As promised, I'm going to show off some of the changes that James and I made in our apartment this weekend. As I was looking around at what we did, I realized that we only spent $40 on a new rug and a new lampshade. Everything else we already owned and moved around.
I think we often believe that we need to spend a lot of money to freshen up our homes. The reality is, you probably have a lot around the house that you can make work just by re-purposing it or moving it to a different space.
As I share these pictures, I want to also share some of the rules I go by when decorating my home. But first, some overviews of the rooms we changed the most--the living room and the guest room.
Here is the guest room/office. It used to be our TV room, but we decided to move the TV out into the living room. I love that this is now a quiet space where we can work on the computer, read and provide space for our overnight guests.
This is now what the living room looks like. It's so nice to have both couches in one room, as well as the large carpet! It feels like a much better space to entertain now, with lots of seating and a comfy carpet to sit on to play games and hang out.
And now to my rules:
Rule 1: Embrace family heirlooms. They may not match your decor, but they are special because they either belonged to or were made by someone you love. Proudly display the things that make you think of those you love.
This granny-square blanket was made by James' grandma. We keep it out all the time and it adds color and warmth to our guest room!
Rule 2: Buy second-hand. Some of my favorite pieces of decor cost very little and were purchased second-hand. They are also usually the items that I have the hardest time giving away when it comes time to purge some old things. But, that being said, it's easier to get rid of something you paid a few bucks for than something that cost a lot. And, when you make that trip to Goodwill to drop things off, head inside to pick up a new treasure!
I just found this milk glass vase at Goodwill last week. I think it might have been $3.99, but was then 50% off! I found another one with a different pattern that I put out in the living room.
I found those hanging lanterns and stand in a consignment store a few years ago. I think it cost me $30, which is a steal for something this unique. I get a lot of comments about it; it's one of those items that I don't think I'll ever want to give up--it is a treasure for sure!
Rule 3: Let both of your personalities shine. I read a lot of blogs about decorating, and I often wonder, Does a man live in that house? I could easily do whatever I want in our house without any consideration for James, but it's his home too, and he deserves to be comfortable and happy with what is around him. Make compromises and make sure he is represented in your decor!
Here's the picture of our guest room again. You can see that we have some of James' movie posters hanging on the wall. I don't love them, I'll be honest. But, they are important to him and so they are important to me.
I balance it out with floral throw pillows on the bed.
This garbage can belonged to James' uncles when they were kids. He got it from his grandma last summer. Ya know, it's a little weird, but it is also funky and has a vintage vibe, which I obviously love. It also meets a lot of my rules--family heirloom (can a garbage can be an heirloom?) and second-hand!
Rule 4: Use what you have. Re-purpose, reuse, revamp. For goodness sake--the things we have lying around our homes are treasures in themselves. Go "shopping" in your closets and drawers and see what you find. Or, chose something you are bored with and find a way to jazz it up.
I think it was my sophomore year of college when a friend of mine used my picture on an art project she was doing. She gave me this little print (it's a stamp) all those years ago and I've held onto it. After all, I've never been the subject of a piece of art before! Well, I found it again this weekend and I told myself that it was time to use it or toss it. I put it in a little frame and now it's a funky piece of art for our home!
These pillow covers are new, and guess who made them? Yup, me! Dude, throw pillows are so expensive--but now I will never buy them again! I used this tutorial with great success, and I'm not an incredible sewer, so I bet you can do it too! Now I can change out my pillows any time and I love that I can wash them regularly.
I hope this gave you some practical advice for sprucing up your home. Remember, your house doesn't have to look like a magazine (or the homes of every other blogger out there!). It should represent you and your family and be an expression of what is important to you!
Now, I'm off to enjoy my new spaces, and the beautiful breeze coming through my window!!