I recently read somewhere that our houses should be expressions of ourselves in the same way that our clothing is. When I had a job, I “expressed” myself all the time–through what I wore, the opinions I voiced, and even what I kept on my desk. As a SAHM, I find that I miss the opportunities to express creativity and individuality that my old job used to provide. Sure, I still have the freedom to express my personality through what I wear, but honestly, I’m not what you’d call a fashionista and besides…Olivia could care less what I wear and she’s often the only person who sees me all day. This has led me to the conviction that my home can be the perfect medium through which to express my style, creativity and individuality.
So now, it seems I’m constantly asking myself what my style is. I think the simple answer is, “I know it when I see it.” I suppose I’m more traditional than anything, but I love shabby finds that can be repurposed, too. I like the idea of saving something with a mysterious past from ending up in a junk heap. I like casual, comfortable surroundings, not a lot of knick-knacky stuff, and unfussy lines. I also like retro-looking accessories and fabrics from the ’40s and ’50s. Does that mean I like mid-century style? There’s probably a label for my style, but I sure don’t know what that is, and I suppose it doesn’t matter. I just know what I like when I see it. I love a house that’s clean and bright, that has fresh flowers, and is filled with colors taken from nature. An old farmhouse that’s been modernized would be infinitely preferable to a new house, in my opinion. I’d much rather guests in our home feel cozy, rather than in awe of how “nice” it is. The house we live in now is a Dutch Colonial, built in the early 1920s. It has lots of charm, but some not-so-nice inconveniences like a dungeon-like basement where we have to do our laundry, small closets, and an un-open floorplan. I love the front porch, however, and am particularly proud of how our bathroom floor turned out. I also love how sunny and cozy the guest bedroom is. It’s not perfect, but it’s home, and for the most part, it reflects who we are. Of course, there are always new projects on the horizon.
One of the ideas behind Home Made Modern is to tune in to what my family likes, and to make our home reflect that personality and style. As a SAHM, I spend an awful lot of hours in our home, obviously. It only makes sense to make the space in which we work, live, and raise our daughter reflect who we are so that it brings us joy. I certainly don’t think I have to be an interior designer to do this, either. I just started paying attention to the things that catch my eye, and the things that I don’t like, too.
To help myself with this process, I started clipping images from magazines and catalogs that appeal to me, and I started an “Inspiration Board” in the sidebar of this blog that contains links to sites and stores that speak to me in some way. At first, some of the ideas seem unattainable on one income, but I have to remind myself that lots of discount stores–like “Tar-jhay,” for example–sell knock-offs of designer furnishings. I’ve found lots of things at HomeGoods, Target and even Wal-Mart that look like they came from Pottery Barn or Arhaus.
It’s important for SAHMs to “feather their nests” with things they love. It brings peace and contentment to live and work in a home that reflects who you are. And our kids pick up on this vibe, I think. I don’t always know exactly how a room should be arranged, or what window treatments would look best. I don’t have professional training in the principles of interior design; I just “know it when I see it” and feel great when our home looks pulled together and reflects who I am, and who we are as a family.