Talk about your style. Industrial Vintage Modern with a touch of Rustic. Ha! Not quite sure how to describe my current style. I’ve always appreciated that vintage flair, whether it’s a part of an outfit, the décor in a home, or the car driving down the street. It brings personality and a little history into the everyday norm. So it makes sense that I enjoy incorporating those touches in my own home. I’m a sucker for unique chairs, that “one-of-a-kind” kitchen plate, old books that have been read countless times because they’re just that good. And maps. Just maps. Enough said. I’m also a big fan of clean lines and earthy tones broken up with something natural, like an untreated piece of wood or a cool branch that we found on one of our hikes with the kids. And then there’s the industrial appreciation. If it could be pictured hanging from the walls of an old factory or found in some sort of workshop, then I’ll take it!
Do you have a favorite room in your home + why? I think I have favorite spaces in each room of the house. Just depends on the time of day, I guess. However the white couch in the family room is currently one of my favorite places to sit. There’s a beam of sunlight that hits it perfectly for a good long while during the early afternoon. Usually the house is quiet during those hours and if I play my cards right, you will often find me basking in the sunlight there with a good book in hand.
Where does your inspiration come from? A lot of things inspire me. Nature, different cultures, artwork, music, other people, industry. I’m a sucker for thrift stores, antique malls, hole-in-the-wall sorts of places. I could get lost in those for hours…days…weekends. Other people’s junk can definitely inspire me. A pretty pink cabinet that now sits in my daughter’s room was once a dirty dark green object on the side of the road with a missing hinge and a door hanging off. Nothing that a little TLC and a coat of paint can’t take care of! I’ve always been a “collector.” I’ve had many odd collections throughout my life (my mom could give you some interesting examples…but we’ll leave it at that). So “treasure hunting” is something that I truly enjoy. This home has treasures that came from the rafters of an old barn, junkyards and from the middle of the woods. And I do realize I’m passing this trait onto my kids…which is a blessing and a curse. I find piles of rocks, acorns, and even jawbones from dead carcasses in corners of their room with strict instructions not to touch them. (I secretly love it and hope it never stops.)
Tell us about some of your biggest achievements and challenges. I wouldn’t call it an achievement just yet, as I have eons of things to learn and work on, but I believe homeschooling would fall into this category. This is our first year at it, and it is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done…and also one of the coolest. Every day there is something so rewarding that takes place…and yet I’ve never slept harder at night then I have this year. Some days there are tears…but those can be both happy and sad. What a gift to have my kids home with me all day long. Truly this is such a blessing and it’s a dream come true. Thank you, God. But my kids are with me all. day. long. (insert “deer in headlights” eyes.) This year, more than ever before, I’ve learned how much I have to work on. I’m still [very much] being molded and refined and I’m thankful for this journey in so many countless ways…even if it means the house is usually in disarray and there are flow charts hanging on my walls. :)
Name 3 pieces that define you + your space. Wood – my dad is quite a talented wood worker. He has created so many beautiful carvings and different pieces out of wood (among many other things). The smell of woodchips will forever remind me of my dad and his workshop. That’s why I think wood…especially in it’s natural state…makes my heart very happy. Chairs – I love me some unique chairs. They’re usually just the right size to bring a little character to a corner of a room. Books – in my humble, and admittedly nerdy opinion, a room is made so much cooler when there are piles of stacked books.
Biggest splurge and biggest steal: Our counter tops and stools were a splurge. But well worth it, I think. And all the wood in our kitchen/dinning room was a steal. Literally these were collected for a small fee from barns that were being taken down. Those beautiful Wisconsin farms keep on giving. :)
What are some of your go-to places when it comes to shopping for your home? As mentioned earlier, a lot of things in our home come gently used. Craigslist has been a great resource, among rummage sales and thrift stores. There’s so much you can do to give those used things a fresh new look. West Elem, Urban Outfitters, Ikea and Etsy have also been great places to get unique things for a fair price.
Do you have any DIY tips to share? I love to use nature. We’ve collected pinecones and strung them from twine to adorn a window. We’ve spray painted them with glitter paint to add some sparkle to a bookshelf. We’ve collected a handful of cool sticks and feathers and painted the tips silver. We’ve gathered armloads of driftwood to make one-of-a-kind birdhouses. It can be that easy. And plants are such a great way to bring colorful life into your home. They’re easy and effortless.
Any advice? When we moved into this house (about 2 years ago) I tried hard to not put anything on my walls or shelves that didn’t mean something to me. I think sometimes we think we need to fill each and every space in our home. That’s simply not true. An entire wall in my living room was blank for over a year because I didn’t have anything that could fill it well…that meant something to me…that wasn’t just filling an empty space. Sometimes it’s worth waiting for that perfect piece that you happen to find when you aren’t even looking for it!