Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What makes your house a home?

I’ve always believed that you can make a home anywhere. Because it truly is about the people who are inside the walls that make your house a home. With that being said, I have long been attracted to the whole concept of home. I love having a cozy place to call my own, to nest in at night, to nurture my family, to create memories, and to find peace and comfort. But for some reason I get very caught up in other people’s beautiful homes. Don't get me wrong I am blessed with a beautiful home but I always find myself wanting more. {sounds like a contentment issue to me} Then, I realized if I just changed a few things up every now and then it made me enjoy this wonderful place where I get to raise my family even more. 

So, if you don’t have the time/money/inclination for an expensive remodel {we don’t}... If you are not the type to do extensive DIY home projects every weekend {we’re not}, and if you are not especially artistic or lucky in finding beautiful armoires or vintage furniture by the side of the road {one day I will be}!  Still, your home can be adorable, modern, comfortable, personal, welcoming and nurturing. Here are some things I do and thought I would share them with you!

1 Clear the Clutter
Throw your stuff away or donate it to Goodwill. A lot of us {me included} have SO much junk. It is amazing what a really good Spring cleaning {even in a winter storm} can do for the soul!
2. Use What You Have
Along the same lines, I have found tremendous fun in challenging myself to home decorate using whatever I find around the house. Most of us already have so many things. I found that once I stopped longing for new things, I was able to use and enjoy my own and have fun putting together things I hadn’t used in a long time.   
3.  Clear the Dining Room or Kitchen Table
 The table is to be used to eat, to create memories with your family, to do art projects, to read ... It's isn't your closet or a storage area... it isn't where you just throw all of your junk. It is amazing what a CLEAN table can do for the "look and feel" of your home.
 This is my favorite thing to do. Rearranging the furniture can be very fun and give you a much needed change. Even if you don't have a lot of space try rearranging smaller elements in the room. It will keeps things fresh as new.  
5. Pictures
As you know by now, I LOVE pictures. I love the way they capture memories or just a moment that you will have forever. So, print out your favorite pictures and get them on the walls. Create a photo wall in your house. It adds SO much to your home! 
6. Paint
I am a sucker for color. My first house {that I adored} was plum, mustard yellow and green. You are thinking... what? Oh. it was so yummy . With our house now we did a lot of tan but accented a bunch of the walls with fun colors. Try painted just ONE wall. Or even better yet, go get spray paint and your nasty gold mirror that you have had for 10 years. Spray paint it black. You will LOVE it and it will give your room a whole new feel!
7. Candles 
Add some smell goods to the house. I firmly believe just like first impressions you get a feel for a house within minutes. So, have a candles going. Super easy, Super cheap, Super practical!
8. Laughter
My mom always says, "I just want you to laugh a lot." Why does she always want me to laugh because then she knows I am happy. Create an atmosphere in your home that makes people smile. A place where your kids can, where YOU can laugh and simply enjoy what you have blessed with. 
9. Encouragement
Sounds weird but hear me out. Your house should be a place where you can serve others. Where they can feel like they can be themselves/open up/ laugh/cry/be encouraged  and just chat it up in your home. If you come into my home my desire is for you to leave feeling better then when you stepped foot in our doorway. I want you to feel encouraged and loved whether you are one of Mason's friends or a 90 years old women.
10. Love
Twenty years from now when my boys have families of their own are they going to remember what color mom had on the walls? No. Will they remember that we had a fancy rug in each room? No. What they will remember {i pray} is the love that we all shared as a family. The times we sat at the dinner table and talked about our days. The times we played video games together and had team dinners. The times we sat in bed and read the Bible. The times we prayed together as a family. The times we sat snuggled on the couch and watched our favorite movies. The times we played in a serious game of basketball. The times we cried together and the times we laughed until our bellies hurt. That's is what they will remember about our home. 

I can remember one of the greatest compliments I ever received was from a man who had been finishing our basement. When the job was complete {which took about a month} he told me that he looked forward to coming into our home because he just felt a sense of peace and warmth. Seriously, it brought me tears. He didn't have to say it but I am so thankful he did. I don't tell you that to say I am great but to let you know that your home creates some type of atmosphere. Is it chaos/peace/laughter/Jesus/joy/anger/bitterness? 

My question for you is two fold... 1.)What atmosphere does your home create? 2.)What makes your house a home? Is it your kids drawing or a favorite bookcase? I would LOVE to know!  
This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda  


  1. I remember right after having Evan, I was having a hard time keeping up with getting the house work done. I asked J what was most important for him to have done when he gets home from work and he told me, "as long as the dining room table is cleared, the mess around the house doesn't bother me." So from that moment on, no matter how crazy the day, I will always make sure the dining room table is cleared before he gets home. Shoot, that is as easy of a request to fulfill as anything ;-)!!

  2. Great thoughts! I should really take the dining room table thing to heart. We've always had a problem with keeping it...and other flat surfaces...clear of junk. Maybe that'll be my #1 cleaning priority from now on and I'll see how it goes.

  3. Oh gosh, I slept last with the thought that I should be more organized. I believe that no matter how small or how big one's house is, its still all about who lives inside that building. If its all full of love and respect. No mess is big enough to make it a chaos! :))

    But nonetheless, i should start picking up stuff now...

  4. Totally going to IKEA this weekend! We are turning the mud room off the kitchen into my little school room for Sophie and me! Are you EXCITED!? You're the inspiration!

  5. Jenny- I am SO excited! Sophie is going to LOVE it! It's the perfect spot for a school room! I can't wait to see it. Let me know if you need anything. I am crazy like that and think about this kind of stuff all the time so I have tons of ideas :)

    LHEY- I totally agree w/you it doesn't matter the size of the house just the people who are in it! Thanks for reading!

    Kelsey- If you do nothing else you have to try keeping the dining room table clean! I think you will love it! It makes everything else "appear" to be cleaner than it actually is!

    Cortney- Great idea to actually ask your hubby what is most important to him. Maybe I should try that instead of being a crazy person always trying to keep the house perfectly clean ;)

  6. Love reading your blog!

    Definitely feeling the need to clear the clutter!!

    I should send you pictures of my house, so you can tell me what I should do! :-)

  7. Thanks Jessica! If you send me pictures I totally would give you my opinion on how to change it up a bit. I LOVE LOVE LOVE helping people with decorating!

  8. Oh, I love your idea of encouragement in the home. I could easily encourage my husband and children more.

  9. Thanks Susan! I feel like we all can do a better job of encouraging the people around us :) Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! I really appreciate it!

  10. I love this post! Helps you remind you what's important in life. You are so right about the kitchen table. When it's all cleaned off I'm automatically in a better mood.



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