An edit of my high summer essentials. The goal? To make sure you’re styled (sustainably), feeling good and filling up on all the good things. This mix is my must haves, all the goodies I think are worth the investment, and some that are on sale too. TRead More
After a year in our new (old) home I'm finally ready to start sharing it all with you! Before I could let you in 😉 I had another guest coming. Who you ask? Well, I'm so thrilled to share first looks from our domino magazine tour (shot by one of my first Nashville friends, Alyssa Rosenheck)! When domino calls you give them first dibs, of course. However, now it's yours for the viewing!
I've included the Q&A from the domino feature at the close of this post if you want the down and dirty about how Ben and I put our space together. There's honestly so much more to do and I'll be sharing additional reports as we go. As a travel writer, sharing the design of my space wasn't necessarily something I'd considered much before, however, bringing our travels into our home is something I'm always doing, so perhaps that idea will inspired what you're bringing home from your own travels too!
A few details about our house and then we can jump right in. Our home is a two-bedroom bungalow (built in the ‘40s) located just outside Nashville in the idyllic countryside town of Gallatin. Ben and I had a goal of creating a home that blends our style, shows off some our vintage finds, and puts our favorite memories from our travels on display. So here we go! Enjoy, and let me know what you think!
All photos: ©AlyssaRosenheck
How long have you lived in your home?
Less than a year! Ben and I are both from New Orleans however, when we met several years ago, he had an apartment in downtown Nashville and I was living uptown in New Orleans. We both travel so much (he being a musician and I a travel and style writer) so when we decided to combine our lives into one home we began looking for something near Nashville and a few months later the house was ours.
How did you choose Nashville to be your home base?
New Orleans will always be home for us and the inspiration we each gain from that city is immeasurable—Nashville offers so much to the creatives living here. We considered quite a few cities but wanted to be in a place where Ben could make music and where I could take time away to write, while still having the energy of a music-driven city nearby. Our home is walking distance from an old-school downtown square with an old-fashioned soda shop, a theatre, a juice shop, and farmer’s market—plus lots of antique shops and locally owned boutiques. It’s an easy drive into Nashville, and surrounded by natural areas and parks so, we’re able to feel a bit of respite when we’re home.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I’d describe my aesthetic as maximal-eclectic collector. I love texture and layers sprinkled with collected personal treasures. I dress the same way I decorate. Our home is filled with nubby blankets picked up from our road trips through Texas and Montana, mixed with a few favorites like our plush velvet sofa, which was sourced from a local antique shop. We both love a lived-in relaxed style with luxe touches.
How long did it take you to design your space?
It’s very much in progress, however the space began to feel like home after a few months. When we’re not traveling we both use our space for our personal creative endeavors so it needed to inspire the art to manifest in each of us. I do quite a bit of consulting work and when Ben is not on tour with his current band he’s working on his own music. For us, we wanted to design our space quickly so we could live and work, without it feeling hastily pulled together.
We set out to fill the space with furniture, rugs, and textiles first. Then, since we’re constantly collecting quirky souvenirs from our travels—and since Ben inevitably comes home with new concert posters (we have a room full of them!) from each tour—we felt that once the bones of the space were in place, we could constantly change up what’s layered in.
What’s your favorite place to find new decor?
While Ben loves heirlooms and I love mementos from travels, when buying something new we both want to feel a sense of connection to the piece. I like to know the story behind the things I’m adding to our home. We’ve bought much of our one-of-a-kind bohemian pieces from Nashville shop Trésor Cru (which translates from French to “vintage treasure”), including plant stands, baskets, bowls, tables, and chairs. The shell planter hanging in the kitchen nook is my absolute favorite find from them.
There are so many antique shops and flea markets near us and we’re regulars at those. In regards to art, I’m always scouring Instagram looking for artists doing cool things. I just added two paintings from southern painter Blayne Macauley to our bedroom; Ben takes 35mm film photos (most of the landscape photos in my coming book are photos he shot!) and I send all of our art and photos to Framebridge on the recommendation of an artist friend. I specifically love their Designer’s Choice service—often they’ll give framing ideas I hadn’t thought of.
I’m obsessed with the wallpapers and fabrics at Hygge & West and as I’ve been warming Ben up to the idea of wallpaper, I’ve done quite a few DIY wallpaper projects like lining the interiors of bookshelves and framing 4-5 foot sections of paper as if they’re a piece of art themselves. The Nana paper from Justina Blakeney’s Hygge & West collection is in the living room, framed in a 5-foot frame, and I have that same paper on my porch.
I need to know the story behind the green sofa! And the Bill Murray painting!
The sofa is seriously my favorite! Ben and I found it at a local antique shop on our very first trip out to source things for the house. Can you believe we actually passed on it the first time? I went back to that shop with his mom a month later, the price had been reduced and it was still there! She encouraged it and we bought it on the spot and had it delivered a few days later.
In regards to the painting: I’m a huge Bill Murray fan, I mean who isn’t, Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation is my all time favorite movie. This piece was created by an incredible Louisiana based artist (T.J. Black). I’d spent quite a bit of time around his studio as he was working on a collection that was pop-art inspired. When I saw this piece, I just couldn’t live without it. There is such a fun sense of whimsy in it and of course Bill is a classic. It makes me smile everyday (I’ve owned it for around seven years and have always hung it where it’s one of the first things I see in the morning). I feel like when collecting art or anything that is going to be permanently on your walls, absolutely loving it is key, especially if you are making an investment.
Which room of your home do you spend the most time in?
Our entertainment room! In the design of the house, it would technically be a dining room, but for us it’s where we eat, hang out, listen to music, and entertain. We added a big fluffy couch from West Elm and loads of afghans and floor pillows. Ben has a music studio that’s still in renovation in our home, however we have an upright piano, a few guitars and a record player in this room. Often times, I spend hours on end writing at the farm table that’s situated along the northern window and energetically, it’s the heart of the house
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in the weathered colors and textures in nature. I’m drawn to the landscapes experienced along our road trips—from seascapes to mountains and the in between, and I love that Ben shoots on film. I’m forever inspired by what comes out of his analog cameras. I love the study of wabi sabi—a Japanese worldview centered on seeing the beauty in imperfection and accepting the natural cycle of life. It’s a philosophy that has inspired a joy in collecting things like old tea towels and wilted flowers pressed between pages of books. It reminds me to embrace moments when things aren’t perfect as a part of the life experience.
What’s your favorite memory you have in your home?
Every time we’ve hosted friends and family it’s been pure magic and full of memories! We’re preparing to host a party for about a dozen friends to celebrate my book release and I want it to be a mystical experience for everyone. I’ve learned to slow down and not worry so much about creating perfection and instead to focus on what will create warmth and a glow for people when they visit. For example: I’ll gift the guests, all of whom are close personal friends, chakra stones, and the essential oils and herbal blends that I burn everyday. Sense of smell is closely linked with memory and I want our guests to take home the feeling of being here with us.
Also, Ben has been gone so much for his tour so every time he comes home we spend hours cooking, drinking wine, and listening to music on our porch and those nights are a big reminder of why we chose a home away from the noise and light pollution of a city!
What’s your favorite room?
Our bedroom. It was certainly one of the selling points of the house: there’s a fireplace in one corner that we’ve lined with books and crystals and there’s beautiful light in the room, too. While my tendency is towards lots of layers, we kept this room fairly minimal. We used lighter colors and added wooden touches like the antique trunks, which we use as nightstands. The trunks are family heirlooms, a great-great aunt of Ben’s traveled the Orient in the ‘30s, bought the trunks and shipped them home (and they were antiques then!). They’ve been passed down since.
I love gallery walls, however in this room, I chose single pieces that have a bit of a muse-like quality. I absolutely love the vibe of the girl in the black and white photograph sitting above my dresser. This room has become a quiet retreat for relaxation and meditative moments. In the evenings I’ll light up some palo santo and sage and spend the final hour of the day winding down.
I also love your little clothing rack corner. Is that due to space constraints or a desire to show off your favorite objects?
A bit of both. Our house is a small, two-bedroom bungalow built in the ‘40s and the closets are basically non-existent. I’ve dealt with this before, I lived in a French Quarter loft apartment years ago in New Orleans and took the same approach. Vintage dresses and beautiful pieces hang on the rack that’s visible to visitors and the less beautiful things go in the closets. It certainly makes getting dressed fun in the morning! We have two small closets in our bedroom so things like shoes, denim, and bags are tucked away while the more luxurious pieces hang in view.
How do you keep your plants alive if you're always on the road?
Whenever we have friends and family over they ask the same thing! However, after a bit of testing and plenty of plant mama homework, I’ve figured out which plants work for us. I typically choose low maintenance plants (no fiddle figs here, as much as I’d love to have one!). I love philodendrons, snake plants, succulents, and cacti. I keep self watering aqua globes in the plants that need to be watered a bit more regularly. We’re rarely gone for more than two weeks at a time so, the aqua bulbs can keep things alive while we’re away. Most of the plants in our house are resilient and will bounce back to life with water and the right light.
And tell me a bit about your book, launching September 12! How is it different than your first?
Yes, so soon! The book Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian's Guide to Traveling in Style is a fashion travelogue featuring nine intimate road trips exploring cities, beaches, deserts, and forests—it is intended to make the reader feel as if they're traipsing the country with their best, and best-dressed girlfriends. I creative-directed and wrote the book and traveled with several insanely talented photographer friends to create the imagery. As a girl with a love for off-the-beaten-path destinations, I found myself putting aside standard travel guides and, instead, looking to fashion mavens, musicians, and artists for travel and style inspiration. Each chapter opens with a playlist, a book list, and a packing list to set the vibe for the trip, and then features favorite vintage shops, late-night dancing spots, and Instagram-worthy local lunch counters, too. There’s trendy destinations like Marfa, Santa Fe, New Orleans, and Joshua Tree and then artistic hideaways along each route too.
I couldn’t even compare it with the first book, they’re so different! New Orleans Style takes a look at the melting pot of cultures that gave rise to the diverse sartorial influences found in New Orleans. It’s a bit of a historical account of of French sophistication, Spanish exuberance and deep Creole roots. It’s truly my ode to the legacy of the costume, couture and style of my home.
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Most boho loving girls have a bit of a devil-may-care attitude when it comes to dressing and I, most definitely have taken that approach since as long as I was old enough to dress myself.
Pattern mixes and handmade textiles, I love to wear clothing that reflects a laissez faire lifestyle. In regards to accessories - sentimental pieces, and jewels a plenty are my go-to. I've never been into designer bags or the shoe of the moment, on the other hand, my wardrobe is filled with gemstones, sun-charged crystals, oversized wooden beads, pendants and charms.
In collaboration with a new Moon child favorite of mine (https://www.moonstoneshop.com/), a brand dedicated to a gem that's known to enhance physic ability, intuition and sensitivity and one that serves as a protector too (it's truly my favorite, one I've always been drawn to) I created a little video reflective of the magic of the gem and the sun-drenched hills here in Tennessee. Learn more about the gem and some moonstone rituals below!
(adapted from the Moonstone Magic blog)
Moonstone for Cleansing
A full moon bath cleanses the mind, body, and spirit. As you wash the dirt away, you’ll also cleanse the negative energies you're holding on to. Become synced with the moon’s feminine energy by experiencing a quiet moon bath - add the gem to the water and follow with fragrant oils and Himalayan salt. Moonstone will purify your thoughts and emotions, while Himalayan salt will release toxins and add minerals into your body at the same time. Add candles and sip on an herbal tea for a sacred moment.
Moonstone for New Beginnings
We may not be able to re-do the past, but we can look forward to new beginnings. During the full moon, go outside with the Moonstone in your hand. Close your eyes and think of the things you want to change, choose a mantra like "Mother Moon, take these trials away from me." Repeat the phrase every night by your window until the new moon comes. On the night of the new moon, take your gem away from your home and bury it (or, if you reside near a body of water - send it down the river). Leave it there without looking back knowing that those past constraints are released.
Moonstone’s powers are in full spectrum on a full moon. Whatever ritual you choose, the most important thing is to throw your inhibitions away and be genuine. Trusting that the moon is infinitely nestled inside us and these Moonstone rituals will boost your innate power as a child of the moon.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #Chardonnation #NotableSummer #CollectiveBias
I shared a cheat sheet last week before the full moon and had so much feedback on how much you guys love the idea of adult slumber partying! Yay, I LOVE the idea too and kinda want to spend the rest of the summer hosting grown up sleepovers. I thought it would be fun to expand this a little bit and give you guys some additional ideas for your own mystical night in. In true Oui We style today's post is all about living out your fullest bohemian fantasies! It's truly the perfect way to spend these slow, magical summer nights.
I worked with Notable to create my House Warming Party Checklist and am happy to work with them again on this post! I'm definitely in a Chardonnay summer mood lately and this brand is refined, expressive and accessible too - perfect for a mystical slumber party. So let's get started, here's how to host your own mystical magical (grownup) sleepover.
1. The Mystical Mama Wardrobe:
To get started, you've got to dress the part. Since this is a slumber party make sure you and your guests are dressed in comfy PJs or other gypsy style attire. Colorful silk pajamas, oversized sleep shirts, and mumus are totally welcomed. On your invitation include a note about what to wear.
Another fun option would be to make a trip to your favorite local thrift shop and stock up on oversized vintage dresses so everyone can play dress up throughout the night. Hang the dresses on a rolling rack and instruct the guests to choose their own attire when they arrive.
2. Set the Mood
The next step is to create that I Dream Of Jeannie ambiance. Set up camp in your living room with plenty of floor pillows, colorful blankets and tapestries to get cozy in, and then light up the sage and palo santo! Get your old lava lamp out and throw a scarf over a lampshade for extra enchantment points.
3. Wine Time
Now that you’re dressed and the vibe is set, its time for some spirit in the form of wine! Wines vary in style, region, and taste, yet most labels don’t define the delightful flavor you’re about to sip. What I love about Notable (besides how yummy it is!) is how elegantly the bottle showcases the taste on the label, all you have to do is follow the flavor notes (it makes the wine aisle much less confusing I think!)! I love the fruity and crisp variety, and there's an oaky and buttery option too - for my party I'll have both available.
Bonus tip: If you're hosting your party on the night of the full moon party make a moon inspired cheese tray to start with - everyone knows the moon is made of cheese … isn't it? 🌝 Pair the cheese with circular-cut meats and round "full moon" crackers and then serve classic moon pies for desert.
4. Spiritual Entertainment
Your mystical slumber party would be totally incomplete without some sort of spiritual entertainment. Read each other's astrological birth charts, or play with a deck of Tarot Cards and pull out your fortune telling book for fun (I've been sharing mine on my instastories, I'm obsessed with it!). It’s time to see what the future holds!
Create a playlist and pile your records up and and let your guests DJ to inspire them to groove to the beat of their inner free spirit.
5. Dreamy DIYs
On the evening itinerary make time for DIY dream catchers or flower crowns for everyone to take home as a souvenir from the night. Dreamcatchers can be crafted from excess fabric, beads, feathers etc. and will prolong the good vibes! Flower crowns are easy too - either pick up fresh flowers or faux works fine - just add a wire and hot glue gun.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this! Definitely share your own magical slumber parties with me! I can't wait host my own, and of course, follow along on instagram to see the behind the scenes. xo!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PurexCrystalFresh #CollectiveBias
Lately the STYLE category of Oui We is becoming as much about the bohemian style we're applying to our home, as it is wardrobe and personal style. It's been a total treat to be in our house, and to take the time to really design a space that feels so us. I mentioned in the progress report post that we'd be having the house photographed, and that deadline is creeping up. And, real talk: like just about every other woman I know that moves into a new home (and plenty of guys too) I've been a bit pinterest board crazy... crazy to the point of having one of my brilliant interns specifically calling out that we needed to add a new category over there: "Décor Bohème" of all the things that I was saving.
With that said, as I spend hours upon hours scrolling those boards gaining inspiration to finish up each room it's also worth mentioning that I'm most definitely not your typical DIY gal - I'm up for an occasional project, however, I'm as up for hiring the right help when it's necessary.
As I started preparing to organize our laundry room, I came across 3 questions:
1. Is the space so small it will only accommodate laundry and associated supplies?
2. Is there enough storage to include cleaning and utility items as well as laundry?
3. Does the room also serve as a mudroom?
Our laundry room can barely even be called that, it truly is a mudroom leading out to our backyard - it's the space for all of our gardening and outdoor tools and equipment, our cleaning supplies, and where extra paint cans and renovation supplies live (so yes to #2 and #3 above). Right now it's also home to the piles of boxes from packages Ben and I get - those boxes seem to hibernate there until we finally break them down and remove them. If I do this right it should be where our mail, pocket change and all those little things that can so easily pile up get collected and sorted through in an organized fashion.
Also, since Ben and I both travel so much, when we return home, there's literally that pile of packages (before they're opened), our Sunday paper and our mail all on the dining room table. That kinda makes me crazy. I'd rather have a place in the laundry room where things can live until their dealt with. Another thing that makes me crazy? All the laundry supplies that were piling up in every little corner of our laundry / mudroom room.
I probably should have taken a before picture of this little nook, but in reality it was freaking awful, and I was like nope, no one will ever be allowed to see this.
Here's what I did, and some budget notes too.
1. Clean, Declutter and Actually Get Through the Laundry
It seems obvious, I know. But the reality is in our laundry room we had several 1/2 used bottles of detergents, lots of samples stashed in multiple drawers and then a basket of items that required special laundering that I just hadn't dealt with. I strung a little twine in the window and added clothes pins so those little unmentionables that I never seem to deal with could be quickly hand washed and hung to dry. Before doing anything else I washed everything so we didn't have a back log.
2. Create Simple Homes for All of the Supplies
I poured all the remaining detergents into a few glass mason jars. I also gathered up mending supplies, and all the pocket change that was kind of lying all around and gave those things a jar too. We already had a ton of jars from a coffee shop that I go to that sells their ice coffee that way, so, so far, budget impact: net zero.
Next up, I took a drive to the recycling center, got rid of all those plastic bottles, and the many empty cardboard shipping boxes and just getting rid of all of that stuff made a big difference.
On my drive to the recycling center I decided to make a pit stop at my local bargain center. I picked up a shelf that I could easily install (we had none at all in this room), a few wire baskets and the little LED "OK" sign that I found in a clearance bin.
I hung the shelf (cost $12), the sign (cost $16) and put the samples and the remaining things that didn't have a home in one of the wire baskets, I brought a plant from our porch in for a touch of green and this little section was feeling good. I love the color of the Purex Crystals (I picked up mine at Kroger by the way and there's more detail on the product at the end of this post) - I think they look so pretty in the jars (no more plastic bottle eye sores)!
Plus when I did that remaining laundry I was pretty blown away by how fresh it all smelled.
I snipped a little corner of the label from each detergent and taped it to the back of each jar so I'd know what product was in each jar. I tied a little decorative bead I'd received on a gift box around the jars to dress them up a bit and voila, we're looking pretty fancy huh?!
3. Making the Mudroom Tidy
So if you're facing the laundry cove (maybe that's what we should call it) directly behind is the area that was collecting, well everything. This is the true mudroom space. To tidy things up just a bit more I hung a clip board and a simple pin board on the wall. Wedding announcements, bills that need to be paid or just little keepsakes can go here. I have some iron patches that I need to get to so I hung those up too.
I added a few more wire baskets (these were $2 / each) to toss in the things that get used all the time, and then directly out of view I added a few simple hooks for tools and cleaning supplies (mops, brooms, etc).
That's pretty much it you guys. That's the sneak peek, and I know it may seem small but for us this room feels so much better. Even our little cat Chicken was thrilled that the mudroom bench was hers again. She climbed immediately into the window to bird watch, and I swear she esp'd me a "good job lady." 😺
Want to learn more about Purex Crystals?
A great scent at an awesome price they provide 12 Weeks of Freshness. I choose the following aromas, one from the classic collection and one from the NEW Botanicals, with no dyes.
- Fresh Spring Waters: Freshen your wardrobe with the shimmering light of Fresh Spring Waters to brighten your everyday.
- Warm Sandalwood & Vanilla: Bring the finishing touch on your laundry with a blend of Warm Sandalwood & Vanilla. The natral mineral based formula, without dyes and with essential oils, delivers long lasting freshness.
I can't wait to share more of what's happening in our home! As always thanks for following along!