Crafting a Home that Tells a Story
Recently my husband and I bought a house! We saw a handful of houses before we found our sweet, 1968 quad-level home in West Michigan. We fell in love with its quirkiness and nods to mid-century. The wallpaper in almost every room, however, we did not. We knew once we got the keys we would get to work right away, making the house our own. Thankfully there were no major renovations that needed to happen, only aesthetic ones. Finally, the years of carefully curating décor from various travels, antique stores, and flea markets could come out of their boxes and be showcased. (Not to mention the wedding gifts that didn’t quite fit in our previous apartments.)
Making a house a home takes time. I have found it happens little by little. I’ve learned to appreciate the small changes and dream about the big ones. I’ve learned to be okay with rooms that are empty—I’ve actually found it refreshing how it creates the physical space to just breathe.
Read on for my tips and tricks for pulling together a home that tells a story!
The easiest thing you can do to transform a space is paint. I know I’m not the first person to tell you this, but let me be the 976th person to affirm that. Picking out paint doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Having a general idea of whether you’re looking for a cream, a blue, or a gray will help you narrow your options once you get to the paint section. My husband and I tend to like cool tones. We also really like black and white. By keeping our walls neutral, we can add pops of color with our décor, which is easier to change monthly than wall colors.
When you have neutral walls, you have a blank canvas. You can be inspired by just about anything. We found that to be true with the fabric we picked for our dining chairs on our antique, heirloom table. The right stripe can really modernize a space.
This particular fabric feels more masculine, which countered nicely to the feminine lines of the chairs. By removing the previous floral print, we updated our chairs through fabric. We took direction for our wall color from this fabric too. I loved how the table turned out! I added a pop of spring by incorporating more treasures from my Peruvian travels with this colorful, handmade table runner.
I’ve always believed that decorating a space is a way to tell a story. It’s an opportunity to share more of yourself to all those who enter your home. I like decorating with pictures of people and places that I love. I also like decorating with vintage finds or heirlooms—these pieces alone are great storytellers.
I curated this space in our entryway that brings me so much joy every time I pass it. By taking an antique captain’s chair that used to be in my grandparents home and placing it in the alcove of our entryway next to vibrant greenery, I’ve created a place for people to drop their coats and/or purse.
Adding a pillow from my Noonday Ambassador trip to Peru last summer adds texture and almost always receives a compliment from guests. I get to share about my trip and our Artisan Partners when that happens. This one nook in my home has many stories to tell while serving a purpose too! I’m a big proponent for functionality. If a space can look good and share a story we are really winning here! Chairs and benches are great to hunt for at flea markets and antique stores to add a beauty and functionality to your entryway.
DECORATING ON A BUDGET
When decorating a new home or space we can often use pieces we already have. Sometimes it just takes a little reimagining. Have a friend come over and ask her where she would put “this lamp” or “this picture.” We can sometimes get in a decorating rut and we get stuck. We’ve lived with something one way for so long that we don’t know how it could function any other way, but then your friend comes in and suggests a new idea.
That basket that’s always been in the center of your dining table? Move it to your wall as art! BAM—new décor and life for Mr. Basket. Don’t be afraid to try something different and live with it for a couple days. I have found the initial shock wears off around day 3 and you can start to appreciate the new purpose you’ve given your décor.
There are lots of little things you can do when decorating spaces. Small changes can often make big impact. Sprucing up the front of our home just meant a quick trip to our local hardware store and picking out a more updated set of numbers for our address. What a change!
I also like updating vintage finds with modern design. Grouping these pieces together creates a great story of old and new–and if you choose a similar color scheme, texture, or material, you can easily group pieces together. I have also been intentional with adding pops of green to my groupings. This peperomia plant adds a vibrant green to the otherwise neutral pallet and literally gives it life! (Bonus: as this plant grows, you can cut stems off to start new plants, which is what I’ve done here!)
Finally, the simplest update you can make for next to nothing is PICTURES! In this day and age we take lots of pictures, but then they stay on our phones the rest of their lives. What if you spent ten minutes going through your phone to find some pictures that make you smile and send them to your local photo printer to get printed and display in your home?
You can find frames for cheap too. (I recommend thrift stores. You can find a wide variety for reasonable prices, and if all else fails, you can paint them to match each other). You will get to share the best stories by hanging pictures of your friends, family and favorite places on the walls of your space! (And if you’re renting, command strips are a great solution for hanging your pictures damage-free! They also work great if you are nervous to commit to driving in that nail, but don’t be afraid—you can do it!)
In my newly found role of homeowner I have taken it upon myself to be a storyteller in my home. Carefully curating moments in my home has been such a rewarding experience to share with all my guests. I hope that you’re inspired to tell some stories through design in your home too!
Meet Lauren Horras
Lauren lives with her husband, Jordan in the Grandville, Michigan where they recently purchased a home and are fixing it up. She is addicted to committed to coffee, loves macaroons, a good book, flea markets, decorating her home, driving her Jeep (Rosie) and spending time with friends. She especially loves her work with college students and helping empower the next generation of world changers!