This weekend’s Get the Look Decor is inspired by Annalea Hart‘s Illinois home, where the colorful attic doubles as a schoolhouse for her three home-schooled children, Luca, Gia, and Enzo. The 99-year-old home is located on a tree-lined street just a stone’s throw from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where Annalea and her husband Jesse met as students. Keep up with her latest home improvements at Annaleahart.com.
[Clockwise from top left: Turquoise chalkboard from Dudads; Handmade building blocks from Armadillodreams; Handmade dollhouse from Willowtoys; Felt bunting garland from Paintrobot; Vintage school desk and chair from Rhapsodyattic]
Describe your home decorating style.
Our home is a cozy, colorful, eclectic place. It is filled with a mix of vintage and handmade touches. It is also filled with tiny fingerprints on the walls and windows.
[Clockwise from top left: Vintage trunk from Comod; Decorative throw pillow cover from Thepillowcollection; Brachycaulos from CTSairplants; Vintage book bundle from Shabbyavenueboutique; Babushka dolls from Agafrog]
Did you decide to decorate in this style or was there an evolution to your decorating process?
The goal from the beginning has been to create a warm and beautiful space that reflects our family. It is a given that it would evolve over time, because we have changed over time. The babies grow older. The roles and priorities are different. The decor choices that worked for us earlier needed to be updated. This isn’t a hurried process. (As a child, I used to come home to the living room rearranged at least once a week and new curtains on the windows every few months. My mom did not pass that habit down to me, but I am well trained on furniture placement options.) Once I realized that I only wanted to use pieces we loved, my style and process became much more relaxed. There is no pressure to “finish” a room. It comes together as it comes together.
[Clockwise from top left: Handmade cake stand from Newmoonstudio; Vintage canisters from Funretro ; Milk jar vase from Allgoodvintage; Set of three nesting bowls from Sayyourpiece; Vintage bowls from Aglimpsefromthepast]
Where are your favorite places to shop for home items?
To be honest, I don’t typically shop for home items. Between being the happy benefactor of great hand-me-downs and an active local free-cycler, nearly all of our furniture was given at no cost. The exceptions are the floor-model Anthropologie couch picked up for a steal and the estate sale vintage dining room chairs. When I do shop, I hit up our local thrift shops, garage and estate sales, Etsy, Craigslist and stores like TJ Maxx, Target, and Lowes. The main reason for my infrequent purchasing is budgetary limitations, but I have become quite fond of making do with what is available. There is such satisfaction in creating something beautiful from the found and discarded.
[Clockwise from top left: Bird hook from Juxtapositionsc; Vintage tea set from Tessiemay; Vintage dresser from Rusticandrefinedshop; Floral sheet set from Heartlandvintageshop; Vintage Barbie case from Arielesierradesigns]
What inspires you when it comes to decorating?
I am inspired by the potential for beauty and the opportunity to create. It is in my blood. It satisfies something within me. But most of all, I am inspired by the incredible and dynamic people with whom I share life. I decorate our home with them in mind. It communicates who we are. It is a labor of love.
What is your favorite part about your home?
The people who live here, of course. This house would not be a home without them. But speaking of the actual property, I love that we get the charm and character of an old house, but the benefit and convenience of a new one. The previous owners raised the roof and doubled the size of this nearly 100-year-old bungalow with an attic addition. The light and space up here is amazing. Our other favorite spots are outdoors. If not enjoying a visit on the front porch, we can be found out back tending the potager, building the coolest tree fort ever, or dining under the string lights on the patio. (Well, maybe not this time of year, but give us a month or two.)
Does your home hold any strong memories?
Too many to list! I am almost overwhelmed with the laughter and tears this place has seen. It has been a haven for my family. I am so thankful to live in a place I love so much.
All home photos by Annalea Hart.
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.
Aleksa Brown is an associate editor at Etsy.