Quick note: There will be a follow-up post to show off the family’s nursery soon!
When we went through our Bradley birth classes, Matt and I met a bunch of adorable couples. One of these lovely pairs was April & Joel, who were nice enough to host a get-together for all of us new families to gather post-birth and introduce our little nuggets of love. From the moment I walked in I was intrigued by their adorable, thoughtful home. Matt was just chatting it up while I was feasting my eyes on every painted chair, tiny glass vase and carefully curated counter top.
So a few weeks later I asked if I could come by to take some shots and learn about how they created such a colorful and creative abode. Most of the items were thrifted finds April and Joel reupholstered, repainted or built from scratch, like their kitchen table! The girl knows how to create. It seemed like everywhere I looked there was something else that the two had managed to revitalize and pair with a quirky color or thoughtful decoration – like that ceramic pear – to develop a unique, energetic aesthetic throughout the home.
But enough chatting about it all. Let’s pretend we’re walking through the home with these Florida natives and get a glimpse inside. We’ll start at their blue-painted front door. They were still in the process of finishing but it was already looking fresh and inviting.
April reupholstered their ottoman using a floral print fabric from JoAnns and constructed the chalk board above the mantle with Joel, using an old picture frame to give it a more elegant, finished touch. The small glass vases were collected from thrift stores and mixed with wedding gifts, like the small votive candle holders. She also salvaged the light fixtures by painting them a sunny yellow color and adding the bubble-glass shades found at a thrift store in Knoxville for $2.50 each. And she finished the mantle off with some lovely forsyth flowers.
About keeping things cheap and simple: “I do what’s easy. I start by looking at what I have and then go from there.” – April
April sewed the pillow cases and got creative with her fabric materials by using placemats featuring geometric patterns. For the walls, she collected picture frames to create each collage, painting some of the frames white to create a more cohesive look. The frames were filled with family photos and postcards brought back from their travels throughout Japan and Korea.
They used delicate white curtains throughout the house to bring in as much light as possible. It’s always amazing how romantic and beautiful they can be, not to mention very easy to decorate around.
April and Joel added clear wheels bought at Ikea to these basic coffee tables to create a more modern, sophisticated look.
Let’s head to the dining room with beautiful baby Isaac in tow.
Joel made the family’s kitchen table and April painted the chairs, which were purchased from Ikea. Those fabulous end chairs were painted with the spray paint in the color Aqua from Home Depot. They also spotted those bright, upbeat yellow curtains during an Ikea visit and Joel made the floating shelves that display white vases found at thrift stores throughout Knoxville. The runner was sewn using a floral yellow and gray fabric found at JoAnn’s, and the mirror was another thrift store find, for a whopping $8.
For added comfort, April cut up a foam mattress pad to created the chair cushions and then sewed covers for each. Um yes, I will be stealing that idea. How cool that you can cut them to perfectly fit your chairs and no stuffing is required.
This was an adorable kitchen kiosk, featuring a metal basket for more storage and a painted wooden crate (from, of course, JoAnn’s). The chalk board was also framed and April painted cardboard letters to create the wall art.
April wanted a metal kitchen stool but found that in Tennessee things like this are considered “vintage” and priced much higher than they are in Florida. But Joel snagged a very old, rusty stool that they were able to completely clean and update. With a coat of paint and new rubber end caps, it looks like a brand new stool you’d find in a Restoration Hardware catalog. But they spent a cool $15 on theirs.
About her obsession with creating home decor items: “I get this from my mom. I always have ideas. It’s bad, but it ebbs and flows.” – April
The sun-lit laundry room was definitely one of my favorite spaces in the house. Paper towel rolls became art. The bright yellow picture frame provides a pop of color. LOVE. And P.S. That is not Isaac! That is my baby Grayson and this is what happens when you bring your baby to a photo shoot. He started getting fussy and April was nice enough to hold him so we could get the shots. Sweet man putting up with mama’s blog.
April sewed a new cover for her ironing board and used two hooks to hang it. Why yes, I have already stolen this idea and put it to work in my own laundry room. Thank you , April.
Since we’re already getting personal and making other people hold our babies, let’s head to the bedroom together, shall we.
The leafy-green light fixtures were finds from Ikea and April created the wall art by cutting up scrapbook paper and pasting the pieces to create the chevron pattern. It’s all so perfect.
About her design approach: “Joel asks me why I spend my extra time doing this. I just like to make things look nice and functional.”
There was an open space between their closets in the bedroom so the two used it to design a cute nook with more storage space. The curtains were sewn and hung using a tension rod, and April collected the artsy green bottles to display. They purchased a light fixture kit to make the pendant.
I adored that chair, which was reupholstered and painted. Is it not gorgeous?
About the chair: “I just looked under it to see if the seat could be taken off and then mimicked how it was put on. I folded the fabric and attached it with a staple gun.” – April
They also used a delicate white cafe curtain to bring light into their bathroom. The wall art included framed hymns to showoff their favorite church songs.
In the back of their home is a huge, beautiful sunroom. The bamboo blinds were from Lowe’s and the walls were painted white to lighten up the entire space. April and Joel doctored the light fixture, which they found at Pier 1 to add a nice, dark dynamic statement piece in the cool, classic family room.
This was April’s work area located in their finished attic. It’s so cute and colorful to get the imagination flowing. I bet this is where she comes up with all her thrifty decorating ideas.
And few extra photos because I just couldn’t stop taking them…
I’ll be back next week with round 2 as we dig deeper into April and Joel’s idea house. And it just may include a precious nursery to round out their stunning Tennessee bungalow.
Can’t wait to follow up with baby Isaac’s red and blue modern nursery.