Ever been in a situation that was slightly less than ideal? Here’s a quick post on how to make the most of it! (And have a ton of fun while you’re at it.)
One thing I learned quickly after moving to Pennsylvania in January: winter is COLD. I mean, I had lived in coldish places before, but this…
I remember posting this picture on Facebook because it made me feel like I was living in a snow globe!
It really was so pretty. But to a girl from Alabama who had just spent four years in Florida…coldie.
Remember in my last post I told you about our first home in which our hallway (which doubled as the laundry room) had a hole in it? Yeah. It was covered by carpeting, but still. I remember waking up one morning and my weather app said NEGATIVE 25 degrees. That’s Fahrenheit, people.
In the few months that followed I practiced LEAPING down the hallway in order to avoid getting coldie toes. I’m sure I looked very graceful. 😉
*disclaimer* Would you new wives agree with me that no matter what your first home was like, it was still so SO special to you? That’s how I feel about our first sweet little trailer. I was so grateful to be living there with the love of my life. So many beautiful memories were made there and so many lessons learned! Okay, I just didn’t want you to get the wrong idea. 😉
As I was saying, it was cold outside. But that didn’t dampen my spirits a bit! I was living on love and so excited to make our house into a home. I ran into a problem quickly, however. Actually, two problems.
Problem #1: Too many couches and too many end tables. Four each, to be exact.
Problem #2: No other furniture except a small kitchen table, a desk, and a bed.
Two of the couches, the end tables, the desk, and the bed were there in the trailer when we arrived, and we brought the other two couches with us, as well as the kitchen table. But by the time we finished moving into the living room, it looked like an airport lounge! I wish I had a picture for you! It really was laughable.
Now you’re probably thinking…uh, how is this supposed to help me as a new wife in need of decorating inspiration?
Well, I’m glad you asked. 😉 I know that most likely, all of our first homes weren’t ideal. But I wanted to let you know that mine CERTAINLY wasn’t. But did that stop me from loving it and doing what I could to make it into a home? Not one single bit.
My mission here, my PASSION, is to help you thrive in your womanhood the Bible way, and one of our God-given responsibilities as wives is to be keepers at home. So don’t be discouraged by the challenges you face as you try to decorate that tiny, two-bedroom apartment or the rental where you can’t hang anything on the walls. Instead, be INSPIRED. And have FUN! I am so thankful for the chance I had to test out my homemaking skills in that little trailer. And you will be, too!
Okay, so how did we solve the conundrum of too much and too little furniture?
I decided to divide the space. So I basically just made two separate living rooms in the same living room. But even after that, although the situation was better, it still needed something. And it was at that point in my homemaking journey that I saw, THEM.
On the very top shelf of our local Michaels, in all their unfinished but inspiring glory, sat…
Yep. We spent about 100 dollars that day on 9 rough, pine-wood, unstained crates.
To this day, that is the best investment I have made in the furniture department. Maybe in every department. I am telling you, these things are GOLDEN. The only thing we had to do was stain them!
In the middle of February. In the tundra. I mean, in Pennsylvania.
“No worries,” I told my concerned husband who wisely wanted to wait until spring to embark upon such a project. “We’ll just put a tarp down in the living room and close our door at night. It’ll be fiiiiine.” I reassured him with a wink and we set off to Lowes to pick out the stain. After an hour of agonizing over the WAY too many stain color options available, we chose the color Jacobean and headed home.
Needless to say, we slept completely under the covers, with a fan on, with towels stuffed under our door, and the windows open in the living room (did I mention it was February?) and it still smelled like our HOUSE was the can of stain. But I didn’t care.
I was SO excited! I mean, have you SEEN how many ways there are to use crates on Pinterest? Mind blowing! And, just saying, I’m pretty sure I have tried them all. They turned out even more beautifully that I could have dreamed and I still love them!
First we used them as a bookcase by stacking them 3×3. We used the 3 left as end tables standing on their sides.
Next we used four of them as a coffee table, which worked out really well. There are tutorials on Pinterest on how to connect them, but I found that even sitting on the floor, it worked great.
This crate shelf works wonderfully in our nautical-themed bathroom!
I think my next move for this TV stand space is getting canvas bins to store all those books in. 😉
We have since used the crates as an entertainment center, shelves, moving boxes…and I’m sure I’ll be using them in other capacities as our family grows and changes.
My point in sharing about these crates is simple. Find something you love and you KNOW you will use. Don’t be afraid to invest in it! As a newly married couple, it was kind of scary spending that much money on something. But I will always be glad we did. We made some fun memories getting those things stained and set up.
Not sure about what you love? I struggled with that, too. I started a file of magazine clippings of things that I liked, (no matter what it was!) and then I made a list of all the things those pictures had in common. (More on how I got that idea in Friday’s post! 😉 )
Look at your Pinterest boards for things you have repinned multiple times. Look through decorating magazines and books in Barnes and Nobles and make a note in your “Inspire Me” journal if something is consistently catching your eye (i.e., a color scheme, a storage idea, a certain style of decorating, etc.) Better yet, do it with your man! Make a date out of it and figure it out together. Use it as an opportunity to invest in your new marriage and make memories together. And tell me about it in the comments! 🙂
Okay, pals, the next post is my favorite! Can’t wait to share the biggest help to me so far as a homemaker!
And remember. Don’t let a less than ideal circumstance get you down. Decide to find something that will work wonders for the home you have, and don’t be afraid to invest in it.
Lots of love,