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Creating a Cozy Home

3 Nov

The other day, a newer friend of my came over to watch my dog.  It was a last minute thing, and later I realized that she had never been to my house before.

The next day, her husband told me that after she stopped over something funny happened.  When he got home, their spare room (which was the catchall for stuff that didn’t have a place yet) was completely cleared out and organized!

He asked what happened and she said she got inspired by my house because it was clean and organized, but still cozy.  What a compliment!

I was thrilled because that is the exact reaction that I wanted people to have when they came to my home.

The plants don't look too hot, but the decorating is sound.

Does your home make people feel welcomed like that?

If not, don’t worry I am going to tell you a few things that helped me create a cozy atmosphere in my home.

Patience:  Creating a home that welcomes people in doesn’t happen overnight.  It happens when you add things that reflect you, your values, and your interests over time.

If you went to a furniture store and bought a “living room” it would be missing the key ingredient: YOU. So take your time when developing your home, it is a process.

My Back Door Entrance AKA: Dog Walking Station

Ingenuity:  Like many couples just starting out, my husband and I didn’t have a lot to budget towards decorating. This means I scour Goodwill, Ross, Michaels, and TJ Maxx once or twice a month looking for deals and the perfect item to add to my home.

I am NOT a DIY Diva, so usually I try to find something that is ready to add to my home with out any updates. Occasionally I will spray paint something, but usually it sits in my garage for a month before that happens.

Knowledge:  When decorating your home, some good basic knowledge of staging and decorating principles doesn’t hurt!  I check out thrift stores for used decorating books alot.  You can also check out any regular book store or a place like Michaels as well.

My all time favorite that I found most helpful is Use What You Have DecoratingThe author Lauri Ward, teaches some basic principles to make your house immediately feel more welcoming without buying alot of new stuff!

My Kitchen Counter

Inspiration:  While magazines have beautiful pictures of houses and decorating ideas, lately I have been going to the blog world for fresh inspiration!  There are soo many great decorating. DIY, and home blogs out there.

Two of my favorites are:  The Inspired Room, and Mr. Goodwill HuntingThese blogs provide fresh, easy, and inexpensive ideas for creating a space you love.

Fun:  Last but not least, creating a cozy home should be fun!  Try to avoid feeling like it needs to be perfect, or that you need to get it done fast.

Any decorator will tell you that their homes are constantly evolving.  There is no point that we sit back and say “Ok, it’s done”.  Your home will change as you change over the course of your life.

My Picture Mural

Enjoy the process.

Want to read some more posts on The Home:

Contentment: Living With Secondhand and Loving It

NOT a DIY Diva

NOT a DIY Diva

26 Oct

I love decorating my home and creating a place where my husband, dog, and I can relax.

For a while now I have been reading this great blog The Inspired Room, about authentic living and home decorating.

I actually know the author Melissa Michaels.  She and her husband pastor a church called Voyage in my area.

She is also a wonderful person! Before I started my blog, she graciously spent an hour with me at coffee while I talked her ear off with questions about blogging (thanks again Melissa).

Her latest accomplishment is the release of her first ebook:

 NOT a DIY Diva:How to Create an Authentically Inspired Life in a Pinterest World

Not a DIY Diva

I bought the book yesterday, the day it came out, and will be reading it shortly.

Please check out her blog, and consider buying her ebook. It is only 3.99 and a short read in PDF format.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate seller of this ebook, and will receive a percentage of the sale of ebooks that I refer.

Contentment: Living With Secondhand and Loving It

23 Sep

When you and your spouse need a piece of furniture or appliance do you:

a.  Buy new furniture and the latest appliance.

b.  Collect extra furniture from family.

c.  Frequent garage sales and Goodwill for home items.

d.  Become a Craigslist ninja in the furniture and appliance section.

I think there probably was a time when the majority of young couples never thought of buying new stuff off the bat, but I think many of us (with the onset of credit for every purchase) have gotten used to the idea of needing new right away.  I will admit that about four months after living together my husband and I made that trip to the fancy furniture store thinking the same thing.  However, we didn’t have the cash to buy it right away and something didn’t sit right with me about buying a couch on credit.  In my mind you bought a car or a house on credit, but a couch?!  We didn’t get the new furniture and boy was I glad.  Shortly after that experience we got smart about our finances and debt, and since then I have answered b., c., and d. to the above question.

Frequent your local store for great finds!

I can count on one hand the larger items in our house we bought new, and our house is clean, comfy, and pleasing to the eye.  Sometimes it has been hard not having things just as I want them, such as matching couch and loveseat, but it has taught me a great lesson.

CONTENTMENT

When you put aside the impluse to get exactly what you want right away for a higher goal, such as getting out of debt, or saving to buy something important in cash, you teach youself to be satisfied right now.  Often we all give in to thoughts like: “When I get a new ______ then I will be really happy.”  That just doesn’t make life fulfilling.  Satisfaction should come from the people and experiences that make up our lives. 

My goal is to strive to be content in my present situation.  Instead of being dissappointed that I can’t buy new, I have fun finding great deals and beautiful pieces that I didn’t spend hundreds on!

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