Hey there! My name is Jenny! I’m a wife to my awesome husband, John and a mama to my two sweet boys, Levi and Elliot. You may have seen my face in the past few months as I advertise my little Etsy shop, Free Spirit Jenny, on Life Made Lovely. I’m also a brand new baby blogger at Made To Live Free. I have loved following Heather’s blog for a long time, and have been a HUGE fan of her Home Made Lovely series. I am beyond excited to be a part of it today!
I may look like your typical American girl, but I actually grew up overseas as a missionary kid. I was raised in Hong Kong and started going to boarding school in Malaysia when I was just 10 years old! Since then, I lived in Europe for a while doing missions work, and my husband and I spent four years working at a missionary school in West Africa, where our oldest son was born. I’ve lived in a ton of different places and a ton of different houses, but no matter where we were growing up, my Mom always made our house a home. She always decorated so beautifully and no matter what ugly, cold building we lived in, the inside always felt so warm and cozy and wonderful! I guess it just rubbed off on me, because it is so important to me to make our home, wherever it is, a warm, lovely, cozy, vibrant, creative place to be! Come on in and take a peek!
I’m a sucker for thrifty art and flowers! The two combined equal my entryway. Bright, happy, eclectic- this is what you get when you first walk into our home.
The living room for me, has always been the heart of the home. I put the most effort into this space. It’s where we spend time learning, laughing, talking, entertaining…just living! It’s where we spend most of our time and I wanted it to be cozy, but reflect my style…which is vintage meets modern meets eclectic…something like that!
When I shop for items and furniture to fill our home, I really don’t over think it. I just buy things that I like and that make me happy and find a place for it! I don’t worry too much about color schemes and matching. Although, there are certain colors I’m definitely drawn to: can you see all the mustard?
We thrifted these vintage lamps for a few bucks when we first got married, and I love them!
The mantle is kind of the focal point of the room, and I’m always changing it up depending on the season or holiday or whatever. It’s so important to me to surround our home with pictures of loved ones- it just makes it personal.
I have to give a shout out to my sweet hubby for sanding and painting this dresser for me! So many people ask me about it, and I have to give him all the credit because there is no way I could have done it this nicely. He’s pretty proud of it, too =0)
I decided when we moved into this home (our first purchased home), that I wanted to surround us with truth. That’s why I love my chalkboards! I am constantly writing Bible verses and inspirational quotes that breath truth into our home and encourage us.
I collecting unusual, quirky, fun, and inexpensive items to fill my home, which is why a lot of the decor and furniture is thrifted or handmade. We got this awesome hutch for $125 at a little antique store in our town, and I think it was a steal!
We obviously spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so I wanted it to be cheerful, fun, and fresh feeling. We just re-did our backsplash and countertops, and we love how they turned out.
As in all of my decorating, I love mixing vintage and modern patterns. I thrift almost all of the material I use in my projects.
I’m always trying to find the balance of making the downstairs bathroom functional for my boys, and pretty for my guests!
My oldest son, Levi, has a room downstairs. We moved him down after our other son was born to give them each some space. It’s worked out so well, because it functions as a play room for both of them throughout the day. I love all the pops of bright colors- it’s just a happy room =0)
I get a lot of ideas from Pinterest, and this ABC wall was super fun to put together. I bought every letter on sale, so it took a few months to gather and paint them all!
I scored these vintage flash cards at the Charlotte flea market. They are one of my favorite things, for sure.
My husband recently built this book box because we were so tired of all the books sliding off and falling onto each other. Plus, they are (mostly) out of little brother.
I kept the stairway simple, because it’s right across from crazyland: i.e. the wall of flower pictures in the entryway.
We really wanted to make our room a peaceful retreat, and I actually focused on sticking to just a few colors (for me, this is just a few colors). I love the mint walls and pops of mustard. And of course, I still have to have my fun vintage mixed with modern- like the Chevron rug and big lamps.
Our youngest son, Elliot sleeps is this cozy, little space. We don’t spend a lot of time up here, so really all he does is sleep here. I really wanted it to have a vintage feel and I believe almost everything in here is second hand.
My home is such an expression of the creativity inside me. As cheesy as it sounds, sometimes I feel like I’m going to burst if I don’t have a project to work on, or something to make. I just LOVE decorating and making our home unique and warm and us. I hope I’ve been able to inspire some of you to do the same with your homes- to make them expressions of you!
Hello there! My name is Ellen and I blog over at sweetwater. I love this tradition Heather has created and I’m so thankful she asked me to share my home today!
I live in South Carolina with my husband,Tom. Together we have three children: two boys and a girl, ranging from 11 to 6.
The truth is that I didn’t really understand how to make home stick. God has been so faithful to show me that all good things begin in Him and that He has a good plan for my family and where we rest our heads. Just like any other person, I still feel insecure about our home from time to time. But! God has truly shown me what makes a home really lovely. I breathe it in when I first walk in the door after a long day away. It’s the smell of my people: cut grass, lavender soap, peanut butter and apple pie. I see it stretched out from bottom to top of our two-storied cottage. It’s the little reminders of my people strewn about: paper clippings, milk mustaches and animals with antlers. This is a lovely home to me: my heart-houses and everything they love and our story together.
Our foyer is small but packed with my favorite table and our reading bookshelf.
Over the summer I got to share with the women at my church about a beloved passage in God’s Word: Psalm 16. I was sent home with this sweet little print all framed up.
Our family room is front and center, and we put it to good use with lots of living. This room gets the absolute best morning light.
The black armoire holds winter coats, hats, gloves, ball caps and baseball paraphernalia.
The dining room is just through the den. I have the privilege of using the dining table and buffet my grandmother used. My mama grew up eating at this table and I did, too!
Just on the other side of the dining room is our bedroom. We moved our room downstairs this fall. So far, we’re really happy! This little study was never really well used and I love giving it the chance to reach its full potential (Bonus! As a book lover, I am so happy waking up to a wall full of books!). My daddy built the awesome headboard for me.
There is a small full bathroom attached to our bedroom. It got a little overhaul when we moved everything downstairs. A few years ago, I promised myself that I would hang real and meaningful art any way I could. One thing I love to do is elevate my childrens’ artwork to the level it deserves by framing it, hanging it, enjoying it. My girlie made the animal triptych in art class.
I went back and forth about whether to include our kitchen in this little tour. In the end, it seemed like the best way to honor what God has done in my heart. There are several things that I would change about our kitchen if I could. It isn’t perfect. The cabinets don’t close all of the way. Each of my appliances is a different finish. I have peacock greenish-blue tiled countertops. But. I don’t want to waste my time in this house avoiding things that aren’t perfect. God promises that He meets us in imperfection and I want to live that out with every ounce of my being.
This kitchen is truly the heart of our home and it rivals the den’s morning light with it’s beautiful afternoon sunlight spilling in. I love to think of all the afternoons my husband has spent sitting on a stool and detailing his day while I cooked and cleaned. I love to think of all the things that have been created at our old table. I’ve tried to pour my heart out all over this room and that is what I see most when I walk in over and over again, day after day.
Thank you, Heather, for inviting me to share my home with your readers!
If you had asked me, before Samuel died, what would happen to me if I were to loose one of my children, I would have definitely told you that I’d die from a broken heart. I think that’s the answer every mother that hasn’t lost a child would say. The truth is, even after surviving the loss of my boy, I am still inclined to think I’d succumb to the same fate. I mean, how could I possibly survive?! It’s just too much for my logical mind to wrap itself around.
The thing is though…I did survive and there is only one reason for that. Jesus.
When my broken heart had rendered me too weak to reason why He couldn’t love me, He came right in and picked me up. It defies all logic, and yet somehow, it doesn’t at all.
It can be so hard to live in a world that doesn’t understand that, but I know the truth. He is the reason I’m able to get up every morning and the reason I’m able to keep going all day long. Embracing Jesus means I have to embrace my broken heart and my loss so that He can heal me. And He does, a little more every single day. I will always have a scar, but He is making me well.
“Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” Matthew 9:22
While I source 95% of the homes that participate, I’d love to hear if there’s a home you’d like to see featured in the series. Please contact me with your suggestions at: heather @ lifemadelovely.com with Home Made Lovely in the subject line. If you’d like to submit your own home for the series, please send a few photos of your space to the same address with the same subject line. Clear, bright, large photos work best for the series. Thanks friends!! -xo Heather
One of the other things I want to do in this new year is share more about my little home. I’m certainly not a professional decorator, but I do have a method to my madness, so I thought I’d share more of it with you.
After losing Samuel it became a necessity to have a haven at home. We needed our space to be a safe place we could come back to, in order to regain our footing and fill our hearts back up. As time went on our grief changed, but the need for our sanctuary stayed the same, so that’s when I decided to make it my mission to make our space lovely. I set out to define our style as a family, to ensure that each one of us will continue to feel inspired by our home. And because we are constantly growing and changing, so is our home. Not in dramatic ways, but in ways that make it possible for our space to keep filling us up.
Let’s start right now with a snapshot of our weekend…
We spent it painting the entire exterior of our house. It wasn’t easy, but then again the good stuff never is. We decided to go with a dark based grey called Anonymous from HGTV by Sherwin Williams. Since our house doesn’t really have any interesting architectural details, this deep neutral color will help the house recede a bit, and become a backdrop for our plants!
I can’t tell you how exciting it was to wake up this morning, completely sore from all the labor we put in over the long weekend, to see that the outside of the house finally reflects the people that live in it. We still have some cleaning and touch ups to do, plus finding a pretty accent color for the front and back doors, but that can all wait until the next weekend. For now I’m going to enjoy sitting outside, staring at our little labor of love.