Your name: Emily VanWagenen 

Pronouns: she/her

Where you live: Tucson, AZ 

What you do: My youngest started kindergarten this year.. I’ve been home with kids since giving birth to my twins in 2013. Since the start of school I’ve been creating content in more of a full-time capacity while I try to figure out what’s next for me career-wise. Lately I’ve been sharing more with my IG community about how I use creative practices and aesthetics as a form of self-care. Emily's instagram is @oursouthwestnest

worker in natural

I've been following you for a while on Instagram and love seeing how you style you home. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey renovating your home?

We actually designed and built from the ground up! We realized that anything big enough for our family of five in the area we wanted to live was either a weird assemblage of questionably permitted additions over many years or was like, a historical manor that we could never afford.. and then an empty lot became available and we jumped at the chance to build!

What was your favorite home project?

We recently did a little makeover of our laundry/office combo. Because of budget constraints, it was kind of left as a blank space when we were building. It was a simple makeover- we added shelves and paint, a small run of tile, and a laundry drying rack, but the space has become so much more useable! Such a stress relief to walk into it and have it feel more resolved! 

worker in natural

What was the hardest project or part of redesigning your home?

The hardest part in building was having confidence that I was making good choices.. And there were SO MANY choices. There were a few things I pushed for that I’m so glad I did.. like the red clay tile on the front porch! but also I realize now that I should’ve stuck to my guns with some creative ideas I had that would’ve been really cool. If I had it to do over again, I’d trust myself more.. take more creative risks. 

What project are you most excited about in 2023?

We’re actually working on a cowboy pool right now! I can’t wait to cool off and sip sauv blanc! I know we’re a little late to the stocktank pool party.. but it’s kinda nice because we’re benefitting from the advice of people who put theirs in in 2020 and wish they’d done things differently. 

Maya in kelp

How would you describe your personal style?

Down-to-Earth and comfortable, but sometimes a little bit elegant.. that goes for personal style and interior style I think. 

What are your favorite BRYR clogs and why?

I love the worker in natural. They’re so versatile and comfortable! 

Shop Emily's BRYR closet: