She is popular, has more boyfriends. She plays violin, guitar and the mandolin...and even beats you at the piano with far fewer lessons.
She does all the things you wish you had done. Like run for office in high school (and win). Like serve a mission for your church. Like marry a guy who has finished his bachelor's and master's degrees. Like get pregnant (the old-fashioned way) and give birth to three adorable, well-behaved, brilliant daughters--some with (twist the knife) curly hair!
She grows up to be a fabulous woman, an adorable mother and adored wife. Her house is warm and lovely. Somehow she has learned to sew and quilt in her spare time. And everything surrounding her seems to glow with a touch of class.
You'd hate her guts, wouldn't ya?
Of course you would.
Unless...she was Amy.
Meet my fabulous little sis! She really can do it all, yet, she is so sweet and sincere and childlike that you just cannot help but love her. I can honestly say, I've never been jealous of her success... just proud of her achievements because she is such a humble person. I love her to pieces.
Amy has so many talents, I could interview her on almost any subject. But I am fascinated with her ability to create a lovely and liveable home. She and her wonderful hubby Scott host us whenever we come to town for a visit. I am always amazed at how relaxed and comfortable it is there, and still so beautiful.
Here are Amy's thoughts on creating a lovely living space:
1. What is your biggest decorating secret?
Invest in classic, neutral furniture and then add color and pattern with accessories and less expensive pieces.
2. You have a great knowledge and love for fine art. How does this influence your home decor?
1. Switch around your wall hangings. Putting something old in a new place makes you see it differently and changes the look of a room without spending a dime.
2. Use durable materials like leather and micro-fiber, as well as flooring that hides stuff well. That way you can relax while in the room.
3. Add natural materials to bring the outdoors in. For example, choose earth tones for your walls, use rocks on a fireplace or even in an apothecary jar.
4. Use what you already have. Try giving new life to an old rocking chair in your newborn's bedroom. Use that old steamer chest as a side table.
5. Use a dark color here and there to give your room weight. I like to use black, but any dark neutral would do.
4. How do you create beautiful living space and still keep it kid-friendly?
5. Speaking of magazines, do you have any favorite ones? Or catalogs or decorating shows that inspire you?
I enjoy my HGTV, Fine Living and Discovery Home networks. I think Candice Olsen on Divine Design does a great job to explain her designing. Design Inc. is fun to watch because most of the time budgeting is out the window. However, to help me decorate my own spaces realistically I like to see what they do on Design to Sell. I'm addicted to "before and after" shows.
I pore over Pottery Barn and the Company Store catalogs when they come in the mail, but I think taking them too seriously stifles creativity.
6. What is the biggest decorating mistake you've made? How did you fix it?
When I was in the nesting stage of my last pregnancy, I tried to rush a valance making project. The resulting valances were not finished very well and actually didn't fit my windows at all. After having my father-in-law hang them, I had to live with them until my newborn was six months old. I still haven't figured out the perfect look for those windows, but I took down the offending toppers as soon as I was able.
7. What is your favorite room in your home? Why?I love my home. It's very open and comfortable. A lot of thought and time has gone into decorating the whole thing. That said, I would have to say our playroom downstairs is my favorite room. I had dreamed of that space for a long time. I knew I wanted it to be multi-functional. I wanted room for toys, comfortable seating for adults, and I wanted it to reflect our love of learning. My husband gave me full reign on the aesthetic decisions and I went with it. I made a huge game closet, hung maps on the walls, divided it up into stations just like any fun preschool class would, I even created the perfect set up for music. I love the beadboard on the walls. I love the red, green and yellow striped curtains that make the perfect "R" shape when pulled back. I love that the bones are good, that will make it easier for this room to grow with our children.
Thanks, Amy! (Hiding behind this Dutch door is my kids' favorite spot in your home...the empty space under the stairs. A perfect kid-size getaway.) Your home is a perfect expression of YOU. Love you!