Over the past few months, I’ve purged, rearranged, and redecorated my home. Inspiration first struck the kitchen and then the screened porch. Next was the bathroom and most recently, my room. I pulled books from shelves and dragged a headboard to the living room. Trinkets from one spot piled in another. Gadgets filled the kitchen floor, and new art replaced paintings stripped from walls. Plants found new places to soak in the sun.
What started as a new year purge turned into spring cleaning, and this month’s Home Issue (the first for TOWN) has kept the fever going. It might inspire you to do the same—and then some. Maybe your future holds an overflowing kitchen garden thanks to Front Yard Foods, or a bar cart arranged for hosting friends. Or maybe there will be a cafe-style corner like the one at the Pettigru House, with its details inspired by Jessica Kilcoyne’s trips to Europe with family.
It seems like every time we renew a home, we retain a piece of self. Peek into designer Ashley James’s abode and you’ll see a modern design scheme beside personal touches, like a framed picture of a loved one and a fireplace overflowing with books. She and others show that creating a home isn’t simply about the latest trends or new things or perfect places. It’s about creating function and comfort within a style, creating spaces for holding onto and creating memories and meaning.
The outside can be as much a part of home as the inside, full of mementos and significance. One of my favorite places to relax is the screened porch, overflowing with plants like a pothos propagated and driven from Texas by my mom. I found the antique bench and wicker stand with my dad at a shop near Walhalla, and later, I found the matching planter. I’m loving the new views from the latest rearrange, but it took some work to get there.
The beginning of any project is always a mess. There’s a bit of uncertainty: Should I let this go? Or does this look okay here? But the peace of home tends to follow the storm. There’s a new place to sip coffee or sink into a book, a new perspective and a sense of fresh air. Things out of place find their place, and new places for gathering emerge. If you like to cook, a new appreciation for the kitchen might arise. If you’re an artist, maybe you’ll find a new place to create.
And if it doesn’t work out? It’s just another opportunity to start anew.