After touring Jennifer Hankins’ home, it is difficult to believe that she didn’t start her art collection until her early 30s. The owner of both Midnite Pottery and The Antler wedding venue, Hankins has made a living out of beautifying spaces, and that is reflected in the whimsical patterns and varying textures of her Tupelo home.
“I am blessed to make a living as an artist. My eyes are constantly looking at things. That’s how my mind works to get inspiration. I am a very detailed person,” she said.
Her style is eclectic and sophisticated, but approachable and teenager-approved. Hankins occupies the home with her twin sons and dachshund, Kirby.
The focal point of the living room is the large stone fireplace. It was once dark, but 15 hours and four bottles of wine later, it fit Hankin’s vision for the room in a lighter tone. One of her most recent art purchases sits atop it. There is no television, but there is plenty to look at. For Hankins, every item must look like one-of-a-kind, from paintings and pottery to chairs and lamps.
“Being an artist, I appreciate other people’s artwork,” Hankins said. “I would rather have something that is original and unique. If you look around, you’ll see a flower painting up to a very abstract piece. I like to keep my walls light, and get creative with my art and furniture.”
Hankins has become a painter herself, which has only sharpened her eye for finding great pieces. One of her favorite artists is Jere H. Allen from Oxford. Perhaps it’s true that it takes one to know one.
The living area opens to a raised dining area that balances formal and casual, traditional and modern. Clear chairs line the sides of a wooden table under a gold pendant light, with studded velvet chairs on each end. A painting reads in colorful letters, “Take me to a romantic dinner and tell me you love me.”
“I don’t like for my house to be stuffy. I like for people to come in and feel comfortable,” Hankins said.
The intense hues of the living and dining areas are sharply contrasted by the kitchen in shades of white, with pops of red and green. Adjoining the kitchen is a nook, with two patterned chairs and a view of the backyard and patio, lit by round bulbs on string lights.
Prints and family photos create collages in the hallway that leads to her sons’ rooms and the master bedroom. Jennifer’s room features the brightest colors and funkiest patterns of all. There are no rules, and nothing is off limits in her space.
“I do a lot of design work, so sometimes to work in my own home is challenging, because I have to live in it everyday. The pieces I choose, I have got to love them. I’d leave it blank before I would just stick something on the wall,” she said.
Her best advice for creating a space you love is to take your time and figure out what you want, one piece at a time.
“Start out with smaller pieces and be a collector,” Hankins said. “If you invest in original works, you’ll always remember the story of when you bought it.”