My Essentials: Gwen Hefner

Photo by Justin Salem Meyer

Renovating, gardening, and entertaining are all part of what makes a home for Gwen Hefner and her family. She is known throughout the blogosphere—and of course with her huge following on Instagram, as The Makerista—where she shares all that inspires and interests her audience. With a burgeoning interest in design, she honed her interior style (and love of thrifting) as a stay-at-home mom. A few years later, she took that love of design online. The Makerista has since been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, domino, and Country Living, and on HGTV, among many other media.

Recently Hefner started her own thrifting club where she shares all of her tips and tricks for snagging the best deals while bringing unique, personal style to your home. And, naturally, she’s a fan of living in Kansas City. “I love that we have access to big city living—art, food, culture, history—all the while maintaining that small-town kindness and feel,” she says.

Gwen’s essentials…

Shop ‘Til You Drop: I am loving Clairvaux! [The owner] Joni has such a great eye and warm spirit, and the store shows it. I want everything, including the custom furniture built for displaying the apparel. It’s a beautiful experience.

Holiday Tradition: Our neighborhood carols for cans every year. We sing classic songs with a brass quartet, and the singers and musicians have soup or chili afterwards. It’s just a really special time that feels nostalgic and sets the tone for a wonderful holiday season.

Holiday Accessory: Colonial Gardens and their fresh-cut greens! I go faux with my trees (they’re easier to decorate) but I love to deck the halls—and mantels and doorways and tabletops—with branches that bring in wonderful scents, texture, and life.

Fave Word: Probably ‘love.’ Whether I’m discussing a great dress, a tasty treat, a thrift treasure, or a new plant for the garden—I love it all!

The Nose Knows: Nell Hills Pickwick candle in the Home scent. It’s so delightful and has some of my favorite notes all rolled into one, from balsam to rose to grapefruit.

Bargain-ista: I am a thrift-store junkie. I even started a thrift club (@thriftwiththemakerista) where I take members shopping with me and share my tips and tricks for finding the best treasures. Blessings Abound on Metcalf is a wonderful store filled with high quality pieces at a bargain.

Local Hidden Gem: Vivilore in Independence. Fresh, delicious food and the atmosphere is out of this world. Definitely sit on the patio if the weather is nice!

Breakfast-ista: For a sit-down breakfast I love (there’s that word) First Watch.