I’ve made a nest in 18 places in my adult life. Whew. Makes me sound like a gypsy or a jetsetter, and I am assuredly neither. But it’s fun to unpack boxes and pull out the talismans that have followed me around the country. Nothing horribly valuable, but meaningful just the same. I have a framed poem from my friend Claudia, two green Wedgwood pitchers, my grandmother’s Tiffany vase set with turquoise. Lots of mismatched china from both sides of the family. A stuffed pig that was presented to me one Christmas from “your four little pigs.” A pastel sketch by daughter #3. My great-aunt’s marble table. A reclaimed sideboard my husband refinished.

When my kids were little I’d drag them to antiques fairs, and they’d go around saying, “Look, we have this at home.” There’s been a distinct Victorian vibe in every house we’ve had, simply because of the objects we inherited. As much as I admire sleek modernity, my eye is trained to vintage.

When I write, I try to picture what the hero and heroine surround themselves with. I make it a point to go on house tours, read up on decorative arts, watch period-set movies. Vanity Fair is a favorite of mine because of its broad scope. I guess I’m just a frustrated decorator at heart.

What makes your house a home? Do your characters have things they can’t live without?

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort. ~Jane Austen

I’m blogging 3/30 at Romantic Inks about the stuff on your desk you “need.” Drop by!