Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Things That Matter

I've been away awhile and there's so much to catch up on! How did it become Thanksgiving next week already? Ahh, November.. We've had family birthdays and school holidays and so much going on. Then with hosting Thanksgiving next week, another son's birthday the week after and-  hello holiday season, I try not to freak. Sometimes I dream of driving to the beach with turkey sandwiches, like one of my friends did once...Just kidding mom!

Remember that post I did on Nate Berkus and his book, "The Things that Matter?" I promised I'd share the things that matter to me, in my home as well.  As I was taking these photos I realized there are so many things that make our home feel uniquely ours. Looking at all of our mementos brings back so many good times. I love that. Our home is our nest and it couldn't be without all these special things.

 It's so important to think of your home as a nest. It can't just look good it has to be cozy, warm and make your family want to be there. It is not a weigh station between activities. If you eat out more than in and always have your coffee at Starbucks instead of your home, you need to seriously think about making your home a place you want to be. Find the spots in your home that are sunny, warm and comfy. Have your coffee there, read, and invite your family to do the same. Use all the spaces in your home. There's no point in having a sterile, fancy living room. Fill it with objects you love, pillows and live in it!

They say children do not thrive in cluttered environments and I truly believe that. I like the clutter in our home to be put away every night. I do make my kids make their beds and pick up things in their rooms also. It doesn't always happen, but it goes towards making a more enjoyable home for all of us. My kids love being at home and that's what matters to me.


Some of the things that matter in our home below. I guess you could say my most favorite items are from trips and also the pictures from those trips. I can relive those getaways when I see them. 

I usually like to write below the year and location. I saw this at someone's home once and I thought it was so charming I vowed to do that when I had my own family and traveled.

Love making photo albums of trips when I have time...

Painted postcards are one thing I always bring home with me from trips. 

I have many and try to use them as bookmarks or display them on my bulletin boards.

I collect driftwood, shells and coral from beach trips. I love this particular piece above and can't help dreaming it may have been a part of a ship long ago, washed ashore.

We have shells in jars, bowls all over the house. I only like ones we find ourselves, not bought.

Coral makes great bookends. This piece we found on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Also love souvenirs from trips like this pitcher from one of our favorite pizzeria in Rome. They serve the wine in these jugs and it makes me happy just to remember the fun we had there.

A bill from the restaurant below in the kitchen. I love framing menus or special receipts or tickets.


These prints were bought on our last trip to Maui. I knew they would be perfect in our pool bath/changing room.

I bought this watercolor on the street in Paris. I think it was 25 Euros. One of my most favorite things.

This tray was the one special thing we bought on a trip to Florence. It now lives on my husband's night table.

These astronomical prints are from my grandmother's house. I pondered them growing up and still do.

I'm lucky to have many special things from her that she has passed down to me over the years.

I also was the recipient of her garden stools. One has developed a real patina and it got even more distressed when we had it outside for a while. It's twin below, is in perfect shape. Like them both equally as they are.

Globes have always held a fascination for me and so for many years I have collected them.


Old school globes with outdated countries like above one are so cool!

 I still adore this typewriter I bought so many years ago for five dollars. It's from the early 1900s and still works!

Old family photos are so dear to me. This one is of my grandfather, Richard Marek, with his mother and grandmother . I just love their clothes and the inside out umbrella!

We are also the lucky caretakers of many hand-whittled wooden animals that were the creation of my husband's great-grandfather from Kentucky. We treasure these little things like the cat below.

And it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without the turkey. The rustic and almost primitive quality is what I like most about them.

 This real cast iron iron was used by my grandmother's grandma to iron clothes when they were small. As a child I was able to use it to play house and iron dolls clothes. Recently, my grandmother gave me it. It's the perfect bookend for my cookbook collection in the kitchen. It means so much to me that it was actually used by my great-great grandmother and probably  her mother too.

 Now notes from my kids are my most treasured. I have boxes full, but I try to leave some out...

This one gets me inspired when I really don't want to cook another family meal. I made a photocopy so the original wouldn't get soiled. My youngest made this in kinder.

"My mom can mak (make) good food."  Love that kid. The hearts get me.

There's something wonderful about books. I love them everywhere possible. Just the thought of spending time rereading each (someday!) makes me happy inside. Sorry, I'll never be a kindle convert.

 My home is made complete with those gifts handcrafted by my kids. Loving all the "rustic," ceramic pieces my fifth grader is prolifically producing for me now! Just this week the high schooler proudly made me a cutting board so pretty I'm afraid to damage it. He spent weeks picking the wood, designing and making it.  It holds a place of pride in my kitchen and will forever..

Now one more thing that really makes this place our nest... cats! How can you not relax with a soft buddy always available for cuddle time?

What things matter to you and make your house your home?


All photos Northerncalstyle.


  1. Love this! What a cool and cozy home! I feel inspired to do some decorating and finally get some photos in frames.

  2. You have a lovely welcoming home Kim! Gorgeous photos:)

  3. Hi Kim, I love your shell collection.. and all the things that matter;)

    I agree, TG has crept up quickly .. I'm not prepared!


    1. Leslie, Thanks. I know! Thanksgiving is just coming so quick!

      Have a good weekend!

  4. Kim, you have a lovely family, home and collections. Your kids are so sweet! Your cats look so cosy and cute! I agree that we have to make our homes liveable and a place full of happy memories.

  5. Hello Kim,
    What a lovely, inspiring make me want to take more stock of the sentimental pieces posted in my home.
    I have news!!! YOU have been nominated for the Liebster award for 'up and coming' bloggers with 200 or less followers. I nominated you for your fresh, fun style, being a fellow NorCal girl and, by the way heartfelt posts. You will see your award on Enjoy!!
    xx, Heather

  6. Kim,
    I adore this post. Adore it. I love to do the same things. I'm hoping that my kids are getting a little older, we can get rid of some of the clutter. I love how you write the subject on your photos. Just wonderful.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Lovely items - I adore globes too!

    Life has been really busy for me too, trying to catch up on blogs and reading!

  8. Love your home, its colourful, cheerful, warm and elegant and very much a family home with all the photos and drawings. Like you, I dislike clutter but I have yet to persuade my children to make their own beds. Only one, Jackson the neat and tidy one does it.

  9. Thank you for inviting us into your charming nest - I love all the personal and artistic touches - absolutely the things that matter. xoxo

  10. A lovely post of lovely thing, the iron is my absolute favourite and I love how you use it.