House Beautiful

Stephanie’s Bio

Hi!  I’m Stephanie.  This is me:

And this is how I feel most all the time:

I am unabashedly candid and WAY sillier than I should probably be for my age…  as a result of which, my kids will probably end up looking something like this: I have an insatiable appetite for interior design and all things time-worn, beautiful, comfortable and inviting.   These, for instance, are perfection on a stick:

Things like this make me really, really happy:

{ photo I snapped in San Gimignano, Italy }

{ my darling friend, vani, at her wedding }

{ big, happy dogs – who, let’s be honest – are like people }

I grew up in a small, blue-collar town in Indiana, played kickball with the neighborhood kids every night till after dark, caught lightning bugs, and ate dinner at my grandparents’ house on a regular basis.

Our hometown looks about like this:

I spent almost every summer as a kid in the mountains of North Carolina with my family…  picking blackberries, frolicking in the woods all day, eating my Nanny’s biscuits & gravy and helping her hang clothes on the clothesline.

Later on, I spent a short lifetime leading a cushy existence in Charleston – an idyllic southern town that smells like sweet tea and salt water, and sounds like water lapping on the side of a boat.  Thanks to my 10 years there, “y’all” is forever woven into my vocabulary, and I think EVERYTHING tastes better deep fried.

In my late 20’s, I traded up for the Big (but still down-to-earth) City life in Chicago.  In my bones, it just felt like the right thing.  And it was – I loved it there.  It also put me much closer to my roots for awhile…  This is my Mom and Dad.  Not sure how I lucked out and ended up as their kid, but they’re both pretty awesome.

In early 2014, my life got flip turned upside down, so I packed up my house, threw caution to the wind and threw my golden retriever in the U-Haul, and made the cross-country trek to my current home:  San Diego.  It’s a little slice of heaven.

I firmly believe in things like always being kind and smiling at strangers, and calling the check-out ladies at the grocery store by name.  For instance, I bet this lady’s name is Fran.  Or Gladys.  Wassup gurl.

Drinking out of Ball jars…

Napping when it’s storming…

…and dunking my heavily buttered, crusty baguette into my coffee.

I wake up every day truly devastated that the 80’s are really over.

I love my golden retriever, Gus, so much it hurts.

I think the frosted sugar cookies from Sweet Mandy B’s in Chicago are like a big hug from Jesus.

And if it wouldn’t mean weighing 957 pounds, I would eat this for every meal….

I am never, ever, on time.  I’m eternally searching for the perfect pair of jeans and the perfect white t-shirt.  And that, in a nutshell, is me.

I think I am the luckiest person I know and think my life is perfect, even when it’s not.

*photo credits: click photo for original source.  otherwise: (small town photo – Ball Jars via flikr.  Country Road via flikr.  Ice cream stand via Kristen Gray Photography) | (charleston photo – Hominy Grill via flikr.  Charleston marsh via flikr.  Sunset via Robert Donovan.)

27 Responses to “Stephanie’s Bio”

  • Hey!! You the best! Don’t stop falling your dreams! You rock!

  • Diane Hugon Smith

    Your bio made me a bit teary.

    I remember when you were born… you were such a beautiful baby/toddler/teen… to become such a homely young woman today… BWAHAHAHA… just kidding… you are most gorgeoso (I made up that word… means “kinda cute”) 😉

    And, need I remind you… your momma was MY high school “bestie” (we didn’t use such terminology WAY back then)… lots of good memories.

    Oh… will you come decorate MY house? I have an extra $50 in my budget this month.

    Love, Aunt Diane

    • Aunt Diane (!) Ohhhh merci for your sweet comments! And, I’ll come decorate your house anytime, sister. You needn’t pay me… well, alright. You can feed me Reese’s peanut butter eggs 🙂

      Much Love,

  • Agnes, your bio is amazing. I can’t wait to see the eye candy that you provide me on a daily basis with this new blog. I feel like you were born to do just what you are doing. Never give up. I know you won’t. I’m so proud of you. Love, Fifi

    • FIFI! Merci beaucoup, my love. That means so much coming from you, who has the most amazing style of ANYONE I know. Miss you tons.

  • Stephanie,

    Should your bio have been the only testament of covetliving, it could still prove the fruitfulness of your endeavor. I am grateful for this window to your soul. Very Cool.


  • Huw (!) Thank you so much for the thoughtful comments. Karrie and I saw them the other day and wanted you to know how much we appreciated them. Hope you’re doing great 😉

  • I am glad you are doing well. …we miss you here in Charleston ..Give Gus a hug for me ..
    If you ever come back we will have to play

  • Hi,

    Loved your website. The only thing that’s missing is a Feng Shui referral!
    I can relate to the story about your friendship – and how it has survived the years and the miles. Just took a cruise with my grade school BFF for our 50th Birthdays. She lives in Curacao and I live in Minneapolis, MN.
    Also – I’m a transplant from the Chicago area! Lived in Fox River grove and worked for Richard Honquist’s Fine Furniture (Barrington) for years.
    I have a Delta Airlines Benefit – so free travel!

    Deborah Miller
    Domicile Design, Inc
    Interior Designer and
    Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
    Allied Member ASID
    Professional Member FSIM

    • Hi Deborah! Thank you for your sweet comment! Checked out your site and it’s so interesting what you specialize in. Would love to keep in touch about a possible feng shui post! And I love the story of you and your BFF. I don’t get to see Steph often, but every time we do see each other, it’s like no time has passed 🙂

  • Stephanie – I was just looking at your pictures. Burkie’s drive in — thats in my hometown too and I recognize that door because I went to school there! If you’re a fellow Funcie girl — thats awesome! Love your blog — keep up the good work!

  • Steph,

    I stumbled across your website somehow when I was searching for bathroom ideas since I am in the process of totally remodeling mine…and I fell in love!! And then I realized I remember you from Munciana….even more random. I played on Fort Wayne & we played you like every tournament. Just wanted to tell you im a HUGE fan of covetliving. You totally helped me with some decorating ideas! Thanks!


    • HOLY CRAP! Stef Dubach from Ft. Wayne VBC (!!!) – WHAT is UP?! I totally remember you! Didn’t you have left handed footwork and end up playing at UT-something? AHHHHH (!) it’s such a small world.

      I am SO happy to hear the bathroom post gave you some ideas!! We still have a few more in that series in the works (wallpaper, etc), I’ve just gotten a little sidetracked. Thank you SO much for reading – please stay in touch!

      Munciana Stephanie

  • haha YES I was goofy footed (that’s so funny you remember that) and I played at UT Martin. And you went to C of C right?? I think we even played you at a tournament in college one year…possibly at Indiana State?! Crazy – it is a small world!

    YOU have no idea how much you helped me! It’s not all the way done but it’s getting there. I will for SURE keep reading…looking forward to getting more ideas!!
    Take care and for real keep in touch!!

  • I just re-read your bio and newer posts while sipping coffee and enjoying the peacefulness of an early morn while the rest of the family still slumbers. Your blog is fresh, fun, sweet, and creatively magical. I am so incredibly proud and in awe of you!
    All my love, all the time,

  • I was just reading this again while sipping my coffee (I guess your mum and I are a lot alike. I love everything about your bio—you are just so INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED STEPHANIE!! I only wish we lived closer so we could see each other once in a while. You are truly inspiring little cuz!! Love you! (Guess I better go since Andie is now crawling on top of the kitchen table holding the phone next to my ear and saying “hello”. I think she might be seeking attention). LOL!

  • Steph I have a must see home for you to consider. Not German Village but better. Old Beechwold north of OSU. I also am in medical sales, 30 years with Cardinal. Call me and I will provide details740 504 1936
    Brian Davis

  • Call me re house for rent in Columbus 740-504-1936
    Brian Davis

  • This helped me on my project and it was really interesting. Thanks!

  • Steph-
    This is going to come across somewhat strange. I am not sure how I stumbled upon this blog, but saw your picture on another blog, said to myself, “i know her!” and the links brought me here. I doubt you will see this, but I just wanted to say, that this post made me smile, glad things are going well for you, and throughout my stint at CofC i had the biggest baddest crush on you. of course, never acted on it out of respect. It started when I took my offical visit to the College and met you on Radcliffe. i had the highschooler googly eyes “college girls are awesome” but throughout my stint at CofC, those googly eyes never subsided. You were such a light airy presence and being around you made people act better and be happier. Im glad I came across this. Most people I see from College are looking ROUGH and OLLDD.. you, on the other hand, are still lookin mighty fine.

    shy guy

  • Stephanie – I just laughed out loud and got homesick at the same time. I am from Columbus, too! But now proud to call Houston my home. Love your style and blog.
    xx, Sara of Noble House Designs

  • Love love love! and maybe a couple more WUVS! xo

  • So Munciana Stephanie,
    Now that I shared my Indiana with you, I’m glad to see you shared my favorite number 22 with me!! My number world is all about the 22 and your guy Gus….too adorable and needs to be on the cover of a book!
    I’m so happy to learn about you and your bud, Kristin. I predict you guys will grace the cover of a major magazine!! Stay tuned!!!
    Sylvia Hasbach
    Century Furniture

  • Steph,
    My friend! My my my, I am so thrilled you haven’t changed! When the world around has, your spirit, soul and smile remain a constant. I hope this finds you well! Thinking of your homemade peanut butter cookies, your laugh, the fun night at my house with your volleyball crew in “lingerie aprons”…everything about you, down to your signature brings a fond memory…your are a treasure. All the best!-Charlotte

  • Hey Steph!

    Dunking a heavily buttered, crusty baguette into a coffee is a totally new one on me in my 33 years of existance…..I may well have to give this a go you know! 🙂

    Stay happy!

    Best wishes

    Lois | Woah-Boho xx

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