Mackenzie Hurt, most recognized as the young wife of Jim and owner of the Hurt House in season two of HGTV Home Town, explains the importance of feeling at home rather than the unrealistic emphasis on aesthetic. Inspired by their experience on HGTV Home Town, the Hurts continue to discover pieces that reflect their new life and beautiful home.
Upon our arrival to Mississippi, we quickly realized we had more square footage in our loft apartment than furniture to fill it. Armed with a hand-me-down couch, an old queen-sized mattress, copious amounts of end tables (I have a problem, and it’s called “buy-that-end-table-even-though-I-have-nowhere-to-put-it”), and a hutch, we moved from our 700 sq. foot house in Atlanta to our 2,400 sq. foot loft apartment in Laurel. Like most newly married couples, our house was made up of a hodgepodge of furniture. A mattress from my husband’s grandfather, a hutch from a vintage market, a couch from my husband’s parent’s basement. This eclectic assortment of furniture is what we used to transform our house into a home.
Shortly after moving into our beloved loft, a friend of mine caught wind of an estate sale, and told me there was a comfortable chair there for a decent price that could help fill my floor space. I quickly made my way over to the sale, fully intending to buy this chair my friend spoke so positively about. And then I laid eyes on it. Underwhelming. Bulky. Plain. Frumpy. These are some of the kinder words I thought of to describe this particular chair. Like any smart, resourceful, Southern woman, I immediately snapped a photo of the chair, sent it to my Mama, and then called her to discuss. In reality, I was calling her in hopes of her confirming my notions of it being underwhelming and unfit for my home. To the contrary, my mom thought it was a tremendous price and a perfectly fine chair. “Buy what you can afford. It may not be the most beautiful chair or what you want now, but you need more seating and this seat is in your budget.” And, like any smart, resourceful, Southern woman, I listened to Mama, because Mama knows best. I purchased the bulky, plain, frumpy chair, more affectionately known in our home as “the floor filler.”
And much to my surprise, I have received more compliments on this chair than any other piece of furniture in my home. Why, do you ask? Although it’s not much to look at, this chair does an incredibly, wonderful job at what it’s intended to do: be a chair! It holds people upright and it’s extremely comfortable. I often sit in it with no intentions of leaving. Which gets me to thinking – why is our tendency in life to show off our very best to impress people, when that’s not what many folks relate to at all? Perhaps others don’t want to see impressive and unrealistic, because people don’t connect with perfection. They connect with imperfection. They are drawn to transparency and relate to vulnerability.
My “underwhelming” chair has become a family household favorite. It fit wonderfully in our loft, and now we’ve found the perfect spot for it in our first home. It may not be much to look at, but it fills our home with a warmth and beauty all on its own. It’s a good reminder that I should place less of an emphasis on trying to impress people. Instead, I should focus on serving others while remaining real, even when being real looks plain and underwhelming. I discovered some neat life lessons as well as a comfy place to nap. Not bad for a floor filler.
Hailing from the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, Mackenzie and her husband, Jim, moved to Laurel, Mississippi by way of Atlanta, Georgia in May of 2016. Although the Hurts had no intentions of staying in Mississippi long term, they’ve fallen in love with the charm, character, and community Laurel provides. They recently bought their first home, applied to have the Home Town team restore their 1924 Craftsman, and the rest is history. Feel free to follow along as Mackenzie documents their journey as small-town-Southerners-in-training on her blog homesweethurt.com.