There are some assignments that are just, in a word, delightful. That’s how I would describe my conversation last week with StoneGable blog maven Yvonne Pratt. See for yourself…
A little background about StoneGable, the blog is named after Yvonne’s home, which she has transformed with help of her husband, Bobby and her children. Situated in pastoral Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, their home is surrounded by farm land. It’s the perfect setting for creating a modern American farm house.
BA: How did you get started with StoneGable?
YP: First of all, I am so blessed to have this blog. I started blogging when my daughter, Jacquie, moved to Washington D.C., and she would call me and ask me how to go about decorating and fixing up her home. I really started it as a way to communicate with my daughter.
BA: Where did you get the name “StoneGable?”
YP: StoneGable is the name of our home. It’s a very Lancaster County, Pennsylvania thing to do—name your homestead. Our life truly has a life of its own. It has become a sanctuary for people. We’re located right in the middle of farm land, it is a very special place.
BA: What makes you so passionate about interior design?
YP: I have always been interested in embellishing things, and in traditions, too. My home is a modern farm house, and I just love the thread of design over time.
BA: How do you go about choosing projects for yourself?
YP: I have more ideas than I have time, money or manpower to do—I keep a running list of everything I want to do. I have my next 20-year plan all ready to go! My husband Bobby is the best husband ever. He’s quietly involved in it all, and none of this would be possible without him. We have five bathrooms in this house. I have a checklist, and it goes on and on.
BA: What has been your biggest project to date?
YP: We replaced the hardwood floors throughout the house. That was a big job. I ask my kids to visit over a weekend, and help with the big projects. But our biggest projects are ahead of us!
BA: In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing someone in a home design project or update?
YP: The biggest challenge I see is people just get stuck. They get stuck in their decision-making. You have to just move forward. You also need to make sure to save some money to help fund your projects, there are often a lot of unanticipated issues that can crop up and stall your progress.
BA: What are your best tips and advice for people who want to tackle a DIY or home decor project on their own?
YP: Just move forward. It’s so important to save money, and make a decision! Fireplaces are a great example! They are much simpler to tackle than a bathroom or kitchen. Just do it! You’ll be so happy you got it done. It’s also very important that you enjoy the changes you make to your home. It takes so much time and effort to make them, so enjoy them!
BA: What is the most frequently asked question you get from your audience at StoneGable?
YP: I do tend to get the same questions from my readers. They ask most often for tips on how to choose a paint color, where I found my dining room chandelier, and how I come up with ideas for my place settings (get details on Yvonne’s beautiful and elegant “Boxwood and Stars Christmas tablescape, featured above). They love my dishes, too.
BA: What is the #1 question you think they should be asking you?
YP: That’s a big question. I would say a couple of thing. They should ask me about my tablescapes. I have tons of creative ideas, and I love to share them. I would also recommend they ask me for tips on how to make their lives easier. I can really help them there!
BA: Which room in your home resonates the most with you?
YP: The kitchen, easily. I love the clink of the kitchen cabinets closing, and the cabinets themselves are so special. The father of the man who built my home is a cabinet maker. He asked me if he could build my cabinets for me. The kitchen cabinets have such beautiful details, like fluted corners. The old-fashioned magnets on the doors of the cabinets make that “clinking” sound when the cabinets close. I just love them.
BA: If you were to start all over again from scratch, what would you do differently with StoneGable? Anything?
YP: I think for my home, I would make the back of the house bigger. There just isn’t as much light as I would like in the back of the house. I would blow out a wall, and add French doors, and I would put a bedroom on the first floor with a master bath. Regarding the blog, I wouldn’t do anything differently. I get up every morning and thank God, every day, that I have this blog. It is a blessing. My goal is to tell people to love themselves, and love their homes. And love everybody that crosses your path every day.
Well, what a lovely *visit* that was with Yvonne. We encourage you to check out her blog, which is looking especially festive over the holidays. I can’t get enough of the her tablescapes and her kitchen photos. I hope you enjoy them, too! Have a blogger or home decor or DIY maven you think should be profiles? Let us know or leave a comment here at the Brick-Anew blog!