...because home doesn't happen overnight.

So, yesterday you got a peek {albeit a very detailed peek} at my vacation in the mountains of western North Carolina.  But Lakeview at Fontana wasn’t the only place that caught my eye while kicking up my feet.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover a stylish lil’ shop in downtown Bryson City, NC.  May I introduce to you, Humanité:  dwelling.  style.  compassion.

As soon as stepped in the door, I knew I’d be there for a while.  I’m pretty sure Handy Hubby noticed the crazed look in my eyes and said, “oh no.”  Luckily, I’d stuck my camera in my bag.  I immediately approached the woman at the counter who just so happened to be the owner, Erin.  She was nice and said it would be fine for me to take pics and post them on my blog.  {Yeah, I asked.  I probably would have begged if she’d said no.} It was later in the evening, so I apologize for the lack of natural light in the photos.  Surely, I’d have come earlier if I’d known I was gonna find this gem.  Anyhow, I started snapping pics not really knowing where to begin.  I couldn’t take it all in.  Not only was the inventory {clothing, accessories, home goods} right up my alley but I couldn’t get over how everything was displayed.  So clever.

A display of frames, bags, pocketbooks and stationery greeted me at the door.  The bright colors and patterns were a great contrast to the natural wood tones.

There were many elements of nature to be found, too.  From all the old barn wood {which had been salvaged from a barn that Erin’s father-in-law had recently torn down} to the pops of green to the branches hung in the front window…it was easy to see that the outdoors had inspired many of the design elements.

The clothing and jewelry displays were amazing.  Quite creative.  Denim jeans were hung from pegs on a piece of painted barn wood.  A shutter screen held earrings and headbands.  And clothing on hangers was held up by galvanized pipe rods.  Industrious, no?

Erin told me that as a child she and her mother would scope out housing demolition sites and retrieve shutters among other things.  Erin dry brushed the shutters and now uses them as clothing racks.  I don’t know which I love more…the racks or the story behind them.

My favorite display included paper maché trees draped with jewelry.  I seriously took about a buh-zillion pictures of these jewelry trees alone and had a hard time narrowing them down.  I’m totally inspired to do something similar in my bathroom for necklaces, bracelets and such.  And can you imagine the Halloween possibilities for these sculptural trees?  With some painted gourds and mini-pumpkins, these babies could lean towards creepy.

Erin is keen on ‘green’ labeled apparel items.  Organic materials and conscientious manufacturing are highly sought.  She also strives to reuse and repurpose old furniture pieces.  In fact, the sofa {where Handy Hubby so patiently waited while I did my wild woman thing} was once Erin’s grandmother’s.  She had it reupholstered in a modern print fabric.  The register island is constructed out of yet more barn wood.

The bigger picture from the back of the store…

And here’s the adorable Erin doin’ what she does best…

Thanks so much, Erin, for letting me close down shop with you last Tuesday.  {Yes, I was that person I love to hate.  The one who holds everybody else up.}  I could have talked her ear off about design blogs if I hadn’t been careful.  But she was very generous to let me snoop around.  Oh!  And she actually is generous too…10% of her profit goes to charities helping to improve local and international communities.  If you want to check out more about Humanité, link over to Erin’s blog.

So, what did I take away from this stylish store?  Definitely to find new uses for old things.  Worn and rustic {old wood, secondhand furniture, concrete countertops} go quite well with modern touches {pops of color, contemporary fabric, steely metals}.  I think I finally have a plan for my bedroom makeover!


What a truly beautiful shop!


A paper mach’e tree who woulda thought!!!!. I thought they had an old tree branch in their barn like the others that was redesigned,what a clever idea to display jewelery. I have been looking for an easy access/less cluttered way to store my jewelery. I am going to try this one. Thank you for posting about the the shop, I enjoy reading all your posts.


so pretty! great pictures, too, nice work!

if you’re ever in Columbus, here’s a lovely shop for you to visit:


they just moved from Powell to the Short North, and the owners have a great sense of style, and repurpose all sorts of things from fabric to furniture in the most unexpected and charming way.


Carole – That shop looks fab! Thanks for mentioning it. If I ever am in Columbus {I have some friends there} I definitely want to check them out.


This is such a great post about my-Saturday-job at Humanite’. You have really captured the true essence of the store and the mission statement behind it. Erin is a wonderfuly sweet girl with a great eye for fashion and design. Come back and visit on a Saturday and you can visit with me! :)


omigosh I am LUSTING after those paper mache trees!!! What a great little store, I’ve added it to my “must visit” wish list! Thanks for sharing!


My sister and I visited Humanite today…what an awesome shop!! We are so excited to know we have a new destination when we are in Bryson City.Beautiful,hip merchandise..affordable as well!


Gayle – So glad you found Humanite! I’m still dreaming of all the cool clothes and upcycled furniture.


Anyone else think this looks exactly like Anthropologie??


i found Humanité this summer while in Bryson City… the place is AMAZING! thanks for reminding me :)


Hello. I am the builder if the paper maché trees. Thanks everyone for the nice comments. I enjoy creating for Erin. She has awesome ideas and lets me bring them to life. I also do the window displays. Great pics of the shop by the way!


I love the whole idea of promoting anything recycling or up cycling. Good job on passing on the word.
I love the papier mache tree for displaying the jewellery. I think I may revamp the design to do something like this in a coat hanger for the daycare center that I work for.

Thank you for your wonderful post. I will pass it on.


How awesome!!! What a great shop and such great ideas to bring into my home for organization. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.


My family and I visited Bryson City this past summer, we also went to this store.
Love it and got my wheels turning as well.


Love this site…. amazing ideas!