It has been such a surreal month celebrating the last ten years of Love Grows Wild. We moved into this house just a few months after I started my blog back in 2012, documenting all the changes we’ve made to this little house along the way. Naturally, I’ve spent a lot of time looking back on just how much has changed over the last decade, and I want to take you on a little photo “tour” of the house going all the way back to 2012. You’re in for a real treat, my friend.
Please let this trip back in time remind you of a few very important things:
We all start somewhere. It’s not going to be pretty or anywhere near perfect, but the important thing is that you don’t let fear paralyze your progress. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing as far as interior design goes, but I did know what I wanted our home to feel like. Back when I had a young family, I spray painted many thrift store finds to fit my shoestring budget, and if that’s where you are able to start, then go for it! You deserve to live in a home you love today… not in ten years when you have the money, time, skills, etc. to do it.
THE LIVING ROOM
Welcome to our living room back in 2012 when I still had moving boxes on the floor. I had just purchased my first set of brand new living room furniture and got rid of all the old hand-me-downs we had for years. Silver spray painted thrift store lamps and a rug a few sizes too small.
I painted the entire house Woodlawn Colonial Gray by Valspar (which I believe is now called Soulful Gray) when we moved in, but all the trim and doors were dark wood. Modern and gray felt like my style at the time.
Eventually I added in a little bit of personality with some refinished furniture pieces and decor.
This was probably the first major project I tackled: adding board and batten trim more than halfway up the wall and painting it white. I also painted all the wood trim and doors white and loved how much brighter it made the space feel.
This was when I really started embracing the farmhouse vibe. I added slipcovers to the sofas and hung these HUGE black lanterns on either side of the picture window. Our home started to feel like it had character and a story to tell.
Some questionable furniture choices have been made over the years, but this was probably the worst. Two gray armchairs that looked more purple than anything else, and a “sofa” that was really the size of a small settee. I learned to pay closer attention to measurements and other details after this purchase. But I did enjoy playing with different furniture arrangements and layouts for this big, open living room/dining room space.
My first light color sofa, a jute rug that hides everything, and a random floral curtain I bought hoping to make the purple-ish chairs work.
After my divorce, I went through a period of time embracing a more “feminine french country” vibe. It felt fitting to add things like lace, floral, and ruffles while I made this huge transition in my life.
With growing boys, I eventually upgraded to a sectional sofa in the same tufted light linen fabric.
Many different furniture arrangements, and many different coffee tables. Some of them I built!
Then I started to embrace a more simple. laid-back vibe. Layered rugs for softness, cozy neutral pillows, and plenty of sunshine.
I loved this shelf I built for the living room to display art. Such a great, easy focal point.
A rare look from this angle to show where our TV is and how the different spaces flow together.
I added two bookcases and lights in the living room, which made such a pretty focal point behind the sofa. And I finally got a new front door (in black!) that lets in a ton of light.
I’m about ready to get rid of the sectional and look for some new couches, so we shall see where 2022 takes this space!
Now let’s check out the dining room/entryway area that is open to the living room.
THE DINING ROOM/ENTRYWAY
This space has always been difficult because it really doesn’t feel strictly like an entryway or like a dining room. It’s sort of an odd space that is combined into one since this is the door we use most often instead of the front door.
But that hasn’t stopped me from styling it a million different ways over the years.
Remember when I created a wood bench from an old door? That was such a cool piece. 😍
I painted the door with Rust-Oleum door paint in a custom mixed color called Rustic Pewter. It definitely needs some touch-ups now, but it has held up really well over the years. It’s much thicker than normal paint, and not as easy to apply, but very durable.
At one point I built a huge plate rack on the wall to display my wood cutting boards.
Then I moved the dining table out of this space for awhile and added a little desk area.
I loved finding antiques to mix old with new.
Then I really switched things up and moved the dining table to the opposite side of the living room by the front door.
And built a custom wood bench for the entryway.
We have no overhead lighting in the living/dining room, but this candle chandelier I hung above the table was SO pretty. Would you believe I painted that huge piece of art myself?
Eventually the table moved back to the other side of the room with a little more of a simple, laid-back style.
I got new dining chairs to update the space, including upholstered armchairs for the head of the table.
I started to lean more towards black and other darker colors, which made the space feel more cozy and grounded.
And today the dining table is back where it originally started, in the “entryway”.
Creating a home is a journey that is never truly “finished”. Your home grows and changes with you, which is why I think I get so emotional looking back on these photos. I can remember where I was at in my life in each one and see how far we’ve come… the house, myself, and my family.
H O M E … what a beautiful gift to ourselves and those we love.
I hope this post helped or inspired you in some way, no matter where you are in your own journey. If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them, and I have a Part Two I’m writing with a look back on more spaces in our house! Look for that soon… xoxo Liz
Lovely! I love where you are today! I could use many of your items in my own home!
Me too, sweet friend. 🙂 Thank you for being here!!
Liz what a beautiful tour down memory lane of your home and where it started and where it is now. I love your style and love everything you have done in the past years. Just beautiful re love of your home decor. xoxo Kris
Thank you so much, sweet friend!
Can you share your source for affordable natural blinds please
Of course! https://rstyle.me/+M0EvkVQsJBfjtasWEiIUNQ
Enjoyed this post and seeing your home evolve. Do you have a link to where I could find the sectional?
Yes, I do! https://rstyle.me/+1XkuwRSmX4HSL-Y-TZhUBA
Liz, I took a huge gulp of air in with anticipations, and held it as you shared this journey in photos…so satisfying to see this process condensed to the last 10 years! You proved the growth that comes in a beautiful, fearless and tearful(divorce)life,(been there). I loved the transitions and years of your aesthetic process, just delightful and well done! Thank you for sharing a visual journey to change what you could in your life, and create beauty and HOME for you, and your family. Hope you enjoy a great Mother’s Day this year!
You’re going to bring me to tears reading this. Thank you for your beautiful, kind words and for being here, sweet friend!
I have only gotten as far as your first room tour of the living room but oh gosh! So pretty and comfy any time of any year! Question…..because I don’t know if you have all sources listed…..what make is the tufted sectional? I love it! And your beautiful pine hutch that looks like you might have whitewashed it, is that a OOAK piece? That is so my style and I noticed it right away! Your home is beautiful!
Thank you! Here is a link to my tufted sectional: https://rstyle.me/+1XkuwRSmX4HSL-Y-TZhUBA
It has been out of stock for a long time, so I’m glad to finally see it back!
i enjoyed the “time tour” of your living room…..watching your taste change through the years…. i didn’t see one year that i could be critical of!! you didn’t go wild with huge changes; but stayed within budgets and kept upgrading beautifully….. your home is just lovely…. a source of much pride to your skills!!!!! thanks for sharing….
Thank you so much!!
Liz, thank you for sharing your pictures of how your beautiful home has evolved over the years. Your talents and creativity have provided a beautiful and cozy home for you and your family. I have often thought how my taste has changed over the years since my husband and I married 38 years ago along with two grown children and a grandchild. We have a few pieces that we acquired and were handed down to us early in our marriage that continue to work with the changes. We bought an antique step back cupboard that is nine feet tall that takes center stage no matter what changes I make. We were fortunate enough to acquire this piece for $25. I stripped the yellow paint off of it in our garage to find a beautiful patina underneath the paint. Looking at your pictures have brought fond memories of similar changes that I have gone through too. I enjoy all of your posts filled with wonder ideas. I hope you have a happy Mother’s Day!
That sounds like the perfect example and definition of “home”. I bet that antique cupboard is beautiful and will be treasured for years and years to come. Thank you for sharing and being here, friend!
I have always enjoyed your blog. Your home is very elegant and unique. You have given me very many ideas in my own home and I will continue following you. I had my friend build me your outside console table. By the way I have made many of your recipes and enjoyed them.
That means the world to me. Thank you!!