Home Made Lovely- Beth’s Home Tour

Welcome to Home Made Lovely!
A weekly series featuring inspiring homes from around the blogging community.
I’ve asked each blogger the same question-
“What does creating a lovely home mean to you?”
Here’s what Beth shared…

Hello everyone, my name is Beth from over at ‘Odd Girl Out’.  It’s a pleasure to meet you.
I was so excited when Heather asked me to share our home {among such lovely company}
in the ‘Home Made Lovely’ series.  Our home is our heart, so to speak. We are all complete home bodies, and prefer to be here over anywhere else. Once I heard my oldest son, Jake, say that he loves being home. I love that about my family. They love the home that my husband and I have made for them.  And that makes my heart swell.  Even after only being in our current house for a little over a year, they still feel the same.  To me, that speaks volumes about the energy in our space.  It’s not the ‘stuff’ that it’s filled with, but something more. Something we carry with us.

I’ve always loved decorating and design.  I get it from my Mom for sure.  My parents have a beautiful home, and my Mom has always had the gift to make it look lovely for not a lot of money.  I am definitely the same.  I follow a strict rule of thrift shopping, dumpster diving, and repurposing.  Very rarely do I just walk into a store and buy something full price because I think it will look ‘cute’ in our house.
When we bought our current {and hopefully LAST} home, it was in bad shape.  Calling it vintage would be too nice.  It was dark and dingy, and sat vacant for quite awhile.  If my husband and I have one gift, it’s vision.  We can imagine what a space can become, and more importantly we have the skills to do the transformation ourselves.  This house required a lot of those skills.  The most stressful of which was when we tore down a load bearing wall to open up all of the living spaces.  We knew it was load-bearing before we did it, of course, but it was a nail biter just the same.

The kitchen is the epicenter of everything in our house.  So, it was important for us to have a bright, light, casual kitchen where everyone can just hang out while I’m cooking or baking, and since we designed it, we got just what we wanted, but only after living on the sub-floor for over 3 weeks.  I love that the kids sit on the stools while I’m making dinner to do homework, color, or tell me about their day.  I’m not separated from them due to a cramped, closed in space.  In fact, our living spaces are all open to each other.  Having four kids ages 4-10, the openness makes it so nice to see everyone, but the way it’s laid out it still allows for some quiet spaces tucked here and there for reading or just chilling out.

So, where was I?  Ahhhhh, yes, the kitchen.  {I have serious Mom ADD.}  Anywho, my husband, Jake, and I did all the work on the kitchen except the counter top installation.  We always do everything ourselves which is another reason I think we have a lovely home.  Tackling these projects on our own really gives us a better appreciation for what we have been blessed with.  I am very lucky to have such a handy man.  🙂

The kitchen leads into the family room where we hang out and watch movies.  The two denim couches we have had for about 5 years.  One of them has actually been passed between my mom, my sister, and I.  The three of us share ‘house’ stuff all the time.  It’s pretty fun, and convenient.

One of my favorite pieces in the house is the credenza our TV hangs over.  It is really two dressers from a set in Jake’s grandparents’ house.  After they passed away, we acquired the pair, as well as the desk which is where I do all of the editing for my photography business, and where I blog. I have to keep an eye {or two} on the littles when I’m working, and this was really the best solution.  The dressers I painted an ridiculously lovely shade of green, and then I Mod Podged faux-bois printed wrapping paper to the drawer fronts.  The drawers are full of movies, art supplies, toys, you name it.  It might even be the permanent resting place for a Shake Weight, but I’m not going to comment any further.  It’s full to the brim.  One of my little secrets to a tidy house is to have creative storage like this.

I think all of the tables in this room were rescued from the curb.  I spray painted almost all of the original drapery rods in this house and just made curtains out of flat bed sheets.  Very cheap, very customizable, and very easy to do.  I sew mine, but you can use fusible web tape, and just iron your way to pretty panels.

Off of the other side of the kitchen is the dining room.  You won’t find any formality here.  The table was one of the first pieces of furniture we bought after we got married 11 years ago.  So, my kids would say it’s really old.  The chandelier was a brass beauty from a flea market that was less than $20 that I spray painted.  We’ve had the big clock for a long time too, but it’s had several lives between being painted and covered in fabric.  This go round it’s painted in chevron stripes that my hubs lovingly taped off for me.  That was quite a chore.   I don’t recommend it unless you have about 873.73 hours to devote to it.  And, I certainly don’t recommend doing it at 9:00pm.

The living room is open to the dining room.  This room makes me so happy.  It’s bright, and full of color.  It is also chock full of cast off furniture.  I feel so great when I can take something that someone doesn’t want anymore, and give it a new chance with us.  I suppose that I like to adopt unwanted furniture.  One of our most unique pieces is the pleather green chaise.  It was a wedding gift by an eclectic friend.  Is it too bold to say that it’s AWESOME?!?!?  It reclines and vibrates, too.  The kids love it.  I promise you that if you can ever get your hands on one of these, your home will be ‘lovely’ instantly just by the sheer happiness this chair brings people.  It is definitely an ice breaker when we have parties or new folks over for a visit.

The picture ledges were built by Big Jake for CHEAP!  We used Ana White’s tutorial.  I feel confident in saying that I could have even done it.  It was that easy.  Oh, and, if you can’t tell, I have a
photo/print/concert poster problem.

Our entry way is a dumping ground.  I don’t really now what else to say.  I do {big, puffy} heart our shoe basket.  We don’t wear shoes in the house and it is a work horse at controlling the shoe clutter.  I would marry it if I could.

The kids’ rooms are their spaces. It’s where they keep their books, toys, and special trinkets.  They got to help {with a bit of direction} with their rooms when we moved in.  They also are always quick to let me know if something catches their eye that they want to incorporate in their space.
They have found posters on Etsy, or desks in the trash {for real}, or knick knacks at garage sales that they’ve insisted on putting in their rooms.  I’m often impressed with some of their ideas and design choices.
Pete’s room is a bit rocker, and a bit Brit.  He loves Harry Potter, and the whole British thing kind of erupted from there.  Which didn’t bother me in the slightest being the anglophile that I am.

Jake’s room is more all American.  I used an old atlas that belonged to Big Jake’s grandpa to cover the one wall.  Jakey loves it.  When I was installing it, he asked how many of those places I’ve been to.  The list wasn’t long…I can tell you that.

The girls’ room may be my favorite room in the house. I love the colors, the antique dresser, their toy storage.  All of it.  They play in there all the time, so I think they like it, too.

Next stop, the bathroom.  What can you say about a bathroom?  It has a toilet, a tub, and a sink.  It’s swell lovely.  Is it not?

And, finally, we have the master bedroom.  As much as I’m NOT a cuddler, I’ll have to say that some of my favorite times spent at home are when all 6 of us snuggle in bed.  It usually ends up in hysterics, and I’m sure our days are numbered as to how long they will want to do that.  Time is so fleeting.
{See how I get off of topic?}
The bedroom is kind of strange in that the area of the master bathroom that contains the sink is open to the bedroom. The potty and shower are in a separate little nook. But, I think we made it work until a full reno is in the budget.  I think… hmmmmm?  Now, I’m doubting myself.  Darn it.

Personally speaking, I can’t just go to HomeGoods and find enough stuff to decorate my house in a day.   It’s a process of layering, hopefully with things that I not only love, but that mean something to me or someone else in the family.  If you have to take time to find the right piece, or if you pick up things here and there, I find that you appreciate them more.  I love when something has a history or a story.
To me, a house is never ‘done’.  I never sit down at night with my tea and say, “Ahhhhhh, we are all done.”.   I am constantly thinking about how I can add things that I acquire over time, or that I have a great fondness for {hopefully for a sentimental reason}.  I don’t love it because it’s ‘stuff’, but because of what it means to me or where it’s from.  Nothing is so precious in our home that I have attachments to it for it’s material value {mostly because I’m a cheap skate}, but I have sentimental attachments to things.
I read somewhere once that if you only put things in your house that you love {family included}, it will not only ‘work’ in a design sense, but that it will become a home.

I try to make our home lovely for so many reasons. It’s a creative outlet for sure, but I also want my children to be surrounded by color, and light, and to be comfortable. It’s always nice when someone tells me that they like our home, but it’s most important that my family loves it.  To know that this place we live in is like no where else on Earth, and that there is no where else they’d rather be.