True Life: I covet peoples gorgeous homes. Now with Pinterest and Instagram, I daily see TONS of photos of beautiful furnished homes in "finished" spaces. UGH. It's the worst is it not!? Am I the only one who feels like they live in a "unfinished" home?? Wanting to have a "finished" space is easily one of my biggest comparison struggles because I have so many places all over my house that NEED "something" or NEED "something different." Especially being a stay at home mom, I am home most of the day and constantly my eyes are drifting to spaces where I think I want to add something or finish a home project.
1 Timothy 6:6-7
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it."
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ GREAT REMINDER FOR ME EVERYDAY!!! While I see a lot of worldly things everyday, it's so good to refresh my mind with truth!!! ^^^^^^^^^^^^
Furniture, lighting, and wall decor are also such a big thing for me because you will be staring/sitting on it all day for like the next 5 years... (in our case probably 10-20 LOL). So it has to be good, and something you BOTH like, and something thats durable... AND JUST PERFECT, AND timeless... AND now kid friendly... AND inexpensive but really good quality... I mean, is it just me or does it feels like you are searching for a unicorn? lol
While Seth and I are really sticking to our cash system budget this year, (2 months in) lol, it has been really good as I haven't given myself extra budgets for home items, as we really don't NEED anything. As I have been selling things around our home or from our garage that I just don't "love" anymore, I have been using that cash as my "fund" to save up for home decor pieces I do love and want to add.
I told my friend Anna last week that if I have been buying something and I'm not sure about it, I leave it there for a week, and if I'm still unsure about it after a week, I just take it back. When you look at something, it has got to make you smile and happy. (examples for me: leopard pillow, furry ottoman, tv stand, wallpaper, bookshelves, desk, floor lamp, magnolia leaves.) I bought a few items for our bookshelf a few weeks ago (a white box, gold trinket, candlesticks, picture frame) and then returned them and haven't thought about them until writing this. I've learned that things you think you NEED but you don't love end up in the garage after a year.
So, why am I saying all this? I don't know, ha, other than to maybe wish we could all afford and hire professional decorators to help "complete" all our spaces... but then again we would never be satisfied and always want more! Amen?
So... on to what I did want to share initially before I wrote all that, I have found a few things below that really help put a smile on my face at home all day when I don't have enough money to go buy a new couch, new bedroom set, or the art I want above my bed that I've seen from a gorgeous Instagram photo. Real life for us is this: it takes time and money to buy the things we want! When I focus on the things I do love about my home and add a little touch here or there, I tend to love being in MY home and I can stop comparing it to the one I saw on Instagram, although I love the inspiration because it is so fun to see how people style their homes and I love trying to copy for cheaper!
1. Fresh Flowers/Faux Arrangements
BRING THE OUTDOORS IN! Think about how great it feels when the sun is out and sunshine fills your home vs. when it's been cloudy for 4 days! Flowers do wonders for my soul. They are like a ray of sunshine to me. They are therapeutic. My kitchen and living room might be a mess after breakfast and morning play time but there are some bright blooms smiling at me from the countertop! Go to Trader Joes twice a month and buy a $5 bouquet that makes you smile! Or go to Home Goods and buy a $15 fake arrangement that makes you feel cherry and leave it somewhere you see all the time, like on your nightstand. Something about bringing the outdoors in can make a girl feel refreshed.
I bought some faux magnolia leaves from Hobby Lobby and put them in a vase near my TV and they just make me happy when I see them. Find something like that. Put it somewhere where you can see it daily!
Some of my current favs:
2. SUBTLE SEASONAL ACCESSORIES
While I cannot change my furniture for awhile, I can change accents that go on top of my furniture. Do you love throw blankets? A new trey on your coffee table? New throw pillows? Etsy, Target, World Market and Hobby Lobby always have cheaper pillows and pillow covers that can give your space a really fresh look. This is one of my favorite ways to add color and prints to a space that I'm feeling "blah" about. Same couch... new pillows. Feels SO FRESH!
These are my current favorites:
Also, my favorite pillow inserts are from Ikea. A 20 X 20 is $5.99. You can't beat that! They are feather and amazing and make all my pillows have that extra fluff!
I used to not really be a candle girl until the past few years and now I'm obsessed. Something about having a pleasing smell in your home, amidst the goldfish and poopy diapers, can add some serious joy to your home! Candles have also become sort of therapeutic to me. Clean some dishes, light a candle. Lots of crying, light a candle and pull out some books on the rug to read. They can be a stress reliever and kind of add a relaxing vibe to your environment of chaos (if thats possible!).
My current favorite is from Bath & Body | Cinnamon Spiced Vanilla
4. DO YOU LOVE IT??
This one is going to take a little longer but block out an afternoon where you have 2 hours or so to do your whole house or go room by room. Take everything off your dressers, your book shelf, your nightstands, your hutch... basically all your surfaces. Put them in one spot, like your bed or your kitchen table. You can dust them as you go to make this SUPER worthwhile lol but ask yourself with each piece if you love it. If you do, great, move on, but if you don't, set it aside and put it a box for the garage. Go through all of your items in that room and try to minimize what you really love. Maybe an item would be better in a different room for a while so take it to that new room. Or maybe you love a frame but its time for a new picture. Take out the picture and put a sticky note on the frame!
Now, here comes the hard part: force yourself to not put it back on your dresser the way you had it before! It's so hard! ha I always want to go back to the same positions but make yourself put the stuff you love on your dresser differently. Or go grab a few books and style some of your items with some books! I have found that these little things go a long way.
*(I have loved running up to Half Price Books with Haddie & Louie and looking for cute bookshelf layering books or cookbooks for my kitchen shelves. My kids love reading new books for an hour and I love finding things at a cheaper price!)
Cleaning up your surfaces with your favorite trinkets you love and styling them a little differently can really make your space feel refreshed and homey.
5. REARRANGE IT
Now, this I stumbled upon kind of by accident because I haven't been a home owner long enough to know this. We have lived in a new place almost every year (expcet the first) since we have gotten married and are coming up on our one year in our new home this summer. But, for Princess Haddie's room, I decided to switch some things around one day and it was a GAME CHANGER for her. So why wouldn't it work for us too?
By just switching the positions of some of her toys to different spots in her room, it was like they were new all over again. She had played with her pink kitchen for like the first year of her life, and then once we had moved she almost hadn't touched it. Last month though when I switched things around, it was like she had a new kitchen again. She cooks in it everyday again and only wants to sit at her little table and chairs and eat her pretend food.
I don't know what it is, but by changing the shape of a room, it can make the old feel new.
Hope this gives you some fun inexpensive things to work on to make your home feel refreshed and clean from Spring! Let me know if you try any of them!