Home...and a GIVEAWAY!

Tonight was the first night in months, literally months, that one of us did not have to be somewhere. We were able to be here...at home. Finally, it's a place I love to be!

As a child, I didn't long to be "home" like some of my friends did. My friend, Jamie, for one loved to go "home" which meant back to her parents house, long after she left home. It was a comfortable, familiar place for her and there were times in her life when she wanted to be there more than anywhere else.  I've always wanted that for my children. I wanted our house to be their "home".  A place that would feel comfortable and familiar no matter how old they got and how far away they moved. 
A place they would always long to come back to. I thought I had accomplished that over the years since having Owen & Sophia, but what I hadn't quite mastered was making our house a place where Trevor and I could relax and unwind. It was always comfortable for the kids. All of toys, art projects and displayed good grades made the kids feel loved and pampered, but it made us feel overwhelmed and inundated.

I realized, wanting to make our home a comfortable place for the kids was fine, but we had to want to be here too! So I decided to make a change. I wanted a peaceful, calm and uncluttered space. I wanted a home that housed our treasured memories in a simple and beautiful way. I wanted to highlight our history and our hopes while maintaining a classy, stylish feel. 

When it finally dawned on me that I had no idea how I was going to do that, I called in the expert, 
my friend and soul sister Joanne from Joanne's Decor Plans, to help me make my cluttered, kid-dominated space a soothing home for all of us.

I gave Joanne 3 guidelines:
1. Inexpensive,
2. If it didn't mean something to me or I didn't absolutely LOVE it...I didn't want it,
3. No fake plants!

Joanne gave me 3 guidelines:
1. Take about 1 year to complete the project,
2. Swear every time I see her,
3. Trust her!

Here are some the before and after pictures of the magic Joanne worked in our family room, downstairs bathroom and entry way. She is amazing! 

I have always hated this oak entertainment center, and after some crazy 8 year old boys broke the glass out of one of the door, I loathed it even more! Now I love it. A little paint, a screwdriver and a handy husband gave the old, oak eyesore a beautiful, built-in feel.

I love the idea of a collage wall, but I hated the thought of mixing frame finishes. Here was one time that I took a deep breath, trusted Joanne and ended up completely loving the results.

I wasn't sure I'd be able to keep my $40 Goodwill shelf, but of course, Joanne knew the right paint color would turn it into a rich looking piece of furniture. 

I did spend a little money on the cool lamp next to the couch; it was like $60 at Gordman's. 
Oh and the Pottery Barn pillows...they were $3 each at Goodwill! 

I love how we found a way to display all the stuff the kids love to collect: anthers, rocks, feathers, seashells, owls and even the French horn my trash-collecting father gave me for Christmas.

Now take a look at how our bland, vanilla powder room with crappy decor transformed into a vibrant space with art and personality. 

The jellyfish photos were taken at the Shedd Aquarium last summer. I had them framed for months but wasn't sure where to put them. Believe me, I wouldn't have thought the powder room, but I trusted Joanne and it worked great.


This is a photo I took years and years ago with an old point & shoot camera. I love that it matches perfectly in my bright new bathroom. 

Once we got the paint color worked out in the entry way, the decor went together with a little elbow grease. Trevor took my $19.99 Goodwill sewing machine and turn it into a beautiful, black side table per Joanne's request.

Trevor also fashioned this doorknob hanger using the old glass knobs from our first house and some super smooth wood from his grandfather's farm. For 50 years, cows walked along side these fallen branches and "sanded" them smooth as glass. We've had the branches & knobs for years just waiting to figure out something to do with them. I love these unique and useful pieces.

Joanne understood my desire to continue to use the kid's art work and my photos as the common thread that ties the whole space together. Here is an example we came up with ways to showcase and organize at the same time. The personalized clipboards are really handy and super easy.

My friend and local artist, Beth at Prairie Hills Pottery, helped the art & photos theme with some of her amazing personalized pottery pieces. I love, love, love the silhouette plates she made of Owen & Sophia! They work perfectly in our very informal dining room. 


Beth also created this lovely ceramic pennant with the kids handwriting on each tile. I can't even explain how much I love having this fill the big bare space above our bed.  
I think Joanne's next project here at The Compound will be to beautify my room using this as the focal point. I have absolute faith she will nail it!

Here is the really exciting part...a giveaway! 

Joanne & Beth have decided that 1 lucky From The Compound reader will receive a lovely little home makeover. 
Joanne will be giving away a consultation and decor planning session and Beth will be giving away a personalized piece of pottery. Together the prizes are valued at over $150! 

All you need to do is leave a comment below telling me what you think of my new space and which space in your house needs a makeover.  The giveaway starts Friday, July 13th and ends July 27th. The winner will be drawn randomly on July 28th.  Good luck!