Interview: Beneath My Heart

I “discovered” the lovely Traci from Beneath my Heart about a year and a half ago, and was immediately drawn to her kindness and grace – and her craftiness! Traci was kind enough to answer some questions, too!

What does style mean to you?
Style to me is whatever makes your heart smile! There are so many different decorating styles out there. I love them all. But there are certain styles that make me say, “aahhh…”, and I feel like I am “home”. When you find colors, or fabrics, or pieces of furniture that make you happy, surround yourself in them. Fill your home up with them, then you will find your style, and your home will represent “you”.

What do you think are your signature touches around the house?

Over the past two years of blogging, it seems my “signature touches” seem to be the colors I use when decorating. I tend to work with tans, whites, browns, and blacks throughout my house, with pops of red. Sort of like the colors in my blog design. πŸ™‚ I also think I add touches of a “cottage” feel to my home through older pieces of furniture and vintage finds.

What advice would you give to someone who doesn’t quite know what their style is?
Funny you ask! About five years ago, a friend of mine asked me what my decorating style was. (This was way before my blogging days.) I had no idea how to answer that! I don’t think I even had a style. However, my mom had always told me to tear out my favorite home decor pictures from magazines and put them in a binder. If I saw a picture of a kitchen that I loved, I would put it in my binder. If I saw a piece of furniture that I wish I could own someday, I would put it in the binder. Over time, I realized that my “decorating eye” was always drawn toward the same types of pictures. They tended to have elements of cottage, french country, and traditional in them. I have decided that my style is what I like to call “modern cottage”.

What do you see in 2011 for home decor?
Well, the color for 2011 is “honeysuckle”, which is a beautiful shade of pink, but I don’t think that is going to happen in my house full of boys this year! πŸ™‚
I’m not really good at making predictions, but it seems like light, bright, airy spaces are all the rage. Combining the old with the new is always beautiful, like modern chairs around a old rustic table. And lots of textures in your decor is wonderful too.

What do you think can make the biggest change in a room – paint, moving furniture, pillows, etc.?
Definitely, paint. It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for a room. It instantly makes everything in your room look fresher and newer.

How do you want your home to be seen by others?
I want my house to be seen by others as a place of love, a place of beauty, and a place of fun. l want others to feel at home when they come to my home. I love using old furniture in my home, because if it gets a little beat up by others, it still looks great. And I do not want to have a lot money in my decor, so if something gets ruined or broken by a guest, no big deal! It can easily be replaced. I always hope my guests know that they are way more important than the “things” in my home!

Name one color you can’t live without – decorating wise.
Can I say, “neutrals”? πŸ™‚

What matters to you the most when you ponder a major change – bathroom remodel, bedroom redo, tearing down a wall, etc.
Easy answer…money! Every decision I make in completing a makeover in our home depends on money. Our finances are extremely tight, so if we can’t do it inexpensively, then we just can’t do it! But that is the fun part to me! I love creating a beautiful space for a fraction of the cost others would do it in. It is amazing what you can do with very little money. That is what I try to share on my blog every day.

I should add as a footnote that I found out just how kind Traci is after my dear dad passed away last July. I had read in her blog how Traci had handled her dear mom’s passing and in my desperate grief I reached out to her, someone I had never met, to ask her advice on dealing with my pain.

If you know Traci, have read her blog, or have even just heard of her, you know how she responded. She was all kindness and support, grace and encouragement, she even emailed me later to check up on how I was doing. To those who say “online friends” don’t mean as much as “real friends” I say, to quote my youngest, “you so wrong!”.

It was fun reading Traci’s answers to my questions, I hope you have enjoyed getting to know her a little bit more!

Inspiration: Pottery Barn

Ah, Pottery Barn, one of the leaders in home goods inspiration, and I mean *just* inspiration because their shit is too fucking expensive for this mama’s wallet.

But inspire they do, and isn’t that the best? To see something that makes little sparks go off in our brain because we just KNOW that we can make something like it for far less moolah.

Check out this pretty pillow:
I know the colors would look great on my burgundy sofa, but would I pay $29 for it? Hell no!

Or these darling distressed lanterns:
I’m even more distressed because there’s no way I’m paying $49 to $99 bucks for one of those! I have my eye on a couple of cheapo lanterns that I plan on painting white and faux-distressing.

However, I do have to stop, put my hands up and cry Uncle when it comes to their bedding:
I want this shit – I mean, these sheets – so bad, they’re perfect for my neutral-toned master bedroom. I love paisley motifs more than floral Laura Ashley type stuff, and let’s face it, I can’t exactly go out and make my own sheet set for less than the $99 a queen set of these would cost me.

It might just have to be a splurge later on, because these babies are calling to me. “Come buy us! We’re soft and cozy and go with your lovely neutral-toned bedroom!”

Orissa Paisley Sheet Set, I got my eye on you.