Hello, friends! I’m Jenna (you can call me Jenna Sue) of Jenna Sue Design and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share a bit of my home and how I create meaning in it with you today.
It has been such a learning experience since we purchased our first home in 2008 (we’re now on our third) and through this journey I’ve learned a few key principles that always keep me on track when making design & decorating decisions.
1. It’s all about the atmosphere
How do you want to feel when you walk into a space? Relaxed, energized, calm, uplifted, motivated, cozy, safe Close your eyes and visualize the ideal scene that plays out when you walk into the bedroom/kitchen/living room/bathroom etc of your dreams. Is it curled up by the fire in a snowed in cabin sipping wine and reading? Is it a large kitchen with family and friends cooking and chatting? Is it a quiet, organized workspace to help you stay focused and inspired? Maybe a relaxed beach house with natural woods and soft colors to reflect simpler living. No matter what your dream scene is, you can recreate that feeling in your own home.
Determine your key descriptive words to achieve this atmosphere. They don’t necessarily have to belong together. For our latest guest bathroom renovation, my words were “natural romantic vintage boho”â€”terms that aren’t always grouped together, but they nicely blended to create the environment I had envisioned.
Always keep that vision in your mind when making plans or purchases for the spaceâ€”ask yourself if you could see the item existing in that scene, and if it doesn’t fit, move on.
The mood that a space creates when we enter is always the most important factor, I believe, and one that is often overlooked when people get caught up in small details like what “matches” or “looks like the magazine”. Let the environment be your guide. Remember the Maya Angelou quote about how people will forget what you did and said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. You want people to remember the experiences and how they felt when they’re inside your home.
2. Get Inspired & Creative
Before starting any new home project, I load up on inspiration to get a clear sense of what I want. My favorite way to do this is Pinterest (I’m constantly pinning for the future!) where I take mental notes of the mood that is evoked from each photo and decide what I want my environment to be. It helps me piece together those details and gets the wheels in motion for the many different ways I can make the space work.
I dreamed of a laundry room overlooking a lavender field in the french countryside, but only had a dark, awkward storage room to work with. After gathering up enough inspiration and a little creativity, we ripped out the walls, floor and ceiling and made our own vision come to life:
And on a DIY budget. That’s where the creativity comes in. Even if I had unlimited funds, I’d always find a way to sneak in some DIY or handmade elements because there’s so much satisfaction knowing you physically had a hand in building this home you love. Even if it’s small and looks funny or didn’t turn out how you planned (see our DIY barn door above? it’s crooked. But it has character and a story and we love it).
I love finding ways to add elements to our home that reflect our personalities and tell a story (as inexpensively as possible!). Like these Roman Numerals. I found someone on Ebay selling thin wood cutouts, asked him to customize them to our wedding anniversary, painted them the same color as our wall and nailed them up. Instant (yet subtle) impact for little cost and effort.
Inexpensive creativity can come in any form… handmade art, repurposing objects in new ways, even simple floral arrangements with native plants in your yard. I always try to find a way to work with what I have.
3. Do it for the people
Whether it’s just you, your family, or anyone who enters your homeâ€”you want it to feel welcoming. We love to entertain so we modified our home to fulfill this by knocking out our dining room wall, reconfiguring our kitchen and building a huge table for friends and family to gather.
It has become the heart of our home and allows us to continue to host important gatherings and celebrationsâ€”and we love knowing that our guests enjoy themselves and feel welcome.
Even if you’re not entertaining a crowd, this is the place where your family will create lifetime memories so you want to facilitate that as much as possible. Create a safe environment where your family feels comfortable and loved. Designate fun areas so children can express themselves and explore their creativity. Make other spaces a retreat so you can unwind at the end of the day, feel calm in the present moment and regroup for tomorrow.
By designing your home to work for you, life becomes easier you’re able to focus on what matters most. Home looks different for everyoneâ€”for some it’s a deeply rooted place that’s been around for generations, for others it’s a constantly changing place filled with new faces and experiencesâ€”but deep down, it should always be that safe, familiar feeling within us that can’t be replaced.
So many beautiful thoughts + words that Jenna Sue shares…Â “Create a safe environment where your family feels comfortable and loved.”Â Her home is beyond gorgeous + so inviting.Â A favorite project of hers that she recently shared is this $30 sofa console table.Â I’ve shared this narrow table idea with many clients (I still want to make one for myself) and LOVE how Jenna Sue’s came out!
Head on over to Jenna Sue Design, and give Jenna Sue a BIG HELLO!
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Creating a Meaningful Home