Tour of a Thrifty, Whimsical Home
Posted on February 19, 2014
My friends Molly and Patrick Lockwood are the epitome of thrift. They are Christian musicians who reside in Nashville. For the past four years they lived “in community” – in a large 2,500 square-foot house with anywhere from six to eleven total people. This economical way of living taught them many lessons about patience and kindness and cooperation.
Fifteen months ago they gave birth to Eli, their first child, and began considering when their experiment of community living might be finished. It happened two months ago when they moved into a 1,450 square-foot rental house. They were thrilled to have their own space, and Molly is finally getting the chance to imprint her personality into her surroundings. She says she is developing her identity as a homemaker.
During my trip to Nashville this past week I got to visit my college friends in their home and was impressed with the work they have done to make the place comfortable. I was even more impressed after hearing the stories about where their furniture items came from and noticing the homemade projects throughout. This couple has given a second life to many of the pieces in their home, and it is all so lovely.
Whimsical … Rustic … Innovative. These words describe their home. Molly is allowing me to share photos of her home and the stories behind them. I interviewed her and will show you the most interesting parts!
FURNITURE – RE-USE AND REPURPOSE
When Molly says her style is to “use what we have” – she wasn’t kidding! Everything in the house – except for two bookshelves – was given to the Lockwoods or found by them. For example …
- Dining room table – Patrick’s great grandmother’s
- Table in the guest room – an old door built into a lemonade stand by Patrick’s dad for their wedding reception
- Buffet table – Patrick’s parents’
- Sewing table – made out of old fence wood by Patrick
- Two rocking chairs – the chairs in which Molly and Patrick were both rocked as babies
- All of the bedroom furniture – a wedding gift from Molly’s mother
- Television – a hand-me-down from their church
- Dining room chairs – Patrick’s father
- Upright Piano – the one i grew up playing on
- Office Futon – a friend
- Office studio desk – a friend who didn’t have a need for it anymore
- Recliner – another friend
The Lockwoods searched through their parents’ attics for much of their furniture and decor. “Our parents are all at the age where they do not want to acquire more stuff and want to downsize,” Molly said. “They know that we are at the opposite end of things – building a home and a family. It blesses them to see those things put to use by people who really need them.”
You must tell me about these projects I’m noticing around the house.
Molly found the shutter at a garage sale for 10 cents. She spray-painted it white and bracketed it to the wall above the toilet to serve as a shelf.
Thread Art Sign
The “Create” sign above her art desk began as a piece of wood left over from Molly’s mother’s new house. “I needed to do something with all my excess spools of thread that were given to me. So I decided to make a piece of art.” She bought an spool of wire from Home Depot that she shaped into the word ‘create’. After attaching the horizontal parts of the letters “A” and “T”, she strung the colors she liked and propped the entire work on nails in the wood.
“The fabric for the ‘God with Us’ banner above the kitchen sink was from an old fabric sample book my friend’s mom gave me,” Molly said. “The remnants are strung together by a piece of twine.” A black sharpie or paint will work to write the letters on the triangles of fabric. Molly used green and red shades of fabric for what was intended to be a Christmas decoration, but she has since decided to leave it up year-round.
Living Room Plaque
Before moving into the new house Molly discerned what their family needed in their upcoming season of life. She framed some wood and wrote those words artistically to create a centerpiece for their living room. It serves as a reminder: ‘This home is a sanctuary for worship, a haven of rest. We are fully known, fully forgiven and freely loved.’
The Lockwoods know they can only be fully known and fully forgiven by God, but they have talked about how they want to relate to each other with the knowledge that the other is someone who is fully forgiven and loved by God. They believe their conflict and conversations take on more dignity, respect, and gentleness when they keep this in mind.
You clearly have a color scheme in the living room and dining room area.
“We are both emotional and creative,” Molly said about herself and Patrick. “Colors are directly related to my emotions. We wanted to move into a season of peace and calm and creativity, and so I knew that we needed lots of cream and neutral colors.”
You have several plants around the house. I didn’t know you were a plant person.
“I wouldn’t say I have a green thumb. I finally am experiencing having my own space, and I’m filled with the desire to surround myself with beauty and to nurture – not only my family but also plants! I’m having fun learning about the responsibilities of keeping a home, and I look forward to my weekly Monday watering chore. I did purposely buy plants that I have to water only once a week.”
The way your bed is set up, it reminds me of a four-poster bed. But it’s not. Is that what you were going for?
“Yes. I had an antique four-poster bed when I was a little girl. When Patrick and I got married, we used it, but it was a full-sized bed. He slept diagonally, and I had to sleep in a triangle. We used that bed one year. We prayed for a few months that God would provide us a queen-sized bed. Lo and behold – after not saying a word to anyone – Patrick’s friend randomly asked him one day at the bowling alley if he had a need for a queen-sized bed. With the new bed, I wanted to make our room feel more elegant without purchasing anything. I had two sheer curtains that weren’t in use so I hung them at the corners of the foot of the bed.”
I see Christmas lights in your kitchen, bedroom, and office. You must like them!
“I just like romance and twinkle. Even as a little girl I wanted to do my homework in lamplight. Never fluorescent. My mom would always try to turn on the big light and I would dramatically hide my face from it. The tone of Christmas lights is perfect.
What’s up with those panels on the walls?
“My brother, who has taught himself a lot about carpentry, came to Nashville to help Patrick build all the necessary components of a home music studio. These are homemade sound barriers: plywood and insulation covered with fabric. We plan on creating and recording a lot of music in this room.”
There is a box in the middle of your dining room table. What is its function?
“I was inspired by a desire to pray big prayers that don’t often come into my daily prayer time. I felt like we needed to take advantage of the fact that we sit at the table three times daily and pray together as a family. We just started doing this: jotting down prayers for other nations and tribes that don’t have the written Scripture … or neighbors that we want to build relationships with. As they come into our hearts we can add more. The plan is that each time we sit down we will draw at random a person or country to pray for.”
What a cute nightstand! Where did you find the suitcases?
“They were in Patrick’s mom’s attic. I thought the colors were exactly the colors I was hoping for in my bedroom. I thought they’d be practical, too. Turns out they are not so practical because they don’t stack high enough to be out of Eli’s reach – he likes to grab at the breakables. Oh well.”
Tell me about this long, narrow … coffee table?
“We didn’t have anything to use for a coffee table so I wracked my brain for something that I had that would work. In the basement of our old community house I spotted Patrick’s old Boy Scout patches board. (The patches are on the underside.) I instantly knew that could be my solution. At first I imagined the piece of wood with two wheels on it. But wheels were too expensive. So I used two old flower pots that Patrick’s mom donated to us, and I painted them white. The rope cost me a total of $4.”
Pro – The table is the right height for Eli to play with trucks on…
Con – The table is the right height for Eli to grab our cups off of…
“It is perfect height for a foot rest. Yes, it’s kind of more of a foot rest.”
Book as art
Wow, you used a book on a small shelf on the wall to serve as a piece of art! I have never seen that before.
“I was looking for a different texture and dimension on the wall. One day I was looking through the book and realized not only were the illustrations amazing but they were in the color scheme I was wanting for that wall.”
You have all your morning drink needs in one place!
“Patrick really got excited about having a coffee station. We cut the wood and he screwed in all the cup hooks in by hand so we could hang our mugs. The brackets were $2.50 each from Hobby Lobby so we spent a total of $10. We wanted it to be our morning happy spot – mug, cream, honey, grinder, coffee beans – they’re all right there within arm’s reach.”
“We have hosted tons of guests already. In most everything I do in the house I’m thinking about the comfort and happiness of others who visit. The coffee nook was created for guests who sleep here to have a warm and inviting experience when they come to get their coffee. I want coffee in the morning to feel like an event. And it does – every morning it feels like an event.”
**** I hope you have enjoyed this tour of the Lockwoods’ thrifty, whimsical home. Molly also has a blog, and you can check it out here. The two of them are fantastic songwriters and musicians. They were part of a touring Christian group called Mosaic for several years, and now they have their own projects. Check out their music at thelockwoods.com.
A few other house photos for your enjoyment and inspiration …
A look at the entire bathroom
Hallway mirror, with flair
Kitchen sink with the banner
Weekly calendar, more counter space, Eli’s chair, and bells to ring for dinnertime
(Molly says she prefers ringing the bell rather than yelling)
Cool way to pin up reminders and pictures of loved ones
Beautiful … Can you believe she was given all these great pieces!?
An Amish-made baby high chair
Love that yellow rocker, plus a view of the front yard
Molly can work on crafts while Patrick works on music behind her and Eli plays with toys in front of her.
You really should check out their music … thelockwoods.com
Thank you for opening your home to us, Molly and Patrick!