In Others’ Words: At Home

“Make your house interesting — not perfect.” ~Emily Henderson, stylist

One thing I know for certain: My house is not perfect.

But you know what? Mulling this quote over for a few minutes … I also am certain that my home is interesting.

In a disorganized, my-house-won’t-ever-be-featured-in-Better Homes and Gardens magazine kind of way.

Walk through my house and you’ll find:

  • walls filled with words. Sayings that mean something to me.
  • black and white photos depicting life in Turkey, mementos of our family’s two-year tour there back when we were an Air Force family.
  • a plastic container, home to my daughter’s hermit crab, because one day the words, “Sure, you can have a hermit crab,” came out of my mouth.
  • the rough-edged wooden heart my husband carved out of an old side table I had tossed out. The top is smooth, shiny. Turn it over and you’ll see nicks and scratches. The carving is a reminder that God can turn damaged things into something beautiful. (And that’s another story.)
  • a tall basket filled to overflowing with blankets because we are a snuggly kind of family.
  • lots and lots of photos of my kiddos, my husband, me … because we’re not perfect. But we’re interesting. And we love each other, imperfections and all.

In Your Words: If I were to walk through your house, what would I see?


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  1. Loree Huebner
    November 6, 2011, 11:48 pm   /  Reply

    I loved this post. Love your basket of blankets.

    In my home you would find dog toys, family photos, Civil War books, artwork my grown kids did back in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades, and a collection of antique copper jello molds hanging on the wall in my kitchen.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 7, 2011, 7:18 am   /  Reply

      Thanks for the glimpse into your home, Loree. Civil war books and copper jello molds, eh? And now I’m wondering what kind of dogs you have–and how many. And children’s artwork … sometimes you just can’t throw it away, can you?

  2. November 7, 2011, 3:14 am   /  Reply

    Your house sounds perfectly delightful to me, Beth. I honestly don’t enjoy visiting homes that look like they’ve been decorated for magazines rather than families.

    What would you see in mine? Baskets. Lots of baskets – including, like you, a basket of blankets. Books. Floor to ceiling book shelves – including a shelf down low for the grandlittles. Not many photographs (which is funny coming from me). Most wall art is handmade: crewelwork, embroidery, crafty. An eclectic decorating style of antiques, hand-me-downs and seasonal decor. Candles. Baby, toddler, preschool toys. I love being a mimi.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 7, 2011, 9:22 am   /  Reply

      What, Patricia, not many photographs? I can’t imagine that! Do you save them all for your wonderful blog? I’m craft-challenged, so my wall art is mostly sayings that I’ve found that made me think “Aha!”

  3. November 7, 2011, 5:20 am   /  Reply

    Oh, Beth–I love this & you. You’ve captured the lovely warming essence of your home perfectly.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 7, 2011, 9:22 am   /  Reply

      I should mention I have a fun photo of a lovely laughing Otter on my desk … from you!

  4. November 7, 2011, 6:15 am   /  Reply

    Oh.My.Word. I’m sitting here doing a mental walk-through of my house…first of all, you’d think I was an exercise freak because of the Trek bike and then the exercise bicycle in my living room (have absolutely no other place to put them). And you might even think I was a little bit organized until you reached my writing room, then that illusion would go up in a puff of smoke. You would definitely know that my house is lived in!

    Love the post, Beth.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 7, 2011, 9:24 am   /  Reply

      My treadmill is upstairs in my bedroom. I turned it to face the window so I can watch the sunrise. And, yes, any illusion of organization disappears in my writing office too, Pat!

  5. November 7, 2011, 7:04 am   /  Reply

    See that kind of home sounds perfect to me. We have a little “emptiness” in our home, because some things like a coat rack have been removed until toddler son gets a little more self control (or I properly teach him not to knock it over). Since we’ve been a house for almost four years, we’re gradually finding more “we” stuff versus “that’s what you had” stuff in the house. Lots of toy cars, blocks and animals about too.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 7, 2011, 9:25 am   /  Reply

      ” … we’re gradually finding more “we” stuff versus “that’s what you had” stuff in the house.”
      Oh, there’s poetry in that sentence, Stacy.
      And romance.

  6. November 7, 2011, 7:32 am   /  Reply

    Books, books and more books.

    Cans of Diet Coke with Lime. (Not kidding, there’s usually one in every room.)

    Photos of family and friends…Ollie dominates the photo collection. 🙂

    Plants. Coffee mugs. Classic movie paraphernalia (sp?). My favorite pillow…yes, it follows me from room to room. 🙂

    Love this post, Beth! Love the inside peak at your home.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 7, 2011, 9:25 am   /  Reply

      One day I would love to have a photo of precious Ollie in my home too, Melissa!

  7. November 7, 2011, 7:34 am   /  Reply

    I know I’d love your house, Beth! Now I’m inspired to get a tall basket for our throws that are always thrown hither and yon. We have lots of family pictures, but also many small (we always have weight issues with our luggage) momentoes of our mission trips to Thailand, Fiji (don’t be envious–it was the rainy, cold side of the island), Brazil, and Malaysia. One of my favorites is two framed black and white pictures–one of my husband’s extended family (19 people) in 1947 and one of my extended family (33 people) in 1958. Of course we were very young in both! It’s interesting to see that the adults have similar serious looks as they face the camera–as if to say, “Listen! Life is not so easy, you know.”

    • Beth Vogt
      November 7, 2011, 9:27 am   /  Reply

      When you say “extended” family, you mean it, don’t you?

  8. November 7, 2011, 8:53 am   /  Reply

    Hi Beth! I’m new to your site. I saw your agent’s tweet about your blog post and thought I’d check it out. I’ve seen you on other sites as well.

    I loved your description of your house. Very poetic. Very real.

    My house contains a lot of hand-me-down, non-matching furniture (we’ve been married 5 years, but been in school and, thus, had no time or $$ to really decorate), a big new dog crate (for our 15-week-old golden retriever), dog toys, a cat scratcher house, kid toys (for our nieces and nephews when they come over), the Wall Street Journal, my Willow Tree/Demdaco collection, a few notebooks filled with prayers and stories, my ever-trusty laptop laying on the back of the couch (where my dog can’t get it yet), and a few plaques with Bible verses to remind me that “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

    • Beth Vogt
      November 7, 2011, 9:29 am   /  Reply

      Welcome, Lindsay, and thanks for visiting!
      We just brought our big dog crate downstairs because my daughter’s lab is getting old and arthritic … breaks my heart to see him struggle to get up in the morning. So enjoy your puppy’s antics!

  9. November 7, 2011, 9:02 am   /  Reply

    It is fun to walk through all your homes.
    Mine? – a form of disorganization and familiarity. I just recently painted my living room due to the renovations of a wood stove added. So right now the whole street can have a view of my home as the curtains are in a folded pile on top of my pictures. Typically though you would find evidence of my Saviour on almost every wall. Scripture verses, a wood carving of the last supper and many photos of the blessings he’s given me. But right now even I have to just imagine it with you. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      November 7, 2011, 9:30 am   /  Reply

      We have an electric fireplace. A wood stove sounds lovely–the real thing!

  10. November 7, 2011, 10:34 am   /  Reply

    You might surmise from the piles that seem to emerge out of nowhere that I’m a busy person who can’t seem to keep up with the day-to-day housekeeping tasks. You’d learn very quickly that my hubby and I enjoyed our time in Germany, bringing back many items that now fill our home, including some unique pieces of furniture. You’d learn that comfort trumps fashion in our way of thinking.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 7, 2011, 2:28 pm   /  Reply

      “Comfort trumps fashion.”
      I think I’d like your house, Keli.
      Very much.

  11. Jeanne T
    November 7, 2011, 11:10 am   /  Reply

    Love the glimpse into your home, Beth. This very moment, the rooms in our home are in various disarray. The living room is just asking for two friends to sit upon the sofas an chat. The dining room tables hosts a plate of green tomatoes I’m hoping will ripen. When one walks to the kitchen, cinnamon brown counter tops are supporting my quiet time basket (which is calling to me), an orchid, a pink rose in a bud vase and wintry light from the window. Our family room has lots of books, photos of family and friends, which bring back special memories. They dress up the shelf above the television and the mantle above the fire place. And, oh yes, the final load of the weekend’s laundry waiting to be folded. For now, I’ll sit at our table in the breakfast nook and enjoy watching the last of the eaves flutter in the breeze.

    I’m not going to give you a glimpse of the upstairs or basement. Let’s just say there are a lot of piles that need attention.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 7, 2011, 2:28 pm   /  Reply

      And this is why you are good at writing storyworld, Jeanne!
      Would love to come sit on your sofa and chat … see you later this week at the coffee shop! 🙂

  12. November 7, 2011, 12:14 pm   /  Reply

    I love everything about your house. I’m coming over. Must know more about Turkey & the hermit crab! Name?
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      November 7, 2011, 2:26 pm   /  Reply

      Blanking on the hermit crab’s name. Sigh. Turkey … so many memories, even though I didn’t know the AF could send us to Turkey until the day my husband came home and said, “We have orders to Turkey.”

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