'Back to the Basics'

February 2018 Issue 

Meet the Home Owner:

This month's feature is my sweet friend Joni's home. Joni and I met in Charlotte, NC where we attended design school together. Her passion for design has always shinned through her work. She is such a talent in every aspect. See how she creates her beautiful, yet affordable home in her interview below.

Her Story

Why did you choose this house/ location?

My husband and I separated last year, and I decided not to stay in the home we bought together. I needed a new place in a different area to explore myself as an individual outside of my marriage. Statesville came up on my radar because I have several close friends that live here. This house is a rental from some of those dear friends. It was his childhood home. He renovated his grandparents’ house next door and moved in there. So I knew I was going to have some pretty good neighbors. It was the perfect size for my new transition in life, and it immediately felt like a place I could call home.

What do you love most about your home?

There are a couple different things I love about this home. First would be the location and being close to people that support me. I have three friends that live within walking distance which means I could have multiple dates throughout the day if I wanted to… coffee with one friend, dinner with another and wine/dessert with the other! All in the same day! I live about a mile from the downtown area so I can easily walk or ride my bike to local restaurants and shops.

The second thing would be the wood burning fireplace. Growing up, we didn’t have heating and air until I was a teenager. We heated our home through wood stoves so having real fires again bring a sense of nostalgia.

Lastly, there are sliding doors off of my bedroom that lead to the back deck. The doors allow natural light to flood the room and a fresh breeze to whisk through when the doors are open. It’s the most refreshing start to my day with the morning sun pouring in keeping me captivated for hours. Often times I will make coffee, bring it back to bed and soak up that morning sunshine.

How did you get your start in design?

I grew up in an unfinished home. From the outside, it had the appearance to be a nice, cozy home, but the inside was falling apart in many respects. We didn’t have cable or internet then so I would spend hours of my free time “redesigning” the house. I would live in my head recreating the house to its full potential over and over again. Spatial planning and design have always come naturally for me as a creative. After my first failed career as an educator, I went back to school for design, and I loved every minute of it. Creating beauty is something that will always be near and dear to my heart. And the world could always use a little more.

What is your design philosophy?

My design philosophy is keep to things simple. Bring things into your home that you love and that serve you.  My homes have always been littered with things that I loved. My style is constantly changing and evolving as my tastes change over the years.  Growing up poor can either make you a spender or thrifter. Fortunately for me, I became the latter. I am a thrifter through and through. Most everything in my home is thrifted from local Goodwill, Habitat stores, consignment shops or antique malls. It’s in my blood to find pieces that speak to me, but are reasonable. So often times, my home doesn’t feel complete to me because I’m waiting to come across a particular piece, and you never know when that will happen. Thrifting doesn’t come as easy as adding something to your cart from sitting at home, but it brings so much emotions for me when I’m able to create a story behind the piece. I am a firm believer in making your space a reflection of who you are, and as our lives change so do our spaces.

Who is your biggest Inspiration (designers & influence)?

My inspiration comes from following a gamut of small designers and artists in my generation. I am not solely drawn to interior designers, but follow several clothing designers, photographers, jewelry designers, airstream renovators and woodworkers. It inspires me to see people my age pursuing their dreams with reckless abandonment. It’s empowering and encouraging. Having a passion in several areas of art allow me to glean inspirations from all areas of the design world.

I also gather a lot of inspiration from nature. Nature photography is one of my passions. There are so many natural color schemes and variations of lines and textures in nature that could beautifully translate into a space with little effort. The hard part of composing color combinations and various line forms are already created by the goddess, Mother Nature, herself.

(There are so many thrifted and secondhand pieces in Joni's home but this one is one of my favorites. Joni's photography work can be seen around her house, like the nature scenes about this restored card catalog.)

Why is creating a beautiful home important to you?

Creating a beautiful home is so important to me because it’s our most trusted space. Its the place we should feel most comfortable in. For me, having a beautiful inviting space puts me in a good headspace where I’m free from worldly distractions, and I’m able to relax. I look at your home as an extension of who you are. When people think about you, what would they say that speaks to your character? I feel like your home should be a representation of you. Are you welcoming and inviting, creating a space that allows people to feel love when they’re around you? That’s what I feel like home should be. Whatever feelings you wish to exude upon others should be the feeling you create in your home.

(Fun fact: Joni hosted for the holidays in her sweet small home and she had to accommodate more people than her Tulip table could sit, so she constructed a simple wooden table out of plywood and an Ikea desk base.)

What was your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge for me was working with a smaller space than what I am used to. The downstairs which houses the main living quarters is only 760 sq. feet. I painted the walls white and added sheer curtains to give the illusion that the space was larger. I also brought in natural textures, colors and plants to make the space feel more inviting and cozy without making it feel too cluttered or cramped.

What is the process when selecting your pieces?

When selecting pieces to go into my home, I’ll have a general idea of what I want. For example, I need some type of storage for linens and towels. I’ll have an idea of the size I want, but not necessarily an exact idea. I’ll thrift for a couple months stopping in a local stores and scouring Craigslist until I find the perfect piece. Although, most things in my home weren’t chosen for a particular purpose other than I fell in love with them immediately.