The Blanks home’s living spaces are in many ways like a gallery. With each new season comes a new exhibit, if you will, of décor to mark summer or fall or the holidays, set against a neutral backdrop of modern farmhouse décor.
But it doesn’t just appear overnight. It’s Brendt Blanks’ labor of love, and her full-time job as a blogger with more than 132,000 Instagram followers. Each day she fills eight to 10 hours styling and producing photos around her Ross Bridge home, writing tips and tutorials, and communicating with companies that send her their décor items for her to showcase on @shegaveitago.
But before three years ago, her professional life looked completely different. Brendt had been a marriage and family therapist and was working on the cardiac floor at Children’s of Alabama. While she was passionate about her work, it was highly stressful especially after her father was diagnosed with cancer. Around the same time, she started to play with posting home décor photos on Instagram and found a strong community there. “This is really kind of fun,” she thought as companies started to offer to send her products for her to put in her home and share a photo of in her feed.
Then one day at Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Brendt recalls that a speaker kept saying the words “give it a go.” “Am I supposed to leave my job and go into a world where I’ve heard you can make a living but really don’t know much about?” she wondered. “Could I really work from home and be more available for my family?” Her husband Andy had confidence she could though. “If you think this is where God is calling you, we can do this,” he told her. A couple of months later, she turned in her notice at her job and took a leap of faith. And she hasn’t looked back since.
Today Brendt’s posts are filled with DIY tutorials on everything from woodworking to using drop cloths to create inexpensive curtains, and her followers keep her busy with questions about this accent wall or that set of pillows. Originally she had thought that she might need to makeover her house completely to create new content, but she has since learned that people like to get to know her home and see the same space with smaller décor tweaks, like new wreaths and artwork.
And with each change in season (that comes far before any change in the weather), she will either sell the outgoing décor items on a neighborhood trading site or give them to a nonprofit she likes to support, saving a few timeless pieces here and there for the future.
No matter the season, the Blanks’ home vibe stays the same—relaxed, casual and cozy with layered textures. And along the way, Brendt is encouraging others to give it a go just like she did too.
To find Brendt’s DIY tips as well as recipes and posts on décor, faith and family, read her blog at shegaveitago.com.
Brendt’s husband Andy built this board and batten wall with a photo ledge, one of many DIY projects with instructions on her blog. Photos of their four children sit atop the ledge now.
To change out décor seasonally on a budget, Brendt suggests swapping out pillows, greenery and blankets like she does in her living room. The shiplap on their fireplace was another DIY project too. Andy and Brendt built the blanket ladder on the lef and created a tutorial for how to do so.
Brendt likes to support smaller shops that create word-filled art like this one from Lindsay Letters in addition to posting about products from larger companies.
True to a more classic farmhouse style, the dining room is home to a large collection of Rae Dunn pottery in its hutch.
To brighten up this space where their family spends so much time, Brendt and Andy painted the dark wood cabinets white. They also added a farmhouse sink with a curtain over the cabinet space below it for easy access as well as light fixtures that are more in keeping with their style.
One of the questions Brendt gets asked most is about her accent wall in this bedroom, which is actually a herringbone wallpaper by Rocky Mountain Decals. Like many elements of the house, she changes out her bedding with each season as new products arrive for her to showcase.
Behind the Scenes
- Front Door Wreath: Mercy Wreaths
- Black/White Framed Photos: Minted
- Candles: Antique Candle Co.
- Living Room Mantel Sign: Oh Sweet Skye
- Arched Mirror: Kirkland’s
- Faux Florals & Other Wreaths: JOANN
- Kitchen Sink: Sinkology
- Master Bedroom Bed, Bedding, & Nightstands: Bed Bath & Beyond
- Living Room and Dining Room Lighting: Kichler Lighting
- Corbel Wall Sconces: Antique Farmhouse