Archive | our house

fall pillow peeks

Tomorrow is my big fall house tour {see the first homes in the blog tour here}, so last week was a mad scramble to get the house in order and put up some fall decorations.


As you well know, one of my favorite ways to add seasonal touches is through pillows. When you start with a neutral base, you can really go in any direction with colors throughout the year. For the fall, I like a cozy mix of textures {cable knit, velvet} and warm colors {taupy gray, chocolate brown, slate blue and gold}.


I don’t follow any ‘rules’ about pillow placement or how many is too many {obviously} or when you should use matching pairs – just go with what looks good to you. On our sofa, there are five pillows: 1 large 24″ square {with the bow}, 3 20″ square {cable knit and velvet floral} and one rectangular {ikat dots}. autumn-pillows-bow-velvet-belted

There is another set of matching gold dots on the two chairs, and one smaller ruffled pillow just to keep things from being too symmetrical.


The eclectic mix of patterns, textures and sizes feel cozy and pretty – just right for our fall home.



plaid pillow with bow: made by me. Fabric from the apparel section at joanns.
cable knit: homegoods
velvet embroidered: very old from potterybarn
ikat dots: made by me with this fabric. I added a belt for fun.
gold dots: marshalls
blue ruffled: made by me. Tutorial here.
owl: homegoods. It’s actually a christmas decoration, but I like it as a whimsical sofa adornment.

Please come back tomorrow for tons of photos and fall decorating ideas!


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my office is in better homes & gardens

The craziest thing happened …


My office made the pages of Better Homes & Gardens.

The photo shoot was all the way back in December {they did the playroom too, but no word yet on when that one will appear} and I’ve been super excited to see how the room looked in print after being styled and photographed by inspiring and talented professionals {janna lufkin on the styling; john granen behind the camera}.



Doesn’t it look so pretty and clean and organized?! Don’t worry, it doesn’t always look like this. But it was so fun to see a real stylist do her thing – pulling L’s off the L wall, an old typewriter from the entry table and little cards and trinkets, ribbons and papers from my collection to use in the photos. She brought in a bunch of props, but I was so flattered that most of what was used is actually mine.

Another crazy thing? It took over 8 hours to get these shots. This was our first experience with magazine photo shoots {we’ve since had one more done in our kitchen – which is slated to be published next spring} and we had no idea what to expect. When I take photos, I just snap a few and go with it; when professional photographers photograph homes, they snap, then adjust, then adjust some more and then again until everything is exactly perfect. I loved watching John and his assistant work that day and hope that my photos have improved just a teeny bit because of seeing them.

If you would have told me five years ago that part of my house would be in a magazine, I never would have believed it. I am beyond grateful to the blogging industry for the ways it has opened doors and presented opportunities to just a normal girl like me. So, so honored.


You can read the article in the September 2013 issue {which should be available in stores now}.

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a love note to our house

This week we celebrate our wedding anniversary.  I was going to write a mushy blog-post-love-note to my amazingly talented, handsome, smart, funny, wise husband for all to see, but instead decided he’d probably rather not the world know how thankful I am to be more in love with him now than when we first met when we were practically babies and how special I know it is that we have each other for support and laughter and long, long talks about dreams and goals and what it is the Lord wants for us. He’d like it better if I wrote him a card. So I’ll do that.

Instead, I have a few words for our house.

It’s our anniversary, too.

Seven years ago on our wedding anniversary, we moved into our new home.  Never did we imagine we’d love it so.


Dear house,

I’m afraid I have to start this note with an apology.  You see, without even realizing, I’m sure we’ve hurt your feelings. Over and over and over.

If you had feelings.

We spend way more time talking about how we’d like to change you – how if only you were more like this we might love you more – than we do loving you just as you are.  From the outside, it’s true. I would love you more if you had wide planks painted white instead of worn carpet downstairs. And I would love you more if our bathroom walls were clad in subway tiles and floors were slate and cabinets were white and we didn’t have that gigantic bathroom mirror but rather two statement pieces with stylish sconces. I would love you more if you had a larger garage to store all of our you know what and I would love you more if you weren’t backed up to identical homes on every side. I’m most certain that these things would make us love you more.

So we’ve made changes to you; we’ve painted and papered, nailed and trimmed. We’ve added molding, changed out light fixtures, replaced counter tops and gave you shingles.

And even still, even with all of these changes that have made you prettier in our eyes, you are still the same house we moved into seven years ago.

You are walls. You are a roof. You are a place to sleep and eat and gather.

And you do all of these things so well. Even without the paint and paper and nails and trim. You are perfect.

When we moved in, we never imagined we would still call you home this many years later. You were our second home, a BIG step up from our first tiny, practically falling down 80 year-old house with a rodent problem. It was cute, but you were new. And you had a dishwasher! You loured us in with your many rooms and never-been-used kitchen. I remember standing in the backyard on our first visit with the new sod lines still there and feeling in my heart that you were it. You were our new home and a place that we could share. A place we were called to share.

So we moved in. The four of us, at that time. Which quickly became five and then six. You’ve been a home to not only us, but to other families for months at a time as well. We are grateful for your ability to house friends who needed a home.

You’ve been a gathering place for parties, holidays, football games, playdates, bible studies, craft nights, poker games.

And you’ve been our canvas.

Maybe that’s what I’m most thankful to you for. You’ve given me a place to work out my creativity. Your walls inspire me.

They say that it’s not the house that makes a home but the people who live in it.

I sort of disagree.

Someday we will move away to a new home that maybe has those wide plank floors and a expansive view out our windows and we’ll learn to call it home. But it won’t be the same. We will miss you. Even though it’s our family and friends who have breathed life into you, it’s you that has given us a place to live. A place to love. To share. To rest. To create. To enjoy. To grow. A place to breath.

Thank you, dear house, for doing your job and doing it well.

Happy anniversary.


your family



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