Friday, August 19, 2016

Home Tour: The Story of Us {The Den}

I got married right out of college, so my "nesting" began at a young age: 22.  I remember being told to wait before decorating our home (at that time apartment) because we didn't "know who we were yet."  But, being a naïve twenty-two-year-old, I headed straight to Pier 1 and Pottery Barn to make my "wishlist."  In the beginning, we couldn't afford much in the way of décor, so we accepted a lot of "hand-me-down" furniture from our parents.  Little by little we filled our apartment, then a house, and as the years have passed, houses. Everywhere we have lived or visited, we have collected items, whether it be a coffee mug, a Christmas ornament, or a piece of art.  I remember one day looking around thinking, "this is us."  All of the hand-me-down furniture, the items we had collected from various places, even the silver that was my grandmothers, all of it was us.  The words that I had heard years before rolled through my mind again and I realized that I then knew who we were.  The objects in our home, while not straight from the showroom floor at Pier 1 or Pottery Barn or even Magnolia Market, told the story of us.  Most of our pieces have a story that comes with them, and walking through each room feels like visiting with old friends and relatives or reminiscing about our past. If there is one thing I want to pass on to my children about setting up their own home, it would be to listen to their heart and tell the story of them.

Furnishing our home has been a journey, one that conjures memories, and tells stories.  Not to say that everything we own is old, some of it we bought new.  For example, we purchased our couches one Mother's Day after a trip to the zoo when our second daughter was a baby.  The gifts that we received at our wedding showers are highly regarded.  The soup bowls that we just ate from were from my maid of honor.  The coffee cup holder was a gift from a dear friend.  The coaster that I placed my glass upon was from a friend who is no longer with us.  A set of picture frames that hang on my wall  were from a childhood friend.  My list is extensive, and I'm sure those friends don't even remember giving the gifts, but the items make me remember them.  Everything has a page in the book that tells the story of who we are.

These are the couches bought on that Mother's Day that seems so long ago now.  The black and white print above the chair is of a scene on Bourbon Street that we bought on our honeymoon in New Orleans.  The painting above the fireplace was done by a local artist from a town we lived in a few years ago.

The shutters hanging above our television are from an antique store here in town that we can't seem to stay away from.  The cow heads flanking the shutters are from there as well.  My children gave them names in the store so we had to get them. In the back corner there is a black chest with mirror.  These belonged to my great-grandparents.  I remember them being in their living room, and as a child I would stand in front of the mirror making all kinds of faces (obviously today that be known as taking selfies).

The table between the two leather recliners is a table that came from my husband's childhood home.  The lamp on the round table was my grandparents that they had when they were first married.

The sconces on the wall were a gift from an antique store owner because we frequented her store so often.  Our coffee table is an ottoman that we bought the same day we bought these couches.  We chose the ottoman because we had small children (all these years later we still have small children) and this was not only a safe option, but the storage room could not passed.  The buffet on the right is the bottom of an old china hutch that was given to us by my husband's parents.

The white fruit stand on the right belonged to my great-grandmother.  The picture on the left was bought on a family vacation to New Orleans (can you tell we really like it there?).  The crystal decanter on the left was a wedding gift from a family member.

This table and lamp were actually bought at Kirklands on the weekend we moved into this house.  The two pillar candle sticks are from that initial trip to Pier 1 years ago when I wanted to "fill up my house."  The brown vase on the left is also from that trip.  These items are important to me now because they remind me of who we were then.  The German beer stein was brought back from a business trip my husband took to Germany.  The trunk under the table was a recent purchase from an antique store here in town.

My husband and I were walking through the antique store with our kids (they love antiquing too) when we came across this trunk and neither one of us could pass it up. We now store all of our heirloom Christmas decorations here.

My final picture to share from our den is the magazine tray on our coffee table.  This white planter was a wedding present from friends.  When I registered for our wedding, I had no idea how much I was going to fall in love with plants, both indoor and out.  I am thankful for the friend that thoughtfully purchased this planter for us, and it has held many houseplants over the years.  The teak wood coasters are a purchase I made while on one of our many road trips this summer.  And the magazine, well let's just say that this one and Southern Living are my favorites.

I hope that you enjoyed my home tour of my den, and I am sure you have noticed that I have a thing for lamps.  Apparently I hoard them because I count seven different lamps in this picture.  I will tell you that in my downstairs (not including my bedroom), I have a total of eighteen lamps.  I guess it is just part of my story, I love lamps.
My advice, as an average person, is to have your home tell your story about where you come from, where you have been, and where you are.

Disclaimer: I am not an interior designer nor do I claim to be.  I am just sharing my home with you.

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