Interior design shows and blogs can often make us feel like we need a big home, and an even bigger budget, to pull off fabulous home decor. Amber Guyton of Blessed Little Bungalow challenges that notion with her business that specializes in interior design specifically for the beloved bungalows of the south. Learn more about this BSB and find out five things she loves about styling bungalows!
Blessed Little Bungalow
Pineville, South Carolina
San Antonio, Texas
Favorite Southern Food/Why
What a tough question! I grew up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. We eat white rice or grits with every meal, from breakfast to late night supper. As a child, I was a very picky eater and did not truly appreciate southern cuisine or soul food until I was a teenager. Collard greens, baked macaroni and cheese, candied yams, banana pudding and my grandmother’s prioleau rice (Charleston version of chicken and rice) are just a few of my favorites. But if I had to choose just one (you know, to go with all of the rest), I’d say fried catfish. I know some folks have their own theories or reasons why they refuse to eat it, but it’s the dish I miss the most. Growing up between Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie will do that to you. Oh and with a slice of white bread or cornbread and bottle of Texas Pete within arm’s reach. Perfection.
Favorite Southern Decor Brand/Why
Is Monogrammed a brand? LOL Just kidding! Short answer, I’m not sure, but there are some décor items that I couldn’t do without. For example, formal dining rooms haven’t always been my thing. Seems like a waste of square footage when you’re a single girl just living with your dog like me. But a house in the south without a formal dining room, front porch or sight of a ceiling fan just seems wrong. Other décor favorites? Rugs. Whether the flooring is carpet or hardwood, I grew up in homes where there were rugs in every room. There’s a special place in my heart for traditional oriental rugs. Both of my grandparents’ homes, aunts, cousins and my mother’s house always had one in the entry foyer and living room. A room without a rug is as naked as a window without curtains. Again, it just seems wrong.
5 Things You Love about Styling A Bungalow Style Home.
I LOVE bungalows. I grew up in the country where everything was brick or double-wide, so I wasn’t brought up around houses like this. Living in Atlanta for five years, they line so many streets, both new and historic. They have irresistible charm like a southern gentleman and there’s something about their craftsman-style and traditional character that makes you want to run up the stairs of the front porch and walk right in. The one I own isn’t as picturesque on the outside, but the house’s 1940s soul still shines through. When I think about southern comfort, my first thought is cornbread. My second, bungalows.
Bungalows have so much curb appeal. Large or quaint, they draw you in and make you feel comfortable in the neighborhood. The first impression of any house is its face: the sidewalk, front porch, steps and entry door are critical parts that’ll make a guest smile or frown. I want my neighbors and guests to feel welcome at my home before stepping inside. Flowers, seating and a beautiful wreath all contribute to feeling the warmth and comfort of the home before you even find the doorbell.
My bungalow is filled with brand new dark hardwood floors that actually cover up some of the home’s original hardwoods that didn’t make it throughout the bungalow’s generations of new additions. Wood adds rustic character and represents the bones of a house. The West Elm reclaimed wooden table in my dining room is my home’s showpiece, if you will. I thought it would make up for not having a wooden mantle over a gas stone fireplace in my living room and be the focal point of the open floor plan. I also had some wooden states custom made to represent each state I’ve lived in during my life. No matter how neutral or exotic the palette, wood is an element I can’t go without.
As you can see, before you even walk through my front door, I have a thing for gold. Yellows, golds, brass, marigolds and warm tones flow throughout my home. There are also bold colors like teal and fuschia that add contrast and depth to my office and master bedroom. Though I love neutrals and white-washed color palettes, bold colors give me life. I’d like to paint my front door black, coral or yellow, but I told myself I’d wait a year before I decided. Getting the deck stained first seemed like a bigger priority. 😉
Not to get all mushy, but looking in someone’s house should be like looking into someone’s eyes. You see their warmth, vulnerability, energy, pride and values. You see who they are and decide if you believe them. When you walk into my bungalow, I want you to see me. The real me. With one lap, you recognize the importance of my faith and family, love for wine, baskets and burlap, obsession with comfort and fresh flowers, eagerness to travel and my personal style. Your home should be a distinct reflection of those who dwell in it and what matters most to you. If it doesn’t, purge the clutter and search yourself for that imagery.
What’s a southern home without family portraits? I have a bad habit of not printing photographs often enough. Perhaps our Millennial generation is very guilty of this, living through Facebook and Instagram feeds on a daily. You should also consider doing Digital Printing for your business. It was important to me to have family photos in every room of my home. I also incorporate souvenirs, maps, momentos and pictures throughout the house to remind me of laughs, adventures and fond memories collected in my lifetime. Two of the most special are a 1948 atlas map of South Carolina that hangs in a shadowbox in my hallway and a old photo of my late grandfather and I in my guest bedroom. These pieces remind me daily that no matter how far I am from Pineville, South Carolina, that’s the place that made me who I am today. That’s my home and that’s where my heart lives.
Rebecca Crocker Photography