Welcome to this weeks A Story of Home blog where we uncover the stories behind some of our favourite inspiring homes and interiors on Instagram.
This weeks home literally does spark joy for me, with its mix of bold colours, bright patterns and sunshine vibes - It makes me smile everytime it pops up in my feed. So pop the kettle on or top up the wine and kick back with a tour of the bold colour filled boho home of Tara aka @J.O.Y.H.O.M.E.
I'm Tara, my kids are Noa 16, Lotte 14 and Elliot 9. The cats are called Lili, Lucky and Liekki
I´m originally from Nottingham, but have lived in Finland most my life. (English dad, Finnish mum).
What type of property is it?
This is a typical 1950´s wooden house (6 rooms plus kitchen and sauna) and the street I live in has many built just the same way. What people are most surprised of, is that I rent this house and still I make it look like me.
Did you fall in love with your home instantly? What was the one feature that sealed the deal for you?
When I started looking for a place, my husband saw this advertised, and since it was 500 metres from the house we lived in (a modern house with large windows and high ceilings that I didn´t much like) I decided to take a look. I had dreamed of buying a nice wicker chair and had just published a book called “Ladder to love”, so when the first thing I saw when I arrived, was two wicker chairs on the terrace and a ladder leading to the the porch, I knew this house was for me.
Had you mentally redecorated before moving in or did your scheme come together over a period of time?
I got the keys when I came home from India (with 30 extra kilos of rugs and colorful stuff for this new home) and I got to work. I LOVE moving, and I love moving things around. The house looked lived in in about a week and it has changed a hundred times... kids come home from school and the living room and the bedroom have changed place...again! The walls have changed color, one corner has changed color three times.
Where do you seek your inspiration?
India inspired me. I was never into decorating or anything, but after my transformation six years ago to entrepreneur, author, lecturer etc, I think that once you open up to creativity with no shame and no fear, it reaches all parts of your life. I kind of found the kid inside me, if you know what I mean and if someone calls me childish, I take it as a compliment. I have never felt so young and full of energy, ever, and my house reflects that.
Nothing was deliberate, I just like to mix and match and I do it effortlessly. I have an eye for detail and a very strong sense of what works and what doesn't – for me. I don´t decorate to please others, my house pleases me, and I think that´s why some people don´t feel at home in their homes– it´s decorated for guests instead of themselves. I like it colorful, but I let my kids say how they like their rooms.
Which is your favourite room?
Am happy you asked this. We all have our favorite spots in the house. The rooms change place, and I love the family room the most (so that's where ever the sofa is) because that´s where the kids come when they want me. Otherwise they are pretty much upstairs, where they have rooms of their own. The boys room is all black and grey and messy so you won´t find any pics of that room on Instagaram, and my daughter is into black and white with gold, her room is featured on Insta, but doesn´t get as many likes, since clearly people who follow me love color! My bedroom is the most soothing, especially with the wall art and black Macramee drapes.
Do you have a favourite object in your home?
The now blue, then white wooden drawer I got from my mother when my son was born in 2002. It had a changing table that slid on top. It served all three babies. It was the first thing I painted when we moved here, giving it a new life with the colorful knobs I got from India. Most of my shelves, chairs and drawers are painted or waxed.
Any golden nuggets of advice to share to anyone undertaking their own revamp/renovation, did you learn any lessons?
I´m a very visual person, so I love Instagram and the “boho-queens”, especially Kelli Collins @mango_manor and Justina Blakeney @thejungalow were a huge inspiration. I was in India on my own so I had plenty of time to scroll and plan my future house. The way they used fabrics and color was so much fun, India was so much fun, and when I got back to Finland, it was minus 30 degrees and WHITE with snow, so I thought that´s it, let´s do this!
The trick? Be brave, try it, sit with it and change it if it doesn't spark joy (bit of Marie Kondo humor there!) The only thing I was opposing for a while was to put carpets on top of each other and sideways, that was nuts!! I had to laugh at the fact that my “free spirit” ended with carpets being sideways? Now they´re all over the place, even on walls!
What’s the next project you have planned?
I would love to eventually buy this house, and if I do, the dressing room and toilets need doing and mark my words, there won´t be one single white wall anywhere!
Do you run a business?
I write books and blog for a living, which basically means I fret around doing nothing, while the stories build in the back of my mind. I´m always home, am an introvert and prefer the company of kids, cats and plants. That´s why my house is always changing and tidy – as I clean and move things around in my house, I structure my ideas in my head.
Thanks so much to Tara for sharing her colour filled home with us, hope you've enjoyed the tour. I absolutely love Tara's bold home with layer upon layer of texture, pattern & print - makes me want to get my roller out and paint all the walls in sunshine shades.
See you next week for more home stories
Bye for now