Once upon a time I photographed the wedding of Amy and her husband Joe. It was during a time when I was single waiting as patiently as I could for God to bring along my Mr. Wonderful. At Amy & Joe’s ceremony, I cried behind the camera as Joe sang Amy a beautiful song he personally wrote for her as a wedding gift. That song inspired me to much in my own wait for my wherever my husband was, and I used the song for years on my old photography portfolio website. And with Amy’s wedding colors being hot pink and black and white, I knew we would be lifelong friends.
Marriage is like a huge mirror being held up in front of you, and unfortunately many of your flaws that may be easily hidden from others are spotlighted in front of your spouse. It is both liberating and excruciating. Embrace this process, however painful, as it has been one of God’s greatest transformative gifts in my life.
Amy and Joe have lived in Nashville for most of their marriage, with a recent move back to her hometown here in Jacksonville. Last year, when Stephen and I moved to Nashville for the short time we were there, we got the chance to hang with them at their home… and from the moment I stepped in the front door, I swooned and drooled over every detail that Amy decorated. Sure, I was honored to see my photography all over their walls from their wedding day, but further more, I quizzed Amy over where she got all her fabulous home decor. Everywhere you walk around the house, it’s like living in a Pinterest board with her combination of vintage and new pieces, and good amount of D-I-Y projects. “You could totally become a decorator,” I encouraged Amy. But with her Southern drawl, she shooed away the idea and said “Oh no, for me, it’s just my therapy, girl. But who knows, maybe one day.”
Though Amy and her husband are now back in Jacksonville, I just had to showcase their Nashville home above. Read below for inspiration on her decor choices and about the beautiful life she has designed for her and her husband. As any Southern girl would welcome you into her home, she has an adorable homemade wreath waiting to greet you inside!
YOUR HOME REFLECTS A VARIETY OF DECORATING STYLES, BUT HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT YOURSELF?
I love neutral décor with lots of linen, mixed metallics, chandeliers, gallery walls, animal print and pops of my favorite accent colors – pink and turquoise.
YOU HAVE A MIX OF VINTAGE AND BRAND NEW DECOR. IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE ONE OVER THE OTHER, WHICH DO YOU LOVE MORE?
I don’t really select something based on if it is vintage or brand new. If it speaks to me, or if I really love it, I try to find a place for it in my home. For instance, I purchased a white linen sofa a few years ago and I have loved it from day one. It is a piece that I will have with me forever. Conversely, I have a pair of beautiful glass lamps that belonged to my husband’s grandmother to which I simply added new shades to give them a more updated look.
Painting certain pieces of furniture, or simply reupholstering chairs can transform them into something that fits within my design aesthetic. I have to say, I love being able to take something that once was previously discarded, perhaps worn and ugly, and seeing it transformed into something beautiful. It reminds me of God’s redeeming love for all of us.
WHAT HOME DECOR STORES HAVE YOU COLLECTED YOUR FAVORITE PIECES AT?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE?
Our kitchen. We love to entertain, and I fell in love with our home’s kitchen from the start. However, it had dark cherry cabinets and wood floors, and quite frankly, not at all my style. After a few years, I finally talked my husband into letting me renovate a perfectly nice kitchen. We painted our cabinets a lovely French gray, installed marble countertops that made my heart skip a beat, added a marble backsplash, farmhouse sink, a gorgeous bridge faucet and new cabinet hardware. We also installed a custom “entertaining bar” in our breakfast nook. A space that I had always enjoyed turned into a kitchen I had dreamed of!
Yet what I love more than any design aesthetic or renovation is that our kitchen is truly the heart of our home. I adore that without fail, friends and family will always congregate there, cozying up to our island with their plates, when a perfectly wonderful dining room table waits around the corner. Or, lean against the counter with their drink in hand, when a comfortable chair sits a few feet away. Simply because we all love to be together. I have a Shauna Niequist quote framed in my kitchen that captures exactly how I feel – “If the home is a body, the table is the heart, the beating center of it all.”
WHERE YOU DO FIND INSPIRATION FOR FILLING YOUR HOME WITH DECOR YOU LOVE?
I love browsing some of my favorite blogs – I adore Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors and Erin Gates of Elements of Design. These two ladies inspire me with EVERYTHING they do. And I love Edie of Life in Grace – she challenges me to take chances on décor simply because it is something I love. Not to mention, she is the ULTIMATE hostess. I also find a lot of inspiration from thumbing through some of my favorite magazines and home décor catalogs.
IN YOUR HOME YOU HAVE A HUGE SIGN THAT SAYS LOVE. HOW DO YOU DEFINE LOVE?
To me, it is everything. As a Christ follower, I believe LOVE is the transformative power of the gospel. That sign reminds me daily to strive to love others well. It also serves as a theme for our home. From the moment we first walked in to our home, we prayed that it would always be a place where people felt loved, and a place that exudes comfort and hospitality. As much as I like to make my house “pretty”, it is FAR more important to me that people feel comfortable when they walk through our door.
THOUGH I OFTEN TELL YOU YOU SHOULD GO INTO INTERIOR DECORATING, YOU HAVE A THRIVING CAREER IN MEDICAL SALES AND MARKETING. WHAT’S THE GREATEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED AS A CAREER WOMAN?
To work hard AND smart; to treat people with kindness, but never allow anyone to mistake my kindness for weakness; to fight for maintaining a healthy work/life balance; to be proud of my hard work, but to never let my career define me.
SOMETHING I HAVE PERSONALLY EXPERIENCED WITH YOU IS THAT YOU ARE A NATURAL HOSTESS WELCOMING OTHERS INTO YOUR HOME AND THROWING FABULOUS PARTIES, DOWN TO THE PRESENTATION OF WHAT YOU ARE SERVICING. HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL TO HAVE A HOME FULL OF THOSE YOU LOVE?
To me, there is nothing better. It may sound corny, but it gives me inexplicable joy to make people feel extravagantly loved. Unfortunately, I haven’t fully mastered the art of “less is more”… it is hard for me to throw a simple dinner party. But I absolutely love pouring my heart into every detail, whether it is having a few friends over for dinner, or hosting our annual Christmas party. At the end of an evening, I hope people leave well fed and well loved. Once again, Shauna Niequist sums up my heart exactly (I adore her!) “I think preparing food and feeding people brings nourishment not only to our bodies but to our spirits. Feeding people is a way of loving them, in the same way that feeding ourselves is a way of honoring our own createdness and fragility.”
We recently sold our beloved house [you see pictured here], the first one Joe and I bought together. I would be lying if I said it didn’t break my heart. One of the many reasons it hurt so badly was because of how much love was shared within those walls. It was a house we made a home, one where Joe and I learned to live out love daily as husband and wife. We hosted holiday gatherings for our families, filled to the brim with nieces and nephews, laughter and love. It was a home where we shared life with friends who became our “Nashville” family. We celebrated the marriage of friends, the arrival of babies, holidays, and too many “just because” parties to count. Leaving our sweet home was so very hard… but it was a great reminder to both Joe and I that loving well is really the only way we want to live. And whenever we settle in our next home, the same principles will follow us there.
YOU RECENTLY MADE A HUGE FROM NASHVILLE TO JACKSONVILLE (LIKE US!), WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED IN THE MIDST OF A HUGE CHANGE?
Change can be difficult, but change often brings opportunities that would have been impossible without it. Learning to both navigate and embrace change has been essential to my life’s journey. God has used change to lead me to my husband, to advance my career, and to build treasured friendships that would have never existed without it.
Get this awesome canvas above at Lindsay’s Letters!
HAVING PERSONALLY DOCUMENTED YOUR ENGAGEMENT AND WEDDING WHEN I WAS PREVIOUSLY A PHOTOGRAPHER, YOUR LOVE STORY STOOD OUT AS QUITE THE FAIRYTALE WITH YOUR GROOM WRITING AND SINGING A SPECIAL SONG TO YOU DURING YOUR CEREMONY THAT MADE EVERYONE CRY! IN THE 5 YEARS YOU’VE BEEN MARRIED, WHAT THREE THINGS YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT MARRIAGE AND BUILDING A HOME TOGETHER?
1.) Someone’s “love story” may seem like a fairytale, but love is rarely such. It is so much HARDER and so much BETTER than a fairytale, all in the same instance. These monumental moments of our lives are made up of thousands of in-between moments that shape us, refine us and help us to live out a love that is real. And in the end, I believe that is a million times better than any fairytale.
2.) Daily choose to love your spouse well. When you focus on that first, you reap immeasurable love in return.
3.) Marriage is like a huge mirror being held up in front of you, and unfortunately many of your flaws that may be easily hidden from others are spotlighted in front of your spouse. It is both liberating and excruciating. Embrace this process, however painful, as it has been one of God’s greatest transformative gifts in my life.
LIKE WHAT YOU SEE & WANT IT IN YOUR HOME?
SHOP AMY’S HOME RIGHT HERE!
Amy’s home images above are a mix of shots photographed by moi and Showcase Photographers.