The word home evokes a deep rooted nostalgia for me. Growing up our home was the gathering place for our family and friends. We congregated there for holidays, family dinners, birthdays and just about any excuse we could come up with to all be together. My parents built our modest log home in a little town in Virginia, set back in the forest with rambling creeks and trees that seemed to catch fire in the autumn. It wasn't much, but it was filled with many warm and happy memories. I remember always being fascinated by the stories of the items that filled our home. Even today, it's the weight of those items that can make a home feel grounded. Sitting here, scanning my living room, my eyes focus in on pieces that hold a memory for me. Items that belonged to my ancestors or objects that made up my childhood home.
Often I am asked about my style, what inspires me and the story behind the objects in my home. I stumble over this question often and wanted to spend some time talking about the process I use in curating a well lived in home. I didn't have a design in mind or plan when I started putting my apartment together. After living in tiny, cramped apartments in New York, I came to Richmond with essentially no furniture, and honestly, no money. I struggled with wanting to have a polished, finished space and knowing that I was at a point in my life where I didn't want to furnish my apartment with all Ikea pieces. Once I got on my feet I quickly became a regular at local thrift shops, antique malls and became slightly obsessed with checking Craigslist. I have always loved the look of a well layered home. Spaces that are designed over time, with changing taste and an eclectic display of accumulated items. I knew I wanted my home to feel welcoming and to have a well lived in comfort. I found myself being particular about the pieces and furniture I brought into my home. Searching out anything with extra storage (I only have one closet) and a few statement pieces that could compete with the scale of my apartment.
My indigo console was an attempted rehab that was abandoned at the thrift store mid project. All of the hardware was placed incorrectly and the finish stripped. I found a saturated shade of blue and painted the base to give the piece visual weight. I stained the top a rich walnut to bring warmth to the space. On a regular thrift outing I spotted my large magnet board laying on its side. Originally a vintage factory door I immediately envisioned it full of photos and inspirational objects. Its sheer volume helps to balance the windows on the opposite side of the room. I scored my vintage American flag for a few bucks at a yardsale and (crudely) assembled a frame out of the base of an antique window.
Houseplants are a great way to warm a space and help make it more inviting. My mounted stag-horn fern is framed with an old wire bakers rack I scored from my Mom's basement!
I searched long and hard for a couch and eventually settled on this mid-century gem with original green upholstery. I fell in love with it's clean lines, timeless shape and a vision for recovering it down the road. Incorporating an antique pallet helped to warm the space and provided the perfect place to display some of my favorite items.
My oversized desk is a really special piece. I wanted an item in the room with a more refined and industrial feel to it so together my Dad and I constructed this massive desk. We used reclaimed wood from a historic building in Washington, DC and a black, fitted pipe base. The structure allows me the perfect spot to display objects and play with the abundance of natural light that pours in all day.
One of my favorite finds is my vintage rug. A lucky deal on Craigslist, it's vibrant colors lend a warmth to the room that is inviting and adds to the layered feel. When I find pieces at junk stores I am often moved by their physical weight. Everything was heavier back then and made by hand or by tools that were made by hand. It is their flaws, dents and scratches that beg me to include them in my home.
A favorite in my home, is this sweet spot in my bedroom. This dresser was purchased by my grandfather in the 1960's and is still much loved today.
So, for me, my style is about a story. The story of the objects, the purpose they served, where they came from. All of those stories, layer upon layer, seem to build a space that is eclectic, inviting and curated. What does your home say about you, what is your story?