Creating a Meaningful Home: At the Picket Fence

Creating a Meaningful Home blog series featured on

Today’s guest post for the Creating a Meaningful Home Blog Series is Vanessa of At the Picket Fence. Welcome Vanessa…


Hi there! I’m Vanessa from the blog At the Picket Fence and I am so honored to be here as part of Jenna’s Creating a Meaningful Home series! That’s me below with my wonderful husband and our two precious kiddos. I was so thrilled when Jenna asked me to share what I believe it means to create a home with meaning because that is exactly what I’ve set out to do in my own home.

Cropped Family

I’ve always found it interesting when people take offense to the word ‘homemaker’. To me, being a ‘maker’ of a home is one of the greatest joys and privileges! And I believe that title is applicable to anyone who loves the process of creating a warm and welcoming space to call their own.

For me, adding meaning to my home is all about having pieces of the past incorporated into my decor. My sister and parents all live in different states so it feels even more important to have these links to one another and our shared heritage. I’m probably never going to have all of the latest design trends on display, but what I hope to have is a home which reflects my love of history and family.


The trick for me has always been blending antiques and vintage items into my traditional style home while still keeping things feeling fresh and updated. In my living room I have pieces which were purchased at least 15 years ago, alongside pieces which were purchased 2 months ago, alongside pieces which belonged to my grandmother.

glass coffee table with tray vignette

This china cabinet belonged to my mother’s mother and made it’s way to our home last year. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…this won’t ever be painted! But, by filling with with white and off-white dishes it keeps it from having an overwhelmingly “antique” feel and it seems right at home in the same room as my brand new mirrored cabinets.

china cabinet with cream ware

One of the things I’ve recently found challenging is how often I’m easily swayed by what I see on other blogs or Pinterest. I’ve contemplated painting my dining room set over and over again but just can’t ever bring myself to do it! Of course, that may be because my hubby would think I was officially off my rocker (I’m only currently unofficially off my rocker!) if I did. But, instead of taking a paintbrush to this set which was one of our very first purchases as a married couple, I decided to make drop cloth chair skirts to give it a more casual look.


Sometimes creating a meaningful home is also about changing the things you can change and embracing the things you can’t. Or at least the things you can’t change for now. In our downstairs bathroom, simple updates like a new faucet and light fixture, along with an inexpensive mirror, help to offset a tiled counter top that isn’t exactly my first choice. And a simple no-sew burlap vanity skirt helps to disguise cabinets that were dark and closed in the room.

French Country Bathroom Makeover

Creating a meaningful home can take on many different forms. My daughter sleeps on the same oak bed that belonged to my mom as a little girl. Then it belonged to my sister (Auntie Heather) and we spent many a day pretending that bed was a ship navigating the open seas or a wagon bouncing along the prairie. Her room is filled with vintage items which have been passed down through our family. But some, like this vanity, are pieces which are new to us but blend in seamlessly with the rest. It must have been cherished by another little girl at some point and I know my own sweet girl loves to spin on that stool and talk to her reflection in the mirror a la Anne of Green Gables!

Vintage Vanity table At the Picket Fence

More than anything else, creating a meaningful home means keeping in mind the lives of those who live there. It might mean turning a bookcase into an American Girl Dollhouse for a little girl who has fallen in love with all things American Girl!

American Girl Dollhouse At the Picket Fence1

And it might also mean finally coming to terms with the fact that your little boy is getting older and while the play-room no longer has a wooden train table, it does have a cool new Dartboard cabinet made using an old kitchen cupboard.

DIY Dartboard from Kitchen Cabinet

My goal has always been that our home is a reflection of who we are as a family. You might walk our front door and think that the style isn’t quite the same as your own. You might have made different choices or placed the furniture in a different position. But, I hope that anyone who walks through that door finds a home that is warm, welcoming, friendly and…well…meaningful!

Thanks again for allowing me to share from my heart with you today and a BIG thank you to Jenna for having me here!

Thank you so much Vanessa for sharing the amazing ways you incorporate the old with the new in your home to create a meaningful space for you and your family.  With Vanessa’s traditional aesthetic, she’s been able to beautifully create a home that reflects her love for history and family.  She displays pieces that are decades old alongside others that were purchased last week.

Create a Meaningful Home: Vanessa of At the Picket Fence gives us a tour of how she has thoughtfully created a meaningful home. See the entire series at

Vanessa, along with her blogging bud & sister, Heather, have a fabulous and inspiring blog filled with DIY projects, party ideas, recipes, and much more.  A perfect project for this time of year that Heather and Vanessa created are these faux-aged garden pots. Don’t they look fabulous?!  It’s amazing how easy terra cotta post can go from new to years old in just a few minutes.

Creating a Meaningful Home: At the Picket Fence - How to age garden pots

Head on over to At the Picket Fence, and give Vanessa (and Heather) a BIG HELLO!

Check out all the Bloggers that have contributed to this series on
Creating a Meaningful Home.

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    • Jenna says

      That is so wonderful to hear Laura. I really am happy you’re loving this series and yes, Vanessa’s home is such a delight!