Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Real Home Inspiration - Sheena's Place

I think it's kind of ironic how the homes that inspire me are owned by people who inspire me also.  I've been hard on myself with this series.  Home is a private place... The kind of place you don't want blasted over the internet.  I have high hopes for this series:
1. I hope I'm doing these beautiful homes justice.
2.  I hope you, my beloved Islanders, are benefiting from this series as much as I am. 
The added challenge for me to use ONLY my words to paint the pretty pictures in my head has been fun.  Challenging... but fun.
Our next home in the series is that of my dear friend and hot mama to DatMyHoney, Olivia.
Sheena's Place
Home - A Personal Sanctuary
I can't talk about Sheena's home without appreciating one of the most important lessons she's taught me - Home is a Personal Sanctuary; everyone doesn't deserve an all-access pass. 
It's ok to create boundaries in your space.
She's explained this mentality comes from her city-girl roots.  Back home, if people don't know you, they don't need to know where or how you live.  Sheena is a living testament to the saying from my childhood, "what happens in this house stays in this house."  NOT because there's drama but because home is supposed to be a retreat from the stress of the world... from the rest of the world.  It's quite powerful when I think about it.
An invitation to someone's home is a privilege; they're allowing you access into their most private and personal space.  WOW! Interesting perspective, right?
Surfaces - Clutter-free
Sheena's place is CLEAN.  Her surfaces sparkle! 
During one of my visits, I just had to ask her how she kept her kitchen countertops so clean all the time.  She responded that if she doesn't use it everyday, she doesn't need to see it everyday.  She was more at peace with EMPTY counters than with seeing appliances she doesn't need on a regular basis.
She carries this idea into every room.  Her coffee tables, mantles, dressers, shelves... they're all just-about empty.  Sheena admits she's a minimalist at heart and she uses her minimalist style to keep a clean home.  She reminds me that it's SO much easier to dust an empty surface than it is to remove *something* dust the *something* then dust the surface and put the *something* back in its position.
I've incorporated this into our place (kitchen counters, dressers, bathroom sinks) are all clear of unnecessary clutter.  It brings me such PEACE and feels so much cleaner.
Furniture - Form and Functionality
I've admitted I love tchotchke.  I will buy a book case just so I can turn around and buy things to fill its shelves.  Matter of fact, I was going to add built-ins on either side of our fireplace in the family room... but I didn't.
...because I thought about my conversation with Sheena when she asked me what I would use the built-ins for.  I responded with, "pretty stuff?  A few books?  Girl, IDK."
Sheena supported my idea but stated, "this is just me but... if it doesn't have a purpose, I wouldn't invest in it."
I left our conversation and stared at the pretty Pinterest picture I'd seen... You know those posts where Ikea bookcases turn to fabulous custom built-ins?  Yea, one of those.  She was right.
Sheena and her hubby have owned their home for years... long before they added MyHoney to the family.  What's crazy is that despite the size of their home, Sheena hasn't wasted a square inch of the space.  She's only purchased pieces that have a purpose and, in doing so, she keeps her large rooms open.  I've learned from Sheena that the best feature in any home is the people!  The best means to highlight them is to leave plenty of room for fun.
Traditional Meets Contemporary
In general, Sheena passes on trendy pieces and opts for traditional décor.  I've already mentioned her love of clean surfaces.  This design concept keeps her beautiful furniture as the focus - intricate carvings, rich wood tones, curvy furniture legs - her furniture will pass the test of time and doesn't compromise on quality or style.
Her home is constructed with rich traditional architecture - tall ceilings seem to kiss the clouds, lots of moulding frames beautiful artwork hanging on the walls, huge windows usher sunlight to dance on her beautiful hardwood floors... much like Sheena, her house screams effortless elegance.
Her house doesn't have to TRY to be beautiful.  Sheena recognizes that her home was built beautiful and all she has to do is showcase the best of it.
Just like my friends, the home balances its traditional style with contemporary details.  One way is in the paint choices - a brick red kitchen with sleek black granite, the cool blue-gray in the family room, the pop of deep turquoise in her bedroom, MyHoney's gray and pink nursery... the fresh colors add the perfect dose of don't-take-yourself-too-seriously while the traditional pieces make the rooms feel balanced. 
Home Goals - Set and Achieved
Sheena is a planner.  I expected her to feel overwhelmed or intimidated when she initially tackled the task of decorating and furnishing their home.  When she and her hubby moved from an apartment into a large single-family home, they set aside a budget and a timeline for completion.
Building her nest was her priority for a very specific amount of time.  She had all of her funds set aside before she started and when she was done, she was done.  There may have been a few purchases here-and-there but at her goal's end date, the stress was gone.
Treating her home's design as a goal-oriented project, Sheena was able to focus on how her home functioned for her family. 
I can't wait until I'm at the point where I can just clean... not decorate, remodel and DIY while I'm trying to clean... It's so easy to lose my juice when I'm focused on smaller projects.
The décor may be done but the improvements continue.  She and her hubby complete a home project annually - the deck was built, the screened living space completed, hardwood floors installed, a home gym, new living room furniture and more.
Systematic home improvements keep their space fresh.  This approach also keeps home improvements manageable - bite-sized chunks are always easy to swallow, right?
I could go on and on - about how she keeps me up on the latest and greatest cleaning supplies, how she's helped me with projects around my home, how she's transitioned her home to accommodate MyHoney without any hiccups.  Sheena's home is classy yet modern, traditional yet fun, private yet genuine... It's everything her family exudes and isn't that what home is about?
Are you (am I) building a space to fit your (my) style and needs? What could you do to ensure your projects are started and completed?

See you tomorrow!

Sherry's home is up next!

1 comment

  1. This is a good one. I share many of sheena's philosophies but haven't been as meticulous in executing the plan. I've seen those ikea built ins on Pinterest too, girl!! But I actually need them; books are overrunning my living room.


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