Overcoming Buyer’s Remorse - The Plan

 

There has been absolutely one top priority since we moved into our new house last November.  Our company and our amazing followers. But, now that summer is really here I’ve been more lenient with myself on weekends. Instead of working through them I’ve spent the last few dreaming. I’ve formed a plan on how we can realistically take on our house woes while still staying focused on everything that owning a small business requires daily. 

Here’s the plan. 

 We found this mantel at an amazing local architectural salvage store. We gave the owner the dimensions of our fireplace insert and he took us around the whole store. Two buildings and nothing fit. Then he remembered this was in the back of his pick up and it fit PERFECTLY. I think it was fate because he  hadn't even pulled it out of his truck to  he clean it up for sale yet.  We didn't paint or refinish it. Every scrape tells the story of it's journey to our home. We LOVE that about it.

We found this mantel at an amazing local architectural salvage store. We gave the owner the dimensions of our fireplace insert and he took us around the whole store. Two buildings and nothing fit. Then he remembered this was in the back of his pick up and it fit PERFECTLY. I think it was fate because he  hadn't even pulled it out of his truck to  he clean it up for sale yet.  We didn't paint or refinish it. Every scrape tells the story of it's journey to our home. We LOVE that about it.

 

1.) Keep the walls, change the colors & textures. 

Typically, when we tell friends we are redecorating a room they’ve learned to assume it involves demo and rebuilding. Believe me, there are areas in this house where that is certainly tempting. However, for the most part, we are going to focus on keeping a lot of what is already there, and layer textures, textiles, and color throughout the space that represent our style in a way that can be achieved on a weekend or even after work when we can manage.

 We found this bold toss pillow and loved how detailed the embroidery was. Down to the little tassel, I loved it. I have some future plans to incorporate some aspects of this pillow into other designs for P&W, too.  

We found this bold toss pillow and loved how detailed the embroidery was. Down to the little tassel, I loved it. I have some future plans to incorporate some aspects of this pillow into other designs for P&W, too.  

 

2.) Buy great quality things ONE time. 

I think it is very easy to get distracted from what truly speaks to your design soul when we’re constantly flooded with trendy designs that come and go. I know I’ve been guilty in the past of settling for what might be easy to access and less expensive at a big box store. 

My new motto is this: Ignore design trends. Listen to my gut. Buy quality when my mind is truly made up. 

 We've cheaped out on furniture before. It fell apart and we ended up having to re-buy it just a few years later. When we bought our new living room set with a bonus check for Steve's hard work at his day job, we went with pieces we knew would last. This ottoman is two years old and still in great shape. We had our old furniture not much longer when it looked sad and saggy. Paying more for quality living room furniture that we knew we would use every day totally paid off. 

We've cheaped out on furniture before. It fell apart and we ended up having to re-buy it just a few years later. When we bought our new living room set with a bonus check for Steve's hard work at his day job, we went with pieces we knew would last. This ottoman is two years old and still in great shape. We had our old furniture not much longer when it looked sad and saggy. Paying more for quality living room furniture that we knew we would use every day totally paid off. 

I don’t even want to know how much we've spent over the years on seasonal trends that aren’t great quality only to hate them two months later. That ends now. It’s wasteful and ridiculous. If we see something and love it, we now refuse to care if it’s what is popular.

 There were old books and knick-knacks from my Grandma's house in boxes from before our last move. When she downsized, I ended up saving a great deal knowing I'd love to decorate with them at some point. I found the trick of filtering through 100+ years of storage was being able to filter through it all to keep the items that were quality and make us feel good. Happy memories are triggered by so many of the items in our house and that's exactly how your own house should feel. 

There were old books and knick-knacks from my Grandma's house in boxes from before our last move. When she downsized, I ended up saving a great deal knowing I'd love to decorate with them at some point. I found the trick of filtering through 100+ years of storage was being able to filter through it all to keep the items that were quality and make us feel good. Happy memories are triggered by so many of the items in our house and that's exactly how your own house should feel. 

There's nothing better than a gas range that gets your excited to cook or a truly soft and quality statement rug. Things like that are what we're taking our time to find. If that means saving up to buy this time around then that's what we're going to do. Taking our time also makes us slow down and really think about what we want each piece of a room to really look like in the end and not settle for something that KIND OF works. 

 When we decided to buy a new stove we wanted gas. We had settled for electric in our old home and there's just nothing like a good gas range. Maybe we're crazy but we feel like you can taste a difference in the food. This is definitely one of the largest investments to our new home that we've made but we plan to have this stove a VERY long time and know that it will last.

When we decided to buy a new stove we wanted gas. We had settled for electric in our old home and there's just nothing like a good gas range. Maybe we're crazy but we feel like you can taste a difference in the food. This is definitely one of the largest investments to our new home that we've made but we plan to have this stove a VERY long time and know that it will last.

 

3.) Our house is our home, not a hotel. 

We need to make our spaces personal. Modeling our home after a hotel room or stock photo that is meant to appeal to the masses disconnects us from the space. We will fill these spaces with personal quirky items regardless if they “match” perfectly or appeal to the tastes of everyone that comes to visit. We get a lot of family and friends who come to stay for long periods of time. We used to make the whole house more "neutral" so that everyone we love who spends time here felt comfortable. Although we absolutely want them to still feel comfortable we have decided to stop tip-toeing around bold colors or "weird" art in order to do so. They love us, they don't care. It was silly to think that mattered, to begin with. 

 This wall is filled with items we've collected from our family's past. Such as a Veterinary Diploma from my Great Grandfather, a morse code tapper from Steve's Great Grandpa, Tools from family stone masons, and My Grandma and Grandpa's wedding announcement and coverage from the local paper.

This wall is filled with items we've collected from our family's past. Such as a Veterinary Diploma from my Great Grandfather, a morse code tapper from Steve's Great Grandpa, Tools from family stone masons, and My Grandma and Grandpa's wedding announcement and coverage from the local paper.

 

4.)Use what we already have & love.

Nothing is more personal that the items we have that remind us of the people we love. We are lucky enough to have a great deal of our family's heirlooms. We're refusing to tuck them away because they don't match our current style. Instead, we're making them the focal point of everything else that comes into our rooms because we know our love for them will withstand the test of time.

 

 A full set of stunning Paul Revere Copper Pots was given to us by a family friend. To say we are honored she thought enough of us to pass down such an amazing family heirloom is an understatement. They are so loved and will ALWAY hang proudly in my kitchen. Copper is "trending" right now, but I have plans to show these off for the rest of forever! 

A full set of stunning Paul Revere Copper Pots was given to us by a family friend. To say we are honored she thought enough of us to pass down such an amazing family heirloom is an understatement. They are so loved and will ALWAY hang proudly in my kitchen. Copper is "trending" right now, but I have plans to show these off for the rest of forever! 

5.) Plants are important. 

Steve and I don’t ever feel quite as at home as when we have living plants and bouquets in the house. We plan to grow indoor plants year round and have started a cut flower garden bed to help us enjoy beautiful seasonal bouquets on the cheap during the warmer months. 

 We try to keep fresh flowers and plants in each room of our home as often as possible.

We try to keep fresh flowers and plants in each room of our home as often as possible.

 When NYS weather will allow we grow as much of our own food as we can. Really, it comes down to getting what is left after the bunnies, deer, and dogs eat it on us. But that's okay. We grow enough to share. haha.

When NYS weather will allow we grow as much of our own food as we can. Really, it comes down to getting what is left after the bunnies, deer, and dogs eat it on us. But that's okay. We grow enough to share. haha.

 

6.) Design for US and YOU.

As we go, we always think of pieces that we can’t find in any store that would be a statement piece for a room. Such as really great shelf brackets or tile. I’ve found that some of our most popular selling items were things we originally had a need for in our own lives. 

When that happens, we’re going to do our best to make them for both our home and yours and make them available on our web store. 

 When ideas strike I have a tendency of drawing them on the nearest surface available. When Steve develops his hand-turned wood items, that little leg will make an appearance. 

When ideas strike I have a tendency of drawing them on the nearest surface available. When Steve develops his hand-turned wood items, that little leg will make an appearance. 

 

7.) Buy when we travel. 

NOT a plastic snow globe of the Statue of Liberty but something that is great quality and will last. For example, a print from a local artist or a flea market find from a far away town. That’s what we’re keep our eye out for. The objects in our home should all carry their own little story. Nothing is worse than not feeling a special connection when you look around at the items in your own house. 

 

 We were lucky enough to be at the same event in Mississippi as a Tin Type photographer. We had him take our photo to fill in with our wall full of family memorabilia. It fits in so well people would don't know us might assume it's just another relic from the past.

We were lucky enough to be at the same event in Mississippi as a Tin Type photographer. We had him take our photo to fill in with our wall full of family memorabilia. It fits in so well people would don't know us might assume it's just another relic from the past.

8.) Use what we’re drawn to — in multiples. 

Naturally, I am drawn to antique china and fun eclectic dish ware. If it's handmade that's an even bigger selling point for me.  Steve has a fascination with antique tools. We plan to collect and incorporate both of those into the house as wall decor.

 We accidentally already have an antique tool collection started. My great grandfather was a stone mason. When we were helping my grandma downsize we found his whole work chest full of AMAZING antique tools in her basement. SCORE. 

We accidentally already have an antique tool collection started. My great grandfather was a stone mason. When we were helping my grandma downsize we found his whole work chest full of AMAZING antique tools in her basement. SCORE. 

 

 

So, That’s the plan moving forward. Now, I’ve got to get myself back into my studio where the wall decor always comes second to functionality and getting beautifully designed orders out on time! ;-)

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A tale of buyer's remorse... and how we're changing it.

 

If I had a blog a year ago, I could have posted grand remodeling stories of our 1900’s farm house. We renovated basically the entire place down to studs, moved some walls, re-routed plumbing, and even put in a salvaged clawfoot tub that I refinished by hand. It was my dream bathroom suite and had a lake view. But then, life happened.

 Many weeks of our lives wen't into making this room a reality

Many weeks of our lives wen't into making this room a reality

For many reasons, we moved and reality hit hard. The real estate market was FIERCE. Our old home sold in a day and we had no idea how hard we would have to fight to find a new house. It was certainly a crazy seller’s market and all the beautiful old homes we found sold in a matter of hours. We didn't stand a chance and had no time to waste. The house we did find worked so well for our studio space and we saw what it COULD be. It was in the right area so we hurriedly signed on the dotted line. 

Ridiculous as it is, a little bit of panic and heartbreak set it. Nothing about my personality likes a “new” house. It sounds so silly to say, but old homes are immeshed down deep in my soul. I get a feeling of comfort and happiness from them that a new house just cannot fill. I know that I should just be happy to have a warm and safe roof over my head. I get that, I really do. But at the end of the day, I still have to live there and be inspired there in order to make my business and personal life thrive so I can pay it forward. So, I guess that’s how I will shamelessly justify my fussiness for housing and decor. I’m a Taurus, who inherently likes the finer things in life and it simply can’t be helped.

The house we bought is very much a relic of 1970s suburbia with updates but not in our style or any particular style for that matter. The house didn’t feel like it knew what it wanted to be. Like it didn't have a clue what it was. A little bit of 70s here... a little bit of 90s there ... After our first night there I told Steve that I felt like I had spent the night in someone else’s home. I should also mention that on the first night we slept in a room that the previous owner had painted HOT PINK AND ZEBRA print that made sunglasses indoors at night seem very appropriate. The silver lining was that it worked so well for my day-to-day studio life which I desperately needed in order to make my growing business work. I thought it would be amusing to share with you the photos of the house as it was left for us at move in. For those friends who are interior designers, I beg you to forgive me for the graphic content you're about to encounter. 

I cannot imagine that I am only one who has had this feeling. So I am going to share with you how I am overcoming my buyer’s remorse by stopping the ridiculous and quiet pity party. This is where I will document everything we do to transform it into a house that we actually see ourselves living in for a long time. This section of our blog is going to be all about being grateful for what we have in our home and making it our own. Its going to be real and a real work in progress. This isn’t something we’re taking a loan out for or a rapid renovation project. It’s the day-to-day, still got bills to pay, take it in slow stride approach to claiming our space. We are deliberately taking our time to find the right things to make our house feel like home. We refuse to continue to buy and re-buy “on trend” decor that doesn't truly speak to our souls or feel personal. There won’t be a grand reveal of each room. I plan to post as we transform our spaces with creativity, antique finds, and thoughtful family mementos. If for no other reason than to remind myself to be grateful for the amazing home and life that I am so fortunate to share with the people I love. 

 

Unlocking our muses...

Hey everyone, 

I have been talking with Steve for awhile now about how to bring relevant and interesting content from our everyday lives into our Potter & Woodsmith blog page. We really want everyone who visits our site and follows us to have an authentic and dynamic look into what drives our vision and inspiration. 

That being said, we're changing the way we structure and develop this section of our website. Along with a lot more studio posts, we're going to start talking about other hobbies, and areas of our life that both enrich and inspire our work. 

Those who know us personally, know how important our home environment is to us. We strongly believe in enriching the world around us and we do things everyday to help make that a reality in our lives and in the lives of those around us. When we aren't in the studio, it is very common for us to be renovating, decorating, gardening, antiquing, or striving for a more simple and natural home. We also love to travel and explore, even if it's just a local day trip. All of these muses immensely impact our functional art so It seems only natural to share them with you. Our hope is that this will help give you a more faceted idea of who we are and maybe even give you some fun ideas to try for yourself along the way.

We truly believe in the value of handcrafting as much of your life as possible. Whether by making it yourself or sourcing from an actual maker or artisan. We believe that new isn't always better, and keeping things simple and natural should be done as much as possible. We hope you all follow along as we explain exactly what that means for us. 

Cheers! 

Sara & Steve.