styling your guest bedroom

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday drawing near, some of the most important and special moments are spending that time with friends and family. HYD is here to help you pull together your guest bedroom so your guests are sure to feel right at home.


Some great simple items to add include:

1. Throw: It doesn't matter if it's folded up nicely or draped over the bed, an extra throw is sure to keep them cozy & warm.
2. Good Book: Something that showcases your personality and makes your guest feel extra welcomed.
3. Table Lamp: Table lamps not only make a statement in a guest bedroom, but also provide your guest with enough or as little light as they may need.
4. Coasters: Not only can coasters double as a pretty accent for your bedside tables, they will also protect them.
5. Candle: Keep the room smelling great with you favorite scent!
6. Tooth Brush: Just in case they forget theirs!
7. Hand Cream: It is winter after all.
8. Wifi Sign: For ease of access & right at their fingertips for any device they may have with them.
9. Notepad: It's always handy to have a notepad to jot down notes. Don't forget the pen!
10. Fresh Flowers: Succulents are great options, as they require minimal care, but you can never go wrong with fresh flowers. You may also be able to walk into your backyard and pull together an arrangement. 

Whether your guest bedroom is fully decked out, or as minimal as they come, welcoming your guest with open arms never goes out of style. 

Home as an offering

We sat down this week to interview the lovely Lindsay Heath about her house, her decorating style, and her philosophy on home. If you've never met Lindsay, the best way I know to describe her is that her presence feels like a warm hug.

Honestly, to focus on Lindsay's decorating style and her home in it's purely physical sense would be a disservice. Lindsay has a natural eye for creating beauty but what struck me the most about our visit was the overwhelming sense that when you walk into her home, the pressure is off, you are invited, welcomed, and appreciated.

With a knack for quirky items and for the cast off's of both friends and strangers, Lindsay and her husband Jonny have created a patchwork home that incorporates the practical, lovely, and eclectic parts of life in every sense. One thing Lindsay said that I've been thinking about a lot is that "space is defined by the people who inhabit it and use it". With a desire to make the people around her feel more important than the things she surrounds herself with, she aims for making spaces feel touchable and approachable; like you can enjoy yourself without having to worry about your surroundings. She mentioned that over the years she has come to find that an object can evoke a memory but that she doesn't have to retain the object in order for the memory to continue. Lindsay loves the creative aspect of decorating with objects that can be repurposed or reimagined. She loves finding unwanted objects and looking at them in a new way... kind of like when you find a house that's about to be demolished so you pick it up and move it two blocks over to save it... yes... she actually did that!!! (more on that at a later date) She shared with us that many, if not most of the things, in her house have been given to her and she in turn passes things along when she no longer has the space or need for them.

Lindsay is the first renter we have interviewed and we were especially interested in what she had to say about decorating a rental. Upon moving into their home they were asked not to paint or hang large things on the wall. As a result, Lindsay has used her limitations to find creative ways to dwell and make the space feel like home. Large art pieces lean against the walls, thumb tacks or Velcro strips are used for lighter objects. Lindsay has found that sometimes limits help you see things in new ways, limits force you to think creatively.

We asked Lindsay what "home" means to her and she mentioned the end of a stanza in the daily reading in the book of common prayer. It reads, "May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors." The lines resonate with Lindsay in that to her, home is a place to welcome people in from the weariness, from the pace of the world.

"Home is a place for gathering and celebrating and for relaxing and eating: the really elemental practices. Home is the hub of human activity. The way that we relate in homes can be so formative- be it through decoration, presentation of food, accessibility to objects.  Our relation to all those things that make us human make up a home; a place that can encapsulate all of the best parts of human life. "

Another unique thing about Lindsay and Jonny is that since they were married, they have always lived with other people- sometimes other married couples, sometimes single folks, but always someone. We asked her to tell us a little bit more about that decision. "On a practical level, when we got married, it made sense financially to share the expenses with others along with the fellowship, the space, the being known and knowing. The incidental disciplines and sacrifices of being not as able to hide the things that as humans we are tempted to hide and the discomfort of sharing space have been an unexpected and challenging reward. With the different people we’ve lived with, we always sit down and talk about all the reasons to live together, economic, practical, division of labor, fun -- but the primary reason we share a home with people is to become more like Christ. It’s been a very consistent practical way to be challenged and to challenge others in the comings and goings of every day life. Living with others creates a lot of opportunities to do that hard work. It has been a great way to keep in check the temptation to hold onto things tightly. Living with others is often inconvenient but there is an ethic of being uncomfortable that I’ve found to be a wonderful crucible-- that’s been a refinement of my walk towards Christ."

"Mi casa es su casa"


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.


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!