I really do believe that the happiest place on earth is one's home. And because I believe that, I take great joy and pleasure in making it as lovely, warm, inviting, and home-y, as I can. I know for a fact that most of you out there enjoy doing exactly the same thing (and are quite good at it, I might add), so I know you won't mind if I share with you some of most recent projects and favorite things. :) (many of you have already seen some of this, since some of it has been here in my house for a little while)
Decorating and home-making is best done on a budget, if you ask me. There is something so fun about looking at a blank wall and thinking "hmm, I really need to hang something there", and then setting about to see just how little you can spend in doing so. It's a challenge, a wonderful, fun challenge! And almost all of the favorite things in our house are the things which I have been inspired to do or make by myself... or those which used to be old and busted (and CHEAP) and were made new and fab in some way. You can't beat the thrill that comes with a good bargain and creativity, can I get an amen??
"B" is for Boo-yah (not really, it's the first letter of our last name, in case you didn't know), because this first project cost me all of $12!
I found the wooden frame at an antique store for $7 and the wooden letter at Urban Outfitters for $5, and simply painted them both with left-over paint from other projects that I had in my garage. And thus a decorating dream was fulfilled, since I'd always wanted a big letter to hang on my wall.
I found this nifty little lamp at Goodwill for $8, and painted the yucky brown base with the same left-over paint I used on the "B". It works great, and turned out to be the perfect piano lamp-- another something I'd always wanted!
It's quite possible that I've shared my entryway table with you all before, but look! A new lamp shade! I find myself quite drawn to natural, botanical things lately, as well as the color green, so I just loved the print. And the fact that this one was only $4.95 on clearance at Target certainly didn't hurt either...
Remember this? My steal of a cabinet sat out in our garage for quite some time, but finally, a month or so before Rosalie was born, I spruced it up a bit with some fresh yellow trim paint and a good scrub-down so it could come inside and be the perfect addition to our dining area.
Originally I was going to give it a completely new coat of white paint, but the more I thought about it the more I loved the old, beat-up look of it. All those imperfections give it so much more character.
Old things are the best, it's true.
While we're in the dining area, here is my as-of-yet-small collection of vintage plates. My plan is to fill this entire wall around the mirror (it hangs over my blue dresser) with a variety of different and unique plates. Old dishes make me happy.
(by the way, this mirror? I got it out of a dumpster years ago at the apartments in which we lived. I'm actually quite proud of that, thankyouverymuch)
Speaking of the blue dresser, here's a little something which has found a home on top of it. My sweet sister-in-law Jessica gave me this beautiful frame with the hymn "Sweet Hour of Prayer" (one of my favorites) printed out and placed inside. She told me I was to add whatever I wanted to the plain sheet of paper, so that is exactly what I did after scavenging through my paper scraps and stickers. A gift that kept on giving, since I had a lot of fun doing it!
For the longest time we had no curtains on our master bathroom window, which happens to be right next to our shower-- there really was no need, as it was simply empty dirt lots behind us. And then the construction started, and houses started to take shape. And then I saw construction workers on the roofs of those houses. Time to sew some curtains, most definitely!!
This fabric had been in my stash for some time-- bought at Wal-Mart on super clearance for $1 a yard. I was more than happy to find a use for it.
On one of my excursions to Goodwill I happened to spy this brand new white frame for $4. In the same trip I also came across this old piece of sheet music for $3. And I knew they were meant for each other! The sheet music was a bit stained and had a couple tears in it, so I added some pretty scrapbooking stickers in strategic places... and there it was, instant wall art. I love the colors in the illustration!
Last, but definitely not least...
I painted our coffee table brilliant green.
I sort of love it. A lot.
(to see what it looked like before, you can take a peek here)
What is it about decorating that I love so much?? After thinking about it a bit, I realized that the amazing thing about decorating is that it ties into almost every aspect of my life and who I am. I see decorating and home-making as a part of being a wife, because I am making our home a pleasant place for my hard-working husband to come home to, to relax and enjoy his family, a place of rest and peace. I see it as part of being a mother, since I am striving to create a place where my children can grow and make many happy memories surrounded by an atmosphere that will stay with them for many years to come, even as they leave our home and go out to make their own. Home-making is a part of being a friend and a family member, since one of my sincerest desires is to have a house in which loved ones of any age or acquaintance can feel welcome and at home. I am happy when this place is filled with the people we love and I can see they are enjoying their time within our walls.
But most of all, I see decorating as a part of who I am as a person who has been created in the image of God. God Himself was a creator, THE creator... and not only did He create, but He did so with the purpose of making things beautiful and good. And He gave us, His children, that ability to create too! I know that any creativity or talent I may have comes directly from Him, and that in using it I am glorifying Him. What an amazing gift.
God made this world a beautiful place for us to live in because He loves us... and I am so glad, glad, GLAD to have the opportunity to make our little home in this world a place of beauty for the ones that I love, too.