Our first actual home

September 9, 2016

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I'm  Rachel!

As a mama, wife, and blogger I lead conversations around the ups and downs of life, from practical tips to relatable stories that'll leave you thinking, "hey, I've been there too!"


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All I’m saying is at the end of this year, we will be professional movers. Let me just explain these past few months. Thomas graduated at the beginning of May from the University of South Carolina. A week later we got married (!!!!) and honeymooned in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. When we came home from our honeymoon, we had 5 days to get everything together and moved out of our childhood homes, open wedding presents, stuff everything in a storage unit and pack for California.

“Woah” is right. 

Well, fast forward to now when the California season has come to an end (until next summer) and we are still moving people. Yet, this time, we moved back home to South Carolina so that I can finish my last semester at Clemson University (insert all of the funny-marriage-rival jokes here). Thomas is working from home for the Ranch until we move to Birmingham in January.

Yes, I said “move” again. 

Since we’ll be in Clemson for only 5 months, we decided to go with a one bedroom, one bathroom “Tiny Home” cottage at a complex close to campus called, The Pier.

When they said “tiny home” they weren’t kidding. We’re so thankful to have spent this past summer in a camper so that we were conditioned to what we were getting ourselves into. It’s small and quaint, sweet and accommodating to exactly what we need.

Your feet first walk through a circle of other tiny homes with a green lawn and a fire pit in the center on your way to our cottage which will make for epic block parties. Your feet then step up to a sage colored house with a dark red door and through it lays our home. 

Our kitchen, to the left, is my new favorite spot. A fridge with all the fresh veggies and Thomas’s chocolate milk inside, with our copper ware perched on top, my new KitchenAid mixer that I can’t wait to make and bake with all the greatest goodies (thank you wedding gifts), our programmable coffee maker that brews at exactly 8:30am every morning and our four eyed stove holding my teal tea kettle for a pop of color. There’s a rug that sits right below the sink that I bought in Oregon last summer. It’s colorful and bright and I love that it catches all of the suds, marinara sauce and dirt but never really stains. It’s very loved. Storage has been an interesting issue, but our ceilings are so extended, there is a lofted space for all of our wicker baskets holding the hosting dishes and other fun stuff for when you come over for dinner.

All of our cookbooks are held in another copper wire basket with a customized cutting  board a dear friend gifted us with for our wedding. And what kitchen refrigerator isn’t complete without a Rifle Paper Company calendar to keep your days straight? 


Thomas designed and crafted the sweetest bistro table that fits just two for dinner and room for a few candles or maybe a jar/vase of a Trader Joe’s bouquet. He built it super quickly and excellently and we’re currently picking out a stain color so we can continue to use it in the future. 

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Right under the window across from the door sits our cream love seat accompanied by my favorite piece of furniture from my family’s home my mom gave me to keep, a yellow, velvet ottoman. We converted it into a “coffee table” by adding a wooden tray complete with the letter “A.”

The couch carries some of our favorite pieces, throw pillows from my mom, best friend and the teddy bear Thomas gave me when we dated in High School. (I just wasn’t ready to let it go.)

The coffee table to the side is great! It has the best drawer and cabinet for storage for all of my textbooks for school and extra stuff. I guess you could call it our “junk” drawer. 

Lamp // Target

Throw pillows // Altr’d State

Copper Coasters // Anthropologie 

Side table // Ikea


The door on the right is our bedroom. White walls, white linen duvet cover, white sheets, white lamps, calls for a pop of color so we added a few throw pillows for now until we crave something more. Above the bed is the same lofted storage as in the kitchen which means there are very high ceilings in our bedroom as well. Stay tuned, because I plan on refurbishing that dresser across from the bed with chalk paint, maybe grey (taking color ideas now), and adding a few of my favorite Anthropologie knobs. And yes, that closet is for us to share. #GodBless

Thomas and I recently bought these awesome throw pillows from Target. Do you understand how hard it is to create a bedroom that isn’t too feminine or masculine? Geez. 

I created the “vow tapestry” for literally $10. I bought canvas fabric from Walmart and used a fabric paint pen to free hand calligraphy our vows onto the fabric. We hung it right above our dresser until we can find a mirror that is more suited for the space. 

Our dresser holds all of our favorite knick knacks: two copper tea light holders from Anthro, the ring box that once held my engagement ring, a favorite candle, and a chalk board for encouragement. All of our “dresser items” are held on a vintage Johnnie Walker Whiskey tin tray we found at an antique shop. 

The night stands also give us great storage for any books we want to keep on the shelf but give us extra room to hide junk in the drawers. 



Dresser Lamp // Target

Copper Candle Holder // Anthropologie

Nightstand // Ikea

Nightstand Lamp // Marshalls

Pillows // Target

Knobs // Anthropologie

The door on the left is our bathroom + laundry room. This bright space is all thanks to the textured, white shower curtain and white walls. Behind the door is our washer/dryer. Not a washer and a dryer but a two-in-one. It’s a European thing, I’ll keep you posted on what this American thinks about it. 

Thomas mounted an organizer to hold our toiletries but also some eye candy. He’s proud to have also picked out the his/hers towels, shameless plug. 

Mounted Storage // Walmart

Bath towels // Target

Hand towels // Anthropologie


Honestly, Thomas and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. These hardwood floors will hold stomps and dance moves, these white walls will hold frame collages with memories, these grey doors will hold slams and “welcome homes!” I just can’t wait for all the stories to come that came from this “first house.”

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  1. Winter Menees says:

    I will definitely be coming to you when I need interior design help and ideas along with moving cross country! So inspired by the woman you have become and the wife you seek to be! Love how Jesus works through both of you and thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs/oohing over your beautiful pictures and home<3 love you friend!

    • Rachel Awtrey says:

      Your encouragement is not void, this was the greatest to read. Thank you for reading, I’m so thrilled you loved it!

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I am an online encourager based out of Birmingham, AL that's obsessed with my girls and sharing bits and pieces of my life. I wear a lot of hats these days including mama to two boys, military wife, blogger, podcast host and more. You can find me behind the microphone at Real Talk with Rach where we talk about everything from jeans to Jesus, playlists to pop culture, the good and the grief and everything in between. 

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