Hello Friends! In this blog post I’m excited to introduce Juanita Yoder, wife to Farmer Lowell, mother to Dawson and Brisa, and creator of beautiful things. She lives down a long gravel drive in a small yellow cottage with the perfect gray door. She excels at transforming her home – while modest – into a cozy, inviting environment. I’m honored to have her for a sister-in-law. She has inspired and encouraged me to try new things, especially DIY projects. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and join us as we converse on all things decor related.
Hi Juanita!, welcome to the blog!
Joanne Hershberger: First off, when you became Mrs. Yoder and moved to Rustburg, VA what was it like setting up a home of your own? Initially what was your decorating style?
Juanita Yoder: Setting up house looked fun and exciting to me. I had enjoyed decorating for parties or arranging my own room decorations, so a whole house looked intriguing! As for a style, I don’t know if my decorating had a name. It was pretty much what was the going thing at the moment. Example: Grape Kitchen everything.
JH: After living in your first home for several years, you moved. The house needed some TLC; you and your man have done a variety of projects both inside and out. What are some of the things you have done?
JY: Prior to moving we did some painting, though most of those colors have changed from 8 years ago. (My husband says paint is a cheap facelift.) Our biggest makeover was the kitchen; I love it! Other indoor projects have been giving the bathroom a facelift, and converting some of the trim to a farmhouse style. Outside we poured a concrete slab for a patio, also a front walkway, and created flower beds.
JH: What is your favorite space in your home?
JY: Our kitchen! It was cramped, dark and had little storage. Now it is more open with adequate storage and white cabinets give it a very airy feel.
JH: What decor style do you gravitate toward now? Where do you find your inspiration?
JY: I would say my predominate style is farmhouse with rustic/boho coming out in spots. Pinterest is my usual go to for inspiration, although Instagram is fast becoming a runner up. I was recently gifted Home Body by Joanna Gaines and have been poring over that!
JH: Tell us about some of your DIY projects you have done for your home.
JY: My husband has helped me with quite a few of these: a blanket ladder, homemade pillow covers, Ikea table turned farmhouse table, a painted large frame used for displaying pictures, and refinished furniture.
JH: What would be your encouragement to busy moms who want to create a welcoming environment but are feeling overwhelmed with mothering responsibilities? What are little, simple things they can do?
JY: There are seasons with little ones when decorating becomes low priority. i.e. newborn stage, 3 toddlers, etc. Decorating does not have to be the latest and greatest decor item or DIY project. I have found in that season that simple is best. Utilize natural elements (example: pine cones, boxwood, spring blossoms, lavender and mini pumpkins). By using outdoor beauty one can provide an activity and exercise for all to get out and gather those fun items. Letting your littles draw pictures and attractively displaying them on the wall or arranging their books on a coffee table are manageable ideas.
JH: Finding room in the budget for decor can often feel challenging. For the woman who thrives in creating beauty this reality can feel disheartening. What would be your encouragement in this situation?
JY: Beauty does not require spending a lot of money. I have come to love the seasonal beauty that God has created and bring it indoors. Items such as boxwood bushes, flowers/herbs like tulips, lavender, sunflowers, apple blossoms are nice. Fresh fruit (apples,pears) can be styled in bowls. There are branches, fall leaves, and the list could go on. Look around and think outside the box!
JH: For some, creating beauty is not necessarily their gifting; however, they still desire a warm, welcoming home. What are things they can do that are relatively simple yet effective?
JY: Here again I think the great outdoors offers many things to make our homes look attractive. Find a friend who enjoys creating beauty and ask for helpful tips. Find simple DIY projects and try them; you may learn to love decorating. I also think it is important not to compare your home to someone else’s who loves decorating. Do what makes you happy even though it might not be magazine cover material.
JH: You are heading up the decorations for Refresh. What aspects of this endeavor are your enjoying?
JY: I think the actual set up is the part I’m looking forward to the most.
JH: Thank you for what you are doing to create a restful and inviting environment for the Refresh conference. Thanks for sharing!