House + Home: Inspiration and Vision

Before I jump into post about the individual rooms of our house and the changes we're doing to them, I thought it might be helpful to share an overview of the vision we have for the home as a whole. We've learned so much about what works for Dave and I in regards to houses and homes. Clutter and darkness are both things that most definitely to not fall into that category.

With half the year in Michigan spent primarily indoors, having a bright, warm and clutter-free space makes an undeniable difference in how we feel about life and each other. In our old house we had a crawlspace instead of a basement which kept the floor chilly. Also the main living space faced north, so we never got sunlight in our dining/living room. 

It was a wonderful first house and we learned so much during our time in it. We tried beadboard wallpaper in the bathroom and lots of things spray painted gold in the office/studio. Dave installed such a lovely backsplash in the kitchen. We painted The bedroom white on a whim while we were doing the floors and it was one of the best decisions. I discovered so much from those rooms.

This new house has many improvement on the old one already: the floor-plan is more efficient, the windows are south-facing, there is a basement, as well as beautiful views and hardwood floors. The other thing I'm really excited about this house is our decision to do most of the updates right away. Instead of tackling them one by one, we wanted to do the big things at the beginning so we can enjoy them for our whole time here. 

I think Dave expected to duplicate the changes we'd done to the old house, but he didn't realize that even in a little over a year his wife's style can change. Not only has it changed, but in many ways I feel like I've been discovering what my style is, instead of being influenced by other people or Pinterest trends. My true tastes are a combination of so many things and experiences. The time I've spent in Austria has instilled in me a love of linen and clean lines. Growing up on a farm gave me a passion for nature and and natural materials. My hobbies of knitting and painting mean that textiles and art in our house are especially meaningful and I am pretty picky about them. I've even noticed a strong tendency toward Scandinavian design that I might credit to my paternal Swedish roots. There are many other influences woven into my identity, tastes and style. But these specifically have shown up in our plans for this new home.

Before we even closed on the house, I spent most of November dreaming and thinking about what sort of atmosphere this home should have. There is a German word Gemütlich that is insanely hard to explain, because no one English word can encompass its meaning. Simply translated, it means "cozy." But it really has many connotations including those of feeling comfortable, content, cozy, and at peace. (The Danish word Hygge is related.) I knew I wanted our house to embody Gemütlich. I hope it is a cozy, functional and inviting space where we live our life and welcome guests.

Things that would make the home gemütlich for us means lots of light/white to make our 800 sq ft home feel open and bright instead of confining. We want to incorporate natural materials — wood, plants, wool, cotton, linen — wherever we can and intentional decor that gives us joy. We also have to eliminate clutter to feel peaceful and comfortable.

I spent a great deal of time first identifying my favorite Instagram homes and then dissecting what about them made me like them so much. Then I started a Pinterest board and filled it with images that were examples of the feeling and atmosphere we want to create. I have countless pages in my journal filled with collages, room measurements, paint samples, lists of supplies and idea sketches. Dave and I spent time discussing ideas and options. Most of the time thought, if it truly fits within our bigger vision, then we agree on decisions. 

If you've made it this far, wow, thanks for reading all my crazy overanalyzing. I made this mood board to sum up our inspiration and the style we're hoping for. Good things are ahead!

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