With the glossy magazine photos and Pinterest at our fingertips, it can be so easy to become entrapped in thinking creating beauty in our homes equals spending loads of money. When I first became a mom, I would often meet up with a few friends and we would wander around stores with our Starbucks in our hands. This was our little getaway from our babies, and every time we were drawn to the home decor aisles. In the midst of the uncertainty of raising a little one, the beautiful layouts of a picture perfect living room looked like something I needed to have. As I was chartering the uncontrollable motherhood road, I grasped for something to control which naturally led into my home.
However, over time I have come to see that perfection is overrated.
Instead of creating a perfect home, I want to create a home that is a safe haven. When people enter our home, I want them to feel welcome and comfortable. I want them to be able to relax and enjoy conversation and delicious food. For a long time, I thought that in order to do this, I was going to have to shop only at the nicest of stores. After some time, I started to see how using items that are already in our homes (or our yards) can create a lovely and soothing environment.
A few things I have learned are:
Recycle and Reuse- One of my favorite things to do is to save jars now and then that I know I will use for a vase or some type of decoration. A mason jar can be painted and hold some sticks with hearts on them for a little touch of Valentines on the mantle. A salsa jar can be lovely at the entrance table.
Move things around- Sometimes, I will end up moving a frame or a vase from one room to the next. It is like shopping your own house. If the item is seasonal, I keep it in a storage bin that is marked. I have a grapevine wreath that I can easily change around according to the current season or holiday.
Paint is your best friend- From picture frames to lamp bases, I have painted everything I possibly can. My mom gave me a bunch of old picture frames and I was so excited because instantly I saw all the potential gallery walls I could create.
Shop thrift stores with an open mind- That old cake stand at the thrift store may look useless but what if you painted it a beautiful color to sit on your bathroom counter holding items? When I enter a thrift store with an open mind, I am able to see things for what they could be.
Many times, when I talk about decorating my house and being creative, I hear two questions:
When do you find time to make these little projects when you are a busy mama?
- Have art time with your kids. IT will be messy, but it is so fun to creative together. I will get out the sticker box, crayons, glue sticks, and paper. They will create while I paint a frame or a jar.
- Start a creative night. Why not mix in community plus creativity? Chances are there are other ladies around you who want to find the time to create.
I am not creative, so what do I do?
- First, I think everyone is creative– just in different ways. God created us to be creative beings, we just have to stop saying we are not creative and figure out what is it that we are passionate about doing?
- Second, let go of comparison. Your creativity is different than your friends. You have a different style than your friends. Figure out what it is that you want in your home, and do that.
- Third, ask a friend for help. The beauty in community is that we are all gifted in different things. You may not know how to nor want to learn how to refinish a dresser, but you may have a friend who loves doing that kind of thing. Hire a friend to help or offer to help her with something if she helps you with this. I have also found that just inviting a friend who has an eye for things to come shopping with you can help you think outside the box.
Decorating our homes does not have to be something that is impossible or out of our budgets. Have fun with creating beauty in your home, involve the kids, and let go of perfection.
What tips do you have for decorating on a budget? Do you struggle thinking of yourself in a creative way?
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