Jake insisted that our first home together needed a name. So as soon as we returned from our honeymoon just over 2 years ago, we took one look at our frumpy little rental and came up with the most generous name we could think of: The Cottage.
Like most typical recent college graduates/newlyweds, we filled our home with a mix of items from our wedding registry, old furniture that our families were willing to donate, and a rambunctious not-so-little black lab puppy. It may have been a far cry from an HGTV dream home or a Southern Living magazine spread, but it sure was homey. And it was ours. For a year and a half those rooms housed many Saturday Netflix marathons, Thursday night Bible studies, and Sunday morning pancake breakfasts. The back porch heard a lot of laughter, the kitchen saw a lot of dance offs, and the front yard is probably still scarred from Tebow's squirrel-chasing path. The Cottage was well-loved by the two of us and all of our friends and family.
Then late last fall, things puzzle-pieced together perfectly for Jake to pursue seminary three and a half hours away from our hometown. This new chapter brought with it an internship for Jake at a sweet little church right outside of Charlotte, and a warm couple in the congregation offered to let us stay in their fully-furnished apartment throughout Jake's three years in school. So we packed up those wedding gifts, donated our furniture to newlywed friends, and waved goodbye to our first home together.
This time I was the one who insisted that our second home together needed a name. So as soon as we pulled into the gravel driveway that Saturday afternoon, we took one look at our new place and came up with the most sophisticated name we could think of: The Suite.
We consider ourselves blessed to call the Suite our home. It has a cozy living area with a kitchenette, a bedroom with a walk-in closet for Jake and I to share, and a large bathroom that puts the Cottage to shame. Our hosts, Hudson and Deborah, are an added bonus; not only are they kind enough to share the Suite with us, but they invite use over each Monday night for dinner (and if we're lucky, some funny story-telling). We love them dearly.
We've been official North Carolina residents for just over 8 months now and we're still in the process of putting our touch on the Suite and making it our own. Its size is perfect for the two of us, but I know that we could be using the space more efficiently. And now that I'm working from home full-time, it's even more important for me to stay productive and inspired in our space. We know that this residence is temporary and borrowed so we don't want to go overboard with changes, but we do want it to be functional and put together. So I called in the expertise of my dear friend and interior designer, Michaela from Michaela Noelle Designs, to help me come up with design solutions for our Suite. Michaela has an eye for all things lovely, and for the next several weeks she will be working her magic on our space. We'll both be sharing the transformation on our blogs so you can follow along, too!
One of the biggest things that I hope both you and I can take away from this series is that no matter what your living situation is, you can always find ways to make it yours. It doesn't take a large budget or even a great amount of space - just a little creativity, a thankful heart, and a fun name.
Michaela is sharing her design plans for our Suite on her blog today and they have me swooning! Head on over to see her inspiration for the space and the ideas she has in store.
I have a feeling we aren't the only ones who have a habit of naming their homes (and cars... and bikes...) Do you have a name for your home? I would love to hear about your one-of-a-kind living situations, too. How have you made the most out of your space?