it, and knew that i would love it, and i do! i love it so much, that i can’t settle on where to display it!
10. break the rules. if you like it, do it, buy it, use it, enjoy it. relax and make your home yours. broaden your horizons and do what works for you. i added huge pink bows to the tabs of brooke’s window treatments when she was very young…i had never seen anyone do that, i just had the idea and loved it. it was over the top, but it worked! and now, i’ve seen it in catalogs and it’s commonplace. make your home a refuge!
now, i need to hop in the shower and get ready to meet jared and his managers for lunch!
have a great day and God bless!