One of my favorite memories as a child is traveling to the “cities” to visit and stay at my grandparents’ home. I grew up in the country on a farm in a very, Very small town (300 people). Yes, you read that right…300 people in total! We loaded up the minivan for every Holiday and special occasion and took the 2-hour trip to Minneapolis where both sets of Grandparents and the rest of our aunts and uncles live. We always stayed the night as packing up 4 kids is no easy task (I now know that I am a Mother of 3). We usually stayed (and still do) at my Dad’s parents’ home for Christmas. Their 2-story stucco home was built in 1925. I have vivid memories of each room in the house and all the details. Many of which have been maintained and the colorways are still the same today. Everything was always immaculately clean and orderly. My Grandpa & Grandma would greet us at the door and take our jackets to hang in the coat closet, which is a small solid double panel arched door with brass hardware that I have always loved. Then they would tell us what rooms we would be in for the night. There was the yellow room; once covered in wallpaper but now is painted a cheery yellow and still hosts the wooden crib that was used for my Dad and his siblings and that my own children have slept in. Next to the crib sits an oversized wooden rocking chair and a custom upholstered Daybed that my Grandpa calls the “Davenport”. It is upholstered in a buttercup yellow with piping and they had matching tufted throw pillows made to match. The windows are done with coordinating valances and an old vanity sits in the corner and the art on the walls are simple cross-stitched pictures that are matted and framed. Next, was my favorite room to sleep and play in; the PINK room. This room was always a dream for me to walk in to. It has a big brass bedframe with the most feminine traditional elements. Pink and white flowered pattern on the wallpaper, the bedding, the curtains, the throw pillows, the window bench—-everything matches. I loved sitting in that tufted window bench seat looking out the window and pretending I was a princess up in her tower. Grandma always had roses in a white vase sitting on a doily atop a pedestal table that hugs the window bench. I loved looking at (and touching) the little trinkets, candle sticks and my favorite is the gold-plated vanity hand mirror and brush set that was adorned with a pink brooch on the back of each. The last guest room was the Boys’ twin bed room. Bold striped wall paper in green, burgundy and navy with twin beds that of course matched almost exactly to the wallpaper and you guessed it—matching curtains that also have gold tassel tie backs around them. At Christmas time, each bed had a Santa Bear neatly placed in front of the pillow shams. A large masculine walnut dresser sits in the corner and a shared nightstand with a gold lamp and alarm clock sit on top of a doily between the beds. I could go on and on about all the endless details I will never forget about this house. To me as a little girl, my grandparent’s bedroom was so grand. It has a huge wardrobe wall that is faced in floor to ceiling mirrors; I would always sneak in there to twirl in front of those mirrors and to make sure my hair and outfit was still intact. It also has a private balcony that is off their second story bedroom that looks out to the back garden that also manicured. I still hope to have a winding staircase with a beautiful runner going down it in my home someday like they have. A real wood burning white brick fireplace, a library with floor to ceiling bookcases and the formal dining room with custom built in china hutches are some more of the traditional elements that I will always love.
Now back to my life growing up on a farm in my small town. I shared a room with my older sister and I remember ALWAYS tinkering and rearranging EVERYTHING on “my side” of the room—from my Barbie house to all my treasures on my dresser and in my closet. I always would categorize and organize my items by color. Our room had floor to ceiling rainbow wallpaper and we each had a twin bed with brass headboards. We didn’t like that wallpaper when we got older and begged my Mom to take it down, but what I would give to put that same wallpaper in one of my daughter’s rooms now! I grew up playing sports (we had to if we wanted to have a team, haha) but I also spent a lot of time getting ready each day and I would spend hours putting together my outfits and worked really hard to never wear the same outfit combo. twice (not much has changed in that department)
After high school I wasn’t what I wanted to attend college for, but I knew I wanted to stay close to family and friends so I attended St. Cloud State University. I was done with all my generals and I had to declare a major and I still didn’t know what to pick!! I always loved children and was very good with them and had been babysitting and teaching Summer Rec programs all through High School so I decided on Child and Family Studies. I graduated and began my teaching career in Preschool and Kindergarten classrooms.
After I graduated from SCSU I married my husband, Joe. We bought our first house in Sauk Rapids, MN. After our first daughter (Ava) was born I started staying home. As I stayed home with her, I found myself obsessing over EVERY HGTV show that existed and really got into DIY projects and every aspect of decorating and design. We made updates to our first home and I decorated A LOT and it sold quick!!
When we bought our second home, we knew that it had so much potential. We couldn’t wait to update it and make it “ours” with our long list of projects to do! With a husband in the construction industry and my passion for design we are always being told we need our own HGTV show and that we are the next “Chip and Joanna Gains”. We have had two more daughters in this home (Addison & Cora) and I continue to stay at home with our three girls. Since we have moved in, we have been constantly updating and re-decorating. I am so happy that the projects not only continue in my home but have been never ending because over the last 7 years I have been asked to help with countless other friends, family members and referrals in their homes! I am beyond excited that I joined the MHI team and I get to grow my interior design services and expand my services to work with realtors and their clients as well as home staging.
I have learned a lot in the last few years. For one, I have learned that I like tradition; a lot!!! I have a great respect for tradition, but I am always looking for ways to tweak it, and to give it a little edge. In my spaces if I am going to do something traditional, there will usually be something contemporary or modern right next to it. I love the energy and interest that comes from the contrast. I have learned that I love fresh flowers. They are one of my basic pleasures. Whether it’s a little plant from the grocery store to a beautiful orchid, and everything in between…I love to have that bit of life in a room. I love having dinner at home on a well-dressed table and entertaining guests. And, I love building relationships. The part of decorating I enjoy the most is the relationship I get to develop with new clients or deepen with previous ones. Creating spaces that reflect them and make them happy gives me such a sense of fulfillment. At the end of the day, I truly believe that if you live with beauty; happiness will follow.