Wendy Hyde might have a blog called “The Shabby Nest,” but her house is anything but “shabby.”
In fact, Wendy keeps her home clean, well organized, and beautiful. That’s impressive as it is, but when you throw in how busy and hectic her life is as a mother to four young children and creator of lovely arts and crafts, you have a modern day wonder woman.
In celebration of the Spring season that has just “sprung” upon us, we bring you Wendy Hyde: a truly fascinating blogger who has developed quite a following over at “The Shabby Nest.”
With her irresistible pillow collection, among other creations that she shares with her readers, Wendy is exactly the kind of person we like to feature at Decor Medley. Her passion for decor runs through and through, and we are honored to have her here to talk about her remarkable life. Enjoy!
1. Hi Wendy, welcome to Décor Medley and thank you for stopping by. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your blog, “The Shabby Nest.”
I am a busy wife and mom to four wonderful children. About a year ago I was having what I like to call my “creative crisis.” I felt the need to create and a compulsion to share it with those around me, but I didn’t know how to accomplish that goal.
Then my younger sister introduced me to the world of blogging, and I discovered all of the wonderful creative blogs out there, and I realized I had found my outlet. TheShabby Nest is my creative spot where I can share my obsession with decorating and my love of creating.
2. In addition to decorating, you have a love of photography. Please tell us about your photography and how you use it in your very own Etsy shop?
I have always loved to take pictures, but I didn’t really start pursuing my interest until about a year and a half ago. My husband is a professional photographer, and I always helped out with the business end of things. But I often accompanied him to photograph weddings and was the “stylist” if you will. I would go through the proofs with him, and really started to develop an eye for what looks good. I started playing with the camera, and learning what I could, and about a year ago, he let me accompany him on a wedding as second camera! I was hooked! I’m still figuring out the nuances of the camera, but it is fascinating, and I love it.
One of my favorite parts of photography is the editing process. I have a lot to learn, but I really love what I can do so far. I create images that are simple and elegant and lend themselves well to the notecards that I have created to sell in my Etsy. I am toying with the idea of selling prints of my photos, but for now, the cards are fun, and it is a way for me to get my photography “off the screen” and into the real world!
3. Many times, all it takes is a little vacation to inspire us with a new idea for our home. During your recent trip to Maine, did you come across anything that gave you new ideas, and if so, what were they?
My family loves Maine. It is one of our favorite places to visit. This last visit was purely for relaxation…which always gets my creative juices flowing. But I can tell you that during warmer times, we spend hour upon hour on the beach in Maine, and you can see touches of that “beach cottage” feel all over our home. Apothecary jars full of seashells, little bits of sea glass, a soft blue and white color scheme in my bath. All of these are inspired by the beach!
And if you ever find yourself in Kennebunk, Maine, make sure you take a drive along the shore and look at the beautiful beach homes, they will definitely inspire you. Kennebunk also has a great store called Old House Parts that offers architectural salvage items. Oh what fun and inspiration can be found there!
4. You’re in the middle of making over your master bedroom, much of it being your own creations. Where did you learn this skill, and really, where did you learn all of the other arts and crafts skills that you possess?
My creative skills are born of necessity! I love creating a beautiful home, but I really have to do it on a budget. I love to find ways to create high-end looking decor without spending high-end dollars.
I have been making things since I was a little girl, and I took sewing and art classes as a teen. But I guess things have just evolved through trial and error. Messing up is half the fun, and sometimes the goofs yield amazing results!
5. What decorating projects do you have on tap for Spring, and what is your favorite season in general?
This is a tough question for me! I love both Spring and Fall equally. I live in New England, and Autumn here is breathtaking. I love pulling out the warm sweaters, going to bonfires, crunching in leaves. But when Spring starts to appear after a long, dreary winter, it is rejuvenating! I love the tiny buds, the pinches of green, the sunshine. I love the renewal of life.
This spring I want to lighten up the house. I plan on making some new drapes for my dining area that are lighter, and perhaps switching out some of our richer-hued accessories for the neutral, calm tones that I love so much! My husband and I are planning on painting the interior of the house almost top to bottom. That will definitely make things seem fresh and new… although I must admit that I’m not looking forward to the actual process!
6. You obviously love to decorate for your children, and they are young enough to where they probably don’t put up too much of a fuss.
Are you prepared for the day when they become teenagers and want to put their own stamp on their rooms and reject some of their mother’s decorating touches? Or do you see this as an opportunity for some unique teen decor that you guys can do together?
Even though my kids are young, I have made sure that they are actively involved in the decorating process. I have made some compromises with them already, but being the mom, of course, I have always had the final say. I am actually looking forward to the time when my children and I can collaborate on designs for their rooms.
Since my husband and I both work at artistic endeavors, we cherish the creative process and nurture it in our children.Helping them to create something that they love brings me a lot of joy. I am definitely open to new styles and to letting go so that they can express their own individuality and creativity.
7. It was noted in your “Today’s Creative Blog” write-up that your home photographs contain virtually no messes or clutter. Anyone who browses your blog would come to the same conclusion, begging one to wonder: is your home always that clean, or do you clean it up for the pictures? And if it’s always that clean, what is your secret?
I get this question often, and it makes me smile every time. Let’s put it this way, I have four children ages 8 and under. I would have to be magic to have my house clean all the time.
That said, it is not usually a disaster either. We have rules that toys are not allowed in the living room, and everyone is responsible to make sure that their things get put away where they belong. The house is always clean when we go to bed, so we start the day off right. But life happens, and messes do too… especially with my two littlest boys that I lovingly call the Toddler Demolition Team!
Of course, I don’t want the world to see our everyday messes, so when I take photos for my blog I always clean the area I’m photographing. It serves two purposes. I get a good photo, and a mess, if there is one, gets cleaned up. Besides, a little good photo staging never hurt anyone.
8. Part of decorating is throwing parties, which you recently did for your daughter’s 6th birthday. You featured several innovative, unique party items (such as your “Welcome to the Soiree” sign) that aren’t seen at most parties. What was the reaction of your guests to these adorable items?
My guests seem to like the unique touches very much. But, honestly, I probably get the most joy out of creating these things for my children’s parties. I want my children to be able to look back on their childhood as a magical time. I feel that adding special touches to their celebrations helps to create that magic.
But, I have to admit, when my mother-in-Law, who is a former caterer, came in to the party and gasped and told me how wonderful my cupcake tower was, I was extremely proud!! (Especially since baking is not my strong point!)
9. Wendy, thanks again for spending time with us today. For the last question, please tell us how “The Shabby Nest” has changed your life, and do you have any plans to expand your blog and internet presence over the next few years?
Oh goodness, where do I begin. The Shabby Nest has been a tremendous blessing in my life. It has given me the creative outlet that I longed for, but it has become so much more. It is part of who I am now, and it is a part that I am amazed by.I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started The Shabby Nest, but I have been overwhelmed by the wonderful friends and amazingly talented people I have met through blogging. I love the encouraging comments I receive. They mean the world to me.
As for my future plans, I will definitely continue blogging. I’d love to see my Etsy store expand, but I have no definite plans. I will just take one day at a time, and share the things that I love and create, and hope that my wonderful readers will continue to enjoy them with me for a long time to come.
What a bundle of creative energy Wendy is! Thank goodness for people like her who bring so much excitement and vigor to their homes and lives. Sounds like there is never a dull moment at Wendy’s household, and obviously she enjoys all of what life has to offer.
We’d like to thank Wendy for taking time out of her busy schedule to give us a great interview. Please remember to check out “The Shabby Nest” every day as she shares her life with all of you, and please also check out her Etsy store as well. Thanks Wendy, enjoy the Spring!