Category: Home Decor

I am definitely not a home decorating expert or even aficionado, but I do love it with a passion!! I am a serial wall paint changer, curtain buyer, and area rug obsessed to boot. All of those things add up to a big annoyance for my husband, but he’s a great sport about it!

When did you move away from your childhood home?

Maybe out of state for college or for your first big job? I bet you said the phrase “I’m going back home to visit my family for the holidays” or something similar at least once or twice, right? For me, “home” has always been where I settled in that moment. I’ve never had a true hometown, or a place that I felt was my home until I made my own as an adult. That’s mostly from being an Army Brat my whole life, but also because I’ve always been a natural wanderer like everyone else in my family. The Anderson’s are adventurers at heart, truly. My dad and his three brothers all scattered to the wind as soon as they turned 18. Even my grandparents picked up their lives in Louisiana and traveled the world before settling in Bahrain as ex-patriots for a dozen years before moving back to Louisiana. I feel like I’ve settled down in Florida for the most part, but a big part of my soul is always itching to pick up and go. I am from Louisiana, but even that sense of “hometown” is very loosely based for me. I spent every summer with my grandparents, in Bahrain and in Louisiana for most of my childhood. My roots and history are there, and a big part of my self-identity is based in my Louisiana heritage. But it’s not home for me. Hell, I haven’t been back there in 9 years now that I think of it! I have memories of everyplace I’ve ever been and lived, but I’ll never know how it feels to have a lifetime of memories in a house, town, state, or even with lifetime friends. I’ve never grown up with people, never spent every summer at a best friend’s house, never have had childhood friends. Part of me always wanted those things, and I certainly felt “less than” at times because of it.

So I became fixated on associations of home as I got older. This became more obvious to me when my parents recently moved down to Florida to be near me and my children. They moved their belongings down with them, and I started realizing that my concept of “home” was more tied to the people and the things that fill it, rather than location and memories. When I walked into my parents new house, I was struck by two things: “This is different!!” and, “but somehow the same”. To me, there are things that make my parents house their home, no matter where they are.

1. Cast iron pan or pots on the stove top at ALL TIMES. My dad doesn’t like to hunt for those heavy pans and he would eat his spatula before he let one rust. Or worse-get washed and scrubbed with dawn dish soap like I accidentally did in my teens. Man, he was pissed.
2. There is always a pot of coffee either brewed, brewing, or about to be brewed. I bought them a Keurig years ago, and they still use their coffee pot right next to it. And chances are, it’s “Community” brand coffee!
3. Stacks of books on the bookshelf, nightstands, coffee tables, you name it. We always had books everywhere growing up, and it’s something I do as well.
4. The tv is always on, and it’s always on MUTE. My parents are notorious for muting the tv to talk during commercials and forgetting to turn it back on. Sitting around and talking is a favorite pastime of mine when it comes to my family. We would talk all night at the dinner table, about random things. I remember one conversation we had about the composition of tree bark! We would always go off on random tangents (everyone in my family has wandering brains and conversation points) and never remember how we ended up on such obscure topics!
5. Knit quilts and my mom’s “woobie”, a camo-print, super soft quilt that was army issued to my dad about 20 years ago. She claimed it and never travels (or sits on the couch) without it! There are also quilts that my great-grandmother knitted before I was born strewn about on chairs and couches. Always.



My children have had a relatively stable life thus far. We moved into our house three years ago, and they’re still living in the same city and state they were born in. They have friends and constants in their lives, and I’m pretty sure that one of that will change, regardless of the fact that I could move anywhere and make a home that I’m happy with. But it makes me wonder what sorts of things they’ll associate home with. I’m a lover of things, and it feels like there are so many negative connotations to admitting to that. “She’s so materialistic” or “she’s so wasteful with her spending”…that sort of thing. But for me, things represent the present mentality, the memories of the past, and the sense of home. Things I associate with my own sense of home:

1. Plants, in just about every room or corner of my yard. I’m not the greenest of thumbs, but I know enough to get by with a decent garden! I love houseplants, and I’m never afraid to try a new one in our home.
2. Books everywhere, in almost every room. There are no “things” that I love more than books. I gave it a go with a kindle once upon a time, and I just couldn’t get into it. There is just something about the look, feel, and smell of a book.
3. Pretty little candles, they’re everywhere.
4. Essential Oils. I got into these big time last year, and they’ve taken over my house and life!! I love them so much, and we have diffusers in every single room.
5. Art, where it’s handmade, bought, thrifted, or re-purposed. I can’t stand a blank wall! I once tried the minimalist approach and I wanted to jump out of my skin. I cannot take the blank slate of a naked wall, I have an inner need to decorate at all costs.

While this thought process may sound materialistic and self-appreciating, it’s what makes me, ME. I take pride in making my house a home, because I learned to take comfort in my things after moving around so much. They were the only constants in my life, and if looking at a bookshelf reminds me that I’m home, then that’s what does it for me. What does “home” mean to you? I’m so curious about other people’s experiences with this, whether you’ve lived in one place your entire life or you’ve traveled around like I have. I would love to hear about your sense of home.

I’m alive, I promise!

I talked all that trash about taking a break from social media while still blogging…and I did the exact opposite. Weird how that happens, huh? I mean, the first two weeks of the new year just shouldn’t count towards the fresh start in my opinion. We’re all scrambling to catch up from slacking off during the holidays, trying to get our shit together to log in a work out, or maybe just in a general post holiday haze. I’m all of the above! Anywho, I’m back for good with lots of rambling posts planned. But today is all about how absolutely freaking disgusting my eight year old’s room was when I decided to clean it this morning. Not kidding, I cleaned up empty Capri Sun pouches, what seemed like 9,000 craft beads, dozens of American Girl doll accessories, hunks of old dried modeling clay…and a partridge in a pear tree.

Homemade Chalkboard for Children's Room - Best quote!

I painted this chalkboard two years ago. I found the quote online randomly, and I loved it so much! I’ve gotten a bit better with my chalk art, but I can’t imagine repainting it now! Read: I’m too lazy.

Seriously, y’all! Laila is the complete opposite of me. She will hoard even the tiniest of scrap papers for it’s “sentimental value”, while I’ll throw anything away to have a clean house. I can’t with the clutter and junk everywhere, so I tend to stay out of her room. I know how much I valued having my own space and privacy as a child (because I never did!) and I try to give Laila room to grow and be herself. But DAMN, home girl sure knows how to wreck a room. Enter the bad cop Mom, with a trash bag and entire bottle of Thieves cleaner. I went to town; three hours later, we have a clean room!!! I took pictures to show some fun projects I did three to five years ago when I put her room together, and also to preserve the whole thirty minutes that her room looked like this. “Tornado Toddler” Carson was waiting in the wings to destroy it right after I snapped my last picture. It’s way more fun playing in Sissy’s room, right?

DIY Girl's Room Decor

I bought the bedding from Pottery Barn Kids about five years ago…I’m a sucker for the Princess and the Pea themed print. Starting to think about redoing her room now that she is nearing the Tween years…Lawd help me!

DIY Tissue Poms for a girl's room!

I made the pom-poms years ago, maybe five? The heart canvas used to be an owl print from Target. I spray painted it with glitter and gold, and used acrylic pink paint for the heart!

DIY Girl's Room Decor - Pink and Gold Glitter

We purchased the wood letters and frame from Michael’s and just spray panted them! I kept the two shades of dark/light pink consistent throughout her room, as well as the glittery gold. We also refinished this Craigslist find dresser with cabinet paint and Anthropologie drawer pulls that I found on sale. Her West Elm desk and chair was an UBER lucky estate sale purchase and it’s my favorite!

DIY Dresser Rehab and other DIY Girl's Room Decor

This dresser was a lucky Craigslist find – Solid wood and only $30!! We used white cabinet paint leftover from our kitchen reno (more on that later) and bought the knobs on sale from Anthropologie. I reused an old canvas painting for the glittery gold and pink flower, and she requested the 2017 banner that I used this NYE. It’s gold sequins and matches her decor perfectly! And obviously, the Home Diffuser, her only electronic in the room.

DIY Girl's Room Decor and Chalkboard Art

I bought the wood heart and blank “chalkboard” sign from Hobby Lobby. I sprayed glittery gold on the heart, and used a metallic gold oil-based paint sharpie to write out the sign!

Laila IS like me in that she loves to read. Madeline is one of my favorites, I read the French versions in middle school when I starting taking my first French classes. I want her to love French as much as I do, but so far she is very “EH” to it. 🙂

Banks literally sat there for hours and just watched me clean…didn’t even offer to help!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I cannot believe tomorrow is finally Thanksgiving! Even though I’ve been thinking about it and planning for weeks, it seems like November was the quickest month of all. If you follow me on Instagram (@elle.at.home) you may have seen that I’ve been buying decor pieces here and there, while simultaneously freaking about hosting dinner. And here is the finished table, all ready for our family! I love decorating and putting my vision to work and I am so happy with how it turned out! Having a Christmas tree in the mix isn’t traditionally Thanksgivingy, but sometimes you just have to go with what makes you happy and break tradition. Just ask Merida! No decor makes my heart happier than white twinkle lights, and I feel like it brings a festive and cozy feel to the entire room.

Thanksgiving Chalkboard

When you’re chasing after two kids, decorating, and baking at the same time…sometimes ya forget how to spell “Pumpkin”! FAIL

Thanksgiving Table Decor Thanksgiving Tablescape

Table, Chairs, Hurricane Vases, Candles

The menu was much easier to put together than the table, that’s for sure! Both of our families have very different Thanksgiving dinner traditions. My family always fries a turkey and cooks Boudin from our native Louisiana, which is a type of rice dressing made with pork liver and stuffed in a sausage casing. Don’t freak! It sounds funky to someone who has never heard of it (most of America) but it’s SO GOOD. My husband Michael’s family always roasts a turkey and makes a ham, which my father-in-law pairs with the most amazing honey mustard sauce you’ve ever tasted. So this year I thought it would be perfect to mesh both of our family traditions! I give you:

The Anderson-Hill Mega Thanksgiving Menu

2 Fried Turkeys
Spiral Ham with Honey Mustard Sauce
Louisiana Boudin
Ma’s Apple-Sausage Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole
Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Cranberry-Orange Sauce
Salted Dinner Rolls
Pecan Pie Bars
Pumpkin Sheet Pie
Chocolate Creme Pie
Apple Pie
Wine and Champagne

Thanksgiving Table Setting Thanksgiving Table SettingThanksgiving Place Settings Thanksgiving Table Setting

Gold Plate ChargersPlates, Runner (old, similar here), Silverware, Flutes, Place Mats

Laila has been looking forward to Thanksgiving almost as much as me, she really loves all of the anticipation and festive atmosphere of the holidays! Plus, she LOVES to eat, a girl after my own heart. Buddy really couldn’t care less, although he is excited to have everyone together. While it was a lot of work putting this together and planning it all, I’m so happy that we are lucky enough to have pulled this off and to be able to spend this special day with our family. I can’t help but to think of those less fortunate who can’t enjoy holidays with family and friends, and it really makes me thankful for each of our blessings. This day is always a reminder to take nothing for granted. Happy Thanksgiving friends, I hope your day will be filled with too much turkey and all the happiness in the world!