From the moment we started house hunting (February 2010) I wanted to post on my blog about it. I didn’t want to jinx anything, so I vowed to wait until we closed. Once we closed (August 2011) I was completely overwhelmed by the idea of where to begin. I have literally spent hours composing posts, only to delete them later, afraid that they were too personal, or too long, or too off topic from the rest of the blog.
I feel like I have had these posts hanging over my head ever since. I have my blog to share my work firstly, but it is also important for me to chronicle things that are happening for my own personal documentation. Buying a house was and is very big for me. I’ve just decided I need to bite the bullet and post something, anything, just to get the ball rolling. Any little post will do and so here we go.
My personal home decor evolves naturally and it is comprised of tons of color, patterns, ephemera on the walls and knick knacks and collections EVERYWHERE. I was, and still am, enamored with homes that are really empty and clean, but it just isn’t how I live. I used to be self conscious of it and thought it looked messy and cluttered. It wasn’t until I moved out for the first time and I’d have guests in my room that I finally got to see it through other people’s eyes. It was unique. It was a lot to take in, but it was beautiful. People would spend time just looking at all the bits and pieces and it was interesting to them. Since then, the internet has exploded and people share pictures of their homes and studios and I’ve learned I’m not alone in my eclectic styling.
See, even though I intended this post to be short and sweet, it’s getting long and wordy already. But I continue. Matt’s style is more like the “clean and empty” kind. When we first moved in together I was a little nervous because I’m sure he looks at my studio in horror and is afraid that the rest of the house would quickly look the same. We never really dealt with our style differences though because 1. we were renting and it felt very temporary to me (even though we were there for 4 years or so) and 2. Because we were renting and our landlord was, well, some could say finicky. For the entire time we lived in our duplex we maintained what I like to call “bachelor pad decor”. Almost nothing on the walls, furniture that was almost entirely hand me downs and nasty rental carpet, you know the kind… beige. Hanover Home Cleaning Pros may help you get rid of all the dirt, gunk, stains, and grime piling up deep in your carpet fibers in such cases.
Buying the house finally gave us the opportunity to try and express ourselves and still make our styles meet. I want to maintain a home that I am proud of, that is welcoming to guests, but also showcases both of our styles. One way that I am hoping to do that is through our mantel place in the living room. It’s central to the house and one of the first things a person sees when entering.
As I said before I have a lot of knick knacks and collections, but instead of having them ALL out at once, I hope to use the mantel as well as a few other spaces to display rotating groupings. I think this elevates the importance of the pieces, as they aren’t competing for attention with all the other pieces at once. Also, by rotating them out, it keeps pieces fresh and new, not only by not having them out all the time, but by the different companion pieces they are paired with.
So, since August we’ve already rotated out the Mantel 3 times. I’m sure once the initial home owner’s honeymoon wears off it won’t be as frequent, but I do hope to at least maintain a quarterly change out.
Mantel 1. Let’s call this Moving-in Mantel. It evolved naturally where I just set things there while we unpacked and didn’t intend for them to stay, but then I started liking the groupings. The big metal sheet is covered in magnetic poetry, below that are recent instax pictures, and the jars were jars of mine and jars that a coworker gave to me. Ever since I heard about chalkboard paint it was my dream to paint an accent wall with it. Flash forward a decade or so. Matt was on board with the wall behind the mantel being painted with chalkboard paint, but I got cold feet. I didn’t want it to to be inconsistently smudgy and drawn on only within reach, while remaining dark and unused up above. We painted the wall a solid gray. After seeing some clever chalkboards, here and here on pinterest, I decided to do that instead. I bought a large board and painted it first with magnetic paint and then coated it with chalkboard paint. I LOVE that my nephew can come over and draw on it, and this picture captures his early work.
Mantel #2 I introduced the mirror. We LOVED it because it made the room feel so much bigger. I actually worry that Matt loves it a little too much and won’t want to take it down. I’m really set on changing out the mantel though, whether it be a mirror, or a painting or photographs. I don’t want things to get boring.
Here’s a close up of one side. I have a few terrariums, the first one by Black Forest Clockworks, and the second by My Paper Crane. Behind it is a tree knot that my dear coworker gave me. He gave me two and I love them so much.
The other side has two mini terrarium jars of my own and my chalkboard quote board by Rachel of Smile and Wave. The adventures and happiness pin I gave Nikki and a shell from another coworker of mine.
Lastly, we have #3. the Holiday Mantel. This was our first Christmas in our new home so we were both very excited to decorate for the holidays. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the simple white lights, evergreen garland and red bow decorations we had on the outside of the house, but this is not a picture of that. When we were doing the inspection, Matt and I were really excited to see two little nails ready to hang stockings (it’s the little things) so we were looking forward to hanging them. We strung up lights and a star garland.
I was excited to display the advent box, my pipe cleaner gnomes, and a tiny nativity scene with some new ceramic trees from Soda by Amy that I bought at One of a Kind this year.
Now that Christmas is over, we need to take down the decorations and the mantel will change yet again. I know this post was a change from the normal content (but what is normal anyway?). I have noticed and been enjoying some “corners of my home” posts on a bunch of other blogs lately. I like that idea and hopefully I can return and post a Corner of My Home here and there, just a lot less wordy.