This weekend’s Get the Look Decor is inspired by the small Morgantown, WV, apartment of Barbara Hester where she lives with her medical student husband Trent and their cat Rachel George. The couple’s tiny space includes many pieces of their past with reminders of how they met and family heritage mixed with repurposed furniture and linens.
Check out Barbara’s Etsy shop, IndianaBlue, where she sells handmade books, paintings, embroideries and mixed media. Visit Barbara on Flickr for more photos of her tiny apartment, and stop by her blog for more inspiration and life’s reflections.
Describe your home decorating style.
I would go thrifting with my grandmother in Indiana when I was little, which gave me a passion for older, sometimes weathered, items.
I love creating a sense of heritage and tradition with pieces which have come from our families or which recall certain times in our lives. Old photographs of family, quilts made by my great-grandmother, shells and stones collected on walks, a snow globe with a tiny Eiffel tower that reminds us of trips abroad years ago, these are some of the things that fill our home. My husband and I both love reading and met while we were both working at a bookstore, so we also have quite a lot of books!
I learned the value of repurposing material from my great-grandmother’s quilts, which were pieced together mostly from old clothing, and other fabrics that once had served as something else. I like to apply this idea in other mediums, for example repurposing an old door and kitchen table legs for a coffee table or making shelves from an old table top that had split in two, or tearing up old sheets and knitting them into rugs.
Did you decide to decorate in this style or was there an evolution to your decorating process?
I did decorate our apartment with this style in mind, but it was more a result of it being the things I am drawn to, rather than trying to achieve a certain look. For me, the apartment is a work-in-progress, and I am always looking to learn new things and to make our home an authentic reflection of who we are, while being both comfortable and functional. I’ve gotten much better at the functional part since we moved here!
This apartment is the smallest space that Trent and I have shared and it was necessary to let a lot go in order to fit into it. It has been a challenge to find interesting ways to store things as we do not have much closet space.
I sold items that somehow weren’t quite us and reinvested in pieces that were of better quality and that would last. Since Trent is in his fourth year of medical school we knew that at the end of it would be looking for a new home depending on where we go for his residency. I wanted to find the bones of our home so it wouldn’t feel like we were always starting from scratch.
[First row, from left: Golden Pheasant Feathers by mountainfeathers; Metal Keys and Wooden Box by TheVintageDaughter; vintage 1920s wood swing frame by thedustpeddler; Second row, from left: Basking in the Blackberries by GollyBard; 25 Real Pinecones by littleshopofphotos; Rustic jar sconce by GettingWeddy]
What inspires you when it comes to decorating?
All kinds of things! I will sometimes see a picture online, or draw from early inspirations, (I was always a fan of Shelly Tambo’s home on Northern Exposure), or brainstorm with a friend. I like thumbing through old Anthropologie and TOAST catalogs. Lately, I have been really inspired by color. I noticed in a lot of the spaces that I am attracted to they have very strong color palettes. I try to infuse color in a way that makes our home feel less formal and cozy.
What is your favorite part of your home?
I go through phases. Right now my favorite place is at my desk. It’s a nice, quiet space to sit and write and the little cloud pillow hanging above it always makes me smile.
Looking for more styles and interiors? Check out our video series, There’s No Place Like Here, where creative types show us their unique spaces — infused with their aesthetic and filled with the treasures they collect. Get involved and show us your amazing space in this Flickr pool.