We've heard the sentiment everywhere - Achieving a *home* takes time; it doesn't happen over night. You need to layer pieces in. Collect and curate. Ok, yes, I wholeheartedly agree. But this is the hard stuff of design. Anyone can *decorate* a room - disperse objects throughout a space, throw a pillow on a sofa, a piece of artwork on a wall. Yes, all of these elements are important, but they are not everything. PEOPLE and the things that inspire them should be a space's greatest, most prominent elements. A space should tell a story about who inhabits it, where they've been and even what they value and believe in.
An alpaca throw my sister brought back to me from Peru. A watercolor of my family's land where my husband and I got married. Antique ceiling tins our in-laws gave us as a house warming present for our first house. Paintings my husband and I bought on our honeymoon - the first artwork we ever *got framed* for our new house. Black + white photos of our baby girl. Gum balls in a vase collected from my in-laws' house in Georgia, a reminder of our roots. 30A Style, a coffee table book about one of my favorite places [Seaside, FL] and given to me by one of my favorite people [my mom].
These are the things a *home* is made of. And this is one of my greatest loves as a designer - finding these things from a client's life or home and incorporating them into a space. Like on this bookshelf of a client's home below. Her dad made this gorgeous piece of pottery, and it now takes center stage here. And the pictures of her boys, prominently displayed in a space the family uses everyday. These are small things with big meaning.
Myquillyn Smith, The Nester, basically wrote a whole book about this concept. It is fantastic. I can't recommend it highly enough. She also coined the phrase "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful". I think people often get so intimidated by interior design or decorating their homes because they believe they need a ton of money or super fancy things to make their spaces beautiful. Not true AT ALL. Sometimes the most humble, everyday objects make the most interesting, unique accessories. And thanks to websites like Minted, Etsy and, Framebridge, even buying and framing artwork can be affordable [AND still look super pretty].
So fill an extraordinary vase with grocery store flowers. Finally frame those special photos in a prominent place in your home. Use the pretty plates every day. And remember, your home is for living. Live well.
Photos by Eleanor and Liz