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A house into a home…

I’ve been thinking a lot about my house lately and wanting to make some changes. In the past I was always drawn to dark, somber colors and very modern designs. I liked that cold, contemporary look. What I’ve learned from living in a house, instead of an apartment or dorm room, is that I’m much happier in a house with bright colors and a more casual vibe. My favorite rooms in my house, and the ones I feel most at peace in, are the ones I’ve decorated in happy colors. I’ve also learned that I’m a beach girl at heart. I grew up on Hatteras Island, NC and the beach is where I feel most at home. I decorated my bathroom in shades of blue with a beachy feel and I am so content in that room. I find it calming and uplifting to be surrounded by shades of water of sky.
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I’ve also been thinking a lot about how I want my house to feel. Going out and spending a bunch of money on high end furniture and perfectly placed artwork makes a house impressive but it doesn’t make it feel like a home. There is certainly something to be said for people who have the gift of creating beautiful spaces. I don’t have that gift. I can point out what I like in a catalog but I am not able to put it all together the way some people can.  A lot of my house is kind of mismatched and thrown together. I would like to make it more cohesive, but I don’t want to lose sight of what’s really important about a house.
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I want my kids to grow up in a home where it’s okay to make a mess sometimes, where muddy feet don’t send Mommy into hysterics and where they can play and rough-house without fearing that they will break something terribly expensive. I also want guests to feel at home. Have you ever been in a home that is so perfect, you’re afraid to sit on the furniture? I don’t want that house. I want a house where friends and neighbors can stop by for a cup of coffee and relax, the kind of home that puts people at ease. We all know someone who has that house. Maybe it was your Grandma when you were a kid. Her house always smelled like cinnamon and bread dough and there was always something yummy in the candy jar. Or maybe it’s a friend of yours who is quick to put on a pot of coffee and drink it on the back porch, surrounded by a beautiful but unfussy garden. I would like my house to be that house for someone. What people remember about those houses is not monograms, expensive art or granite countertops; it’s how welcome they felt.

Because I have questionable taste, I’ve been thinking about what constitutes “tacky.” My house is probably tacky to someone with Restoration Hardware taste. I’ve decided not to get too worked up about that. I just want a house that makes me happy. I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I can choose to surround myself with things I love instead of things that will make other people envy me. I’ve given up on keeping up with the Joneses. My house isn’t going to be a replica of the Pottery Barn catalog and that’s okay. When I come home after work I just want to feel at peace with my surroundings.

With all of this in mind, I’m planning some changes to my kitchen. Nothing big or expensive, just changing up some the décor to give it a beachy feel. For years I wanted a beachy kitchen but never had one because I don’t live at the beach. I thought it was kind of silly to have a coastal kitchen in the foothills of the Appalachians. Well, to hell with that. A beachy kitchen makes me happy so a beachy kitchen I will have. I also have some storage issues with my kids’ games and craft supplies so I need to figure out a way to fix that. Stay tuned for updates on the Simple Southern Beach Makeover!

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