Makers We Love: Creative Genius James A. Slaughter

Makers We Love | Creative Genius: James A. Slaughter

This photo was taken when we were shooting the 12 Days of HGTV HOME Fabric at our house with the HGTV team.

James and I have been together since my senior year of high school. Before we graduated college, we’d fallen in love, gotten married and bought a 1935 house in East Tennessee that needed a lot of work. Luckily, I married a man who is fearless!

Makers We Love | Creative Genius: James A. Slaughter
Makers We Love | Creative Genius: James A. Slaughter

I’ve never met anyone so willing to try new things. Many people choose not to DIY because they’re scared of failing. And while that’s totally valid, Husband is not one of those people. When something needs to be done, he researches and then dives in head first. He’s redone bathrooms, put in new ceilings, installed tile, fixed wiring and even repaired plumbing. In fact, since moving into our home seven years ago, we have redone just about everything with the exception of the kitchen cabinets — and they’re next.

Makers We Love | Creative Genius: James A. Slaughter
Makers We Love | Creative Genius: James A. Slaughter

Then, there are the non-essentials. The little touches that he’s come up with over the years that really make our house feel like a home. One weekend, his dad came into town and two days later, next to an existing built-in bookshelf, we had benches and a place to stash all our entertainment stuff in the living room. Another day I came home to plans he’d drawn up to turn an old steamer trunk (our first big antique purchase) into a bar. Now everyone that comes over swoons over it and then says something like, “Well, it’s just sooo you guys!” But really it’s all him! I love old things, and he figures out how to make them a part of our lives.

Makers We Love | Creative Genius: James A. Slaughter

Last Christmas he bought me a flat file, and then made this beautiful wood top so that it could double as another work surface in my home studio. And most recently, he’s been trying his hand at furniture making and laminating wood a la Charles Eames. More on that at a later date.

So I suppose the moral of this story is this: Marry someone brave. Someone that’s willing to try all the things that scared you. People often ask me what I love about living a handmade life and my response almost always references the fact that because we make things, we can really tailor our lives to fit our needs. But, the truth is, I’m not the bravest, and our rad 1935 home may be a cool color, but it would most definitely be falling down if I didn’t have this handyman by my side.

You can read about our adventures in stylish domesticating on our blog: Hannah & Husband. And you can read his 140-character witticisms by following James on Twitter: @jamesaslaughter

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating makers we love (including some who live in our own homes). Meet these inspiring makers as part of our ongoing Creative Genius series.

2 Responses

  1. Minnow + Co says:

    Things we now know: our husbands will get along fabulously. We both married fearless DIY enthusiasts. We both like to gush on about our guys. All good things. My campaign for a Tennessee trip begins in earnest now. Love this post! PS – your adorable bathroom? I die.

  2. @YeahHunter says:

    I'm a huge fan of James Slaughter. He really is a Renaissance man: musician, teacher, wit, creative, Home-MacGyver, and the list goes on. I love this post, Hannah B. It's so cool to see his projects. You guys are the cat's (pajamas).


About Hannah B. Slaughter 


I’m a graphic designer for HGTV and DIY who loves taking something old, making it new and then adding sparkle. Weekend activities include thrifting with my handsome husband, writing for ...

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