Living With Kids: Chelsea Farmer

Chelsea Farmer’s home is full of color, pattern and personality. Chelsea’s home feels like it would bring a smile every time you walked into it. She has a unique style and she owns it. There is so much life and so much charm in this house. I can’t wait for you to get to take a peek inside. Welcome, Chelsea!

I live in this adorable modern farmhouse with my husband Matt, our son Sterling James and a handful of rescue animals. Matt and I met back in middle school but didn’t start dating until after our high school graduation.

In 2009 we got married and sold everything we owned to move from Nebraska to Kentucky where we both set out to start our own businesses. We’ve been doing just that ever since. Matt travels across the United States working on water tanks and I own a handmade jewelry company.

Our work has kept us separated quite a bit over the years so when we are both home at the same time we really enjoy boating in our backyard and exploring this little town we call home .

We live in Owensboro, Kentucky just outside the city limits. Our home is on the river with only two other houses nearby, so we get the best of country and city living. I absolutely love where we live because we have everything a big city has but with small town charm. This community is very friendly and welcoming. I feel like we’ve finally found our home. Our downtown area is full of little shops, amazing restaurants and an amazing park right on the river. 

Our backyard is like our own little getaway where all we can see is an island in the middle of the river. Our son Sterling calls this “treasure island” and we often spend our evenings boating over to it for him to explore. These river views are not the norm in our town and they come with a price. The average home price in our area is around $130,000 whereas our home was purchase for $577,500 back in 2016. Homes like ours tend to spend a bit of time on the market but we don’t plan on selling anytime soon and are very happy to call this home ours. 

When I was 3 months pregnant with our son Sterling we set out to find a house closer to town and one with a great view. My husband and I spend a lot of time traveling and wanted to feel like we’re on a trip daily while enjoying some sort of unique view. When we first came to tour the house I was surprised at how peaceful it is here. I can see a busy highway but the water just drowns out the noise.

The process of purchasing our dream home was quite the process however. We spent 6 months going back and forth on a price and honestly didn’t know if we could ever get the sellers down to a price we were comfortable with as they were originally asking over 1 million for the property. Two weeks before our realtor contract was up with the sellers, we finally made a deal. Everyone was over the whole process at that point. But I’m happy we stuck it out. 

I’m a regular shopper of the Goodwill and country roads. I also spend a lot of time at my favorite antique shops. One I like to frequent here in town is Peach Tree Antiques. They specialize in private estate sales and have the most amazing and unique pieces I’ve ever seen. 

You never know what you are going to find when antiquing and that’s what I love about it. It can however, become frustrating when you’re holding out to find just the right piece. If you are wanting to add in more vintage flair to your home, I recommend stopping by your favorite shop at least once a month as they are always getting new pieces. The hubby and I like to grab a coffee and spend the morning hitting our favorite shops. That’s my idea of the perfect day date! 

When decorating a whole house, I usually start with one main piece of artwork and then pull colors from there to keep the entire home cohesive. The Michelle Aramas painting in our entryway sets the mood for our home. I pulled the blues out of it for the dining room, the greens for our glass kitchen knobs, and the pinks for our living room and accents throughout.

I feel like using this method of one visual palette really helps the bold mix of colors flow nicely throughout the house. I know some of my decor style seems a bit much for some people, but I decorate my home for me and my family. We live here and really enjoy having quirky birds on the walls of our dining room and a blush pink living room. I’d hate to not allow my home to fully reflect my style just because it might not be something a future buyer would like.

I’m all about being present and loving what you have. I don’t think you can fully love your home if you base your design choices around someone’s possible opinion of them down the road. 

With that being said, sometimes my crazy design choices don’t work out. I originally painted our living room a dark teal. Even though we have massive windows all around the space, it was still just too dark and didn’t really go as planned.

A few months later while Matt was out of town I called my mom over to help me paint the entire room pink. Light pink over dark teal was a nightmare. We had to paint four coats just to get the teal covered.

The color completely changed the look and feel of the room. I absolutely love how it turned out and after the initial shock of having a pink living room wore off, Matt agreed too. 

Matt and I started rescuing animals back when we were dating. One Saturday morning we decided to go visit the Humane Society, met a cute little three legged kitten, and took her home. After that, anytime there was an animal in need we stepped up and took them in. At one point we had 11 little creatures living with us while trying to locate their forever homes.

Animals bring so much joy to our lives by just simply being in the room. I can’t help but take in any that are not in a loving home, even if it’s just to help them find a permanent place.

We’ve been rescuing for so long that people will regularly reach out to us when they find animals or need help placing one whose owners have passed away. We’re kind of like a secret society of foster care for pets. We currently feel like five is a more manageable number these days with how much traveling we do. 

I feel like my mom superpower is being mindful. I really think about every single thing I say or do around my son. How we respond to others, how we interact with animals, all of these little things in our daily lives really shape us into who we are. Something as simple as saying “good morning” to strangers on our daily walks, and holding doors for others, has become a very natural way of life for this little three year old human. 

I hope Sterling remembers how fortunate he was to grow up in such a loving and playful home. I also hope he remembers how unique our home is and the experiences of having wild animals in our backyard, an island we can boat to, daily adventures to the parks — just the little things throughout our day to day life that not everyone gets to experience. 

I absolutely love having a little helper with me everyday. Sterling helps me with all the chores in the house and makes everything so much more fun. Even folding the laundry is an adventure with him around.

I do miss the days of sitting on the couch holding a sleeping baby and watching the boats go down the river. The time goes by so fast. You never know when the last time is going to be the last time you get to enjoy those little moments. 

I wish someone had told me to not put much value in the opinion of others. My house is colorful and eclectic because I didn’t ask someone’s opinion of my wallpaper choice, because I knew I already loved it. I have a successful jewelry company because I take risks and do things out of my comfort zone without needing input from anyone else. I am comfortable with my choices and I know what I like.

I would’ve got to this place a lot sooner than I did because I would’ve been much happier along the way. I think we put too much value in others input on decisions and actions that we have to live with. 

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Thank you, Chelsea!

What a lovely home both inside and out. I could definitely get used to seeing that gorgeous river every day. And I would definitely enjoy being in such a colorful, thoughtfully designed home. I loved Chelsea’s advice about making a place you love and not worrying about what people (or imaginary future buyers) think. In my last home, my living room was a dark raisin-y purple and people thought I was crazy — but the finished product was stunning.

I also love that in the midst of raising their son and running their own businesses, Chelsea and her husband take time to rescue animals. We don’t always get a chance in these home tours to shoutout the pets and animals in our lives — even though for many of us they make our homes what they are. I love that Chelsea and her husband started rescuing when they were dating and have done it ever since. Amazing!

SOURCES

Wallpaper

Rugs

Artwork

Dinning Room Chairs


Photo credit to Jamie Alexander. You can follow Chelsea on Instagram here or check out her jewelry here. Living With Kids is edited by Josh Bingham — you can follow him on Instagram too.

Would you like to share your home in our Living With Kids series? It’s lots of fun, I promise! (And we are always looking for more diversity in the families we feature here. Single parents, non-traditional parents, families of color, LGBT parents, multi-generational families. Reach out! We’d love to hear your stories!!) Email us at [email protected]

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