Jenn’s Home Made Lovely

Welcome to Home Made Lovely!

hey you guys!  i’m jenn… the gal behind noodle and lou studio.  i’ve been blogging about my art, my family and my love of vintage for the past 5 years.  i live in fort worth, texas (by way of florida, atlanta, chicago and ny!) with my husband, chris, and our 2 boys, jake and henry.  we just moved in to this charming 1920’s house a few months ago.  we came to texas a couple years ago and didn’t quite land in the perfect town (for us!) the first time around.  it’s always so hard picking a place to live when you don’t know anyone and you’ve never been there.  but we quickly discovered how much we loved fort worth and knew that’s where we belonged.  we love the history and the character of our new neighborhood and our sweet little house!  we are so close to the zoo and botanical gardens, places to ride bikes, antique shopping… it completely fits us to a tee!  enough about all that… come on in!
creating a home for my family in this old house has been wonderful.  it hasn’t been without its hurdles… and there’s plenty of those in an old home (can you say closets… as in lack of) … but all really worth it.  living here celebrates the history of this cute place and gives my little family roots for the future.
now…i am a chronic “furniture mover-arounder”.  it’s no surprise to anyone in my family to arrive home and find things completely changed around.  i’m always thinking of new ways to make these rooms function better and make our lives easier.  in other words… our house is a constant work in progress.  but so are our lives and days… and it all just fits together.  some days better than others, if you know what i mean!
i’m super delighted to share some of our favorite spots so far.  the first one being our sunroom.  you walk through the front doors into this sun filled space with built-ins, original painted brick, old tile floors and gorgeous old windows.
to me… home is all about comfort and function.  i love to decorate… mixing old and new…reinventing pieces and their purpose…it makes me happy.  like my old school lockers.  it is so fun to have such a cool place to stick the kid’s backpacks and coats.  (i’m actually going to be painting them, so you’ll have to stay tuned for that).  living in a smaller home means constantly finding creative ways to store things.  dressers and old hutches hide away winter gear, photo boxes and childhood treasures.
i have a tiny obsession with vintage chairs.  i’m crazy for them.  especially old school chairs.  most every room in the house has at least one.  or two.  or in this case… three.
vintage locker baskets and old grocery baskets make great places to stick shoes, keys, leashes, etc.  i happen to adore anything made of old metal and if it’s rusty… even better!  the built-ins were a great bonus in this room because i can display my vintage books …another thing i really can’t pass up. the really cool part?  my kids use them.  they read them.  they cherish them just like i do!  i have always color coded my books.  i like my red books together and my white books together and… you get the point.  and the ugly paperbacks get stacked facing backwards:)  sorry fellas.  (see them up there on the top shelf all shamed!)  i found the killer 1950’s couch at an estate sale (literally still had the original sales booklet tucked into the cushion) and it’s the perfect place to curl up with an old book in the sun.
the pets happen to really like this room too…
and creating a lovely home for us means adding a furry and scaly family member too.  louie, our mini dachshund and charlie the bearded dragon.  charlie is our 12 year old’s pet.  he’s not quite as scary as he looks:)  next up is our living room.  this is really the heart of our house…
i wanted a cozy room that you could just put your feet up and feel at peace.  i’ve really been on a “less is more” kick lately.  not having as many things sitting out.  keeping the design simple and functional.  neutral backdrops with pops of color.  the windows let tons of light in.  i took the dingy old mini blinds down straight away!  the windows by the fireplace are getting some old shutters that i’m in the process of sanding and painting.  i added some ikea roman shades to the front windows.  i replaced the velcro ties with some old vintage fabric scraps… it adds color and a pop of character for sure!
but the main transformation was the floor.  it started as hideous stained carpet.  we ripped it out to uncover stained hardwood and i painted that sucker.  every last board… coat after coat.  and then i hand scraped the cracks between each board.  i really did.  no, i do not have tons of free time and yes, i’m nuts.  but, whenever i look at my fabulous white floor i grin from ear to ear.  it completely changes the whole space.  i have always wanted to paint a floor and it makes me so happy that i finally did.
in creating this space, i also wanted to make homes for some of our favorite collections and things… including chippy and worn vintage pieces mixed with our newer sofas.
things like the top of an old pinball machine become focal pieces of art…
the mantle stays super simple with just a couple old clocks and my vintage sap buckets.  thank you tons to rubyellen of cakies for that inspiration!!  my little collection finally had a purpose after seeing hers hanging in a group.  it makes for an ever-changing display of plants and flowers… or nothing at  all!
the next makeover needs to be that brass fireplace front… ahem.
if you have more than two of something… it’s a collection as far as i’m concerned.  displaying our old rackets and cameras makes us happy and it’s so fun to think of the people who used these in years past.
a rusty old utility cart is a home for some of my favorite books… a couple that i’m lucky enough to be in… like this really, really good one.  other favorites include anything by maira kalman.  i adore her writing and illustrations.  art is an integral part of our home.  we love to make it, we love to look at it and we love to live in it.  even though this house isn’t quite as busy and colorful as our past homes… there is art throughout.  and there’s always proof that there are boys living here as well…
and always, always there are baseballs mixed in among the girly polka dots and design books.  i just throw them all in a rusty basket and we are good:)
heading into the kitchen is my wall of old drawers… i’m especially crazy about those two ice tray drawers from forever ago.  sometimes i’ll stick little photos in them and other times they are empty like this.  my drawer wall reminds me of all the different and fun places we were when we discovered each of them.  the lamp holds a bunch of little wooden bowling pin balls from my many sets over the years.
a medicine cabinet pulled out of an old house now houses my aqua melmac dishes and placed atop a desk it looks like a hutch that was meant to be.  (the desk stores all my vintage tablecloths!).  and what’s the E for?  who knows… i just loved it.
on the way to the kitchen are some pictures of my favorite boys too:)
the kitchen is pretty little but it packs a punch with its charming cabinets and sun filled window.  i added another ikea roman shade and a strip of old bark cloth to make the window a bit happier.  gotta have something to keep you going when you are washing dishes:)
i miss the big island we had in our last house… but i’m telling myself this is less to clean.  and who knows what kind of changes the future could hold for this kitchen:)

the last stop on the tour is the boys’ room.  they are sharing for now, as our third bedroom is being used as my studio / guest room (that’s a whole other tour!) … and it’s been interesting.  they weren’t thrilled at first.  but i thought it would be a really good lesson for them to try.  to work it out.  to share.  some days they love it.  some days they don’t.  (they are 12 and 8 by the way).  creating a functional room with special spaces for them each has been a challenge.  i still have a few tricks up my sleeve though.  their room is a cool place to hang out in and it celebrates the stuff they love.  mom is happy…

i ditched the box springs and dust ruffles and bought a couple ikea bed frames.  makes for a cleaner, more stream lined look.  the windows are still awaiting their new shades… the mini blinds live to see another day.  the boys each have a vintage letterpress tray hanging on the wall to display some of their prized possessions.
the boys are quite the collectors… they even have their very own section in my vintage shop where they sell some of their finds.  love those boys so much!  my 12 year old has his own desk and there are several pieces of furniture to store legos, papers, books and more collections in.
one thing out of view is their 2 closets… sorry for no photo… but they are just plain old doors and inside  are shelves and a rod.  my number one go-to-trick to make more space is removing doors.  the doors take up waaaay to much real estate so i’ll be adding simple tension rods and curtains.

well, that’s about it!  there is actually lots more… but i can’t just completely take over heather’s blog:)  thank you sweetest heather for letting me share so much of our home here.  home equals happiness to me and sharing our little corner of the world where we celebrate vintage, listen to music, eat good (and sometimes not so good) food, relax and go nuts and laugh and cry… makes me happy.

you can find me over at my blog and my etsy shops… one for art and one for vintage.
and i love me some instagram … i’m noodleandlou
stop by and say hi!