Swell Heart + Home Tour: Morgan's Cottage
After a long illness, I spent a lot of time at home. We moved into a beautiful, custom built house...one we never anticipated building or living in and it felt so unfinished with my hand me down furniture and lack of decor that fit the new spaces. It also was starting at square one on memories, which was hard for my sentimental self when it came to feeling at home. One thing I wanted to create in my new house was beautiful memories and that lived in, we thrive here feeling that I missed from my older home.
Well, the coronavirus hit as I was making my recovery and back to my hermit life I went. However, this time I felt it was finally time to bring to life a blog series I had wanted to unveil years ago...back when I literally had no extra time for another project. As we spend so much more time at home, no matter how fancy, new, fresh or inspiring it may feel now, I hope others take this time to rethink the design of their living space as an oasis and a nurturing space.
I purposely created this blog series as a collection of homes that are about heart and designed by those who live in them for their own enjoyment. It is not about luxury and cutting edge design or elements that feel unattainable. While I love a good design magazine, most of the world does not have access to high end design teams to bring their visions to life.
So far, I have barely made headway on our new place since moving in, putting together these photos from my friend Morgan's home, has really helped me get motivated again. The budget may be tighter, the in person options more limited for shopping, etc. but wherever we find ourselves in life, we have to build a nest that invites us in and soothes our worry and stress. You don't have to own your space to create something beautiful and refreshing. You just have to get started, working with what you have. From apartments my husband and I rented in various cities to old and new homes, we have always worked to create a space that brings us joy and reflects who we are.
I prefer a clean and organized house but my home feels naked without my children's art work on walls and the fridge...so I moved my fridge to the mudroom instead of the kitchen. If you picked one room from my house that shows us in living color, it would be our laundry/mud room. For me, it gives me a space to let loose and really live without letting it creep too far into my sanity.
Some of my favorite homes have been the smallest of my friend's homes. One of my friends lived in a little house but she was always the first to invite me over to watch our favorite TV shows while I was pregnant and she always had food I wanted to eat! We would fold her laundry while watching TV and chatting all night. Warmth, hospitality and kindness are etched in the memory of that little house for me. It struck me one day, thinking back to some of the most gracious hosts in my life, it has often been my friends and family with the smallest spaces to offer. Making the most of their homes resulted in leaving me with precious memories of laughter, raising children together, and joyful conversations. As I adjust to life in a larger "cottage", I hope these memories inspire me to share what we have with others through the years.
And, I hope to find some more gems that share the special nature of a house designed with heart inside. If you have questions for Morgan about the furniture, fabrics or accents in her home, you can find her Instagram profile below. I am so glad I got to tour her home in person as she enters the new world of parenthood soon.
To your swell home wherever it may be,
P.S. A big shout out to an old friend of mine, Angela Elliot Design for taking these beautiful photos for us! If you need graphic design or photography support in Atlanta, she is your go to girl.
The Home of Morgan Schmidt
Business Name: Lavender House Creative
Hometown: Peachtree City
Current Town: Chamblee, GA
What phase of life were you in or entering when you bought your house?
What did your house search entail? How quickly did you find your home? What drew you to the home? Neighborhood?
We found it by luck, knowing nothing about Keswick Village at the time; our realtor knew what we were looking for and she found this sweet gem for us.
Which rooms reflect your personality or life story the most? Favorite personal touches?
Our front room/sitting room was created to be a "music room." Around the room you will see subtle touches of music--from records to the photos to the art on the wall. I love all the natural light it lets in too.
How does your husband impact your design decisions and where does his style/personality show?
I try to keep my husband in mind as I work to decorate, but he often says that things are "too feminine" despite my best efforts! His office is all his, and it's the most masculine room in the house, with dark blue walls and even a putting green mat on the floor.
What are your favorite memories in this home?
Our first Christmas together and buying our first tree! The year we moved in it snowed, so it felt extra special to be in our first home around Christmas and get a (very rare) snowfall.
When you look back on a decision you made decorating, not redoing something, or choosing to preserve some aspect of the house, what are you most happy about? Any regrets?
I am really happy with the design/overall aesthetic of our home, but if I could change one thing, it would be our living room couch. I love it because it's comfortable, but if I could have a "re-do," I would purchase two couches to face parallel to one another, rather than one big couch. I believe it would open up our kitchen/living space and make it feel bigger.
If the walls of your home could talk, what does your heart want them to be able to say?
You are loved and you are welcome here!
What's next in this home? Milestones? Memories? Projects?
We are expecting our first baby - a daughter this fall. So we have been busy at work with renovating and preparing for her arrival. We walled off the lofted office area upstairs for her nursery and renovated the guest bathroom. With each project, this house feels more like our own, which I love. We are looking forward to bringing her home to share this sweet space with her.
Why did you pick the Wesley style blanket in blue, where do you plan to put it and what is the significance of the message you chose for the tag?
Blue is the color we are using throughout our house, so I knew it would fit right in and I loved the stripes. We are going to use the blanket for our daughter who will be joining us this fall. I chose Ephesians 3:14-20 because it is one of my favorite verses in the bible and has a lot of significance for my husband and me. We read it at our wedding. We look forward to sharing it with our baby girl!
Morgan's Style Guide
Favorite tricks to make an impact on a budget?
For pillows, purchase solid colors from TJ Maxx or Amazon and buy trim from a fabric store to glue or sew on for a "finished" professional look. Can't afford that piece of art? Try a print of the piece (often sold in museums) OR paint something yourself! We also relied a lot on Pottery Barn for our bigger purchases, so we opened one of their credit cards to buy our couch and other odds and ends, and would purchase smaller items with the money back that we earned along the way.
Paint Colors/Wallpaper Selections by Room
Kitchen/living room/hallway upstairs -Benjamin Moore "Moonshine," sitting room & guest bedroom BM "Patriotic White," study - "Van Deusen Blue," master bedroom - BM "Linen White"
Five favorite resources or tips for decor, furniture, and hardware
William Sonoma, Anthropologie, Instagram, Pinterest, Veranda Magazine
For someone not talented in design, how can they create a home they want to be in and that reflects who they are and what makes them feel joy at home?
The best tip I have received with decorating is to pick one or two items for that room that you love and build your room off of it. It could be a rug or a painting, fabric you love or a chair, and once you have selected that item or two, allow the design of the room to be built off of those items. You may also select a primary color for the house to pull into each room. For our house, it is blue in various shades.
Enjoy a peek into the rest of Morgan's vibrant yet calming home.