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Creativity... On a Budget! Design Hacks, Where to Collect and Essentials for Creating Your Sanctuary

Jessica Nickerson

Denton, Texas


Some of the best advice you have ever received?

Don’t quit. The things that are the hardest are worth working for. Marriage is great and hard and totally worth the effort. Raising kids is great and hard and totally worth the effort. Life. Jobs. All of it. Work hard, receive grace, correct and improve. It’s worth it.

Any design rules you follow?

Make things visually balanced. Vary heights. Use odd numbers (pillows, frames, etc.) Consider scale. Hang things at eye level. Buy the right sized rug. Add plants. Also, it’s not that serious. Your house should reflect you. Buy and use what you love, donate what you don’t. Be inspired by trends but don’t fall into comparing and feeling like you need to buy the newest thing. If you love what you’ve got going on, then just enjoy it.

Secrets of capturing great images of our homes?

Natural light! It makes all the difference in the world. When I take pictures I wait until the space is the brightest, turn off all the lights and shoot. For cell phone shots I use PicTapGo to edit. It’s free. What is something that you wish you would, ve known when you were 20? Stop highlighting your hair. It’s pretty. Also, wash it less. How do you create that nurtures you at home and work? I’m always changing what we already own. I’ll spray paint a picture frame, paint or dye a pillow cover or quilt. Not spending money inspires me!

What is essential to creating a personal sanctuary?

Surround yourself with things that you love. If too many throw pillows annoy you, then only have a couple. Light a candle, get a pretty coffee mug, bake some cookies. Create a space that you’re happy to come home to, whatever that looks like. What is essential to nurturing your creativity or what drives your creativity? Having a project. I am constantly rearranging and repurposing things in our house. I am not one who likes to spend money. Like, at all. So using what we already have and making it into something new is super gratifying and inspiring for me. Through my blog, I love to show others that as well. I always post tutorials on getting a certain look or style for less. Saving money is my love language.

Tips for designing a nurturing home/ space?

Don’t buy something that’s trendy unless it’s something that will make you happy. Always try Craigslist before you go pay full price for something. Collect elements and decorate your space over time. Don’t feel like you must use a space for its original purpose. We had this under-utilized corner of our front room. We built a ladder desk (it’s on the blog) and now that space is totally useable. Not to mention, it’s my favorite spot. Make a home work to fit your needs. That’s when it becomes nurturing and inspiring.

Ways to make your space come more alive?

Our collection of plants keeps growing. I think they’re a great way to literally bring life into your space. If you feel like you have a black thumb, try a peace lily. They wilt when they need water and then you don’t water them again until they wilt. You can do it!

Any design hacks you want to share?

Make sure you hang your curtain higher than your window and hang them wider than the actual window. This makes your room look taller and makes your windows look bigger. Always use rugs. They’re so good at adding color, texture and layers to a space. Also, never underestimate the power of hot glue. Don’t know how to sew? Hot glue. Don’t know how to hang that plate you love? Hot glue. Need a rug to stop slipping? Hot glue. DIY light shade over our table? Hot glue. That’s right. It’s wonderful.

ORIGIN Rapid Fire

Where do you do most of your collecting?

Craigslist, thrift stores, garage sales, clearance aisles. Rugs from Overstock or

If you had to design a room in one color, what would it be?

Green. But can I also use neutrals?

Hashtags you use to find awesome design on Instagram?

I’ll use generic ones like #gallerywall or #diningroom depending on what I need.

Where do you start when you remake a room?

I look at what I can reuse or repurpose.

What's the fastest way to shift a space?

Trade wall decor, pillows or throws with another room.

Something we wouldn't know about you?

In college I (illegally) painted every wall in my apartment. When the office saw it they hired me to makeover their lobby.

The 411:

I’m a wife and stay at home mom. Even as a kid I loved to style and redecorate. A couple years ago we lived in Hawaii temporarily. Being away from home and making a temporary place our home made me realize that styling was something I wanted to take more seriously when I got back. I started House Homemade January 2016 and have loved being able to share, create, help and inspire. It beings me so much joy.

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