Now you can find out everything you've ever wanted to know about me (and then some!). If you have a question that isn't answered here, feel free to email it to me.
Who designed your website and how did you decide on the look of it?
I designed the website myself and had a programmer implement it. I wanted a clean look that wouldn't pigeonhole me into one kind of style. I used colors that I love (mint green, pink, and light grey) and tried to keep it simple without being plain.
What is your all time favorite book?
To be honest, I don't think I really have one favorite...the books I read are usually not classics or anything grand, just ones that look interesting to me (often books that I want to see the movie for). In the past year, I enjoyed The Hunger Games series, The Help, The Lucky One, and Water for Elephants to name a few. I'd recommend all of those. I also love decorating books. Some of my favorites are Decorate, Home-Spun Style, Fleamarket Chic, Undecorate, and Happy Home. I own all of those books and flip through them whenever I need a boost of inspiration. You can see more of my recent reads here.
Tell us more about yourself, i.e. your education, how you developed your interest in design, etc.
I have always loved art and design. I used to draw all the time when I was a kid, and I wanted be an illustrator for kid's books. When I was in junior high I came across Domino and subscribed to it (yes, while all my normal friends were reading Seventeen and Twist, I was reading Domino...ha!) I still have a little scrapbook I made with tear-outs from my favorite pages and what I loved about them. At that point, I wanted to be an interior designer when I grew up. When I was choosing a college, I picked the University of Washington--it's a good school, Seattle sounded exciting, and a lot of my friends were going there. But UW doesn't have a program for interior design, so I just started taking classes that sounded interesting, trying to figure out what I wanted to major in. One of those classes was the Intro to Graphic Design and Industrial Design. I loved it, applied for the program, and got in. It's a three-year program, and the first year we took graphic design and industrial design classes all together. That's where I learned most of what I know about typography and layouts. After that year, we had to pick one or the other, and I chose industrial design (which is about designing the form & function of products, packaging, etc.) I thought I might like to design furniture and home decor/kitchen products, but I never ended up working in it. Many aspects of my degree were really fun, especially coming up with ideas and sketching them out, but by the end of it I was super burned out. Sometimes I wonder if I should have picked a school that had an interior design program after all, but I don't regret anything--after all, Seattle is where I met Ben!
I'd love to hear about how you got to At Home in Love and what inspired that passion.
Well, as I mentioned above I've had a passion for interiors since junior high (at least). The blogging side of it started when I got engaged in 2009. I was looking for ideas for my wedding and didn't want a "typical" wedding with clear glass vases, roses, bridesmaids in long silk dresses, etc. That sort of formal affair didn't feel very much like Ben and I, but those are the only kind of weddings I had ever been to before and what I thought was expected. Then I came across wedding blogs. I think Green Wedding Shoes and Once Wed were the first ones I found, and I felt like I'd discovered something amazing--people were having unique weddings that actually looked fun, with creative ideas that could be pulled off on a couple of college student budgets! I stayed up til 3 am clicking "older" over and over again, saving tons of photos to my wedding folder on my laptop (remember before Pinterest, when we had inspiration folders on our computers?). Since I was checking wedding blogs daily and kind of obsessed with weddings, my sister-in-law convinced me that we should start our own wedding blog. That's where I learned most of what I know about blogging and social media. As I got further removed from my wedding, I found myself wanting to talk about ideas that pertained more to my daily life, and decided to start At Home in Love!
Is there a story behind the name of your blog?
When I was coming up with a name, I started thinking of how I wanted people to feel when they came across my blog (which is also the way I want people to feel when they come to my house), and I kept coming back to the phrase "at home." A lot of interiors in design magazines are inspiring and beautiful, but they can also feel austere and a bit formal...I wanted to showcase homes that were more casual, cheerful, and homey...where you'd be comfortable kicking your feet up and chatting with a good friend. A place where you'd feel right "at home." The second phrase I kept thinking of was "in love." I wanted this blog to be a place where people could fall in love with ideas, not just find solutions that could work. I wanted it to inspire excitement and joy...and a realization that you can have a home that you're "in love" with on a realistic budget.
How do you and your hubby compromise on interior design and color schemes?
I wrote a whole post about this here, so definitely read that if you want to hear more. The truth is, I'm pretty lucky. Ben is very good about letting me try things and he lets me do a lot of the decorating. But of course, he definitely has his opinions too and has vetoed many of my ideas. For example, I wanted a colorful industrial-style pendant light in the dining room, but Ben hated how the metal shade blocked so much light...so we returned it. Since he lets me do so much "my way", whenever he has a strong opinion or puts his foot down about something I try to honor that. We just got two new pink armchairs that are very "me" so I'm trying to tone down the rest of the living room and shuffle a lot of our pink stuff to other rooms. I really want our home to feel like our home, if you know what I mean. I think the mix of our two tastes is preferable...really! Some of my favorite things in our home were Ben's ideas...like our crate side tables that he made. And some of the ideas that I thought were fantastic (like a hot pink overdyed rug), I now realize would have been too much for our house. I'm glad I had Ben to talk me out of that one.
How do you generate amazing blog content on a regular basis?
I am always looking for trends & ideas when I'm out and about. It's something I do automatically. If I see someone wearing a great outfit, that might spark an idea for a post...or if I go to a store or a restaurant with a unique display, etc. I keep a running list in my phone of ideas that I have for future blog posts. I also read a lot of great blogs, which never fail to inspire me...and of course there's Pinterest! It often turns out that I have an abundance of ideas for posts and I have to narrow them down each week. The hardest part is usually finding the time to put each post together. It takes time to make the layouts pretty and find all the right links to credit, but I always want to make that extra effort for you guys!
What camera do you use and what is your editing process?
I have a Canon EOS 60D and a 50mm f/1.8 lens. We just bought our camera this year, and I haven't used it anywhere near as much as I'd like to. My goal is to eventually create more of my own content for this blog (not 100%, but I'd like a few posts a week to include my own photography, ideas and home). I'm trying to practice using the big girl camera, but with working full time and everything else going on in my life...I keep putting it off. As for editing, I use Photoshop. I'm not that great at it; in fact, editing photos is something else that I'd like to learn more about. As I pick up tips and tricks, I'll be happy to share them.
Where do you do your shopping for home decor goods?
I just started a new shopping resource page--check it out here. My favorite places to shop are thrift stores, antique malls, and flea markets (I wish we had more flea markets in Washington!). As for "regular" stores, I love the home goods at Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, World Market, West Elm, and Target.