When Holden and I bought our first home together, we quickly realized that we were in over our heads. Hours of bingewatching HGTV convinced us that fixing up our house, built in 1964, would be a piece of cake. We were not prepared for the fun surprises like having to replace our HVAC system within a month of moving in or our sprinkler system going kaput and turning our yard into a geyser. Needless to say, all of the renovation dreams we had were put on hold, as reality set in — and three years later we’re finally getting back to our original “to-do” list.
Decorating our dining room has been a passion project, because it was the room that first made me fall in love with the house. I loved the built-in bookshelves along the back wall, and instantly envisioned all of the memories we could display and create in the space.
The evolution of our dining room has been a long process. Funny thing about dining rooms– you kind of need a table to make it functional. Holden and I did not have a dining room table when we moved in, but we did have an extra couch and loveseat. We ended up turning the room into a formal living room/sitting area for two years, but probably spent less than an hour actually sitting in it.
Holden was finally convinced to invest in a real dining room table when we found this mid-century modern beauty from West Elm. Unfortunately, we couldn’t actually eat dinner in the dining room because there were NO lights >.< We saved up to hire an electrician to install recessed lights and the chandelier we had purchased (from West Elm, too).
The bookshelves are decorated with memorabilia from our wedding, families, and retro accents. Our vintage-inspired wedding colors were mint green and poppy red, so we brought in elements of it (like the “Eat” sign we found at an antique store in San Antonio or my precious seafoam green Royal typewriter) My favorite piece of nostalgia is our console piano, gifted by my mom. It was her childhood piano, and I learned to play on it as well. It was wonderful hosting our first Friendsgiving last year.
Even with the lighting, table, piano and bookshelf-styling, it felt like there was something missing. The huge blank wall in the room was so distracting. You’d think being married to an artist would make wall decor a cinch, but it’s actually quite challenging. Between my photography eye and Holden’s design skills– it seemed nearly impossible to find something that we both loved. And so the wall remained empty… that is, until Minted came along and saved the day!
I sent Holden a link to the selection of fine art and photography prints, which Minted constantly refreshes from their community of independent artists, asking him to bookmark his favorites while I did the same. This motel print was my favorite and also happened to be the only one that both of us picked! The vibrant red immediately caught my eye and the retro style fit perfectly with our decor, but it was actually the artist’s message about the work that hooked me.
“Photographed in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, the La Mesa Motel is just one of hundreds of old, non-descript motels lining the Mother Road of America, more commonly known as Route 66. With its functioning midcentury neon sign, the motel is a beacon in the night to weary travelers.”
Both Holden and I love to travel, but nothing beats coming back to this special home we’ve created.