This weekend’s Get the Look Decor is inspired by Amanda Blake Soule’s 2oo-year-old farmhouse in the foothills of western Maine. For the last two years, her family has worked together to fashion a home, immersing themselves in the quiet rhythms of farm life, nature and community, with a solid foundation of love, support and family fun.
Amanda is a talented crafter who has written several books encouraging families to enrich their connections through creative activities and exploration. She is also an editor at Taproot, a magazine that shares the stories of families dedicated to strengthening their connections to local communities and nature. For more inspiring tales of parenting and creativity, stop by her blog, SouleMama.
Where do you live and with whom?
I live in the foothills of western Maine with my husband, Steve, and our five children: Calvin, Ezra, Adelaide, Harper and Annabel. Also joining us are two house cats, twenty laying hens, one duck, four sheep, two pigs, eighteen turkeys and fifty-eight chickens. Oh my! It’s a full and lively house, this home of ours. Almost two years ago, we moved to this two hundred year old farmhouse. Our days have been busy ever since with the work of repairing it, bringing the homestead back to life, and filling up the barnyard.
[Clockwise from top left: “Hope is the thing with feathers” tumbler by bridgmanpottery; Turquoise Distressed Dining Chair by Stefantastical; Farmhouse Dining Table by carolinafarmhouse; Canning Jar Labels by TwineDecor; Vinyl Chalk Stickers by windowbythesea; Deviled Egg Serving Platter by kbOriginalsetc.]
Describe your home decorating style.
Homey and comfortable. I love our wood floors and wood furniture, and I think a good balance of soft is essential, too. Natural fibers are important to me, both ethically and aesthetically. There’s a lot of handmade around here — many things I’ve made, we’ve made as a family, or that have come from friends who make things! And out of both necessity and desire, I love old things: those that tell a story, that we’re somehow connected to, that have life left in them, that serve a function in making our days smoother or more comfortable. I believe strongly in making our home child-friendly, meaning that their work and projects are just as important as the adults’ in the house. So keeping their things out and accessible is important to me, as well as decorating for and with them, and at their height and interest.
[Clockwise from top left: Log dollhouse by gsnow1; Round Wool Braided Rug by mrsginther; Antique Wicker Basket by KnickofTime; Solid Wood Building Blocks by HowellsProducts; Checker set – Pirates vs. Ninjas by goosegrease; Wood Toy Car Set by BannorToys.]
Did you decide to decorate in this style or was there an evolution to your decorating process?
Our style reflects our life, to be certain, and like our lives and our interests and passions, it’s ever-changing to suit our needs. I’m a perpetual furniture-mover. Sometimes when I notice that we are feeling stale and uninspired, I know that it’s time to change up the space we live and work in a bit. It often gives us just the boost we need to get back on track and in harmony.
Where are your favorite places to shop for home items?
My grandparents’ attics! Followed closely by our parents’ basements, thrift stores, flea markets, roadsides, handmade artisans and of course, Etsy.
What is your favorite part about your home?
This house feels very honest to me – solid and honest. It isn’t fancy or full of intricate architectural details, and yet it’s stood here, sturdy as can be, housing families for two hundred years. It was built simply and modestly, but with strength and intention to last. I really appreciate that. It feels as though it can hold us all well, yet also gives us the freedom to make changes without fear of messing with any historical integrity.
[Clockwise from top left: Vintage Science Microscope by VidaliasVintage; Vintage World Globe by FlourishCafe; Artist easel by woodcraftqueen; World Map, Vintage 1899 by carambas; Manard Hand Puppet by BobsImagination; Manual Typewriter by AppleCharlotte.]
Does your home hold any strong memories?
One of my favorite memories is the evening that all six of us (the youngest wasn’t born yet) ate apple pie on the kitchen floor in the dark after we signed the papers with the bank to make this house ours. It was a long road to home ownership for us, and it took us years (and years) to find and buy the place we wanted to call home for the rest of our lives. The moment that finally happened, with the kitchen full of my dancing children and husband, the noise of country life outside our door, and the promise of what was to come, was a very special one that I hold dear.
Looking for more styles and interiors? Check out our video series, There’s No Place Like Here, where creative types show us their unique spaces — infused with their aesthetic and filled with the treasures they collect. Get involved and show us your amazing space in this Flickr pool.