Personalizing My New House To Be My Home


When I moved, I joked about music making my new house a home as well as my metal rooster (now named JZ as homage to Beyonce) perching on my deck as a defining moment. Reality is, there are so many little things that really do make my new house into my home after the move. So, what are some of the things that really help make my house my home?

The handprints mom made when I was a baby

The handprints mom made when I was a baby

In high school and college, I would substitute with a friend’s frame shop when someone took a vacation. That cultivated a love of pictures for the walls in me that was only exacerbated when I took painting classes in college. It seems like hanging pictures on the wall helps seal the “homeiness” of a place for me. Coworkers will likely attest to this because I put things on the wall at the office before files were in the cabinets or pens in the drawer.

Although I have some things like Beatles Rock Band that I enjoy,  that doesn’t exactly have much individuality. To help you see what I mean, I took photos of a few things that have already personalized my home. Some of those things are related to:


  • Handprint & footprint — My mom had our handprints & footprints molded when we were a year old. She gave one grandmom the full set of hands and the other grandmother the feet. When our grandmoms passed, mom gave them to each of us.
  • the wardrobe that belonged to both my grandmoms at different times

    the wardrobe that belonged to both my grandmoms at different times

    Furniture — My paternal grandmom moved from the “old neighborhood” to a suburb at a point and in the move, decided to let my maternal grandmom borrow the wardrobe since the old neighborhood didn’t have closets in the bedroom.

Farming Connections

  • Wheat prints by Vincent Van Gogh –When I went to Holland the first time, I was giddy about seeing the Van Gogh collection. It didn’t disappoint either. Before my sister and I left, I had several in tow and had seen others that weren’t available as prints but were on my must have list for later. I have seven of them now.
  • a wreath made of cotton bolls that was a housewarming gift

    a wreath made of cotton bolls that was a housewarming gift

    Paintings of rice planting and harvest purchased in Manila

  • A cotton wreath — On my last relocation, a friend I worked with had been out and about in Kansas City when she stumbled on a gift and floral shop. I found a great place for it here above the staircase. (Love this post by Arizona’s Tiffany Shedd showing how to make a cotton wreath or you can buy one from Little Bales of Cotton!)
  • Lots of other cotton things


  • Among the decorations in my home, you can find something from almost every trip outside the U.S.  I’ve taken. Whether its the kilim a friend and I painstakingly negotiated for near Fethiye, Turkey; prints from a college classmate in Malaysia; the mirror that dear friends in Osaka gave me or a Shiva I bought in Delhi…. I have memories and stories attached to many of the things that decorate my house. No offense to my niece’s employer, but you can’t buy these things at Pier One or World Market.
  • some of the things from my travels

    some of the things from my travels

    I also have gotten things from dear friends when they travel. A clay and painted water bottle came from Mexico with Claudia and a painting from India that Geeta and Albert brought back from India and a basket they brought from the Philippines are just a couple of the things adorning my living room.

Now I just need to get through the too many t-shirts & books…. or maybe write another blog post. 🙂

What are some of the first things you set up in a house to make it your home?

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About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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16 Responses to Personalizing My New House To Be My Home

  1. Trent Bown (@bowndairyman) September 4, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    I’ve been lucky and only had to move once since I’ve been married. If things go according to plan I’ll never leave here, but I guess you never know. Nice blog, I’ve got a lot to learn.

    • JPlovesCOTTON September 4, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

      I realized as I talked to folks in Nashville… not many people there have made multiple dramatic moves from state to state. The number of details to coordinate is almost paralyzing. But I get help from the office relocation program. Only way I can make it without going wacky!

  2. Joyce Pinson @friendsdriftinn September 5, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    Well this post has made me think…ha. Charlie broke his leg shortly after we moved into the barn…..and after that….while he recovered l”real life” took over and we still have boxes and boxes of “treasures” we have never unpacked. Maybe now is the time. Thanks for sharing this personal piece. Hope you settle in “new digs” and find happiness there.

    • JPlovesCOTTON September 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

      Thanks so much Joyce! I’ve had setbacks on a few moves so I know what you mean… I also have lots of friends who have yet to open boxes from moves long ago. I’m going to try to stay on this & see how much I can get done realistically. Its nice that it already feels like home though!

  3. Rachel Scott Woodall September 5, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    I was watching the pictures flash through and saw your mother. I thought, “How did she get her mom to pose as a work of art?!” Thanks for connecting us all to you in the new place.

  4. Lisa Smoot September 5, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Love it. My kitchen is full of roosters! The first rooster in my kitchen was from Doris Masserano’s kitchen, and that started it all.

    • JPlovesCOTTON September 6, 2011 at 9:54 am #

      Fun! Guess I should have gone in the kitchen…. but going out for sushi was fun!

  5. Lisa Smoot September 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    One of my favorites is a painting of George Kuss’. Doris had that as well, it is above my sofa.

  6. Eleanor Kuss September 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    Love your new home! Hope you have many hours of fun and relaxation while enjoying the house and yard. Maybe some flowers? And some good eats from the kitchen?

    • JPlovesCOTTON September 6, 2011 at 9:54 am #

      Thanks! I was able to spend a bit of time deskside once the heat broke. It really feels like home already.

  7. Katie on the prairie September 6, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Beautiful pieces with so much meaning for you JP. My husband and I had three moves in the first 18 months of marriage, along with building a home, a baby and few other major life changes. I have some wheat pieces that remind me always of my GriggsDakota farm home, sentimental plates and dishes that are gifts from my grandma, great grandma and great-great aunts that also make it feel like home no matter where our home actually was or is.

    • JPlovesCOTTON September 6, 2011 at 9:57 am #

      The wheat phenomenon started when I was in college…. bought a painting by a professor I loved dearly who let us all have a takeaway plan (paintings that hadn’t sold for a certain time we could buy at a discount, take now & pay when you get a real job — AWESOME!) I had the same thing as we unpacked the kitchen…. the monogram glasses from my dad’s mom are a must!


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