Go Ahead...Get Dirty!

People often say that my home is "comfortable." Someone once even said that it was "emotional," and I knew right away why. My designs are personal (and I find great joy in making them so) which is why I decided to write a post on my own tried and true tips for buying special objects, so that your home can be an intimate reflection of you and your family.IF IT SPEAKS TO YOU...LISTEN!

I've been there, you know, standing in the dusty antique shop searching for something to shout out, "HEY! OVER HERE!" To find the little glass corgi puppy hidden behind the ugly lamp with a three-tiered yellow, ruffled shade. Point is, DON'T GIVE UP! Antique stores require you to be at attention and ready to work. The treasures sometimes find you, but sometimes you have to work to find the treasures. So eat a healthy breakfast, drink your coffee and get ready to work. You won't believe what sweet gems you can find in these little dusty havens.

Disclaimer, not all antique stores are dusty, but some of the best ones are! I love the Buffalo Nickel (great for kids rooms, Red Wing pottery, antique silver, cabin decor,)  Loft Antiques (a good variety of all kinds of styles, I've bought some great shell art here,) H & B Gallery (divine antique furniture, dishes, art, rugs,) The Country Look in Antiques (I have purchased a few of their beautiful antique sail boats-they do not have a website and prefer cash) and well curated (no dust) shops that carry great antiques like, Victory (seriously, one of my favorites) and The Golden Rule (just took home a family of brass ducklings...I know, who knew!)


I know the feeling of finding something really cool and then wondering where in the heck am I going to put this? But if it really is special...GET IT! You'll work out the details later and you'll be thrilled that you did. One of my "trust your gut" moments like that was the time I found two wicker cubes at a garage sale. At the time, I had no place for them, but I'm no dummy, I knew they were special. So I paid the nice lady thirty dollars and hauled off my, I have no place to put these cubes in the back of my truck. For two years they sat in the basement gathering dust (again the dust) until I had a brilliant idea!! I had cushions made and monogrammed them-another great way to personalize something and make a design statement. Now they are a focal point in my bedroom sitting area. 


I don't know why or how or when, but somewhere along the way, I fell madly in love with clipper ships, sail boats, sea shells and all things nautical in nature. I assume it's because we bought a home on the water or my major love for Nantucket, but truly this love has always been with me, and because this post is about personalizing your home, I have to show you some of my favorite nooks and crannies of Mona Bina (Home For All.) Bring on the clipper ships...Okay if you insist!


Your kids made you a special card that you cherish? FRAME IT in a pretty frame and set it by your desk or by your bedside table. Frame those special pieces of art (not all of it though...You have to trust what is worth hanging in your home...I mean your kids are talented and all, but too much would be well, just that...Too much! I framed my son's first pair of glasses and it makes me smile every time I look at them. They are scratched and bent and totally worn and I adore them. Remember here, that trusting your gut is important...You want to display what is meaningful to you. 

Also, when traveling, find the antique stores! Some of my favorite purchases are from out of town stores. Keep an eye out for antique markets and special venues like the, "Junk Bonanza," that comes twice a year to Minneapolis. I buy my ticket in advance and me and one of my besties, plan for a dusty adventure. Markets like this can be overwhelming, but once you settle into it, the treasures will start to emerge and make sense. They also serve fair type food, which pairs well with this kind of shopping...A win for all. Who knows, one unique find might lead to an idea and spark the whole design or theme of a room. Keep an open mind and by all means...Beat your friend to the good stuff! Just kidding Ellie!!

A home is a love story, filled with images and memories that carry the heart of stranger through the inner workings of a family. To keep the memories of raising your family in your heart is one thing and to display them in your home is another. It's truly a gift to your guests and to your family to feel the warmth of a well curated home. I believe that every room should tell a story, which is why I love stories and decorating-go figure! 

So go ahead...GET DIRTY! Scour those dusty antique stores, roll up your sleeves at a junk bonanza in your area, hit a garage sale, an estate sale or better yet, see what is collecting dust in your parents basement, your grandparents basement or heck, even your own basement. 

I promise you won't regret it!


P.S Are we friends on Instagram? Let's make that happen. Follow @sweetshadylane for daily doses of home decor love.