Name: Charlotte Betts
Business Name/Social Handle @milknhonee and @pintsizefaith
City of Residence ( south suburbs ) Near Chicago IL
Number of years in current home: 3 years
Tell us the story of your home.
It’s funny, because before moving to our current neighborhood, my husband and I would often drive to this area and go to Chili’s ( we’re super fancy).
Unbeknownst to us at the time, we would be buying the house down the street. I never wanted to move outside of the city. I loved the convenience of being 25-30 min from Chicago. Plus, I had imagined getting a home that was move in ready.
When I came to my senses and realized that buying a house in the city was not in our budget I finally gave in. We looked at a few houses and decided to purchase it. We ended up buying a much bigger house than anticipated for almost half the price of my initial choice in the city. Funny thing is, the house we purchased belonged to a member of our current church home, which we didn’t know she even attended our church. I love how God is always in the details. The house itself, had a good foundation, but I want a fan of the the aesthetics. Thankfully, everything that needed work was cosmetic. What sets it apart for me is how my husband could see beyond what I could see. He knew that this house was to be our home. I couldn’t see past the cream colored carpet, the unfinished laundry room ( first world problems) and a number of other things that were extremely superficial. But he saw beyond the house.... he saw our home and though it still needs some work, I hate to even admit this so far down the line, but I can finally see what he saw 3 years ago.
How would you describe your personal home style?
I’ve always had such a hard time answering that question, because I like so many different styles. Plus, my husband has given me creative control when it comes to our home decor... which is great because if it was up to him, we would most likely have a pool table and bar stools as our dining set.
However, it makes it a bit of a daunting task for me, because I’m left with the responsibility of ensuring that my choices when it comes to decor are also a reflection of his personality. But if I had to choose one, I take more of a minimalist approach.
I also believe that because I like so many different styles, it’s taken me longer to decorate our house. I want to be sure that whatever we decide , it’s something we’ll be happy with for a long time. Definitely hoping to complete that by the end of this year.
What is your favorite space in your home and why?
My dining room. It’s such a peaceful space for me. I love it for so many reasons. For one, I get to gather with my husband and daughters daily to share meals which is something that means so much to me considering I didn’t really experience that growing up. Both of my parents worked long hours and it just wasn’t something We did. Having the ability to share that with my daughters and my husband means the world. It’s such a bonding experience, there’s something about breaking bread with those you love, a bonding experience that establishes a foundation for my daughters to do the same with their family when the time comes. But most importantly creating memories for myself, and them.
I also love the dining room area because, while the rest of the house sleeps, I wake up early and sit there to meditate on the Word. It is there that I “ break bread” with The Lord, waiting for Him to speak to me. Both my body and my spirit get fed here. It’s filling.
If you could share one thing about yourself with readers that you've perhaps never shared publicly or via social media, what would it be?
I come from humble beginnings, never in a million years did I ever for one second think that I would get married, have kids and a house. Not for one second. It may not be much for some, but for me... it’s a testament to God’s goodness.
What was life like for you growing up in your childhood home?
It was pretty good. My parents bought their first house in 1991. We lived in appartements most of our lives. My brothers and I have fond memories in our house. I also remember having my own bedroom for the first time. Though the purchase of the house was exciting, it only felt like a home for a short period of time. A few years down the road, my parents went their separate ways, and although the house was still there, I remember feeling like it didn’t feel much like a home. What was that song by Luther Vandross? A house is not a home ... lol - but yeah those were my feelings at the time. As years went by, the house was restored into a home... thanks to my wonderful mother.
What does home mean to you?
Home to me is being in a space surrounded by people you love, a place where peace is almost tangible. A retreat of some sort. A home is not a house, a home can be a shack, as long as the people you share it with genuinely love, care for you. Home is where your heart is, cliché but so very true.
What do you want others to feel when they enter/spend time in your home?
I truly believe that your home is a reflection of who you are and it goes beyond style. A home carries energy and often times that energy comes from what is allowed inside. We make an effort to keep a positive energy so that we can maintain a peaceful environment not only for ourselves but for those who come see us.
Not sure if that falls into that category, but being able to apply 70% of the peel and stick
wallpaper myself was quite an accomplishment lol.
Do you think you've learned to embrace your story?
I absolutely do. I went from wanting a house in the city, to creating a home in the suburbs. My neighbors have horses and roosters. I went from being minutes to the city to seeing ponies when I pick up my daughter from school, I’ve come a long way.... and the funny thing is you couldn’t pay me enough to go back.
If there was one piece of advice that you could give to others as to how to embrace their home and their story, what would that sound like?
We are the ones responsible for creating our environment, especially when it comes to the type of energy you want in your home. Just like good eating habits are conducive to good health, Filtering what and who you allow in your home is just as important.
How does what you do currently in your professional life tie into this idea that home is "more than just a place we live" but that it holds much more of a redemptive and restorative power than we may currently embrace culturally?
Home, for me, is definitely more than a place I live. I’m home 80% of the time. I run a business out of my home and a good chunk of my day is spent working in the house, so it’s important for it to be a place that helps me create freely. Which brings me back to the importance of creating an environment that will allow you to thrive.