Lori Joy Smith and her daughters
I'm thrilled to share today's Show & Tell Home Tour with working artist and illustrator and creative mama Lori Joy Smith. Let's hop on up to Canada and see.
Come on inside...
Lori Joy Smith's wonderful illustrations and artwork make me smile. It's not surprising that peeking around her house made me smile too. Full of original artwork and handmades by Lori and other favored artists, lots of color bursts, and kid spaces that will make you want to skip on back to childhood for awhile, Lori's home is a delight. I'm so glad we scored a nice visit. Here we go...
1. Tell us a little about your family and your home.
We are myself, my husband Paul, and our daughters Sosi (age 4) and Ila (age 6 months). Our home is over 100 years old. We live in downtown Charlottetown, minutes away from everything. We decided to move here from Vancouver almost two years ago. When we were visiting looking for homes, I walked into this house, and it felt like my heart exploded. We haven't looked back since.
The fam: Paul, Sosi, Lori, and baby Ila
2. How do you approach decorating in your home? What's the most important thing?
I think comfort and functionality are the most important things. But I do get deep happiness from being surrounded by beautiful things that aren't necessarily functional at all. "Beautiful things" being anything from an old thermos I found at a flea market to original art. I love looking around and seeing things that I love.
Paintings by Vancouver artist Marilynne Stark
Thrifted cookie jar and thermos
3. You have two young daughters. How does their STUFF influence the look and feel of your home?
If you let it, their "stuff" can take over your entire house. We try to stay really organized. I am from the "everything has its place" school. Life is so much easier and more fun when you know where things are. So we just try to have distinct places for their things that are accessible to them. I am a big fan of baskets and containers for kids' stuff and also of throwing things I don't want to see in closets!
Sosi's drawing table: table from IKEA, baskets found at a local dollar store.
Baby Ila's room: fabric art by Lori, child's chair from IKEA, thrifted doll
Thrifted and painted rocking chair, blanket by Lori, pillow made from a Sukie handkerchief
Little Ila is learning to sit... still not too good at it. Here she is in her toy basket.
4. Great design can be expensive. How do you get the most bang for your buck?
There aren't many places to shop here on the island. We don't even have a Gap! I find most things at flea markets or online. We make a lot of things ourselves too.
pillow on right made from Lori's own fabric made through Spoonflower
5. Tell us about the best deal you have gotten lately for your home.
My best deal would have to be our kitchen bent plywood chairs. I found them at a flea market for $10 each. The best thing is that both my husband and I love them, which is something that doesn't happen often!
Kitchen: custom table made from counter top leftovers, thrifted chairs, DIY bench,
cushions made by Lori, another poster by Swedish illustrator Ingela P Arrhenius
6. Tell us about one DIY project you have taken on recently and love.
DIY projects are a bit rare these days with the delicate balance of a new baby, life, and work. I have many ideas bouncing around in my head waiting to get made. One thing that I did manage to sew recently were some simple felt boxes (also see below). They are so handy. I use one by the door for keys and odds and ends. Sosi has one on her bedside table with her little treasures tucked safely inside, and I use the last one on Ila's diaper table. It makes me happy to have these little handmade touches in our home.
Sosi's room: painting and felt box by Lori, painted IKEA dresser, hand-me-down IKEA bed,
blue bunny by M.Patrizio, little kitties made by Lori
Sosi's room: painting by Lori, gifted ceramic bunny, thrifted dresser with IKEA knobs.
Fabric art made from Sosi's baby clothes.
7. Do you have a favorite piece of furniture or decorative item in your home? Tell us about this item.
My first instinct was to answer "my bed." I think that's simply because I don't get to spend as much time in it as I would like these days. My real answer is our kitchen/dining table. We made it out of some left over custom kitchen counter we had made, and then we just added some stainless steel legs we found at a second-hand furniture shop. It is so big but cozy and comfortable at the same time. It is perfect for putting together puzzle or painting and, of course, eating. We usually are huddled all together at one end, but it is nice to know we have lots of space for when we have friends over.
Sosi painting at the kitchen table
8. You are an artist and illustrator. What household chore do you tend to back burner most so you can tend to your creative life?
Whatever you do, don't look in my fridge! Just kidding, it's not that bad... but it definitely doesn't get as much attention as it should.
9. What is your most important everyday ritual at home?
I love our time eating together. The kitchen is my favourite room in our home. It gets great light all year round and looks out onto our backyard. We sit sleepily together in the mornings for breakfast and always try to have dinner together. I cherish those moments spent all together.
10. In your home, what is one indulgence you give into?
Cookbooks, 85% cacao dark chocolate, wine, fabric, and yarn. Maybe some fancy cheese now and then (oh, reading that list makes me happy!).
11. What are your favorite stores to shop for home?
For some reason, we always end up at IKEA, I guess because it is so cheap and has such good design.
12. What Home & Garden blogs or websites inspire you the most?
When I am in the mood to covet things I can't afford, I visit Poppytalk, where the lovely things are, Design*Sponge, and Apartment Therapy.
In addition to those sites, I also really enjoy seeing people with original ideas making things on their own. Here are some sites I visit regularly:
That was so very nice, Lori! Thank you so much. Adore your personal, creative touches in every room.
Find more on Lori Joy Smith's website, where she keeps a blog, her portfolio, and a little shop of handmade goodies.
Don't miss our previous Show & Tell Home Tours: