Home by Amy Jae – Home decorating, staging, and lifestyle

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REALTOR photo of Amy Jae Samuel

I’m Amy Jae!

I believe you deserve to love your home, and I believe every home is love-able.

My mission is helping you see your current home with new eyes and fresh ideas to reach it’s fullest potential, or helping you make a successful move if your current home just isn’t the right one for you.

Better my own cottage than the palace of another - Welsh Proverb

I love that quote. It’s so true, isn’t it?

It doesn’t matter where we go, whether we are heading to the office or flying to Hawaii, it always feels so good to come home again. Home is often the only place we are allowed to be 100% ourselves.

Loving your home lowers your stress levels, improves your overall sense of well-being, and helps you recharge and rejuvenate so you can take on the outside world with strength and optimism.

This means any effort you put into making your home lovable will be repaid to you many times over. It’s honestly the best investment we can make, in so many ways!

As a REALTOR, Certified Home Stager, and a Certified Expert E-Designer, I know the #1 struggle is how, exactly, do you make your home lovable? You’ve told me that either it doesn’t feel loveable at all, which is frustrating and overwhelming, or it’s just missing that little touch of something you can’t quite put your finger on.

My mission is to help you feel that love. Forget the rule book and the perfectly perfect Instagram homes … this is all about YOU and what makes you feel like you’re home.

I am so honored to have you join us!

Greg and Amy hiking in Kentucky

Hi! I’m Amy Jae, and that’s my amazing husband of 8 years, Greg! We grabbed this sweet selfie hiking somewhere near our adopted hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. We are both Chicago-area natives and moved down here on a literal whim about 3 years ago.

We were getting ready for bed and Greg was brushing his teeth over the sink when he suddenly stood straight up, swung around, and asked me, “Do you want to move to Louisville?!” I giggled and said, “OK!”

We had a moving truck hitting the road two months later! It was the best split-second decision we’ve ever made. Louisville is one of the most underrated cities in America, in my own humble estimation. We are addicted to Jefferson Memorial Forest (fun fact: it’s the largest municipal urban forest in the United States and is a National Audobon Society wildlife refuge), the Louisville Loop, and *of course* the incredible bourbon and culinary culture! Oh, and lest I forget … a little something called The Kentucky Derby. It is such a fun place to live!

The photo on the right makes me giggle. My neighbor and I would always have morning coffee together on the back deck. For whatever reason I can’t recall, we were chatting on our front porch this particular morning, which we almost never did, and guess who comes driving slowly by? Mm-hmm. The Google Maps truck! I’m on the right and we are both in our pajamas. It never comes around when you’re dressed and looking right! I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw it.

Greg and I have loved multiple homes in our 8 years together and several more as individuals – some more lovable than others – so whatever challenges you’re experiencing with making your own home lovable, I’ve probably experienced something pretty similar!

I’ve lived in a 700 square foot budget apartment that got almost no natural light, an 800 square foot luxury apartment bathed in light that I eventually got priced out of, the ugliest 3rd floor walk-up condo you’ve ever seen with laundry machines 4 flights down in the very creepy basement, and a 1600 sq ft open-plan ranch with a leaky basement and a support pole smack in the middle of the living room.

And that’s only half of them! I’ve moved a total of 8 times in my adult life, which is crazy because my parents have lived in the same house for nearly half a century (wow!) and my sister has owned her home for almost two decades! I’m the only house hopper in the entire family!

We needed to get out of our rental home in Bloomingdale, IL before the end of the lease to make our spontaneous move to Louisville, and the landlord told us we could leave with no penalties if it was re-rented. He told us he thought it would be at least 3 months before he could get a new renter.

Oh, is that what you think? Challenge accepted!

I staged the home with our own furnishings and told him to raise the rent from $1900 to $2500. He was reluctant, but took my advice. Every person who saw it fell in love and it was gone the first day on the market. And this is the home that had the support pole in the middle of the living room!

That’s the power of staging and proper marketing!

exterior of our house

Welcome to our 4th home together and my 9th home overall! We love Louisville so much we decided it was time to make an investment in the community and settle in for a bit.

I’ll tell the story of this home in a blog post soon, but we got crazy lucky finding this one. We say all the time we should not have this house and feel so incredibly grateful. It should have been way out of our budget, but the universe conspired to get it to us!

We closed on May 5, 2020.

This is what she looked like when we moved in. The previous owners loved orange and purple so much even the back deck is stained purple!

It’s hard to tell in this image, but if you look closely at the kitchen ceiling and compare it to the living room ceiling, you can tell the ceiling is also painted orange!

I love that they were brave and chose bold, high energy colors that made them happy. This is what the lovable home movement is about! Do what makes your heart sing!

“Well, Amy Jae, what if buyers don’t like it?” Are you selling soon? No? Well, then, don’t worry about what buyers want! Design your home for YOU.

blue room

This room is going to become my office / craft room. I’m pretty sure the carpet is original to the house (1998) and has a distinct … um … scent to it.

I know it’s not mold or mildew or smoke or animal (though I found a plethora of dog hair under the laundry room baseboards. I freaked out thinking we had an animal living in the walls, but it was just a black lab … lol!).

I think it’s just old carpet smell which hints at lots of fun disintegrating pad and carpet backing material going everywhere when we pull it up.

The paint color is kind of growing on me, though. I might keep that …

back deck pond view

This is where our house really shines. We almost passed on it before we even saw it because the lot was barely even shown in the listing!

It’s absolutely stunning.

I think that’s one of the biggest reasons why we were able to get it … The most lovable part of the house was all but left out of the marketing!

I’ve enjoyed starting over with a fresh slate and a new experience. Each move was in pursuit of something greater and I learned a lot from each one, but I’m also incredibly happy that we are settled into one place at this point in our lives.

Fun fact: Out of 8 moves, we have only used professional movers twice, so we’ve also gotten to learn a lot about what it takes to help a move go as smoothly as possible!

Now I want to share everything I’ve learned in my 20 years of house hopping with you!

I’m excited that you’re here because you deserve to love your home! Don’t wait until you’re selling to make your home lovable. Do it for YOU! I want you to really enjoy your home and proudly host friends and family.

One of my big personal goals when I’m figuring out how to make my own home lovable is to make it so welcoming, so comfortable for everyone who crosses my threshold, that people fall asleep on the sofa! I want my home to feel like one big warm hug for me, my husband, and our friends and family.

What about you? How do you want your home to feel? Are you like me and want it to be relaxing or do you prefer a home that’s full of energy? All that matters is that you love your home and I’m honored and thrilled that you’re letting me come along for the ride! It’s all very exciting!

This blog is brand new as of May 1, 2021, so all I ask is for grace and patience while we (Greg and I … we are practically inseparable and I say ‘we’ a lot, so whenever I say ‘we’, you’ll know I’m referring to Greg and me!) work on documenting our projects and adventures, our lessons learned, successes and failures. I want this to be a complete resource for living well on a budget, which means I’ll be testing and reviewing products, recipes, techniques, and resources with some travel, fashion, and anything else that comes up that I think you might find some benefit in!

There’ll be posts about staging to sell, styling to live, buying and selling with less stress, along with introducing you to designers, bloggers, and cool retailers.

Let’s just have fun and love on our houses!

The absolute best way to stay in touch is to follow me on Instagram or Pinterest, then sign up for email drops on our newest shenanigans! I pinky-promise that I will not spam you or share your email.


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