Your Interior, an Exterior of You

June 5, 2015

The things that surround you in your home should inspire, describe, and have importance to you. I'm all about going to the store to buy something to decorate your home, but honestly if you put time into it to make it your own, its deeper meaning can make it a focal point in your home and not just another trinket. 

 

My dad made my headboard out of a Potterybarn teen magazine over a decade ago when we first moved into our home. I was seven at the time and had my heart set on living on a ranch
as a cowgirl. The picket fence headboard accompanied my collection of Breyer horses, my Madeline cowgirl doll that rode a horse, and my sketches of horses that were plastered on my walls. Now that I'm past my cowgirl-phase, my mantle now shelves the antique Vogue prints my grandma gave me that are dated from 1913-1919. These prints that I already treasure will have even more meaning once my grandma passes. 

 

I'll never forget the day I bought this fan in a thrift store in the middle of nowhere. My friends and I had all just graduated from high school together only weeks before and were having our "day-cation" near Heber Springs. Each of us were gathering things for our dorm and decided we all wanted to buy an object we each could own and think of each other while we were away from Arkansas to Texas to Chicago. We decided antique fans were a unique item to have and refurbish. Mine was just a silver color with some rust on it before. I chose to spray paint it a teal color after taking the safety trim off and removing the blades from the base. I did three coats and then rubbed it with sandpaper to add a shabby-chic look. 

 

You can't see it well in the picture, but a step ladder I bought from the same thrift store makes for a great side table for my bed as well. On its steps, I have other items set on it. During my freshman year I used this ladder as a drying rack for my towels in my dorm.

 

If you're looking for a great way to elevate a piece you want to emphasize in your room, books are the answer. I tied an orange ribbon around these books under my fan for some extra cuteness! Below are a couple other examples of how to use books to elevate items and add to your space. 

 

 

 

There's something to be said about books pulling a room together. They add character and are another meaningful item on your shelf. These items are something you've invested the money into buying and (sometimes) have taken time to read. Books are a small part of you. Make sure you make them a part of your room decor too!

 

There are no limits to how many books you can stack or boundaries for how to stack them. Turning and staggering them different ways are one of my favorite ways to decorate. If you have some empty spaces on your shelves and it looks like you're just missing "something", add a book or two and your problem will be resolved. Here's a tip, the thicker the book the better! You can see a couple of old classics that my grandma gave to me dated back to 1801. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You'll see the keys hanging on a string behind the lamp in the picture. I love to keeps things minimal, but one thing fun to keep is a "junk box" full of trinkets like key chains, buttons, and strings that turn up here and there. I'll be posting a craft at some point this summer where you'll be able to use all those trinkets to make something unique and special. This was only a five minute craft, but stringing up a few little items on a ribbon for your magnet strip, wall, or bulletin board is a cute touch.

 

IIn the next image, you'll see that these orange magnet strips from The Container Store are very functional for hanging this and that. I use to hang my artwork on them, but after over a year of being with my boyfriend, Austin, he's earned his place on my wall. The magnet strips come in all different colors with different lengths and includes super-strong mini magnets that hold a lot of weight.

 

 

As far as furniture goes, white is the go-to color. My desk and both my bookshelves are white and help in “opening up” my room. White is classic, it goes with any color of walls, furniture, or decor and you just can’t tire of it. Adding the natural light from my window to the mix turns my room into a peaceful sanctuary for blogging and reading.

 

Collections. When has a collection gotten to the point of obsession, clutter, or worse... hoarding? Hopefully, you won't ever reach that point! Since I've hit 20 years old, I've realized how collections can be such a treasure and big part of your home. The tricky part is finding just what to collect. 

 

 

For my Austin and I's first date in April 2014, we went to the Green Corner Store and Soda Fountain to get a Loblolly soda and ice-cream. This cute place for a date is in the SOMA (South on Main) Arts District. Since then, we've been collecting bottle caps for a future art project. We've also kept soda bottles that we had on memorable dates or of our favorite flavors. When choosing what to collect, pick something that's unique or has meaning to you with a story to it. That will be a collection that you can treasure for a lifetime. The hand painted horse and small oriental Chinese wooden doll on the upper shelf each have stories as well as gifts from my grandma and little sister.

 

I once visited a friend's grandmother and complimented her vast collection of roosters. It was if a flock of the colorful roosters had taken over her kitchen- and into the living room and dining room. She said, "Thank you, I'm tired of them." She said that was the only thing she would receive for gifts from friends and the collection just keeps growing. I had a laugh and learned then to collect something that not just anyone could come across. Finding something small is also key for your collection not having the impression that it's taken over your whole house. 

 

 

You can only see the top of it here, but my dresser was my great grandmother's. It was passed on to my grandma, my mom and her identical twin, and to then me. Furniture like this is something to be valued in my future home and then passed down to my children. That's one thing I will teach my kids too is to value history and stories even in the small things in your family.

I've also been planning my trip abroad and have been thinking of what to collect while I'm abroad. When I went to Paris in 2009, I bought the small cream and green glass container you see in the picture above. That was hand painted in Giverny, where Claude Monet spent his last years painting his most renown works in the countryside on the outskirts of Paris. Having small items like this is what I'm looking to collect while abroad to bring back. 

 

 

 

 

For wrapping up this post about collections and decorating, here's just a small detail in my room. I'm reminded of my mother and her identical twin sister each time I look at it.

 

Back when they were little girls in the 70's, they folded gum wrappers to make this long strip of them that I have hanging in my room. It's cute and colorful, most of the gum they don't make anymore so the wrappers are really unique. Another small thing (similar to bottle caps) to collect that have a bit of history to it.

 

Thinking outside the box can take your space to the next level. Use wall hangers like this not just for hats and scarves. On one rack organize long necklaces, display collections like my mom's gum wrapper string, and hang a hat in the middle. Be inspired and start to declutter, decorate, and design your space! 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post, feel free to comment or e-mail me your thoughts or topic ideas. I'm already excited for getting to share my next blog post with you! 

 

With love,

 

Madeline

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MADELINE MCGEE

 

Madeline is a advertising strategist, writer, and photographer based in Little Rock, Arkansas. She loves learning a client's vision and building their brand with creative content while working towards tremendous results. Madeline is available for freelance work and travel.   Read More...

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Madeline specializes in social media

strategy, advertising, and photography. 

She is based in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

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April 19, 2016

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