Since I never tire of beholding beautiful interior design, you might think I would enjoy snapping and sharing pictures of my own home and sharing house tours like so many home decor bloggers do. But I’m one of those bloggers who would rather put YOUR home in the spotlight. I would get big time bored and burned out if day after day it was my home (or my face or my garden) on the blog. But. My husband subscribes to Hello Lovely so he never misses his dose of daily lovely (Subscribe if you do not already!), and he suggested I regularly include more personal posts. So I will aim to get in the habit if you agree it’s a good idea.
I’m also aware that some of you are new followers, and I’d love to get better acquainted. I live with my husband, a Chicago attorney, in this home we have been completely renovating ourselves since 2015. It’s obvious I have a love for white paint and white decor! It is located in Northern Illinois where the snow is piling up. Here’s the front of our house just after the first snowfall:
Below is the back exterior of our home…it is sort of a modern custom cottage in the woods built in the ’90s
When we bought the house, it wasn’t even visible from the street since it’s surrounded by mature woods, and the weeds completely swallowed it up! We could see the potential, and the courtyard below became one of our favorite features. We simply cleared out all the weeds, replaced the eroded top of the stone walls, brought in pea gravel, and added a few pretty things. The interiors were another matter! The kitchen and bathrooms had to be gutted, all sorts of faulty wiring and plumbing needed to be addressed, the windows and roof were failing, and we couldn’t even catch a break as far as heating and cooling. It needed a lot of love, and that was just what we brought.
While I’m passionate about design and decor, what fuels my creativity is my love for home and ideas inspiring us to live more beautifully at home. Oh, how I love home! The sights, the smells, and the comfort of a lovely nest..living beautifully at home is a topic near and dear to my heart.
I recently shared thoughts about what living beautifully at home means to me on a friend’s blog, and just in case you missed it, I’m continuing those reflections here. While I’m at it, I’m taking you on a tour of some of the interiors in our DIY renovated home where you will spy lots of white walls, Belgian linen, and unfussy European inspired modern country style.
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Living beautifully at home is more profound for me these days. Maybe you feel it too. Decades ago, before increased globalization, before the internet, before modern media, and before advanced satellites, home felt more to me like a private sanctuary.
I am aware the sense of lost security I’m describing is a highly complex matter which is frequently politicized, and I am not naive enough to suggest we were safer from harm within our four walls back in pre-internet days.
It may well have been illusory, but before the world began to shrink and appear within our phones, life at home harbored a different sense of privacy, protection, and personal boundary from threats near and far. Our shelters felt more like…well, shelter.
Modern culture and “advances” continue to alter the shape of our shelters. With cameras outside and inside our homes, boundaries between the personal and the public indeed have blurred. My own Millenial sons were relentless pediatric paparazzi as teens, whether they were capturing video of my Christmas Eve (private) dancing or their father’s snoring!
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As a blogger, I regularly welcome thousands of strangers, whose eyes I will never meet, into my heart and home online. It’s strange at times. With social media, so many of us peer into the lives of souls whom we may otherwise have never given a single thought.
The thing is…it has all happened rather quickly.
The shelter of our homes is different now as our four walls have grown more permeable. Surely cultural shifts affect how we regard HOME consciously and subconsciously. Perhaps, the changing shape of shelter explains my growing desire at 50-something to become even more intentional about living beautifully at home.
As you can see from these images, my style embraces the timeless and the tranquil. I come alive in the presence of quiet color, timeworn finishes, and unfussy elegance.
Living beautifully at home creates warmth for connections with those whom we love most, it nourishes the body and spirit, and it can even feel like a sacred pocket of interior quietude. Living beautifully at home transcends decorating a structure with objects or art; for me it encompasses creating harmony, tranquility, and balance so daily living is infused with more loveliness and depth.
Daily life can quickly grow complicated, and when dark days come knocking with chaos, heartache, or illness, home should feel like a balm. Living beautifully at home is so much more than living with a collection of the right objects and the right art or perfectly organized closets. Living beautifully at home involves the peace that comes when your personal spaces reflect what brings you hope, comfort, and joy. A lovely nest provides: a safe landing for relationships to thrive, a place to rest and recover, and a shelter to experience and grow in beauty.
If you have a minute, I’m all ears to hear your thoughts on what beautiful living stirs up for you.
My heart is often soft and overflowing, and I’d love to let the wonder and wishes overflow a little bit right here.
I wish you the blessing of beautiful living in the shelter you call home.
I wish you sweetness, this very moment, to counter any bitterness within your being.
I wish you heartfulness to soften the beautiful edges of your soul.
I wish you loving kindness, lavishly overflowing from hidden wholeness within.
And peace to you, right where you are.