Close your eyes.
Imagine your dream home.
Does some sort of a fixer-upper farmhouse come to mind? Or maybe a ranch with a modern studio style? Maybe you envision a beach-side cottage or a rustic log cabin. What colors do you see? What’s the overall theme? What does your porch look like? What kind of flooring do you have? Do you have flowers or modern art? Is there a fire blazing or are there windows open and a pie cooling on the counter top?
Having trouble? Yeah. Me, too.
Creating your dream home is not as easy as it sounds, right? Probably elements of each of those things appealed to you. If you’re like me, your interests change as you do. Your style grows as you mature. One of my very favorite bloggers and decorators, Melissa Michaels over at http://theinspiredroom.net says, “When life inspires our home, our home inspires life.”
So true! Melissa’s book, The Inspired Room, resonated with me. When I read it, we had just moved into our new rental home, so I was completely overwhelmed by decorating it. Going from a four room single wide trailer to a two-story-with-a basement house was a lot to take in. I wanted my home to reflect who we were as a couple, and what was important to us, and to make others feel welcomed and at ease.
So HOW on EARTH was I supposed to do THAT?
Let me give you two tips I used to create a home that we love. Much of this is inspired by Melissa, so please make it a point to check out her blog and maybe even pick up her newer books, Love the Home You Have, and Make Room for What You Love. (I know I’m going to. 🙂 )
1). Go to a paint store and take whatever is free that they will give you. I am completely serious. 😉 You can go to Home Depot, Walmart, Lowe’s, or any place. It really depends on your budget. I lovingly call my husband a “paint snob” (he grew up in a professional house-painter’s home) so we ended up going to Sherwin Williams for our paint. I literally went through every rack and picked up a chip of every color that I loved, and grabbed every brochure and pamphlet they had. I made sure to ask the sales lady if that was allowed, and she said to go for it. So, I did. In a big way. 🙂
When I got home, I spread everything out and just looked at it all for a while. Then I put it away in a folder for a while until I felt like looking at it again. This was before we moved, so I had time to think on it. Even if you’re not ready to paint right away or you can’t paint your current home, go ahead and get the paint chips! No laws against scheming. I mean dreaming.
After a while, I had an idea of what colors I kept coming back to and which ones I loved together. When it came time to move into our home, I just had to pick the rooms to paint.
2). Pick a theme. Now, this may take some time and lots of thought. And I didn’t do this until after I read The Inspired Room. But it is very important. If each room in your home has a different style or theme, you are going to feel unorganized and somewhat stressed. Remember Melissa’s statement about your life inspiring your home, so that your home inspires life?
Okay, so write down what your life is like. What do you (and your husband, he lives there, too) love doing together? Do you like to take walks or go to national parks? Then maybe an organic, outdoorsy theme is right for you. Do you both enjoy movies and books? Then maybe a classical romantic theme would work. Do you both travel? Then by all means, use your life abroad to decorate your home with exotic finds from a market or a map of an island you’ve visited tacked onto the wall.
Okay, now what is it like where you live? Coastal? Woods? Country? Urban? Exotic? Busy? Slow paced? These things play a role as well in creating a home that you love.
*SIDE NOTE* If you can’t think of something that you and your man enjoy doing together, then this is a GREAT time to invest in your marriage! Create a list of things that you think you may enjoy doing together, and try to do one soon. And don’t keep feeling horrible if you can’t think of something. Instead, decide to try one new thing together a month. You’ll have fun, I promise. And so will your guy. 😉
Let me share some things that my man and I love doing together.
- road trips
- board games
- walking nature trails
- Driving ATVS
- jet skiing
- family time
- grilling out
- he enjoys computer games
- I enjoy reading
- studying Scripture together
- discovering new places
- and the list continues to grow!
A few of those things, we’ve only done once together. So please don’t get the impression that we’re some kind of Pocahontas and John Smith couple going just around the river bend and jumping onto our ATVS. Although that would be really fun.
The truth is, our life is pretty day to day. As youth pastor, he works at the church each day, and I keep house and take care of our family (which right now is eating mac and cheese and lots of noodles for the baby-to-be) The point is, we make investing in our marriage a priority. And you should, too! Okay, now back to decorating.
Since we both love going to new places and trying new things, but neither of us are super trendy, I knew a few pops of color in our home would be good. But for the most part, neutrals were the reigning champs. For the living room and the hallways, I chose the color Functional Gray. I love it because it is easy to add color with pillows, curtains, wall art, flowers, etc., but it’s not too dark.
For the dining room, however, I went a little rogue and used Intense Teal for one wall, and Requisite Gray for the other three. The two colors work well together and since the wall is right next to our back door, it also serves as an anchor wall (another thing I learned from The Inspired Room) for our entryway.
I knew that I would be spending most of my time in the kitchen, so I didn’t want gray. I chose the color Buff. At first glance it looks yellow, but it’s really more of a cream that has a yellow tint. Exactly what I wanted: neutral with a hint of color.
Oh, and this is Latte. She’s a cute little wanna-be farmhouse kitten. 😉
And I feel like that phrase “neutral with a hint of color” works to describe our family for now. Neither my husband nor I have flamboyant personalities or crazy talents or a flair for the dramatic. And I love it that way. We’re pretty neutral, but we do come with a hint of color about us. We’re not completely drab. 😉 So for now, until we grow and change some more, our little house is just right for us.
And that’s my downstairs! Maybe in another blog post I’ll share my upstairs with you. 🙂
Got any tips for me? I’d love to read them!
And remember. It takes time to create the home you love, because you are still growing. We all are. But maybe life has been coming at you so fast, you haven’t taken the time to think about how you’ve changed and what you love. Take the time now. Write your findings in a journal so you can refer to it again. And use it to create a home that you love.
See you Monday, pals!
Have a happy weekend!