Finding the space that's yours—the home in which you unequivocally belong—is rarely an easy process. More often than not, it requires time you didn't anticipate and more patience than you knew you had. For our client below, getting into that perfect spot was no exception—together, we toured home after home (after home) to find her veritable "just right," but the reward was well worth the work. After an epic bidding war, this Texas native proved she didn't come to play.
The result? She now calls this charming brick beauty "home."
You don't always have to build from the ground up to make a space yours. As purchased, the home was is fantastic shape, but Lauren also saw something of a canvas with which she could work, so she embarked on an exterior refresh and put in the effort to update a few features that she knew would reflect her style. By adding some personal flavor, she's crafted something that feels like it's emphatically her own.
Says Lauren, “I just couldn't imagine myself finding a more perfect home for my current stage in life.”
As we've said many times before, when you take the time to create a space in which you can flourish, then you most certainly will. To that end, we decided to sit down with our client and friend (after she added that perfectly minimal holiday flare, of course) to get her take on why she made the choices and changes she did and what exactly it is that makes a home. The take-away? Gather a few pieces that you love, paint that room, and put the work into that garden—it's often the small changes that make the biggest difference.
What do you think makes this space feel like yours? The house has really undergone a facelift—I painted the brick white and painted the door in one of my favorite shades. I had the porch—which was covered in carpet previously—repaired with a cement overlay to give it a bit more of a modern feel, and I completely re-landscaped the yard (front and back) to make everything feel more open and useable; it was previously very closed off, overgrown, and disjointed. I'm particularly proud of the exterior transformation and I think it's clear because I'm always volunteering my yard/patio as the hangout spot with my circle of friends. There have been many wine nights out by the fire and it's one of my favorite features of the home. In terms of the interior, I changed paint colors to make it brighter and more cohesive, and I added a few moody accents throughout to make it cozier. I renovated the fireplace in the living room (now it actually works and is on nearly every evening in the fall and winter), added built-in speakers for my record player (I love listening to albums my mom had when I was a kid, and my collection is constantly expanding), and I have been very intentional with what I hang on my walls. Each piece has meaning and significance to me—nothing on my walls is a mass-produced piece—and they all recount memories of trips with people I cherish and of things I have accomplished or am learning. Example: I've recently gotten very into landscape photography and am immensely proud of the huge piece that sits in my living room.
Do you have a favorite room in the house? Tell us why: This question is actually pretty difficult since I feel like I've really lived in every corner of my space this year, and as a result, I feel more attached to all of those corners. The living room is where my days typically start and end and because of that, I feel instantly relaxed and at peace when I'm in it. Since I've been working from home for the majority of the year, I've found that I love my office space; it's been fun to look at all of the memories I have displayed in the room from many different phases of my life and to have my fur child curled up next to me in her bed all day—those are some of the silver linings that this room represents in an otherwise stressful work year. I love cooking and the aesthetic of the kitchen makes it extra fun. Food is one of my love languages, so being able to cook for people has always brought me a lot of joy. I can't wait to do more of that next year, but in the meantime, I've had a lot of dance parties with a record on while cooking this year and it instantly makes me smile. Lastly, I know my yard isn't a room, but it has been amazing to have this year—I've spent a lot of time sitting on the patio reading with the fireplace on, putting in new flowers and maintaining the existing peony, hydrangea and rose bushes. I'm trying my hand at gardening for the second year in a row—my tomato and cucumber yield was much improved, but my two-year-old fruit trees still proved to be a disappointment. Fingers crossed that next year is the year for nectarines and apples! I also can't wait until my backyard space will host my close friends' giggling kiddos again as they run through the sprinklers in the spring and summer and play soccer with rocks and trees as goals and boundaries.
Is there anything that you've learned about yourself since living here? I've learned that I'm capable of implementing most of my visions for home improvement myself with the help of Home Depot/YouTube (but I wouldn't dare try to do any plumbing or electrical work)! I've learned how much I despise shoveling snow (though I love it for skiing), and—this will make my mother laugh—I've learned how much I love to garden and take care of my yard. I am obsessed with the grass being green and getting my flowers to bloom to their full potential.
Any fun memories or fav parties to tell of? (We’re all desperate for social time, so we'll live vicariously through you): My favorite one to date was the one you threw for me (as my realtor and first friend who is now one of my closest!) to celebrate the community I had built since moving to SLC in 2018. The weather was horrendous (POURING RAIN), but it made the vibe of the party so cozy and warm—between the fireplaces that were going both inside and out, the chatter of people, the amazing catered food, the smores in the outdoor fireplace, wine for days, and the live music...it was just perfection. It represented how much you can change in a year, and I'm dying to do it again.
You've done such a great job making the space yours...any particularly helpful advice for those hoping to do the same? I think my biggest recommendation would be to think about who you are and how you could reflect that in your space—hanging things on the walls is one of the easiest ways to do this and if you find pieces that have meaning, you can't go wrong. I also really think that paint is such an easy change and has the power to transform a space (for relatively little money). The last thing I would mention (and this may sound silly) is that reorienting your furniture in a room can also make a big difference! I have the rooms in this house furnished in a completely different way than the prior owner and I love that it reflects how I use my space.