decorating

"Mi casa es su casa"

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This month Help You Dwell sat down with Becky Hancock to get her two cents about creating a home and the process of bringing old things back to life.

Steve and Becky bought their historic home in June of 2004 and have taken on several projects and renovations to make it their own.

One of their favorite projects to date is their kitchen. Using vintage 1950's metal cabinets rescued from a tear down of another building, a kitchen table that belonged to Becky's grandmother, and a light fixture that Becky found at The Salvage Shop, as the style reference, they were able to formulate a plan for a retro kitchen design. In a record breaking 7 weeks, (with front end loading) they totally redid their kitchen and ended up with an absolute gem.

kitchenshelf
vintagebreadbox
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Upon walking into the house you feel a mixed sense of walking back in time (or down memory lane) and feeling totally at home. No doubt, the items chosen in the Hancock home evoke a sense of nostalgia to everyone who comes by. Becky's decorating and home making philosophy stems from the fact that she is drawn to things that represent a happy memory; things that remind her of people, old times, or things that tell stories. Because of this, she is naturally drawn to vintage items. Every item I asked about during the tour had a story behind it and naturally served as a conversation starter. Along with nostalgic items, it's clear that both Steve and Becky are musicians and long time music lovers by the instruments and music paraphernalia that also adorn the home.

Dining Room built-in

Dining Room built-in

Master bathroom extension

Master bathroom extension

Dining room

Dining room

Old family photos throughout the house create a kind of "walking photo album" cataloging multiple generations.

Old family photos throughout the house create a kind of "walking photo album" cataloging multiple generations.

When asked about living in a downtown neighborhood, Becky explained that her time living in New York created in her an appreciation for living near people of all different nationalities and walks of life. The downtown neighborhoods in Knoxville provide a diversity that much of the city doesn't offer.  Becky talked fondly about getting to know many of her neighbors and the value in building community with all kinds of people. Aside from being able to walk downtown and being close to work, Becky loves old homes and loves being able to be a part of restoring the home she and Steve own.

Becky and Steve Hancock

Becky and Steve Hancock

Becky and Steve are hospitality driven and have opened their home multiple times to friends and family who need a place to call home for various seasons of life. In the spirit of hospitality, Becky says her philosophy of home is "Mi casa es su casa. I want people to feel at home when they are here, that our house is always open; a safe, welcoming, authentic space when you need it."

Thanks Becky and Steve for showing us around your beautiful home!

Organized Room = Project Finished

 

Time to let you in on a little secret...

I'm not always organized. 

 

My house has rooms that I'm not always proud of, usually multiple ones.  This is one big reason why I want to walk alongside you amazing people to overcome those spaces that keep you from entertaining, creating or just enjoying your home or workspace.

Thankfully, I have an incredible business partner who serves me as wonderfully as she serves our clients.  (She would also tell you her home has those rooms too :) Caroline generously offered to help me dwell a bit in one of my favorite spaces in my house.

It's that room I want to spend more time in.  It's away from the busyness of our household of five plus a puppy, my favorite books are in there, all my crafting materials, stationery, journals, photos to edit, and the light is wonderful, hence the name, sunroom.  It's my office & creativity room.  My daughter plays violin in it as well.

Unfortunately, it too often looked like this...

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Quickly, it had become the dump room, the "I don't know where this goes (or am too lazy to put it away now) so put it in the sunroom" room.  The thing is, all these items have homes and many of them in the trash or donation box.

After just a couple of short hours, a few moves of furniture, and a rearranging of decorative items from all over the house, (Caroline is soooo good at this!)  I got this room back...

I love being in here now.  I'm so thankful for setting aside the time, having a dear & talented friend to help, and purging so many unneeded items.

The story doesn't end there though.  So, what happens in a room that's ordered, organized & inspiring??  Well, your daughter comes in to practice violin, notices the sewing machine neatly stored under the table and asks, "Mama, can we sew?"  To which I can finally say, "yes."  Below is the finished product, Saige is very happy in her new nightgown, and Kate is even happier that she got to make it, with a little help from mama.  Find the pattern here.