My first blog

It's been a year now (and 189 posts)since I started writing Pure Style Home. (I'm not good with anniversaries, so it's a week or 2 late.) But I thought it would be fun to share with you my first post, which I called my first "blog" at the time. I really don't even remember why I started writing... I guess stumbled across a blog (I can't remember which) & have always loved writing so I just decided to start writing, never thinking anyone but my grandmother & mother-in-law would ever read it.

We were living in my parents' basement at the time, having just sold our own townhome for a huge loss and at first I didn't share this with readers. (Well I really didn't have any readers to share it with... but at the point when no one's reading, you just sort of pretend you are writing for people ;) Anyway, I was embarrassed that we lived in my parents' basement until one day it just hit me that life happens. People do what they have to do to get places and we were living in a basement so we could get a new house. I shared it with readers and got some amazing support and advice.

I think it was then that I really opened up on my blog and realized how kind & caring you all were. It's been an awesome experience and I've made so many friends here. I've learned so much & many of you have influenced my style along the way. I feel like I've met a few mentors (I don't think they know it ;) and I've found that in general, the people of blogworld are generous, caring & open about sharing knowledge & ideas. It's a wonderful community & I'm so glad to have joined. One of my very first commenters was the lovely Camila of High-Heeled Foot in the Door & she really explained to me how things were done and has been there for me ever since.

I've gained a lot of confidence from writing this blog & having others believe in me... My business has come a long way in just one short year and I owe much of it to this blog & readers. (I hope to be thinking the same thing next year! :) Thank you so much for reading and here is my very first post... (bear with it! ;)

--------------------------OCTOBER 7, 2008---9:44 AM----------------

(A room in progress... a lake house for my dad I'm currently working on just to give you an idea of my work.)

So here I am, writing my first blog. Hmmm... I'm not really even quite sure what a blog is so here goes. First, I should say that there will probably be lots of typos & I apologize.

Here's a bit about me: I'm a 26 year old wife, mom & interior designer. My husband's a high school English teacher & the most involved dad ever. He's always doing those random sweet things & in general, just makes my life better & easier.

On that note- the easy life. The simple life. I guess that's what I wanted this blog to be about. I try to impart the "pure style" philosophy into every aspect of life. It's taking pleasure in the little things & simplifying your life... making it beautiful. Home is really important to me. I believe the way we design our homes really determines how our life is going to play out in that house. Does your house make you smile when you walk in the door or does it make you cringe? Is your home pretty & organized & easy to live in or full of mess & clutter & unfinished tasks?

Photo by Trio Giovan from Cottage Living

I think when our homes are set up so we can live easily in them, we have more time to be with the people we love & to do the things we really care about. If we surround ourselves in an environment that relaxes us & works with us, we'll be happier.

Now, I am the definition of a "mess." When my husband & I first met in college & I was struggling to pull out my dining card from my super-packed & unorganized wallet, he handed the dining guy his card & had him swipe it for me and shook his head at me, "You're such a mess." I was shocked. I had never really thought of myself that way- I always wanted to be one of those really composed-looking people. You know- they have a little clutches & always look good- hair in place, makeup, great clothes. I call them "groomers" because as I've gotten older, I've realized it doesn't come naturally. Yes, the tendency to groom may come naturally, but the grooming itself, they have to work at it. They have to "groom." (And I'm not talking about those really naturally beautiful people. Beautiful people can be groomers or normal people.) I want to be one of them.

clutch by fredala

But my husband (actually, "Guy I'd just met in Creative Writing Class" at the time) made me realize what I truly was. An organized mess. A mess trying not to be a mess. Because I loved organization & cleaning out other people's junk drawers & rearranging their rooms. I could always find something eventually. Everything did have a place even if it wasn't always in its place. I realized I'm one of those people who naturally inflicts chaos into a room- I try on a bunch of clothes & throw them all on the chair when I'm finished. I work really hard to get something in working order & then I go & screw it all up!

It was good to face reality. Once I realized that I was truly a mess & couldn't change my innate habits, I became much more organized & life became simpler. I started thinking in terms of my handicap: "Because I'm such a mess, I always lose my car keys, so I need a place to put them." And Voila! I stopped losing my cars keys! (Most of the time.) And the trick to putting the clothes back in the closet lies in having a closet with extra space (empty hangers!) so it's not such a daunting task to try to fit the clothes back in. (This means constantly clearing out the stuff I don't wear & switching out my wardrobes seasonally because I unfortunately don't have a large closet.)

Photo from

I remember my best friend had been asked about her toothpaste tube on a job interview & of course she answered with what they were looking for: "When I'm finished using it, I flatten out the bottom part & fold it." That little toothpaste analogy really rings true with me- I forget about the toothpaste tube for a few days & then when it startes to get really gooped at the bottom & wrinkled & messed up, I fix it.

And I realized that this is how I handle a lot of aspects of my life. So I started putting little "spillovers" or "boobytraps" into the way I organize my life. The huge bottom drawer in my closet (an elfa drawer cart) has become the spot where I toss the things I have worn or tried on that aren't dirty. When it starts to get really full, then I empty it & start over. When my wallet starts to feel full, it gets cleaned out. (Would you believe it's actually a little clutch that my mom gave me that gets thrown into whatever bag I need for the day- diaper bag, work bag, pretty purse, etc.) So I've gotten to know myself & I now have little systems set into place to keep my messes at bay.

I see I'm rambling. I'll just really quickly say that I have an adorable one year-old & having him has, of course, really changed so much in our lives, but we really try to stay the same. He's such a flexible, sweet little guy & the 3 of us have so much fun together. But our time is so insanely valuable now. We've found the only way to keep things good is to become more scheduled- even going as far as to scheduling in "nothing to do" time.

I'm passionate about what I do- decorating & designing homes- & really think that it spills over into every aspect of life. The only way for us to keep things running long smoothly is to keep things simple, beautiful, organized and fun.

For now, I think the purpose of this blog is to write about trying to have that "pure style home" & being real about who we are to get that home. Putting booby traps in our organizational planning to stop fighting how we really live. And beautiful things, of course. (Not necessarily expensive, because I love a good thrift-store find. But right & easy & very "you.")

$15 chandelier I found at a thrift store: I painted it in a silverleaf & strung it with crystals found online. (I repaint it whenever a new mood strikes me- it's white now but I think it'll be going black for Halloween!)

-----------------------------------THE END ------

So that was it! haha my first post! As you can see, I wasn't even really sure what a blog was at the time. My blog has evolved with me & as time went on, I gained the confidence to share some of my work & own home with you all. I must say though, I still agree: Simple - Happy - Beautiful --- is what a home should be. We can all get our homes there & have fun in the process and that's what I've tried to make this blog about: sometimes you'll see organizational posts (simple), sometimes you'll see cheesy personal posts with my family (happy) and other times you'll see design-related posts (Beautiful) but I always try to keep the idea of living this way in mind when I post. I share our often unglamorous & (sometimes unsuccessful!!) DIY projects to show how crazy it can be to get to "simple" and "beautiful" but also to show how "happy" and fun (albeit exhausting) getting there can be.

Anyway, thanks everyone so much for reading and bearing with me. You're the best & I can't tell you how happy hearing from you all makes me. Hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane...



marcela said...

I'm not much of a blogger, but your ideas are amazing! I love the clean lines, fresh feeling, and creativity you display in your photos. :)

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Welcome to the blogging world.

Sarah said...

I LOVE your blog. My sister showed it to me and your style is TOTALLY my I'm going back to your first post and reading all the way through it. I wonder if you have read the book, "Pure Style Living" by Jane Cumberbatch? That is my all time favorite decorating book and your blog reminds me of this book. If you haven't read it I think you would like it. We're getting ready to build a house and it's exciting, yet it's stressful for me because I'm afraid I'll make a mistake or actually probably more afraid to decorate how I like --- I guess it's because my mom's decorating style was SO different and I'm such a "casual" girl, but our two families are more formal. As soon as I get over worrying about what others think and take the plunge, I know my house will be just what I want to come home too. And now I'm rambling....anyway thanks for a great blog and I feel like I know you even though you don't know me! :)

Lauren said...

Thanks so much Sarah! I actually have Jane Cumberbatch's book & LOVE it although I was sad to see that it was the same name as my business!!! hahaha

I'm so excited to hear about your new house!!! You're going to have so much fun making all the decisions!!! Just trust your instincts & don't be afraid to make mistakes.


Maria Killam said...

I loved your first 'blog'! It's so you! Thanks for sharing yourself with us! The best blogs are written by the warm, authentic people like you!!
Happy Anniversary!

Amy R. said...


I haven't posted yet, but I will as an "anniversary" congratulations. I love your style and as we're looking for a new house in St. Louis, I am inspired by how much you have changed your house. See, our budget is not the biggest, but I love changing things for the better. I'm always showing my husband pictures of your before and afters to inspire him and let him know I'm not crazy when I tell him the dark, gloomy house can actually be beautiful someday. And I am the mom to two beautiful little girls so it's enouraging to see you still doing the things you love too and enjoying being a mommy.

Jennifer said...

love reading that! much better than my first post, haha. love your philosophy, too. I think I'm a big mess trying to look like a groomer, haha. I look put-together now (at work) but the truth is that my bed is strewn with three outfits that didn't quite work out this morning (okay, and two from yesterday! yikes!).

Dianne said...

Your blog has become a must read for me each the morning newspaper. I sit with my coffee and enjoy everything you write. Happy Anniversary....looking forward to many more.

Pauline Wiles said...

Happy 189th post! I suspect I've only read about 9 of them - I have some catching up to do ;)

nelya said...

That was wonderful and charming and so authentic...all because you are all of those things. Seems silly coming from someone who does not know you, but you just ooze those qualities. Congrats on the anniversary. Hope it's the first of many!

Mai-Brit @ thisfulllife said...

Congratulations on your one year anniversary. As a new blogger I take a lot of inspiration from you and all the great content you've posted over the last year. Keep up the great work!

All the best,

Kelly said...

Just found your blog and love
it! I can thoroughly relate to being an organized mess, and you articulated exactly how I feel.

I must get back to work, but I will be catching up on your archives this evening when I am free... I'm sure to be inspired!

paula said...

happy blogiversary ! said...

I stumbled onto your blog and am so happy you posted that first blog post from a year (or so) ago!

I too picture myself as a composed, polished person but really - you put it well - I actually can bring chaos to a room/conversation/situation. And yes - I have had to set up systems to accommodate my quirkiness. My car keys always go on a hook in the foyer...or I lose them. I have a bin for mail and papers...and when it gets a bit full, I sort through and the process repeats itself. Works for me. Now I know I'm not alone in my desire to be polished and organized but it doesn't come naturally so I have to do something about it!

I am your newest blog subscriber!!

Abbey @ Practically Perfect said...

Thanks for sharing this! I just recently started reading your blog (and not too long ago started my own) so it's nice to see this part of you.

How funny that I, too, met my husband in college in English class and he's an English teacher now. (And I am always so paranoid about my grammar/spelling on my blog!)

Love your blog, thanks for the hope and inspiration!

Living It At Home said...

I really enjoyed reading your first post. Thank you for sharing it. Like I said, you have inspired me to start my own blog. Your blog really stood out to me and your style spoke to me. You have come a long way.

Wishing you even more success~ Jamilyn

Porchlight Interiors said...

congratulations Lauren on your milestone. It's always a pleasure reading your blog and watching your home transform. We look forward to reading many more.
Hayley x

Laura Casey Interiors said...

Your first post was great! So glad you are blogging!

cotedetexas said...

AWWWWWW - too cute! and such a long first post. you're brave to post it, mine is humiliating.

love you always!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Casa Jacaranda said...

Happy, happy first blog anniversary! The thing I love the most about your posts is you give us your raw and real life experiences. So refreshing! Looking forward to another year.

DecRenew Interiors said...

Congrats Lauren! I love the way you share your heart! It's so true that your home is where your friends and family should gather. I think most people have forgotten that over time. It seems that now the home is more of a showplace rather than a gathering place for great conversation, encouragement, laughter, etc. It's fun to have it beautiful, peaceful and together but if it doesn't get used for anything other than our coming and goings then it's hollow and empty. I'm sure your clients love you because you are so real and interested in others.

Keep posting! We'll keep reading because you are fabulous!

Gypsy Heart said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm so glad you continued ~

Karen said...

I love it! As someone who has only been blogging for about 10 weeks, I can totally relate. The support and recognition that you get from blogging is phenomenal. I wish you many more years of success.

LindsB said...

I love your blog and I'm so glad I found it way back when. Its one of my first stops in the morning, or when I start checking out posts and it will always be as long as you keep writing! Happy one year!! xoxoxo

Janell @ House of Fifty said...

Late to the celebrating, but congratulations on your 100th post! Janell

Brooke @ Blueprint Bliss said...

Love your blog! Congrats on your one year anniversary of it...

Jenn @ Dear Heart said...

Congrats on a wonderful first year. I'm sure your success is going to continue growing for many more years!

alterego said...

You are just lovely. You clearly have such a genuine heart and it shines through in your decorating and blog. I think the "groomed" people have their junk drawers and messy spaces. We ALL do (especially those with young kiddos!)! Thank you for sharing your time, ideas and PURE heart so honestly. -Rachel

My Galveston Cottage said...

I didn't know you back in 08, but it was nice taking a moment to see how it all began. And such a nice love story, too! -s

Zuniga Interiors Design Studio said...

Congrats on hitting a year! I'm newer at the blog too! You have great posts and photos! Visit my blog and say hello!

All the best!

Michelle Zuniga

Windlost said...

Hey Lauren, sorry I missed this. Happy Anniversary!!
Your blog is "pure" delight!

Isn't it amazing how much we grow (and change) in a short time?!

xo T.

CandiShack said...

Just came across your blog and I liked this post because I am just starting my own little 'decor' blog. I have much to learn but I am passionate about beautiful spaces. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I love your style and I will be coming back to read more often!

Helena - A Diary of Lovely said...

Happy belated Anniversary! You are doing a great work inspiring many people out there! Keep these posts coming, I can't wait to keep reading!!