Photo shoot with House & Home
Well, this is a good week!
The July issue of House & Home magazine comes out and my country abode in New Brunswick is featured! I've drooled over the gorgeous photos in H&H since I started rearranging my bedroom on a weekly basis when I was a kid, so to be featured in it is pretty darn amazing.
This is the home I lived in last year when I moved back from Ontario to the homestead where I grew up, so I could "live the simple life" and run my own blog and design business. It's actually my brother and sister-in-law's home, but they had moved to Nova Scotia last year so I had it mostly to myself except when they came back to visit. They've actually moved home now (which is so great, but I had to move out of this gorgeous house!) and I've just recently moved into Fredericton to my own space 20 minutes away. But I'm still there every weekend to garden and hang out with them and my nephew and nieces and my Mom and Dad, who also live on the property. It’s an amazing life. Did I mention that my Mom and sister-in-law are both great cooks? Yep, I’m spoiled.
While I lived there, they were kind enough to let me take over the main floor and do with it what I wanted. So, of course, I got out the white paint…
I painted the walls and trim white, and the two exterior doors black. Funny thing...they convinced me to leave the big blue banquette bench the bright blue they had painted it previously. I resisted at first; afterall, my can of white paint and I are kindred spirits. But I came around to it after everything else was painted out. That blue provides such a pop of brilliant colour that mirrors the blue sky seen through the skylight from the kitchen and the windows all through the dining room. It brings a cheery vibe to the rustic charm of the rest of the home.
My talented carpenter/furniture-maker brother, Luke Anderson, built the house himself, using a lot of reclaimed and salvaged materials from other building sites and previous projects. He included built-ins for storage functionality, along with skylights so that lights can stay off longer. The stone counter in the kitchen is made from recycled glass. The greenhouse where we grow herbs and greens and the woodshed that holds the wood for the outdoor furnace are made completely from salvaged materials. It really is an eco-friendly abode, even though it doesn't have expensive solar panels or LEED certification.
I left most of my brother's custom-made wood pieces as is - like the massive dining table and bench made from a salvaged bowling alley lane, the custom wall shelves in the dining room and home office, and the hanging open shelves in the kitchen. The tray ceiling bookshelf is one of my favourite unique features.
I added some salvaged old barn board from my grandfather's home as a feature wall in the living room. It's a beautiful way to bring nature inside and tell a story of family history.
I claimed a small room for my bedroom, and took over the master bedroom with two skylights as my home office and studio space. This is more functional as I get to spend most of my time in a workspace that inspires me and sleep in a small room that feels like a big hug.
I talk a lot about imperfection, simplicity, and essentialism on the blog. I hold firm that a good life is one where we can create, thrive, and be healthy and happy. Our homes should assist us in living this way, but they don't need to be perfect or elaborate; simply functional and calming and a reflection of us. They should tell a story about us, and make us feel good when we're in them, which is most of the time (at least for a homebody like me).
My story, as reflected in this home, is how nature helps centre and calm me, so I surround myself indoors with branches and flowers and plants. And it's about how I love change and new adventures, told through vintage pieces I've collected fro from different places I've lived across Canada. And it's about my creativity and desire to contribute through writing and a web business, as witnessed by the many books, tools, and workspaces that surround me for inspiration.
I'm really honoured that House & Home saw the simple character of the home and wanted to feature it as a house that doesn't have to be elaborate, expensive or trendy to be beautiful and impactful. It just has to work for the people living in it to help make their lives better.
The photos in the magazine and here are taken by the talented and wonderful Robin Stubbert. We "met" on Instagram where I drooled over her gallery and she kindly complimented mine and pitched my home to the H&H. After approval, she came down and did the shoot last August over two days that seemed to fly by because we laughed the whole time. I learned so much from her and I think distracted her with too much talking! Wow, the lighting and equipment and number of takes with different styling that goes into a shoot is incredible! It goes to show that picture perfect isn't real life. But it was so cool to see behind the scenes. It was a great experience and I'm glad to say I now have a new friend.