Shortly after launching Blessed Little Bungalow in the spring, I was interviewed by the phenomenal Michiel Perry of Black Southern Belle for a feature on her website. As Founder and Editor in Chief of BlackSouthernBelle.com, Michiel created the site to be a hub to support black women in the South through using their services or reading about their life and achievements. (Awesome, right!?) As BLB loves BSB, I'm honored to be a part of the movement. In the feature, Black Southern Belle gave me the opportunity to share some of my favorite Southern things including what I love about styling bungalows. I believe these five things can make any house feel like home and offer up some southern hospitality as soon as you walk in.
Here's the recap, Enjoy!
Five Things I Love About Styling a Bungalow Style Home
I LOVE bungalows. I grew up in the country where everything was brick or double-wide, so I wasn’t brought up around houses like this. Living in Atlanta for five years, they line so many streets, both new and historic. They have irresistible charm like a southern gentleman and there’s something about their craftsman-style and traditional character that makes you want to run up the stairs of the front porch and walk right in. The one I own isn’t as picturesque on the outside, but the house’s 1940s soul still shines through. When I think about southern comfort, my first thought is cornbread. My second, bungalows. <3
Bungalows have so much curb appeal. Large or quaint, they draw you in and make you feel comfortable in the neighborhood. The first impression of any house is its face: the sidewalk, front porch, steps and entry door are critical parts that’ll make a guest smile or frown. I want my neighbors and guests to feel welcome at my home before stepping inside. Flowers, seating and a beautiful wreath all contribute to feeling the warmth and comfort of the home before your finger finds the doorbell.
My bungalow is filled with brand new dark hardwood floors that actually cover up some of the home’s original hardwoods that didn’t make it throughout the bungalow’s generations of new additions. Wood adds rustic character and represents the bones of a house. The West Elm reclaimed wooden table in my dining room is my home’s showpiece, if you will. I thought it would make up for not having a wooden mantle over a gas stone fireplace in my living room and be the focal point of the open floor plan. I also had some wooden states custom made to represent each state I’ve lived in during my life. No matter how neutral or exotic the palette, wood is an element I can’t go without.
As you can see, before you even walk through my front door, I have a thing for gold. Yellows, golds, brass, marigolds and warm tones flow throughout my home. There are also bold colors like teal and fuschia that add contrast and depth to my office and master bedroom. Though I love neutrals and white-washed color palettes, bold colors give me life. I’d like to paint my front door black, coral or yellow, but I told myself I’d wait a year before I decided. Getting the deck stained first seemed like a bigger priority. ;-)
Not to get all mushy, but looking in someone’s house should be like looking into someone’s eyes. You see their warmth, vulnerability, energy, pride and values. You see who they are and decide if you believe them. When you walk into my bungalow, I want you to see me. The real me. With one lap, you recognize the importance of my faith and family, love for wine, baskets and burlap, obsession with comfort and fresh flowers, eagerness to travel and my personal style. Your home should be a distinct reflection of those who dwell in it and what matters most to you. If it doesn’t, purge the clutter and search yourself for that imagery.
What’s a southern home without family portraits? I have a bad habit of not printing photographs often enough. Perhaps our Millennial generation is very guilty of this, living through Facebook and Instagram feeds on a daily. It was important to me to have family photos in every room of my home. I also incorporate souvenirs, maps, mementos and pictures throughout the house to remind me of laughs, adventures and fond memories collected in my lifetime. Two of the most special are a 1948 atlas map of South Carolina that hangs in a shadowbox in my hallway and a old photo of my late grandfather and I in my guest bedroom. These pieces remind me daily that no matter how far I am from Pineville, South Carolina, that’s the place that made me who I am today. That’s my home and that’s where my heart lives.
Professional Photos: Becca Paige Photography