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Home Bloggers We Love: In the Hutch
Images courtesy of Lexi Johnson
The blogger: Lexi Johnson
Her blog: In the Hutch
Passion: Home decorating
Describe your design style.
A modern spin on a French farmhouse with a few industrial details. Our home is a fusion of my husband’s and my style. He likes the simplistic, minimalist and modern look; I love French-Parisian style. We appreciate each other’s tastes, so we found a good in-between style for us.
There isn’t a room in my house that’s completely finished being decorated; again, that is something with which I am OK. My goal isn’t the perfectly styled, too-pretty-to-touch, kind of look. I want a space that’s functional, livable, welcoming, and where I can be surrounded by things that give me joy.
As a blogger, what inspires you?
I love beautiful things, and I find joy in incorporating those things into my home and surroundings. Nature is a huge part of my inspiration. Growing up, I spent the majority of my time outside on our family’s property, which included many acres. I grew herbs and gardened with my mom, ate grapes off the vine, constructed tree houses in the woods, went mushroom hunting and ran barefoot through the Iowa hay fields. Every day was an adventure, and I loved every minute of it.
My son, Axel, has the same passion for nature and a desire to explore, so a lot of that has translated into the style of our home. We like incorporating our found items (“treasures” and trinkets that we find when we’re out exploring) throughout our house. Our collection includes beach glass, unusual pieces of driftwood, potted plants, framed bugs, geodes, and even bones and antlers. I like using cloches and different sizes of cake stands to feature our items of curiosity. When we wander through flea markets, garage sales and antique stores, we are always looking for unique, natural items.
We are also farmers market fanatics! The colors, textures, and smells of a market bring me so much joy. Typically, the fresh fruit, vegetables, baked goods and flowers that I bring home from the market become part of my decor for the week.
What design elements are essential to a home?
The decor in my house is always evolving. I love finding pieces over time – things that have meaning with where I have been or with what I am learning and experiencing. Selecting quality, timeless items has also been really important to me, particularly windows and doors, which maximize natural light. I'm all about the idea of bringing the outside in.
How can homeowners make their homes more personal?
For me, it's all about incorporating items that tell stories and provide character to a home. For example, in our home, these items include treasures that were passed down from my grandmother, a piece we picked up traveling on vacation, a trinket I found at a flea market for a ridiculously good deal, someone else's junk that I stumbled across on the side of the road, an item from my childhood home, or an ever-growing collection that Axel and I have started. I love being surrounded by fond memories, and they make excellent conversation pieces when guests come to visit! When building our house, I used some of my favorite “story pieces” to inspire the design and feel of our house.
In your opinion, why are windows and doors important when it comes to a home’s design?
When we built our house, my husband and I chose four guidelines that we filtered all our decisions through. Is it functional? Does it have clean lines? Does it maximize natural light/views? And is it low-maintenance?
Our Pella windows and doors fit all four of these guidelines perfectly. A few times through our building process, we said, "When in doubt, put in a window!" I'm glad we followed through with this. I love an ever-changing nature view and great natural light framed by a beautiful window. To me, that's pretty great art.
I grew up in Pella, Iowa, so I’ve always had a lot of respect for the way Pella runs their company. I know they’re dedicated to making quality products, and our builder, Zahn Builders, agreed that Architect Series® wood windows would be a great fit. We are certainly happy we went with Pella, and our builder was fantastic.
What’s the best piece of home advice you’ve received?
For designing a house: Look at it like it’s a job. You’re hiring people to do the project, but there is still a lot of work to be done on your end. Do your research, stay on top of what is going on, know your options, educate yourself and stay involved during the whole process. For decorating a house: Find a piece that you love and that inspires you. Then use that as your go-to for selecting colors, textures, furniture and so on.
Find tips and inspiration to plan your window or door project by visiting our Plan Your Project online resource center.
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