When it came time for photographer Loree Rowland and her husband, Roy, to decorate their new Florida home after a big move from the Pacific Northwest, the Rowlands looked no further than their love of nature and collection of travel souvenirs for design inspiration. The result? A perfectly cozy family abode featuring a mix of mid-century modern meets vintage decor that you’ll want to copy immediately.
Though you’ll love every room in the Rowlands’ house, the boho-themed nursery that Loree and Roy created for their one-year-old adopted daughter, Naveah, is extra special after the couple endured years of struggling to conceive and experienced three failed adoptions before starting their family. And now that they’re preparing to welcome Naveah’s biological sister, Nyah, home (more on that later!), their chic yet comfortable master bedroom includes an additional nursery set up that fits perfectly into their space.
Keep scrolling to find out Loree’s favorite travel memory and how they incorporated that moment into their home’s decor, learn the quirky kitchen feature the photographer has grown to love, and read the Rowlands inspirational adoption story.
Name: Loree Rowland, Photographer
Location: Lakeland, Florida
Sq. Ft.: 2,400
Years Lived In: 7 years
Rent or Own: Own
Children: Nevaeh, 1, and Nyah, due any day!
You moved from Washington to Florida eight years ago. What was it like moving across the country?
Quite an adventure! We knew Florida would be quite different than the Pacific Northwest, but we have fallen in love with the community we live in. We had a job opportunity, so we took it, packed up everything, and drove across the country with our dog and plants and valuables in our two-door Honda Civic in one week. Good memories from that road trip!
Can you tell us about your design style and how your travels have inspired your home’s decor?
I love surrounding myself with things that remind me of the outdoors, so I bring the outdoors in by bringing in natural woods, stone, metal, plants — pretty much any textural material.
I decorate with everything from rocks to driftwood to seashells that I’ve personally collected from travels. I’m hoping that it gives my daughters a love for nature too as they grow up around it.
SHOP THE LOOK
What is your favorite travel memory that you have portrayed in your home?
I have so many little things collected from all over and displayed here and there in my home. One of my favorites is a rather large plank of wood that I carried 10 miles out of the wilderness of Washington from one of our annual backpacking trips. The rule we have always had is, “You find it and want it, YOU have to carry it out” so I did (on my shoulder along with my other treasures and my 35-pound backpack)! The piece was once displayed on my mantle until it was replaced by a beautiful mirror. Now, it sits in our entryway under our entry table which I curated and had custom made out of wood from a blacksmith shop built in 1861 in Morrison, Illinois. If you walk around my house with me, I could tell you stories about 90 percent of my decor. Pretty much everything has a story.
You like to have a mixture of both modern and vintage in your home. How do you find this balance?
Though my house isn’t my dream house, I still have enjoyed making it mine with painting walls and adding decor. As much as I would love to change things structurally, I know that we won’t be in this house for too long and so I continue to wait to have my dream house. But I would say I lean more towards mid-century modern-vintage using woods and metals. I have such an eclectic style though from mid-century to classic to old farmhouse-country to a little bit of boho peeking in some corners. I fill my home basically with things that speak to me and that are sentimental which adds to my mixture of tastes. I love pretty much every style there is as I challenge myself to marry it all together with functionality and style.
I still have a hand-me-down table and chairs in our kitchen breakfast nook. The very ones I grew up with. Though they aren’t quite what I’d like to have in that space, it’s something special and sentimental to me.
The wardrobe in the guest room is something my parents gifted to me for my 15th birthday. They let me draw up the design and specifications and had it custom built for me. It’s something I look forward to passing it down to my girls. The craft table in the guest room has been with me my entire life. Since I was born! My parents ate at it when I was very young. Then, it became my mom’s art table where she would watercolor her hundreds of painting with me sitting beside her watching and learning. So, as much as my husband wants to get rid of it, I just can’t.
The little framed piece by the guest bed are small tokens found and treasured from our honeymoon 18 years ago in Barbados.
I like to choose statement pieces that are meaningful, and it’s always nice to have mid-century modern pieces mixed in that accentuate each space. I love texture, whether that be in a large area rug to pillows with texture to plants and baskets.
I love crafting and painting too, so I have many pieces of handmade art throughout. It’s fun for me to have things that people can not only see but also touch and feel.
SHOP THE LOOK
How do you think your creative eye for photography came into play when designing and decorating your home?
Rule of thirds and playing with light and shadow is all incorporated from photography and is how I see things. I had seven years of interior design and decorating experience along with owning my own floral business for 10 years. Not that I’m an expert by any means, but all of this past experience has helped me to see creatively.
Do you have a favorite room or space in your home? If so, which one and why?
My bedroom, though it’s not exactly the way I want it, and I am always changing it up! But I love how calming it is. It’s large enough that we have our very first sofa we ever bought placed in the bay window with a coffee table, and it has fast become my favorite place to sit and work or just have a cup of coffee and read. The room is surrounded by windows which is another favorite thing of mine. Natural light!
My second favorite place is the kitchen. When we moved in, the cabinets were beautiful mint green already. It took me several years to get used to them, but now I’m in love! The white, green, and black is quite calming to me.
SHOP THE LOOK
You’ve added several areas for entertainment and conversation in your home. Do you have any advice for creating these types of spaces?
Building relationships is a value to us, and creating these conversational spaces is important so people feel welcomed and comfortable as soon as they step into our home. I want to make it feel like it’s lived in rather a museum where people can’t touch anything. I love having comfortable seating areas with throw pillows and blankets always on hand to bring that sense of comfort and feeling that you are at home.
Nevaeh, your 1-year-old, has the cutest nursery! Can you tell us the story behind this room?
Nevaeh’s nursery has transformed so many times. When we first moved into this house, it was painted the sweetest buttercream yellow, and I just felt deep down in my heart that a little girl would one day occupy it.
But through the years, it became a guest room and an art room for myself. And then we received our precious Nevaeh, and it soon became a calming retreat for her. The colors and feeling behind it is basically captured from my love of the desert and its sunsets. Having walked through such a long “desert of waiting” for her, she and her sister have become our desert roses. Though I don’t want to be obnoxious with a ton of cacti, the feeling and colors like I said, are what inspired me.
Where were your favorite places to shop for the decor in the nursery?
I am still piecing her nursery together. By the time this article comes out, it’ll be changed again. Ha! But her crib is from West Elm, the shelving for the storage of her hair bows and clothes is from IKEA. Pehr is one of my most favorite companies which is where the rug, mobile, crib sheets, and storage cubes are from. I painted some desert inspired art. Her reading corner mat is from Gathre.
SHOP THE LOOK
How do you want Nevaeh to feel in her room?
A sense of peace and love. Secure and safe, surrounded with joy. I want her to feel capable of exploring and playing amongst color and texture, and so adding different textures from rugs, pillows, and eye catching art help to accomplish that.
Nevaeh seems like such a happy baby! What has been your favorite moment of motherhood with her over the past year?
Getting to watch her grow to know me as HER mommy. That I am the person who she will call mommy. I am the person who she reaches for when she needs comfort. She doesn’t reach for anyone else; she reaches for me, and that is something my heart yearned for for many many years. I have also loved watching her grow to enjoy books. She can sit for the longest time and just flip pages of books over and over and over again.
You and your husband adopted Nevaeh after 15 years of not being able to have biological children and three failed adoptions. If you’re comfortable, can you tell us a bit more about your journey to parenthood?
Well, if you don’t mind a long story… here it goes!
In the beginning I’d lost hope. And my friend, trying to encourage me, told me that if I didn’t have hope that she was going to have it for me. So, I let her take it — I didn’t want it. It was too painful to hope after my husband and I would try and try and try to start a family and dead ends met us at every turn.
I was finally understanding what the Bible talks about when it refers to “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” I was certainly becoming sick. Sick with depression and bitterness. Which in turn stole my joy of the life that was right in front of me.
SHOP THE LOOK
I don’t remember the exact day or moment that I became OK with the thought of being at peace if I never had children. But I do remember that on our third attempt to adopt a child, we got a phone call in the middle of the night informing us that the birth mom had lost the baby. I remember crying my heart and lungs out on my hotel bed along with my husband and then hearing a songbird just outside our window in the dead of the night. That sweet bird’s song became like an anthem to me. Though I still despised the word hope, I decided soon after that I would get the word “hope” tattooed on my back to be a reminder that it was still there even if I could not feel it or see it.
I began pursuing life — whatever was in front of me. We both did. My husband and I packed up our lives and moved to Florida from our home in Seattle, Washington for a new job opportunity and whatever else was on the horizon.
I am not going to say it became all rainbows and butterflies because it didn’t. It still was hard. There was still this deep, deep ache and question of “why” and a yearning to become a mama. But I began believing the best, and I guess you could say I started to hope again. Not for what my husband and I wanted, but what our God wanted for us. Because we believed that God placed the desire to be parents in both of our hearts at an early age. I trusted that if God had created me, then he knew me best and knew what the best was for me and my life. I gave my deep desire to be a mama to him and trusted — plain and simple. I trusted him if he chose not to make us parents, and I trusted him if he did choose that for us, but I knew I’d be OK no matter what.
Backing up about 17 years ago… may I tell you another story?
I don’t believe in luck. I believe in divine promises and miracles. I believe there are no coincidences. My husband, Roy, and I have believed this our entire 17-year relationship, starting with how we first met as strangers in a city park. For some reason, since first married, Roy has noticed the times 11:11am and 11:11pm almost daily. We have gotten in the fun little habit every time we see it to call out “11:11!” or text each other “11:11.” It has become a message to each of us saying, “I love you, thinking about you.”
Several years ago, my brother-in-law had been praying for us to become parents and came across the verse in the Bible, Hebrews 11:11 which reads: “It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise.” He knew he needed to share this with us.
SHOP THE LOOK
We held onto that promise very close to our hearts and found peace for whatever God had for our future, however it would look.
Jumping forward to October 18, 2018 — the day our daughter was born. While waiting anxiously in the waiting room of the hospital, I grew more and more nervous and excited. I kept looking at my phone for updates. I checked the time, and it was 10:58am. I looked up with sheer wonder and excitement in my eyes and said to my family and friends, “Guys, wouldn’t it be so cool of God to allow Nevaeh to be born at 11:11am?!?!” Excitement in the room burst through the roof at that incredible idea. As the time on my iPhone turned to 11:11am, we all fell silent in thought and prayer. I kept praying, “God let it be, let it be.” I looked at the time again and it was 11:12am. Several seconds later, we received a flood of text pictures of our baby girl with the announcement that she had been born at 11:11am! Coincidence and luck? I think not! Without a shadow of doubt, this was God’s wink to us telling us, “She is yours, this is my promise to you.”
Our daughter’s full name is Nevaeh Esther Hope. Nevaeh means “who was sent from heaven,” Esther means “born at such a time as this” and Hope means “bringing hope and life.” Hope can come back. Hope will come back. If you don’t have hope right now, let me have it for you until you find it again.
Do you have any words of wisdom for others struggling to have children naturally?
Our faith in God has really been huge in the struggle. We gave up our “trying” in our own ways and trusted that if God wanted us to be parents, He would be the one to bring it about. There is so much pain in the waiting and the struggle. It hasn’t been easy. The ups and downs in the waiting and the unknown is truly difficult. Constantly seeing parents and children everywhere I went and how easy it seemed to be for some definitely took a toll on my emotions. I’d hide at baby showers or restaurants and let out a good cry. But one thing that always helped me through was knowing that even though others had no idea what I was going through, I know that I wasn’t alone in the time of waiting and pain of loss.
SHOP THE LOOK
You’ll be welcoming Nevaeh’s biological sister at the end of October! What are you most excited about becoming a mom-of-two?
I am most excited to see them interact with each other. I am the oldest of three sisters myself, and I absolutely love sisterhood. There is something so precious and beautiful about it. Of course, there are huge drag out fights like burning your sister with a hot curling iron to get her to stop bugging you and out of the bathroom (haha!), but as adults, I hope my daughters are best friends like my sisters and I are now.
You and your husband have been married for 15 years! Do you have any advice for a long-lasting marriage?
Commitment, commitment, and commitment through all of the different seasons of life. Love isn’t just a feeling, it’s a sacrifice and an action. Even in the worst of times, remember kindness as hard as it is sometimes to do.
SHOP THE LOOK
How has Nevaeh inspired you?
She brings so much hope to our lives. She observes her world and the people in it with such love and admiration, soaking up security and love which gives me hope.
She has brought so much joy and laughter and a new perspective to the world I’ve never had. Such beautiful conversations with so many strangers have opened up with them sharing that they too were adopted. It’s incredible. I have even received hugs in the checkout line at Target or in parking lots from people overwhelmed with emotion and telling us thank you for doing what we are doing, which isn’t why we adopted in the first place, but it sure is a beautiful thing!
Loree Roland is The Everymom…
Your camera roll is full of… 88,215 images of Nevaeh, home decor, travel, and food!
Home essential everyone needs? A comfortable and functional couch! It’s one of the hardest pieces to find where everyone is happy and comfy. We love ours, and it took 10 years to finally find it at Pottery Barn. And good sized coffee mugs!
Ideal way to spend a Saturday? In my dreams it would be going on a beautiful drive and picnic like we used to do. Or exploring a new town and it’s restaurants, shops, and coffee scene. In reality, it’s coffee, laundry, and projects.
Go-to meal to cook? I’m pretty lucky because though I love to cook, my husband cooks a lot nowadays, and I do clean up. It’s a good balance. But one of my favorite dishes he makes is the best paella I’ve ever had.
Coffee order? Grande coconut milk latte.
Guilty pleasure? The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise. Oh, and a Diet Coke every once in a while with movie theater popcorn.
Favorite mom hack? I receive a small plastic scoop in every box of our German baby formula. I hated having to throw away the scoops, so I began freezing leftover purees or juice or avocado in the scoops and she LOVES them. Since it’s frozen, it’s great for her teething too! Also, ordering groceries online and having them delivered to my door is a huge time saver. Just remember to tip the shoppers well! 😉