My Favorite Home Elements
Hi everyone! I just got back from Atlanta working on something new (HAVE I PIQUED YOUR INTEREST?!) but I can't tell you about it quite yet. Suffice it to say I learned a great deal and my feet hurt from walking a lot, but also came away with a new appreciation for the same kind of home life I have always loved. Slow and old, and much more quiet! I'm not fit for city life AT ALL. I was visiting a lot of high-end design showrooms for home furnishings, and saw so many expensive, truly beautiful pieces I would LOVE to own. However I can't, and neither can most of the population! I am glad those places exist to produce quality goods, but I realized how easy it is to be lulled into thinking your home will only be its best when it is "perfect." I love a well-designed home using all new things and know that it takes a great deal of talent to pull it off well, but it's not what I enjoy (and I'm not just saying that because I'm not rich haha!)
I know it's not my jam because the most exciting thing I bought wasn't something I bought at all...it was free stuff I found on the side of the road!
In the neighborhood where we were staying, an older couple was moving and in the process were giving things away in front of their house. It was all just laying there, so I pulled over to pick a few things up. The couple ended up being really sweet and me, being a psycho who wants to be murdered, asked if my mom and I could come take a look around their house because it was SO COOL! The guy was an architect and showed us his drafting room and told us all about the house. It was falling apart to the point where the electrical partially stopped working, so they sold the house to somebody who is demolishing it and building a new modern home in its place (tears!).
I regret not taking a full photo of the craftsman home, but at least you can get the idea of how much of a stunner this home must have been back in the day.
The wife was sweet enough to show me a few boxes of stuff she was going to donate and asked if I wanted to take any of it. DUH. So I ended up with some awesome old brass pots, new bud vases, and a couple of new friends with a story!
They recommended we eat at a few places, both of which were delicious. Meeting them was a great start to the trip and HOW MUCH COOLER is this stuff with a story? I just love it. I really do.
This brings me to what I wanted to share, which are my favorite home elements! Some are actual items, some are just general feelings.
1. Vintage/antique pieces. Older pieces belong in every home, no matter the style! It is sensible and keeps a place from going out of style in 5 years. Plus the hunt is part of the fun! If I see something I love that is within my price range, I grab it, even if I'm not sure where it goes yet. There is such a depth to homes that incorporate the past. If you have trouble incorporating both new and old pieces, try sticking to a similar color palate.
2. Greenery. I'm particularly fond of "fluffy" type plants like ferns, but find what plants you are drawn to and invite them inside! Hardware stores and even places like Wal-Mart have super inexpensive house plants, but don't forget to check out nurseries so you can support local business and see a wider variety. There is definitely a bohemian trend right now, but you don't have to be a fan of a million plants everywhere. Just a few yard clippings plus a house plant here and there adds life and brings the outdoors in.
3. A Lived-In Look. Planning out a perfectly coordinated room that looks like a piece of art takes immense talent, but I personally love a room that shows a practicality and warmth to it. The work at Trot Home is a great example of this. I remember as a kid hating going to my friend's house where they had a room you couldn't sit in. What?! Everything in the house looked too precious to be used, and it was so un-welcoming. There was no magic, no imagination!
I think stylish people who decorate their own homes don't go for the " I decorated this all in one go" look. Signs of life and collections give more personality than many of the sterile images we see; those homes aren't reality! As soon as shoes are kicked off or a meal has started, the art of every perfectly placed accessory has been disrupted rather than complimented.
4. Quirk. This one is closely related to the lived-in look, but there's nothing more charming than a touch of silliness: art hung in an unusual spot, a tacky knick-knack you felt attached to for some reason displayed prominently, an oil painting of your cats (oh am I the only one that wants one?). Decorating a home so seriously can make it stuffy, which doesn't reflect who you are at all! Unless of course you are a stuffy, boring person. In that case, continue on.
Do keep in mind that formality is not the enemy of quirk in a home. A gorgeous, formal room can easily have an unexpected piece of art that lightens the seriousness.
5. CANDLES! I probably have a million elements that I love in a home, but I'm going to end it on candles, because no matter what your home looks like right now, if you throw a candle in there and dim the lights, you've got yourself a bit of atmosphere. Plus, I feel like women feel silly for spending money on candles & cut flowers, but they make such a difference in your home's mood!
My (and my husband's) go-to favorite is Votivo "Red Currant". I haven't met one person who doesn't like it! It's a bit pricier, but you can smell it through the whole house without it being overpowering. My cheap favorite that still smells great but has a shorter burn time is the Mrs. Meyers "Lavender" one. It's only like $7 at Target near their cleaning stuff! Go getchya one (along with 40 other items you don't need but are seduced into buying there.)
I just rip the label off of the Mrs. Meyer's candle and set it on it's lid so it looks nice while burning. It is keeping my new glove mold/creepy hand company as I write this.
That's all for today :) What makes your home feel like a home to you?