Home Decor Interview:
Joy from "Joys of Home"
"Come and knock on our door, we've been waiting for you..."
But if you look for doors at Joy's home, you'll find more than you
That's because Joy, who authors the lovely
"Joys of Home"
blog, builds creative decor and furniture with old doors. Yes, doors!
And that's not the only thing she can do, either.
Joy is a master at putting her own personal touch all around her home, in each
and every room. She lets not one inch of space get away, whether it's a
bookshelf, door knob, or even a cabinet handle.
In short, Joy could take your used, donated items and build a decorating mecca
worthy of a model home. Nothing ever goes to waste at
Joys of Home!
We had a nice conversation with Joy and wanted to feature her blog here at Decor
Medley. Please read all about her and be sure to check out
"Joys of Home."
1. Hi Joy, thank you for
spending some time with us today. Please take a moment to tell us about
yourself and your 1-year-old blog,
"Joys of Home."
I am married to a wonderful man who willingly helps make my ideas and designs a
reality. I am blessed to be the mother to five mostly grown children, and two
children in-law. And I'm the “nonny” to a beautiful baby girl. My blog is a
reflection of my passion for designing, decorating and creating beautiful things
for my home. I started blogging to give me an extra incentive to complete some
of my many projects.
For me, blogging is a great creative outlet. I'm always amazed when people
comment that they enjoy reading my blog. It's humbling to know that something I
have said or done has inspired someone to improve their home and their life just
a little bit.
I was blown away by one of your recent blog posts in which you featured your
bookshelves. I was struck by all the personal items you talked about and how
each piece brought its own memories, personality, and personal style.
What made you decide to do that, and how do you feel every time you walk by
those shelves and look at its contents? And do you think personal items are
more fulfilling than the random accessories we buy at our local thrift shops?
Those bookshelves are in a room where my three youngest sons spend a lot of
time---mostly because it's where we have the gaming systems and computer. I
wanted to balance out those distractions with things that are beautiful,
memorable, and inspiring. I love looking at those bookcases! Each shelf is like
a tiny glimpse in a tourist shop of a foreign country.
I do think that decorating your home
with personal items is more fulfilling because each item tells a story of the
people within the home. I have nothing against buying accessories at the thrift
store. Most of the accessories in my home are from thrift stores. The things you
use to decorate your home should be a reflection of your family no matter where
they come from, or how much or little the cost.
3. Those of us in warmer climates can’t always appreciate the changing
seasons, which is unfortunate from a decorating perspective. With Winter coming
to a close, what decorative plans do you have for your home for the Spring
During the winter months I decorate with rich, darker colors and heavy textures.
Now that Spring is here, I'll be pulling out pillows and other accessories that
are lighter in color and visual weight. I even change out a couple of the chairs
in my living room from green chunky armchairs to white jacquard slipper chairs.
I also like to bring in a lot of elements from nature. I decorate with birds,
nests, eggs, moss balls, flowering branches---you know, all the natural beauty
that you miss in the dreary days of winter.
Looking through your blog, it is obvious that religion plays a big part of your
life. How do you feel religion has influenced some of your home décor?
Most religions teach about the importance of the family unit. We believe that
the family is central to God's plan of happiness.
Since our homes house our families, they should be a haven against the storms
and struggles of life. Our home reflects our family values and beliefs. I
decorate my home so that it is not only beautiful, but also a place where my
family and friends can feel comfort and peace.
However, there is nothing in my home that is more valuable than my family. If
things get scratched, chipped or broken it's not really a big deal. The best
part of my home are the memories that we make within it.
5. The economy has likely forced lots of shoppers to go to thrift
stores. As a thrift store enthusiast, have you noticed more competition among
shoppers at the stores, and does this make you more inclined to snap up a good
deal before someone else does?
With the change in the economy I've noticed a real difference in the quality and
quantity of items at the thrift stores. People are buying less so naturally
they're donating less. When I thrift shop I try to keep things in perspective.
It's just “stuff,” it's not a necessity of life. If someone else gets a treasure
I wanted, it's okay, there will be other treasures. I know how giddy I get when
I find something I enjoy, why wouldn't I want others to have those same feelings
of excitement. In fact, I've often given other shoppers items out of my basket
if they show a lot of interest in them.
It is no secret that you like to take old doors and convert them into all sorts of
different furniture and décor pieces. Since most people have probably never
heard of doing that before, can you please tell us what first prompted you to do
that, and what general advice you have for someone who is thinking of doing it?
It's been said that “necessity is the mother of invention” and that was the case
with our first piece of door furniture. We bought a new TV that was too large
for our existing entertainment center. After weeks of having our TV sit on an
old desk, I took my husband to a little boutique that was selling an armoire
built using an old reclaimed door.
Actually, I dragged him there a couple of times trying to persuade him that we
could build one similar, but tweak the design to fit our needs. Seeing the price
on that specialty piece helped convince my husband that it we should try our
hand at building. We couldn't afford a piece of furniture that cost a few
thousand dollars, but we could make one for a less than two hundred dollars. I
joke that it took three months to convince my husband that we could do it and it
took only three days to build it. After we built the entertainment unit we were
hooked and now we have a piece of furniture built with old doors or windows in
almost every room of our house.
If I were to give someone advice about doing it I would say, “Go for it! But
first study up on the basics of furniture building.” The last thing you want is
spend a lot of time and money building something that could be hazardous to your
family. My husband and I make a great team! I like to design, assist in the
building, and do the finish work. He's great at knowing how to build the pieces
so they're solid and well constructed.
7. You once wrote something very profound: “Never let other people’s
comments detract you from making your house unique to you!” Your attitude is
admirable, but the flipside (especially if you watch so-called “experts” on HGTV)
is that if you keep your home more plain and un-personalized, it will appeal to
more people when you sell it. What is your opinion on this, and if you ever had
to sell your home, would you remove all the things that make it so unique to
I agree that a home usually sells faster if the décor is somewhat neutral so
that buyers can envision it as their own home. But that does not mean you have
to live in a plain home for years just because you might sell it one day. Your
home should be a place where you feel inspired and safe to create. It should be
a reflection of you up until the time you put the For Sale sign in the yard. Do
things in your home to make it unique, to set it apart. Just avoid going
We've sold two homes and it was the
unique features in those homes that helped to sell them, like the mural I
painted on the wall in the nursery and the shelves we built above the windows in
our kids rooms. If we were to sell our current house I would put some things in
storage and I'd probably paint our red family room a more neutral color, but I'm
sure that other features we've added would be the very things that would make it
appeal to buyers and help sell it faster.
Speaking of unique items, your stack of suitcases is an example of something you
just don’t see in most homes. Personally, I love it!
But because it is so different, I’m interested in hearing what some of the
reactions to the suitcase stack have been from your guests over the years?
I love my suitcase stack too! Visitors definitely react to it. I've been asked
WHY I have a large stack of suitcases, and if I use them for storage.
Recently someone saw all the suitcases and asked if we just returned from a
vacation, but the majority of reactions are very endearing. People will point to
a suitcase that reminds them of someone or something in their life and then
they'll relate a memory associated with the suitcase. It's a great conversation
9. Joy, thank you so much for being part of our interview. For this
last question, please tell us about the home project you are most looking
forward to this year, and when you plan on starting it?
Oh! My husband would love it if I could narrow it down to just ONE project.
Honestly, I usually have two to three projects going at the same time, with
three or four more in the works. Right now we've started building shelving
systems in the closets of several rooms.
I have plans for painting a couple of rooms, and I have at least four pieces of
furniture that need make-overs. Then I always have smaller projects to do that
give me instant gratification. I do enjoy the thrill of designing, decorating
Please make sure you head over to
"Joys of Home"
for more great ideas. And don't worry, if you see something you like, Joy
is more than happy to let you copy her. And if you do, please drop her a
note to let her know that her idea inspired you. You certainly wouldn't be
Thanks again to Joy for this wonderful interview. Good luck on your home
projects this year, and make sure you post the before and after photos on your
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