Hello, friends! I’m Amy from Gather & Build—a home design and lifestyle blog.
I started blogging during the renovation of my home, a 1940s cottage loaded with charm and every bad thing: mold, asbestos, lead-based paint, and the ickiest paneling to ever grace a wall. When Refresh magazine approached me about featuring my home in the premier issue, I did what any normal person would do: I read the email four times just to be sure. And said aloud to nobody in particular, no way. No way. No. Way. What?!?
Months after the photo shoot, my story (and home) made it to new stands. It felt like an eternity. Let me be real with you. When your house is going to be in a magazine time moves like molasses—the way time moves for a six year old waiting on Christmas.
It was worth the wait. Surprise, Amy, your house is on the cover!
When it comes to decorating, my style is influenced by vintage and repurposed trends. I like a little bit of history in my decor—something with a life of its own. A trend emerged in my flea market finds: I like tools—as in hammers and such. I like the idea of taking something that has been exceptionally useful and giving it an opportunity to be beautiful.
Here are five vintage tools that have found a prettier purpose in my home:
1. Old Paint Brushes
The more the merrier—I’m on the hunt for a few stands to add to the collection.
2. The Carpenter’s Ruler
This ruler holds an old photo of my sweet grandmother and my four-year-old self. Bless our hearts. A few other ideas: It could hold a hand-written note, a family recipe, or a postcard.
3. Tool Boxes
I found these tool boxes when I was renovating. I particularly love the zinc lid on the top box. I stacked them to use as a side table in my living room. They’ve also worked nicely as a sofa table. They make great storage. Christmas decor hides in mine. My pup, Patsy Cline, approves.
4. Vintage Levels
I love these because most of them have a gentleman’s name scribbled on the side. Of course, I want that side to show. I wanted to use mine as a point of interest but I’ve seen them used as ledges. I like that, too.
5. Metal Trays
This particular tray was an interior tray in a large metal tool box. It’s great for housing rotating arrangements of flowers, candles, and art supplies.
This is one of my favorite spots in my house—the hallway with its red door and yellow light fixtures which are repurposed acetylene tank tops.
The yellow lights didn’t make it into the shot in the magazine but the clipboards in my stairwell did. I cannot explain how the photographer captured this but he did! It was quite an angle!
Grab a copy of Refresh to see the whole house—as in, all but one bedroom!
You’re invited to make yourself at home at my blog for another dose of inspiration. I’m working on a new house project and I’d love to share ideas with you and hear your ideas—my readers weighed in on so many design decisions during this house project.
Finally, I have so much appreciation and respect for the Refresh team—thank you for letting me put pen to paper and tell the story of this house myself. I’m grateful for the opportunity, flattered by your trust. You all are rockstars and you’ve succeeded in creating a beautiful and helpful publication—a thousand thank yous.
Hi, my name is Heather Patterson, and I am so excited to be here today on the Style Spotters Blog at BHG.com! I am a home décor and DIY blogger of At The Picket Fence, and as a blogger in this genre there have been a few “dreams” I’ve had. The dreams you wish would come true, but ones you can’t imagine ever would! Recently I had a chance to live one of those dreams. It was one I had always hoped for and when it actually came true, ended up being more than I could have ever imagined. My home gracing the pages of Better Homes and Gardens!
When I look back on this experience, I find that I want to hold onto every moment of it and really appreciate this amazing opportunity. I thought it would be fun to list and always remember the highlights of my journey onto the pages of the November 2012 issue of BHG!
1. Getting the email from Kit Selzer (Better Homes and Gardens remodeling editor) asking if I was willing to have my kitchen island project featured in BHG, while on the phone with my mom, which resulted in a conversation that went something like this:
I scream and scream and jump up and down, and my poor mom screams, “What?! What?!” and I couldn’t breathe…and I might have started crying a little.
All because I adore Better Homes and Gardens, seriously adore! There have been decades of BHG love in this home. I keep every issue and have them categorized by year. In fact, at one time I even get TWO copies of BHG every month because in my enthusiasm subscribed twice this year…haha! This was truly a dream come true!
2. Seeing the boxes arrive on my doorsteps full of props and furniture. This made it all seem suddenly real. Big boxes! Huge Boxes! Boxes marked from “Better Homes and Gardens” were waiting at the door. This was really happening.
3. Nervously anticipating this sophisticated and world traveled crew to arrive at my rural Kentucky home, only to find them to be the nicest, kindest and most down to earth people! Like having friends spend the day with you. Except these friends completely redecorated your kitchen and took 1,000 photos of you all day long! Stacey arrived first and got straight to work tearing apart my kitchen, I even gave her one of my ponytail holders to pull her hair back. Now if that doesn’t make you friends right away, I don’t know what does!
Edmund Barr (the photographer of many, many amazing BHG features) came breezing in from Los Angeles a few hours after Stacey, looking hip and cool, but so down to earth and fun and funny. I couldn’t have asked for nicer, kinder people to spend two days with. We laughed and joked and just hung out. They made me feel so comfortable and relaxed and for that I thank them so much!
4. Waiting and waiting for months and months to get the magazine, anxiously hoping Edmund was true to his word and would make me look magazine worthy, and finally getting to “see” it in the middle of North Carolina in a Wendy’s bathroom on my phone because it arrived while I was out of town! Thankful I have a daughter who knew how anxious I was and broke into the box and snapped a picture of the feature!
5. Then finally getting to see it on newsstands, while speaking at the Southern Bloggers Conference, could not have been more perfect!
6. And the best moment of all! Glancing down and seeing my “best and most faithful friend” peeking out from the corner! My sweet Zoe in the shot made this feature perfection! A big thanks to Edmund for including my puppy in the shot, it made the “staged shot” that much more realistic!
Here’s what I love best about sharing my experience with others… they can have it too! Better Homes and Gardens magazine is looking for everyday people to share their amazing home projects and ideas. Post your photos at BHG.com/IDidIt or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter projects where you stand back and say, “I Did It!”
Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, you never know what fabulous opportunity is awaiting your around the corner! If you’d like more information on how I modified my kitchen island, and remodeled my kitchen on a budget and on my own, visit my Kitchen Island Tutorial!
Thank you to Better Homes and Gardens for letting me share my “I Did It” Story and I hope you’ll stop by and pay me a visit…At the Picket Fence!
- Heather Patterson, At the Picket Fence