Right now I'm going to admit to an unfortunate bit of pride when it comes to my home. I certainly try not to brag but I will say that I have worked hard this year. In the past I really didn't think about decoration or room themes and always felt like the room I wanted to be the most inviting was a bit empty and lifeless. It took several trips to my friends' homes to realize what was missing. Where they had color coordination and matching furniture, I had a couch against a wall. Where they had a good balance of family photos in matching frames, I had both a lack of pictures and frames!
So instead of lamenting the lack of homey qualities in my living room I took stock. As previously mentioned I had a series of mismatched pictures and frames, one navy blue couch, and one small square coffee table. As luck would have it, I got to keep the curtain sets that my home came with so add to that some vertically striped, mixed brown curtains. It felt both a little helpless and full of potential.
For those who don't know, I attended Oklahoma State (go pokes!) for several years for Studio Art. My first title was artist until I received the divine appointment of wife and mother (praise God!). So I broke out my Ipad, sat down facing the living-room from my door, and thought about what kind of impression I wanted to leave my family and friends. After another call to Devin (my seamstress friend) for some color advice (how on earth was I going to attractively combine navy, brown, and peach?!) I got this done.
Today my living room has a significant amount finished, and I will share with you how I got it done over time. But first and foremost I wanted to talk inspiration and color.
You may feel like I did in the past.
"Why does it matter?"
"I'm not that material."
"It's too expensive!"
Let's tackle these three questions, and if you have any more questions or comments I would love your feedback! First, why does it matter?
For the longest time, I selfishly looked at my friends' lovely and organized homes as places where they felt superior to me. I took their beautiful homes as personal insults! It seems so silly when I think about it now, but pride certainly got in my way. I would tell myself "I'm not that material, I don't need to have the perfectly decorated home to be happy!" and boy was I self-deceived. My pastor preached a wonderful series a few years ago about self-deception that I really should have listened to. It took me a while to realize that these women weren't rubbing their wealth in my faces, they were taking pride and happiness in what they could do in their God given capacity. Not only that, but most of these women were more than happy to help me organize and give me ideas to decorate my own home! Please understand I am not saying that everyone with this sentiment is self-deceived. I couldn't possibly know every situation. But at the same time, know that it's okay to have a home that looks good. Given that you aren't bragging about yourself constantly, know that there is a deep pleasure in enjoying your home. If you don't believe me, spend some time at your favorite place to relax (a library, a restaurant, a spa, another's home) and think about why you feel so good.
Finally, I will admit that this one nearly got me. Before I accepted my $1000 challenge I didn't think it could be done. It wasn't until recently that I realized that I could do more than I thought. I wanted nice things and frankly many of the things I have made don't look like they were purchased in stores (which is something I desired). I started testing out my abilities. I window shopped at various home stores like Pier 1, Hobby Lobby, and of course pinned thousands of crafts on Pinterest to find what fit into the design I wanted. As you will find in following posts, this was easier than I thought it would be. And for those things that took extra work and concentration, I buckled down and got it done. Aren't the things that take the most effort the most worthwhile? And may I remind you that I will not do any crafting unless I have done my maintenance chores and home school.
For those who aren't very crafty (I know there are many) don't lose faith! If there is another thing I know, it's how to save money. As a family under a single income, I know how hard it can be to justify decorations. So I learned the art of being patient and saving for things over time. If you know where to find discounted furniture and things of that nature, it could be as simple as giving something a new coat of paint.
I say all this to say, that it's the little things that can improve your quality of life.