{inspired} 17 Things I Learned at Haven

If you follow me on twitter or instagram (@jennmccormick), you may have noticed that I spent most of last week in Atlanta at the Haven Conference. Friends, it was such an amazing conference and I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to go. For those of you who haven't heard of it, Haven is a conference for home bloggers. This was the first year, but the response was so fantastic and I'd be very surprised if it wasn't back next year in an even bigger and better capacity. 

The Haven "living room"

I'm still digesting all the information. Honestly, I'll probably still be digesting in a month. There was so much good stuff and so many a-ha moments. The bloggers who led sessions were amazingly open and honest about what has worked for them and what hasn't. In an attempt to organize my thoughts I've made a list of things I learned at Haven. Hopefully you can glean some a-ha moments from the list as well.

1. Atlanta is HOT. Yeah, I haven't spent a lot of time in the south ;).

2. John and Sherry (above) from Young House Love are incredibly funny.
3. I don't need to have a super huge blog to think about advertising and work with brands. This was a lightbulb moment. I have a tendency to get really caught up in the numbers.
4. Tripod. Need to get one asap.
5. The four s's of styling, according to Layla: skooch it, scorch it, swap it and stamp it.
6. SEO is a complicated and crazy thing: use keywords, especially in headlines, section headers and in the first 150 words of text.
7. A blog header's size should be no bigger than 1000 pixels by 250 pixels.
8. Firebug is a Firefox extension that let's you view code on other people's websites. Brilliant.

Josh and Kevin from Shoot Fly Shoot teaching us about taking killer photos. See the slide?? ;)

9. When your shutter speed is above 60, the camera can be handheld. Under 60, and it should be on a tripod.
10. Steps for taking manual photos: set ISO and forget about it. Set aperature and forget about it. Adjust shutter speed to make image brighter or darkers.

11. Ashley (above) from Design Build Love was my roommate and is awesome! Seriously friends, go check out her blog :).
12. When layering a few different patterned fabrics in a room, repeat the fabrics: ottoman + a pillow or drapes + a pillow, etc. This helps it look cohesive.
13. Find 5-7 words that describe how you want a room to feel, to look and the purpose it serves. Be specific and honest.
14. Everyone has a "don't buy" word. Find yours and stick to it. For example, cute, pretty, good deal, etc. I had never thought about this, but it's SO TRUE!

15. Sarah, Beth, Chris, Rhoda, Kate, Marian, (pictured in order) Traci and Kristi are wonderful party planners and hosts.
16. There is an amazingly large amount of creativity and talent in the blog-o-sphere.
17. The Haven sponsors were incredibly generous, and I came home with everything from Annie Sloan chalk paint to a feather duster :). 

You'll hear more about Haven over the next few months as I implement the million + one ideas I have from attending. But in the meantime, if you have any questions about any of the 17 points, or would like me to expand on one, just let me know.


  1. Friend, this is AWESOME! I'm so glad you had a great time! And I guess there's a reason why they call it "hot"lanta? Welcome back!

    Have a great week!

  2. Great reminders! I haven't going through all my notes yet... :) It was lovely meeting you!

  3. Woah, so jealous, Jenn! Sounds amazing, would have loved to have been there!! And you got Annie Sloan chalk paint? Sigh. I can't wait til you try it out and report:) Thanks for sharing some of your lessons with us, great pointers, can't wait to hear more!!! Welcome back:)

  4. Such a great review! I'm so pleased you loved it! All that hard work paid off, and we LOVED every minute of it! P.S. You're pretty. :)

    1. Chris, all your hard work MORE THAN paid off! :) And, thank you :)

  5. Hate that I missed it! I'm glad you had a great time. I look forward to reading what you have to share!

    Yes, Atlanta is VERY hot...almost 100 degrees this past weekend and will be again this weekend :-\

  6. GREAT recap! I was SO glad to meet you! And you're right about it being SO. HOT. I think I'm still sweating from those conference rooms. :)

  7. Very fun, like your list!! Bummed I didn't get to meet you - maybe next time!

  8. I'm so glad you had a great experience Jenn - and I want to hear more. I'd really be interested in knowing more about Layla's 4 S's of Styling - I think I have an idea but would love to hear more about that. And leave it to me to ask all the questions, but was there anything you didn't like about the conference? I'm so nosy I know. I was reading a post the other day about conferences and people really have varied feedback. I love hearing about them, following them on Twitter, etc. One of these days I'll get around to going to one. This one fell on my birthday which is the main reason I didn't go or I would have gone in a heartbeat.

    1. Holly, I'll do a post about the 4 s's -- it really was interesting!

  9. Jenn, I really enjoyed your highlights! I really do need a don't buy word. I am such a sucker for a great deal that I "might use one day". I have so much stuff and I'm waiting for that day to come! lol

  10. This recap is great! I didn't go to the decorating session so I love your takeaways from that. Great tips ... so much information to try to digest and implement. :)

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  12. Jenn! I didn't realize you were there! And it looks like we were in several of the same sessions. Somehow I missed meeting several bloggers that I follow. Oh, well...maybe next year! Your #3 was a lightbulb moment for me, too.
    Oh, and I made your paleo brownies this week. To. die. for!

  13. hey gorgeous lady! LOVE the recap and thanks for the shout-out! (I shamefully just posted my recap today... don't judge!) I totally miss ya already, so hopefully we can get together soon! Until then... I'll enjoy your blog posts!!! -Ash

  14. Looks like it was AWESOME! Thanks for sharing these tips!


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