When you get married at 21 years old and register for everything you'll ever need you don't realize how your tastes may change or how much more YOU will change in the next 10 years. Jared and I will have been married 9 years next February and I think it's safe to say we have both grown and changed so much. Not the core/values kind of change, but the type of change that happens to most people in their 20s as they figure out their preferences in just about every area of their world. Which is why I think your 20s can be such a weird time in life- from jobs you don't like or didn't plan on to figuring out what relationships look like when you aren't in school for the first time in maybe 15 or more years. I graduated from UGA with a history degree, and I had no clue what I wanted to do with it. I just knew I liked to read and write, and history really made me think in all different sorts of ways. I grew up around cameras for sure (my dad was a wedding photographer in the late 70s and 80s, my brother a cinematographer in Hollywood, my other brother a television producer for sports), but I would never have thought I'd follow suit either because I didn't want to compete or because books and papers were more my thing. Either way here I am loving photography and not doing anything with my history degree (except for all that it has meant in shaping my thinking). All this to say that I have experienced change in so many ways and found that who I am is an ever evolving person. Case in point: our first apartment. When Jared and I first got married I had some heinous wall decor- I think I had spelled out "LOVE" with brown letters but the ledge they were on would fall off the wall regularly so it ended up saying, "OV" or "LO". I registered for stuff I thought I would like for 50 years, but I didn't know myself well enough- that I REALLY like to change things up and would rather make something inexpensive than to stay committed to a piece of furniture for a lifetime. Commitment issues. After way too much time on Pinterest and looking at a million books at Barnes and Noble over the past few years I realized what I loved was a light, airy, fun, and whimsical feel in regards to decor (and all aesthetic things!) with a mix of modern graphic elements. The book that really helped me figure this out was a wedding idea book (Handmade Weddings) that talked about different design styles. This may sound silly but it was so good for me to put words on the aesthetic I like, and it made it easier to decorate our home in a way that makes it more lovely to be in. So my design mixture (as if it's some technical equation) according to the talented HelloLucky writers is "retro homespun" and "happy graphic." I am working on bringing these elements into our home room by room, and thought it would be fun to share some of the latest home love projects. One last note- I think it would be in VAIN to post pictures and build some idea that life is about making all the stuff around you just right and aesthetically pleasing. I don't believe there will be any U-Hauls carrying my possessions behind the hearse when I die, and it would be a sad life if I devoted myself to things that are passing away and don't point people towards the goodness and grace and worth of God. I also want to note that I should have included a picture of the mess I made in trying to make some of the decor... some of the things I made turned out pretty tacky and had to be thrown away immediately. I say that because often i read blogs and think, "i'll never be like her or have a home like that or just be that PERFECT!" I am determined to find a way to show weakness and mistakes in my blog so that people know that we are all a lot more alike than different- and that there is no perfect life no matter how good you show yourself online. We just got our carpets cleaned and it looked amazing... until the next day when Ethan spilled my coffee on it and Andy's babyfood came up out of his mouth and baptized our carpet into the land of the living. So much for a clean carpet. It makes me think of one of my favorite home signs- "Excuse our mess, but we live here!" At any rate, here are some pictures of the latest projects... with some details of where I got the stuff because I love it when others do that. First, our dining room. I love the combination of rustic and industrial elements- I got the table at Agora in downtown Athens (vintage furniture, clothing, etc.); it was handmade by an artist in Athens and I got it for only $150! I thought that was an awesome deal. I wanted midcentury chairs (I know doesn't everyone? they are everywhere), and these are 1950s fiberglass shell chairs in the same Herman Miller style but not the same price. I got them through Craigslist from a couple who has all sorts of midcentury pieces in their home. The chairs were only $35 a piece! Pendant light thanks to Lowes, and I made the canvas with some Lotta Jansdotter stencils that one of my favorite people gave me awhile ago (Caroline Norris you are the best gift giver!). PS- I love Lotta Jansdotter... design crush on her big time. The flowers might be the favorite touch for me- they are felt flowers made by an Athens local artist who sells them at Community (downtown Athens store with vintage clothing, furniture, and a vibrant sewing community). The artist (Emily Newdow) also makes some oh so cute and fun pillows with the best fabric. Love everything she makes! I know clipboards are all the rage for home decor right now, so why not jump on board. Such a great way to hang pictures without the commitment (again, commitment issues) and fun quotes, etc. I made a clipboard wall and plan on switching it out to keep husband on his toes:) And please look at the picture in the top middle: me on a vespa. It really did happen. It may never happen again but in Key West for a few precious hours I was the proud driver of my dream mode of transportation: a Vespa. Here is the wall of plates above the couch. I had these plates hanging in my kitchen but added a few for a little collection. The top plates are from Hobby Lobby, the larger circle plates are from Ikea and the square ones are from the mothership, Target. Oh, Target- let me count the ways... Oh, and the pillows! The pillows were sewn by me. I am in NO way a great seamstress but I can do what I need to get the job done. I love fabric and pattern- and I'm in the process of making more of these so that my couch is barely visible because of pillow clutter. I got the green fabric at Wal-Mart (don't judge), the blueish one is actually a napkin from World Market, and the other is a vintage handkerchief sewn onto a plain beige pillow. More to come. And Ethan... he came from Jared and I about 4.5 years ago... he's very unique, handmade by God himself:) Best piece of art of my couch.
Lotta jansdotter stencils used for the canvas... I used to think stencils were for science fair projects but oh no. Stencils=canvas magic. The next picture is from the clipboard wall. I love the picture on the left- my dad took it of me in 1985 near an old barn in upstate New York. It means a lot to me and is one of my favorites. I need to finish the kitchen, but here is a quick run down of the updates... We got a new table that is reminiscent of a 1950s chrome diner table. It is from that era and also purchased at Agora for an awesome deal. The orange vinyl shell chairs were included with the table and I added 2 Ikea chairs (which I found in the damaged/floor model sale part of the store- that's where you should look first for sure!) They were only $25 (normally $40), which is pretty good for some modern looking particle board:) I'll have to post some better pictures of them later, but I've been using Instagram to post some so you can follow me there if you want to see more. The shelves on the wall are another Ikea $40 find, and the blue bowls are my favorite- one of the few items I own from Anthropologie. I would love to get on my Anthro rant (how I love/HATE the store) but that will have to be for another post. Finally a little piece from the mantel in the living room. I haven't decided what I'm doing yet but I do have some quotes I definitely want to post somewhere, more so as a reminder of the life God calls us to. I really like it when decor has personal meaning so this is my attempt to gather verses and quotes to help remind us of the truth. That's all for now!