Jennifer Johner of the little things: Show & Tell Home Tour

Sheri Reed | Jun 1, 2010 Home & Garden

  • Meet Jennifer Johner

    Jennifer Johner woman outdoors field

    Hello, Jen!

    Meet Jennifer Johner of the pretty blog the little things. Jennifer is a blogger, scrapbooker, and creative work-at-home mom to 8-year-old Laine and 3-year-old Harley.

    Today, we head to Canada where Jen gives us a Show & Tell Home Tour inside her home near Grand Prairie, Alberta.

    Come on inside ...

  • Jen's family & home

    entry way mud room shoe storage

    We use our side entry as our primary entry. The mud room comes in handy in the country!

    Jen, tell us a little about your family and your home.

    I am married to my best friend (I know people say that all of the time ... but it really is true). We just celebrated our 10th anniversary. We have two munchkins. Laine, our daughter, is the original munchkin, and she is 8. Harley, our son, is ‘little munchkin’ and he just turned 3.

    I am a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom and enjoy every second of family time I can get.

    We live on an acreage about 30 minutes north of Grande Prairie, Alberta in Canada. We have been here for four years now. Our home is just over 1,500 square feet (on the main floor) with a mostly finished basement -- the perfect size for us! We love living in the country and looking out the window seeing nothing but trees!

  • Decorating style

    living room kitchen dining room great room lamp blue chair

    View of the open great room: living room, kitchen, and dining room.

    How do you approach decorating in your home? What's the most important thing?

    I have a few things I take into consideration when decorating our home. First, does it make us happy? OK ... this applies to me especially! If I see a piece of art or furniture or whatever and it makes me giddy with excitement, I know it fits! It doesn’t necessarily have to fit a particular style if I love it. I will find a way to make it work! 

  • Personalized home

    blue chair couch living room shelving artwork photographs

    Living room: collection of art and favorite family photos on the shelves.

    I like to include a little bit of humor in our surroundings as well. Little private jokes around the house! Like the ‘xoxo’ in the living room ... I originally got my husband to hang that damask painting on the wall. Twice. The second time was down and over an inch or two. He patiently did it and anchored it each time. Then, as I tend to do, I changed my mind a few years later (and it now sits on the floor). I spotted these foam letters at Michaels for a few dollars ... and it is my little private ‘thank you for putting up with me’ joke to my husband.

  • Kids' stuff

    playroom toys kids space

    Playroom: view into the playroom from the door. Laine and Harley have their play spaces side by side.

    You have two young children. How does their STUFF influence the look and feel of your home?

    While most of their stuff has a spot in either their rooms or the playroom, there is definitely something special for the kids in all of the living spaces. I want our home to look like a family lives in it and uses it!


  • Boy's bedroom

    boys room car bed kids room

    View into Harley's bedroom from the door.

    Harley’s things take up a lot of room, like his train table and big trucks, so keeping him going and still having room to play is especially challenging.

    On a normal day, it all ends up everywhere -- in and out of the playroom. Seriously, he just pulls it out by the buckets and dumps it in the family room. But what makes it work is that it all has a home, somewhere to go when the day is done.

  • Girl's bedroom

    girls room pink collections window

    View into Laine's room.

    A collection of Laine's things in her bedroom. She loves these collectibles -- some are new, some are from my own childhood.

  • Kids' creative space

    desk girl's work space shelving

    Laine's desk where she does all things crafty, and a little peek of the closet where the bigger toys are kept.

    Laine has her crafts, which are pretty small compared to her brother's big toddler toys, but I made sure she has her own space in the playroom to do ‘her thing.’ A desk is set up just for her with crafting supplies and my old laptop for computer playing.

    There is also a little desk in my work/craft room, at which they can play or craft while I am working away. 

  • Favorite space to congregate: family room

    family room tv furniture

    Family room: where we hang out. I am thinking of painting that wall behind the wall unit a bright happy color.

    In which room in your home does your family congregate most often?

    Definitely the family room. It is in the center of the playroom and my crafting room, so even when we are doing our own thing in different rooms, the family room is still the hub of it all.

    Every evening after dinner, we all pile on the couch and read or watch TV/movies, chat away about the day, and have some downtime before bed. We all look forward to it and pretty much race to the couch!

  • Deal seeking & patience

    dining room cuckoo clock framed artwork

    Dining room: one of my most cherished items -- the big white cuckoo clock!

    Great design can be expensive. How do you get the most bang for your buck?

    Honestly, my mom is the best sale/vintage shopper ever! She knows my ‘wish list’ and my thrifting desires. On more than one occasion, she has phoned me with the terrific news that she found a splurge item on sale for 75 percent off!

    I have also learned to be patient and wait until the time is right or until the price is just too good to pass up!

    We also aren’t afraid to shop at IKEA (as you can probably tell from the photos)! We love the simple design (which is hard to find up here anyway). It isn’t unusual for us to come home with IKEA boxes whenever we visit Edmonton! We know what we want to splurge on and what we don’t. Sticking to those don'ts allows us to splurge on the things that we really think are worth it! 

    I love adding handmade art to our home as well, created by either myself or the kids!  

  • Best deal for the home

    kitchen island prep table

    The kitchen ... one of the happiest rooms of the house!

    Tell us about the best deal you have gotten lately for your home?

    Our kitchen island -- hands down! We found our kitchen island on Kijiji (online classifieds in Canada) for $80. It is solid wood and has simple structure -- exactly what we wanted! But for $80, I wasn’t afraid to throw some turquoise paint on it! So, for just over $100 (island and paint), we have a totally unique piece that makes a huge statement!

    Jen's turquoise kitchen island was recently featured on Apartment Therapy.

  • A room of one's own

    craft room creative space studio workspace

    Craft room: taken from the doorway into the family room. Little desk is for the kids to play/craft at while I am in there.

    You are a blogger, a scrapbooker, and an overall creative mama. Do you have a room of your own?

    I do some work in the scrapbooking industry for manufacturers (mostly KI Memories), and I am a member of the Garden Girl design team at Two Peas in a Bucket. As long as I am crafting and creative, I am a happy girl!

    When we were planning our basement, we knew exactly what we wanted for my work/craft space. The room we planned out is just off the family room and has a set of double French doors. So when the doors are open, it really does feel like part of the family room, which is so great for getting random things done while the kids are playing away! 

  • Jen's favorites

    pallet beds toile couch throw pillows

    DIY pallet beds inspired by Ashley Ann.

    What are your favorite stores to shop for home?

    I love Etsy for special little things and artwork. I could get lost for days on that website! I also wish I could win a shopping spree to Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters. Love both stores equally! I don’t get to shop at either very often, but when I do, it is truly special! I wish we had good thrifting up here, but I have yet to find it.

    What home & garden blogs or websites inspire you the most?

    Oh my gosh, there really are too many to list! Well, I would have to say The Stir is to blame for my obsession with turquoise! I had an ‘ah ha’ moment after seeing Andrea Jenkins' (hula seventy) home tour right here! I instantly became obsessed with the combination of yellow, green, and turquoise!

    I also really love decor8. Her collection of images is pure eye candy! Also love Poppytalk, Ohdeedoh, and Apartment Therapy.  There really are too many to list though. I am a self-proclaimed blog junkie!


    To read more from Jennifer and her daily life, visit her blog the little things. You may also see more Show & Tell Home Tours right here on The Stir.

decorating dining room family room home tours inspirations kid spaces kitchen living room wall art work spaces slideshow

More Slideshows