Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happiness lies in the home.

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.


molly june. said...

your home is just LOVELY!! i love all the little creative touches! & i'm a sucker for birds :) love love love it! you are such a sweet soul..i love how you relate everything you do to God & His glory! i love to create things too..never thought about it the way you put it, so thanks! :)

Lauryn said...

I love what you've done with the place :)

And I can totally relate to your love of decorating and creating a home. I don't have a home or a husband yet, but I'm one of those girls who can't WAIT to build a little home for my family.

You've done a wonderful job!

Tristan said...

everything looks so great :)

Sunny said...

Talia, your house is definitely a home that people feel welcome and at home in. I love getting to go to your house and seeing what else you've done to make it unique. You have such wonderful taste and style! But even if you lived in a shabby little hut, your sweet spirit would shine right through and make your home beautiful. I think your 85 subscribers would attest to that. :) You have God given gifts and you use them with such grace and humility. You teach me so much about what it is to be a Christian, wife, mother, and friend. I'm not trying to flatter you, it is the honest truth!

I love you, girl! So glad I got to visit with you last night. I hope we do it again soon.

Jenn said...

You're so creative and everything looks wonderful!

Joshley and The Charles said...

I love your post! You are very talented and I love seening what you created (especially the table)! I totally agree that it is such a fun challenge to decorate on a budget :) I have been discovering too that the more i let my creative juices flow the closer I feel to God and His creation!

Band of Brothers said...

You did an amazing job Talia! I'm impressed!

The cabinet looks fantastic!

I love the botanical lampshade. I love the modern shape of the shade.

The curtains are absolutley beautiful. Love them!

And the coffee table looks awesome!!!

Sarah said...

I love decorating and being creative about it. you have done such a lovely job!

*CPA* Su said...

What a beautiful way you ended the post! Everything you have "created" is so great! I really LOVE the "B" and the curtains! Sew me some now, K? :) One of these days I'm really going to have to come see your beautiful home and your ever-growing family!!

Lydia said...

I'm in love with your coffee table. that's all there is to say.

<3 Brattina

alyssa said...

I'm pretty sure you need to do my shopping for me. I have such back luck when we go to Goodwill...yard sales, etc. I NEVER find anything at all good. I love all of your birdies! I just got a pair of 3 for my craft room. When I get that mess organize I'll have to make a post like this :)

Jerusha Abigail said...

I love your house. It always feels like home when I'm there. :) And your decorating style is just lovely! I'm so glad you got those curtains up so the constructions guys can stop peeking in. lol They're so pretty too! And your table is just fabulous, I'm in love with the color. I love everything. I need to come visit again! Love you

The Thompson Family said...

So fun! I think my fav is the entry table. Our house doesn't have an entry area...it just kind of goes into everything and I really wish I had a cute little area to make inviting like you. Projects are so fulfilling and you've done a wonderful job.

Mommy Diffee said...

You have a gift Talia! I love everything you have done =) I absolutely love deccorating also, I get so excited about the smallest little upgrades =) But with each little thing, it makes a house more of a home!

NeverEverEmma said...

Wow! You have a lovely eye for interiors! I really love the cabinet with the lemon highlights. I have cabinet envy... :)

*jimaie.marie* said...

You are AMAZING. Your home is beautiful and filled with such treasures!! I adore the way the coffee table turned out and your hutch?! JEALOUS! You have a talent! I've been wanting to tell you this for awhile Talia but you are a woman that I admire. You are an incredible mother, wife, housekeeper, and your heart for God inspires me every time I visit your blog. What a role model your girls have for a mother and what BLESSED men will their husbands be one day <3

Paulette said...

Your home is always warm and welcoming. It's all done with your touch of love...and that is what makes it perfect!

Olive Oyl said...

Love love LOVE the table! So darling (as is the rest of your home!). Thanks for sharing!

Kourtni said...

I adore your house. It's so beautiful. And it's so you. You can tell you love your home... you've made it very inviting and warm!!!

sarah marie p said...

Too much to comment on! I LOVE LOVE all the goodies and treasures you have added to your happy home! The B is just swell - so cute that you put it in a frame!
My favorite might be the cabinet that you painted yellow. It's so sweet! Oh I love the sheet music you framed! Genius! Oh and the coffee table!!! Thanks for giving us a peak inside your cute home!

your wishcake. said...

This absolutely warmed my heart! You are seriously one of the sweetest, most creative, loveliest people I know.

Want to come over and help decorate my place? Please? :)

I'm only now starting to get the itch to paint things (thanks to you and Morgan!) and I reeeeeally wish I had someone around these parts who was willing to help me figure out how! I'm all nervous to go out and buy paint. I'm weird. Heehee.

In any case, everything you wrote and everything you shared in this post really made me happy. You are a gem.