The Heart of the Home

We may travel to the far corners of the globe on adventures … or put in long days at work, but most of our real living is done within a few square feet in our own homes. This special spot is both our launching pad and our safe harbor. It’s where we turn up the music and dance while tossing together Tuesday night dinner. Relax over a well-deserved glass of wine with our best friends. Get lost in a good book or binge watch our favorite series.  For most of us, the heart of our home is our kitchen and family room.

That’s true for my friends Lisa and Jon and their three girls. This is a busy family. Jon is the CEO of a global advertising agency. The girls are engaged in school and activities. And Lisa, a retired advertising art director, is involved in the community and keeping everyone’s life zipping along. When the family is home, this is where they gather, to catch up, share a meal, or chill out.

When Lisa and Jon renovated their house a few years back, Lisa wanted it to be family friendly. So making the kitchen into an inviting space was a top priority. Layer by layer, she added to its warmth with unique design choices, like the reclaimed wood floor tiles and the expansive wood kitchen island. Little touches add to the charm, like the glowing accent lamp next to the kitchen sink.

After school, this is where the girls dump their backpacks and jackets, grab a snack, pull out their laptops and do homework. The comfortable bar stools have just been recovered, yet again, thanks to the constant use they get.

Here’s a shot of the kitchen from Feather Your Nest, taken a decade ago. You’ll see that while Lisa has tweaked the space through the years, she has stayed true to the heart of her style. I love that. One of the huge benefits of decorating with timeless classics is your home never goes out of style.

Remodeling can be a huge pain. But one of the big payoffs is the opportunity to rethink your spaces, then design them to support how you really live. For Lisa, the queen of amazing treasures, that meant having plenty of built-in stages, like this shelf above her stove, to display the lovely pieces she collects. Be still my heart!

While Lisa’s kitchen and family room are distinct spaces with their own personality and purpose, they flow together so seamlessly that they feel like one. The built-in bookcases in the dining area, which links the kitchen to the family room, help transition from one space to the next.

I loved this area when we photographed it for Feather Your Nest. But now, it sends me over the moon, thanks to the new window treatments. The right fabric, used in the right spot, is that powerful. When Lisa saw this irrepressibly happy fabric, she knew she had to have it in her home. So she splashed it up over her kitchen sink and by the door to her courtyard. “The new curtains make the room feel warmer and more fun to hang out in,” Lisa shares. “Every time I walk by them, they make me smile.”

Of all the rooms in the house, the family room is Lisa’s bliss. You’ll find her here working, with the family’s two Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Penny and Theo, curled up next to her. As a pet mom myself, I love that Lisa isn’t uptight about her dogs sharing the family’s spaces.

Here’s what the family room looked like when we featured it in Feather Your Nest (above). Today, this sun-filled space is still a warm hug, and the new furnishings are brilliant additions. The new chairs that flank the fireplace add more spots for family TV viewing, and the oversized leather ottoman welcomes feet-up relaxation.

Some accents are timeless. But I’ve found that lamps definitely go in and out of style. To breathe some new life into her home, Lisa just updated her accent lamps. Check out what a difference this new blue and white lamp makes by comparing the photo above, with the one taken 10 years ago (below).


Next Week … We’ll round out our series in Lisa’s home with some inspiration for your fall and Thanksgiving table.