A Home Made for Hosting

  • Intentional Inspiration

I’m REALLY excited about this post! This has been in the works for months. Ever since I took a blogging hiatus, I have had this reoccurring thought and feeling that there is something changing in my world of decor/home inspiration posts. I love decorating. If someone asked me “If you had a full day off and could do ANYTHING creative, what would it be?”…. my answer would be DECORATING! I love it. It inspires me and makes me feel creative!

The interesting thing about this blog is that yes, it’s a blog for my photography  business… but there is a large majority of people who, when asked about their favorite aspect about my blog, say that they love the “home” posts! I’m really not offended that weddings aren’t their favorite part at all because personally, I could spend (and sometimes do spend) HOURS looking at gorgeous decor inspiration online. That’s RELAXING to me! I enjoy getting ideas, seeing new color palettes, dreaming of mixing up patterns and textures. I enjoy home design and looking at floor plans and evidently, I’m not the only one.  When I asked “What do you want to see more of?” a couple of months ago, the response was an overwhelming “More home/decor posts”!!! This is exciting to me because I love sharing about our home… but it does leave me in an interesting situation…..There is a fine line between

 inspiration and bragging

I NEVER want to share inspirational decor posts and come across as a “show off”. That makes me feel sick just thinking about that. That has never been and will never be my intention. EVER. I share my home decor projects because I REALLY love that stuff… and I know other people do too.  It helps build our audience and lets people see a peek into our world. I constantly battle this dilemma in my head… What is too much?  Will people take this the wrong way? Will this be well received? ….. Ultimately, my goal is to INSPIRE…. but this winter, I’ve had a realization. I don’t just want to provide “pinnable” content, I want to share….

intentional inspiration.

When I post about our home, our decor, our paint colors, our place settings, etc… I want there to be something MORE behind this content. There’s nothing wrong with pretty things but I’ve been convicted recently that I need to make sure I’m communicating our heart behind this area of our life. Decorating, dinner parties, wall displays, re-arranging the spare bedroom… all of these things mean nothing on the surface, but when you know my heart behind why I do these things, it adds some depth to the inspiration.

Michael and I got married and lived in a 1300square foot cape cod our first two years of marriage and it was adorable…. small, but adorable! (View old house posts HERE, HERE & HERE) We hosted get-togethers with 20+ people in that tiny house and it was so much fun. Our air conditioning unit could barely keep up but we were having such a great time that it didn’t really matter. Amazing memories were made in that house and that was where we realized that we loved hosting people. We loved having people stay with us and even though we didn’t have a spare bedroom, we worked really hard to make our couch cozy! :) We dreamed of the day when we could not only have a spare bedroom for our guests…but we could have space to host LARGE events! We wanted to host workshops in our HOME instead of at a fancy venue. We wanted to host youth group events, small groups, birthday parties, Thanksgiving and out of town guests for long periods of time! Every time someone enters our home, we have a unique opportunity to love them and make them feel cared for and that’s why we built our current home.

So do you need a new home that’s larger than 1300 square feet and is decorated beautifully to love and serve people? NO, absolutely not. You just need a heart for people. We loved and served people in our smaller home for years and we really enjoyed it!! It was cozy and homy and we loved having people over!! ANYONE can love and serve people with their space, no matter the size, shape or square footage and I believe that God calls us all to do that in some way, shape or form. (Hebrews 13:2)

No matter what your space looks like, I think most everyone desires to make their space feel warm and welcoming. This is where the decorating comes in! My goal in our home is create a space that is fun to be in. There’s nothing wrong with having white walls and nothing hanging on them… but personally, I think frames and curtains help make a space feel a little more cozy. One of the first rooms we decorated in our new house was the guest room. I wanted our first guests to come to visit and feel like they had their own space that was safe, welcoming and inviting and so that room took priority over others. The more I make this house our home, the more I realize that I love decorating because I love PEOPLE. Sharing our space and hosting our friends and family is one of our favorite things to do and my contribution to that is making the space WELCOMING!!!

After praying about this, talking with friends and working through this with Michael…. I have decided to transition my decor and home posts into a BRAND NEW SERIES!! Introducing…..

a Home Made for Hosting

I’m excited about this series because it is going to show the inspirational, pretty stuff… but it’s also going to have share more of our heart behind how we love and serve people with our space. I want my “pretty” to have a “purpose”. So get excited because we have a lot that we want to share with this series. I have to remember that this ISN’T a HOME DECOR blog because I could blog about decorating for weeks at a time! This series will pop up every now and then, just like our previous home posts, but there will also be some “Home Made for Hosting” posts that just talk about the spiritual/service side of our home as well.

I hope you’re just as excited as I am…. and I hope my rambling makes sense! :) I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on all of this! Thank you for reading and sticking with me! Because I made you read so much, here are some updated pictures of our living room!! Enjoy!! xoxo




– Couch : Bassett

– End Tables & Coffee Table : IKEA

– Paint Color : Sherwin Williams “Amazing Gray”

– Pillows : Basset

– Cuddler Couch : Basset

– Lamps and ceramic table piece : Homegoods

– Teal entry table : Target

– White Shelves : IKEA (Lack)

– Affordable Canvases printed by : CG Pro Prints

xoxo, Katelyn
44 Comments A Home Made for Hosting, Our Home
  1. Tina reply

    YAY!! I am very excited about this because I will love every post you do but my favorite are always weddings and any posts about your beautiful home. I feel the same… I’ve ALWAYS loved the happiness and warmth that comes with hosting and having people over your house and nothing means more to me than for people to feel that when they are at my home. I’m so excited about this series!! :)

  2. Noelle Merzlock reply

    I love it! ! Love your work. Hopefully one day I can come sit in your home and be taught to be the amazing photogs you two are. . Hugs. NOELLE

  3. Jill Powers reply

    I LOVE this!! I can’t wait to follow along with this series!!

  4. Nicole Salter reply

    Your house is the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen. So yes. Share, share and share some more. I think I was starstruck with your HOUSE just being in it because I was in love with it so much before I even got there ;) Hey look, it’s doing it to your house as much as you’re doing it for yourself. haha

  5. Victoria Easter Wilson reply

    I’m one of those people who said they love your home posts! In the time I’ve been following you, I had our first child! I’d love it if you could give tips for decorating with a busy toddler running around. When I look at these ideas, they seem lovely, but I can’t stop thinking “Baby. Proofing.” Any ideas you ever share would be great!

  6. Kat reply

    I LOVE this, Katelyn!!! Can’t wait to read:) xo!!!

  7. Melody reply

    If you ever retire from photography you definitely have a career in decorating. Martha Stewart magazine or Southern Living would be crazy not to snap you up! :). Your home is amazing.

  8. Jennifer Krieg reply

    So beautiful!! Cannot wait to continue reading your new home post series! LOVE!!

  9. Lauren Swann reply

    I love that you’re striving to be more intentional about your blogging!! It’s such a service to us as your readers, because it shows how much you care about us! I’m excited to hear more about how you and Michael use your home for hosting… I know firsthand how well you do it! XOXO!

  10. Anna | ANNAdventure reply

    I love your home! So beautiful :) You have fabulous taste!

  11. Ashley reply

    I love the new series!!!! I have always loved your home decor posts, but I love the new idea even more! I am looking forward to hearing more about how you and Michael serve in your home!!! Keep it up KJ!!

  12. Amanda Helfrick reply

    I second the career in decorating! I would hire you in a second for interior decorating help in our home :)

  13. Elle reply

    Love it :) Wanna come decorate my place!?

  14. Nancy Ray reply

    Love this post. Also, the cutest accessory in your home is most definitely Bokeh :)

  15. Emily Zydiak reply

    Absolutely love this post about “pretty things” being about loving people and making them feel welcome rather than just “things.” Appreciate your humility and boldness of faith— your heart shone through this post and it’s beautiful!

  16. rebekah j. reply

    absolutely love this, Katelyn! it’s a topic I’ve been thinking of + talking about a lot lately and being reminded that hospitality is even a spiritual gift it’s so important. can’t wait to follow the series! <3

  17. Sarah Bradshaw reply

    I love this!!! I ADORE hospitality, and cooking for people and having them in our home makes me so happy. We just have a tiny 700-square-foot apartment right now, but it’s the perfect size for us. Buck always reminds me that Paul encouraged early Christians to show hospitality— and they were likely living in one-room houses, so we have no excuse. Even sharing a cup of coffee can be hosting people with love and grace.

  18. Sydni Jackson reply

    YAY!! Great news :D We all love your decorating posts!! And I have to say, I love that you use a lot of COLOR in your home!!! :) :)

  19. Nikki Santerre reply

    I love this post, Katelyn! Our home is little, but we’ve made so many incredible memories within these walls with people we love and care about. It’s one of the reasons I host client meetings at home, because I really believe I can serve them and love them well within this space. I can’t wait to follow along! xoxo!

  20. Ashley Kester reply

    I love your house and love that you open it up all the time to others. You both are such a blessing to so many.

  21. Nicole reply

    Kateltn, and Michael, I adore your work from afar. I am all the at over in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Not only do I love your photography work but yor decorative skills have inspired me so much. I too spend countless hours looking at decor ideas, textures and colour pallets. I could spend days and days walking through show homes and dream up a life in random houses. I absolutely love everything about it. I thank you for your inspiration and hope one day that we can make it out your way and finally meet. Thank you for sharing your life!

  22. Meghan reply

    Love this and love your sweet heart!

  23. Heather reply

    Having been someone who has had the privilege of being invited into your home, I can say that what you hope to create you have already created. Your house is not only beautiful but it is so cozy and fun. But the most important part is the heart you feel when you walk through the door. You and Michael have such hearts for community and it comes through in your home. The house personifies both of your fun personalities (and Bokeh’s) while providing a place for friends to gather! I’m so excited for this series and I can’t wait to see where it takes you!

  24. Olimpia reply

    I think your house is super cute, and it’s great that you host family, friends, and clients in your home. I’m not religious, so maybe this is just me, but you don’t have to justify wanting to show the things that make you who you are or that make you proud by wrapping it in Biblical context to keep from feeling insecure about it. Posting photos of your dog doesn’t make you a show off, and neither does posting photos of your home. They are the parts of your life you love and get joy from sharing. Essentially it is your home base and your office and your studio and your lecture hall all in one, and we’re lucky to get a peek into where “the magic happens,” as it were! Share away and don’t feel insecure or judged for it!

    • Katelyn James reply

      Hi Olimpia!! Thank you for the comment!! I agree that I don’t have to justify my sharing of personal posts. Thanks for that reassurance! However the influence of faith in this post isn’t being shared just because it makes me feel justified in sharing our home, it’s really where my heart is…. I just haven’t done a great job of sharing it! :) I appreciate the encouragement! :) To quote your comment: ” wrapping it in Biblical context to keep from feeling insecure about it” Moving forward, I’ll be including biblical context because it that gives my “home” posts more depth and meaning. I want people to know my heart for service just as much as I want them to love my living room! :)

  25. Christin reply

    I’m really looking forward to this new series of hearing the spiritual/service side of hosting!

  26. Shelley Hohe reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. I have always loved your home decor as I love to decorate as well. As a matter of fact 25 years ago when graduating from high school I almost went into interior design, but instead went into the medial field (for stability). I always used to love decorating and having our friends from church over in our home until our daughter brought home lice from school 3 times in kindergarten (this was 10 years ago). Ever since then I have been so fearful of having people over because I am so afraid of someone bringing something like that lice in again. You see my fear took over and in my mind I thought if my husband, kids and I always take showers when coming home, I won’t have to battle that lice again and I certainly can’t make our guests take showers when entering. It’s been so many years since I have had people over and my husband doesn’t want to force the situation upon me (bless his heart). Your post reminded me what I am missing out on and how much I enjoyed having friends over. I miss how passionate I used to be with decorating and making our home so welcoming for our guests. My husband used to tell me how hospitable I used to be before all this took place. I look forward to following your series and hoping it will be a huge break through for me. THANK YOU KATELYN, I hope you know how much this post of yours moved me!! Xoxo

  27. Moriah Ortega reply

    Excited for this!! I LOVE home decorating inspiration!!!

  28. Jessica Ranae Photography reply

    I love your living room! Thanks for some decorating inspiration!

  29. Carmon reply

    I, for one, am jealous of your home – but do not think your posts about your house are boastful or off-putting. I just always show my husband and say, I want that – I want my house to be that open and well put together and it gives me something to strive for. If I have to work ten times as hard to achieve that – then so be it. So, at least for me, your home decor posts have always been inspirational. You have a beautiful home and a strong talent for decorating!

  30. Jacinthe reply

    That is an absolutely wonderful idea, Katelyn and Michael!!! I have been dreaming about this for years… thanks for being inspiring and thank you in advance for your future post in this series! I just cannot wait to read (and see) them!

  31. Stephanie reply

    Thank you for sharing your heart about this! I too love hosting people and love making my house a home so that when people visit, they not only feel comfortable but they feel the love of Jesus! I have gotten many ideas from you, especially the way you arrange things on shelves, I’ve become an expert now.

  32. Elizabeth reply

    Eek, excited about this new series, Katelyn! Your home is absolutely perfect for hosting + I’m excited to hear your tips. Ah, nothing quite so awesome as seeing piles of coats and shoes in the hall – evidence that a group of dear people is around. :) Blessings!

  33. Amy reply

    I love your home decor posts but I also love even more hearing about your heart behind them and can’t wait to read more in this series! I can definitely relate in that I love decorating and everything but there has to be a bigger picture to it all than just making it pretty for ourselves. My husband and I regularly host groups in our home and I love creating a space that feels warm and inviting! Anyway, just wanted to say that I love this idea for a series and can’t wait to read more!

  34. Catherine reply

    I love your home decorations ! I think I will maybe steal some ideas.. looks like in magazines ! I saw your post today about sharing your wifi code with guests and it made me curious to see more of your home decor. I discovered you 2 weeks ago so have a bit of catching up to do :-)

  35. Mandy reply

    Absolutely gorgeous! I’m getting ready to paint our new house, & I love your paint colors! Just to clarify, all of your living room (except for the fireplace wall) is painted in Sherwin Williams Amazing Gray?

  36. Angela reply

    I knew after listening to your webinar that your spirit was different and then I come to your website and blog and I’m thrilled to know that you are a believer! I pray that God continues to bless you and enlarge your territory so that lost souls will be touched! You have gained another follower!

  37. Angela Wright reply

    We can’t get over your house. My husband has asked me several times if it is a model home. It’s gorgeous! And the layout looks devine. It would be a major lifestyle choice for us as we’re looking to move from right in Henrico by UR. We’re trying to line up appoints for Sat to come check out Hermitage Club as well as see yours and a few others in your area. Do you have a jpg of the floorplan or the builder’s name & design that we could look it up online? I found your site from trying to scoop out the area on Google Maps.

  38. Megan Brenneman reply

    I love your work, your site, and most importantly that you are a christian! I love your blogging and everything! Happy i came across your site. and you share so much!
    Crazy question what is the color gray in your house in the living room.

  39. openload movies reply

    fantastic ideas i really loved this..

  40. Katelyn James Workshop Part One | Courtney Abernathy reply

    […] We were the first workshop in this beautiful home! You see more about their home here! […]

Reply to: