About once a month I travel down I-24 to Nashville to appear on Talk of the Town in Nashville on Channel 5, demonstrating a craft or DIY.
It’s usually a live segment and I spend about 45 minutes getting ready and applying red lipstick and laying out the supplies and the steps and trying not to go all I Love Lucy with the project (sometimes not successfully).
We usually spend between three and five minutes on camera.
And then it’s done.
And I wave good-bye and go to Target.
We don’t have Targets where I live, so I think I’m big time at the Dollar Spot.
But this month was different. This month my husband and I went to lunch with Meryll and her husband, Dan, and then drove back to her house for an afternoon of flower arranging and laughter and story telling.
And when I saw her house, I had a come-apart.
Come-apart is a something we say in Kentucky meaning overcome with joy and excitement, often producing a euphoria and complete lack of speech.
I couldn’t help it.
Wait until you see her house.
This is the view I saw when I entered the front door.
Right about the time I had the come-apart.
I walked in and saw this.
I opened my mouth, blinked eight times and made some garbled sounds of excitement (that’s a side effect of the come-apart) and then I stepped back outside.
Just so I could enter the room again.
Where to look first?
Can we start with the room color?
And those dueling over-head lights and the fire-place and the view to the back yard and the pattern on the rug and that antique piece over the mirror and the fresh magnolia and the antique desk and the original artwork.
I had to simply stand and take it all in.
And as amazing as all those things are, they weren’t even my favorite.
You see, this is a house full of stories.
Wonderful, incredible trips or unique finds or hand-crafted projects.
Each piece of art, each antique, each hand-made stool, each mirror and picture and rug has a tale to tell.
And as we walked through the halls and the come-apart faded and I found my voice and started to ask questions about the house, Meryll shared her heart.
And her stories.
Like the one about this piece that she hand-finished for a show segment.
She added layers and layers of chippy chalk paint and these distressed knobs.
There were stories about these ceilings that look like pieces of art and stories about how this room used to look like a jungle room with tropical leaves painted all over the walls and salmon colored tiles and giant columns at the entrance.
Stories about where the burlap light came from.
And how she just hung those boxwood wreaths.
And as the laughter and stories swirled around us and we walked the halls and I fell more in love with her house with every step, I realized something.
What greeted me at the front door.
What caused my come-apart.
What made my eyes dance with joy.
It wasn’t simply the beautifully appointed rooms or the vivid colors or the carefully curated antiques or the ceilings that look like they came from a contemporary art museum.
It was so much more than that.
It was in every corner of every room of every space in the home.
You see, Meryll understood how to breathe life into a space and wrap her guests in welcome from the first step in the front door.
She simply stepped back, surrounded herself with family and friends, collected what she loved….
…..and let her heart do the decorating.
PS Here’s my beautiful friend Meryll in the middle of flower decorating.
Yes, she just cut all these flowers from her yard.
Yes, I’m posting a tutorial.
And yes, my house just told me it wants to look like hers one day when it grows up.