I’m so thrilled to share this post with you today! One of my goals for 2017 is to share a new Your Gathered Home tour with you guys each month, featuring a peek into the home and heart of a fellow gatherer.
This is a series I’ve had close to my heart for quite a while now, and I’m determined to get it off the ground this year (along with a few other personal favorites that have kind of fallen by the wayside) and stick to a strong editorial calendar!
Of course, I enjoy sharing my own gathered home with you guys, but I find the experience of connecting with other gatherers and hearing their stories, motivations, and heart behind their homes, absolutely magical.
I’m always refreshed and energized and reminded of why I truly love blogging – the ability to connect with so many like-minded, kindred spirits and to learn from and encourage one another to find and make a beautiful life!
Meet Jessica Nickerson: House Homemade
As I began thinking through blogging friends and Instagram acquaintances to contact, the first name that jumped out at me was Jessica, the blogger behind House Homemade.
I’m a huge fan of her comfortable, welcoming, gathered style – we share a very similar decorating philosophy of working with what we have and using what we find. Its a total bonus that she lives within an hour’s drive from me, so I was thrilled to be able to see her gorgeous home in person and make a day of it with a photoshoot and thrifting expedition!
It was so surreal to get to step inside a home I’ve known only through pictures, and to match angles and vignettes with their real-life, three-dimensional anchors! I brought along my camera, lenses, and tripod to capture this tour of her home, and we spent a few hours grabbing shots, swapping blogging and DIY stories, and eating cookies.
You’ll find Jessica’s home tour below, as seen through the lens of my camera, and her answers to my interview questions sprinkled throughout!
Jessica’s Laid-Back, Greenery-Filled Gathered Home
Jessica and her husband Joel live with their two daughters in a 1960’s ranch-style home in Denton, Texas. In the 9 years they’ve lived there, they’ve scraped textured ceilings, combined smaller rooms to create a breezy open floor plan, stripped and stained beautifully storied concrete floors, and put every last inch to thoughtful use.
You’ll notice lots of natural wood tones, shades of green, and fresh bursts of color. The cheery red front door is the perfect prologue…
Why do you gather?
Jessica: I gather because I love pieces with a history. I love to search for stuff and find the beauty in what other people cast aside. Also because it’s like a game to me to spend as little money as possible to make our house as pretty, comfortable and welcoming as possible.
Even though I love a good deal and finding new- old things, I really make sure to think about its purpose in our house. I don’t buy something unless it has a specific spot or function. Or I replace something we already have if it’s a better scale for the room (or just plain cooler).
Jessica’s wide-open living space is split into two seating areas. This one, to the left of the front door, is bathed with light from the huge bay window, sending sparkles everywhere from the disco ball on the ottoman.
Do you have a favorite gathered find or story?
Jessica: The cabinet in our front room was a piece I found when we lived in Hawaii for a few months in 2015. That’s right: I was browsing Dallas Craigslist…in Hawaii.. It was listed for $40. I couldn’t pass it up, so I bribed my brother (the same imaginary five dollars that I’ve been bribing him with since he was 3) to go pick it up for me, then asked my parents to let it hang out at their house until we got back.
The second seating space is centered around this killer brick wall, where the tv blends into a graphic gallery display.
What’s a favorite home decor piece you’ve made?
Jessica: My favorite home decor piece I’ve made was probably the dictionary page wall in our dining room. I wrote a tutorial for it on the blog. It was one of the first DIY projects I did when we moved in 8 years ago but I still love it and its such a great statement.
I thrifted the dictionary for it and then picked pages with pretty pictures and words that meant something to us at the time. Our girls have started asking us to read things from the wall. We look at the animals up there and talk about why mom would ever want to rip up a book like that : )
The eating area, also open to the living areas, is full of genius DIY projects – from the book page wallpaper, to the chandelier, to the artwork!
The kitchen is tucked just to the right of the eating area. Another perfectly-worn antique rug bridges the colors of the floor and cabinets. I’m truly obsessed with the lower cabinet’s khaki color right now!
On the other end of the house, a short hallway leads to the bedrooms. Even the back of the hallway got a little facelift recently – Jessica upholstered the wall with fabric! (Details here.)
The girls’ room is perfectly pink and full of fun, but a black wall behind the beds helps ground all the color.
Jessica pushed their beds together for maximum sister “sleepover” fun.
What is your best advice to others on creating a gathered home?
Jessica: Don’t rush it. If you truly want a gathered home, take your time. Replace things that don’t bring you joy with pieces that do, as you find them. Set up searches on Craigslist, browse facebook garage sale pages and try to stop by thrift stores when you get a chance.
Also, don’t settle. You have to be willing to look a lot if you want to find awesome pieces. Don’t just buy something that you feel ho-hum about if you can keep what you’ve got until you find the piece you’ve been waiting for. It’s a process but it leaves you with a house that will have so much character and without a big credit card statement.
The master bedroom (and just wait until you see the bathroom) is tranquil and serene, while still hosting some of Jessica’s signature colorful textiles.
Jessica shared that the master bathroom was one of the few things in their house they didn’t DIY. I’m drawing so much inspiration from this space and filing it away for dreams of a future bathroom renovation over here!
She kept all the main design elements neutral, but added a beautiful punch of color with the vibrant rug.
Two things became abundantly clear to me while editing these photos and pulling together this house tour:
First, I need a disco ball pronto.
Secondly, I need a whole lot more greenery in my life.
I lost count of how many happy plants there are sprinkled throughout Jessica’s home, but they are everywhere – spilling out of nooks, filling shelves, and bringing so much verve and vim to each vignette!
I am hereby determined to let 2017 be the “Year of the House Plant” here at The Gathered Home and pledging to do my best to cure my black thumb!
The good news is… I just happen to know someone who can hopefully give me some tips… (Jessica?! Help!)
Share Your Gathered Home
1. If you are a kindred spirit gatherer with a love for photography and a home full of stories to share, I would love for you to get in touch via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by posting pictures using #yourgatheredhome on Instagram! I can’t promise to share every space, but I do promise that I will be absolutely thrilled to hear from you and connect over our shared love of finding and making!
2. If you live remotely near the Dallas/Fort Worth (or surrounding Texas cities) area and you would be interested in participating in the “Your Gathered Home” series and having me photograph your home for a home tour, I would LOVE for you to reach out! We’ll have a blast hanging out in person, taking pics, and I promise I’ll let you laugh at the funny positions I get into when I’m in the photography zone :)
I can’t wait to hear from you!
Let’s start with your thoughts on your favorite part of today’s incredible home tour… Can you even choose?