My husband and I are under contract on a home right now--we hope to close in twenty days! The process has been draining, but you can read about all that on our family blog. This post is about our rental house, which we've lived in for four years now. In fact, last spring I was so flattered to be asked to participate in Heather's lovely blog series over at Home Made Lovely. {Go check out her blog if you're like me, and love seeing into other people's homes.} She asked for a home tour and so I took these photos and put together a post to show my home and decorating style. I get my kicks peeking into other people's homes. Today you get to peek into mine!

{Note: Heather posted my home tour and it got tons of really lovely responses! Her readers are lovely. Then she switched her blog to another server and suddenly all those comments were gone. This combined with the fact that we're close to saying goodbye to this rental, I decided to post the home tour on my own blog! Enjoy the peek.}

{Also, you should know, my home is never this clean. In fact, the day I took these photos, I moved messes from room to room just to avoid them. Now that we've started packing up, it's even more chaotic around here. These photos just show everything at it's best. But in reality, we live here. It's messy.}

My little family of five lives in urban Denver, in a little ranch house with a white picket fence. We've learned to make small spaces work because we love the city. It's also great being less than 10 minutes from my husband's work. We've lived in this little white house for about 4 years now, but it might surprise you to know that we rent! It's a challenge when renting, to make a home feel like it's your home. We can't change the flooring or architecture, but when we moved in our wonderful landlords said, "Paint away!" and so we've made ourselves quite at home, as you'll see...

Our rental in Spring

Many people I know wish to travel the world, and while a short trip to Paris might be nice, I'm actually very much a homebody. I think this is what drives me to put so much effort into trying to fill my house with pretty things, because I love being home more than anywhere else. I want my family to feel surrounded in pleasant things, and I want home to be a pretty place to be.

When we first moved into this home, with it's large porch, I was frustrated that I couldn't afford tons of big flowering hanging planters. So I made do with what I had at the time, and it turns out it's been my favorite way of decorating our porch for years now: simple vintage blue Ball jars, hung and filled with flowers.

This is our living room. Most of our furniture has come from either thrift stores {like our couch and coffee table}, grandparents {like my slipcovered chairs}, or IKEA.

The built in shelving has caused me trouble ever since day one. I redecorate it often, right now it's holding some of my milkglass collection.

The TV and stereo is about as much black as I can handle in my house. My husband works in the audio/visual industry, so I can't kick them out all together! {Well, that, and if it the TV were gone, how would I watch Downton Abbey?}

I love the white wash look of some shabby chic homes, but it's hard for me not to bring in pops of color all over. I love color, as you'll see. I've never been too concerned with "matchy matchy" color schemes. I just bring in what I like, purge what I don't like, and somehow it all just comes together.

Sorting books by color can be fun though. I have a thing for buying pretty and old books at thrift stores.

Looking at this wall of our house makes me laugh, it's a good example of how I don't pay much attention to matching color, but it also gives a good look at my personal color palette. Apparently I like blues and greens. AKA, mermaid colors!

This is my little secretary desk, where I'm typing up this post! I recently painted the chair a very pale green, though I've had it for years.

This is another area that is constantly redecorated, the top of the piano. Right now it's pretty simple looking. I almost always have a candle burning in my home, all the day long.

I love throwing fun parties, and this door was a prop for my daughter's ice cream themed party. After the party I brought it inside and turned it into a coat rack. I had plans to redo the chalkboard paint, but for now I like it as it is.

This is supposed to hold our mail, but I really use it to hold only pretty mail and cards. {Why can't they make bills prettier?}

This is a little idea for those with small homes--since we don't have a foyer or a mud room or even a coat closet--I painted my grandmother's old "rabbit hutch" and now it's a "shoe hutch". First thing we do when we get home is kick off our shoes and stuff them in the shoe hutch.

The clipboards are unfinished crafts of mine {from back when Lark & Lola did flea market/craft shows} and I keep grandma's old letters nearby because her handwriting was so pretty and no one sends snail mail any more. They make me happy when I look through them.

My great grandmother painted this and so I'm proud to have it hanging in my home. The best treasures at home are things that have been passed down within the family.

The Honey Land picture is actually a cover from a book of antique sheet music. My husband and I are beekeepers, so I loved this as soon as I saw it and decided to frame it.

My girl bust wears a necklace and sits under a cloche, and I often move photos from my old photo collection around the house. I especially love old antique photos of children and babies, even if they never look happy.

A few months ago we found a yellow retro dinette table at an antique mall, we loved it--and had been searching for one!--so we took it home. I'm okay mixing retro and shabby chic, so the dining room has turned into quite the hodge podge of a room.

The cane back chairs were grandma's and I just recently painted and recovered them in oilcloth so they'd work with the retro table.

As long as it's pretty and appeals to me, anything goes in this house!

My vintage Pyrex collection {well, part of it} is also showcased in the dining room. I've been collecting for three years now...it's gotten a tad bit out of control.

I love this old sand toy, the little acrobat inside flips and turns when you turn the box over clockwise a few times. I like to tuck little curiosities like this around my house. Keeps things interesting, you know?

From the dining room we move right into our little kitchen...and yes, I mean little.

Oh! Look at that, more Pyrex. {There may or may not be some more in the basement and cupboards. Shh!}

I find these fun ceramic animal heads at thrift stores all the time {cows, geese, ducks, sheep, etc.} so I thought these little geese would be perfect for holding our aprons.

Our kitchen is a small hallway kitchen, but I've had some good fun decorating this part of our home. Good thing, since I spend a lot of time in this room.

We painted the kitchen yellow, I like it bright and cheery, and I like to bring all sorts of color into it where I can.

I keep the little coffee and tea tray at the ready, while my great-grandmother's glass cake stand holds my recipes and things up out of the way.

Next to the stove I keep some kitchen towels, and the like. The "Eat It" sign is a page from an old children's book.

The IKEA cabinet fits perfectly in our small kitchen, but holds a lot. I don't know how I ever lived without it.

It holds some of these things for me. As well as a mess in the lower part.

It was exciting to find one of these old kitchen stool/chairs at a flea market last summer, and in pink! My daughters love to stand on it and watch me cook, and that makes me happy.

I keep some old Fire King mugs at the ready.

Moving on to one of our two {very small} bathrooms...

When we were looking for rental homes in Denver, this one had me at clawfoot tub. I have spent many a cold evening soaking in lavender scented epsom salts in this bathtub. I spent hours in that tub laboring, the night before my Violet was born.

I use the small IKEA trolly to keep some bathroom neccesseties. I'm also trying to hunt down more vintage towels, because I love the way they look.

Yep. It's the deep, wonderful clawfoot tub that makes me love this house. I use it as often as I can for baths.

This bright yellow room used to be my very own craft room! When baby #2 came along a couple years ago, we had to turn it into a nursery.

I love doily garlands. Violet loves Dumbo.

My kid's rooms are the only places I seem to do color schemes in my house.

This vintage cart was thrifted and painted pink by yours truly. It serves many purposes at our house, but right now it's making a nice little table in Violet's room.

And we recently made the switch from crib to toddler bed! That's been...interesting.

My older daughter, Eisley, has a bright pinkish purple room.

We've kept much of the decor from that ice cream birthday party and used it to decorate her room.

I love all things girly. Love doll houses. Love dresses. Love it all!

{Our third child is a boy, he will get a cute vintage themed nursery in our new house. I already have it planned out in my head.}

The ABC garland was a pack of flashcards I strung up, I think they're cuter this way. Also less messy.

Her little roll top desk is a favorite find of mine, as well as the retro play kitchen.

Finally, we've arrived at the master bedroom! It's hard to tell, the walls are gray like the living room. I love gray walls, but our house doesn't get enough light, so I went with a light gray which is hard to pick up in photos.

I'm in love with the yellow chenille bedspread I thrifted a few months back.

The bright colors of vintage suitcases cannot be ignored, I've actually travelled with these!

I had been on the lookout for a vanity for a long time, when last summer I came across this one at a yard sale for only fifteen bucks. I snatched it up, took it home, and showed it some love. It's been a lovely part of our bedroom ever since. I've decorated around it with silhouettes.

I'll be honest, some days I don't make the bed until almost dinner time, but when the bed is made, everything in this room is right. I love this room.

Hopefully my vintage jewelry box collection never gets as large as my Pyrex collection...

So that's our cozy little rental home! Thanks so much for stopping by and having a peek. Soon we'll {hopefully} be working on a home of our own. Stay tuned for home owner posts and DIY projects we will foolishly take on.

It looks way cuter in the summer when the peonies and roses are in bloom, and when the trees are full of bright green leaves and our bees are buzzing around.


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