A five-part series about thriving at home, specifically as stay-at-home moms, but still applicable to all sorts of mama-situations. This is encouragement to flourish at home, not just make-it-through and survive. By God’s grace, you can thrive at home, mama bear! (Read the entire series here.)
Do you feel an internal tug for beauty? An orange sunset over the sea. Pink peonies. Fireflies glinting at dusk. Fresh snow sparkling. God created this world beautiful as a reflection of Himself and I think there’s an innate pull in each of us to beauty. Everything beautiful speaks of worship and honor and worth.
And I believe this same pull to the beautiful is why we desire to create beautiful spaces in our homes. This post isn’t about giving a 3-point outline of what makes a home beautiful. It’s true that I enjoy studying different aspects of design, color, decorating, etc. But really, only you know what constitutes “beautiful” in your eyes and that’s what matters most in your home. I describe it like this: what makes you grin. You know what I’m talking about . . . when you find that perfect thing and every time you walk by the room and see it, you just can’t help but have a silly grin on your face. It just makes you so happy. That’s it–that’s your beautiful.
I found a macrame wall hanging at a local store for a really good price–and I just loved it. It looks perfect against the dark green walls in our kitchen. It won’t stay there forever (hopefully one day there will be a barn door on that wall) but for now, with one small nail hole, I just grin every time I walk by. It makes me happy.
Here are some simple ideas that have helped create “grinning moments” in my own home.
Switch it up. Shop the house. Move things from this room to that room. It’s free and you’ll be amazed at how fresh your rooms will feel! Move the lamps around. Switch up the end tables. Hang the artwork somewhere different (it’s just nail holes). Every couple of months I run around the house and just move things around and it feels so good.
Light that candle already. You know that stash of delicious candles you’re saving for that super-special occasion–make that occasion today! No more saving candles. For me, lighting candles immediately creates the feeling of a “moment,” plus how my home smells means a lot to me. So I light candles often, just for fun, whenever I feel like it! And rather than saving them, it feels kind of nice to use them up (because then that means I get to go find another beautiful scent!).
This tip was inspired by The Nester (a blog I highly recommend). Years ago, she wrote something that really stuck with me:
Do you actually use your candles? I hereby give you permission, no, I mandate that you burn your candles. Please, don’t let them sit around…untouched. Those candles are there to make you happy, make your home more welcoming, they want to be lit. The other day my friend Marybeth told me how she used to feel like she needed to decide who was what she called “candle-worthy.” Now she lights them all the time because she and her family are candle-worthy.
Play music in the background. Beauty touches all of the senses, and what you hear in your home adds to the feeling of beautiful. I like to play Amazon music or Pandora in the background constantly; it’s part of my morning routine to turn on some music. Sometimes it’s worship music, sometimes it’s classical or other times it’s a light-hearted love song station. Soothing music in your subconscious can make a such a difference.
If it drives you nuts, then do something about it. This one might seem a little silly, but sometimes it’s really helpful for me. When something about my home drives me nuts and I can’t spend a lot of money to fix it or buy all brand new (#storyofmylife), then I just get creative. I tell myself: don’t complain & whine, just get busy! Garage sales, thrift shops, selling something to free up money, spray paint, swap with a friend–these are all good options that have helped me.
Usually, paint is my best friend when it comes to freshening up a space on the cheap. For example, in our fireplace room there are three doors: closet, basement and bathroom. They were cheap, yucky-cream-colored doors that will (probably years down the road) get replaced but were sure bothering me in the meantime. One night I just pulled out my paintbrush and some leftover paint, and tada!….new doors! They make me so happy every time I walk into the room. Grin moment–check!
The moral of the story: don’t be afraid to paint or refinish or stain. If it makes you unhappy the way that it is, then there’s nothing to lose in trying something different!
Go green. What better way to create beautiful moments than to bring the outdoors in! My favorite trick is to buy marked-down grocery store flowers. For less than $10, I get a few bouquets and create arrangements for table tops and the fireplace mantle. Flowers and greenery always make me grin. Another idea is just to walk outside and clip a few green or flowering branches. They will last for quite awhile inside and bring an instant feeling of freshness.
I always feel like it’s worth it to take the time to make our homes beautiful, capturing all of the senses. Small touches here and there make such a difference. Your home is worth it! And all of this aids in a deep sense of thriving at home.
Here are a few blogs that provide encouragement and inspiration to me in my own pursuit of and learning more about home beautifying, DIY and design.
I hope you’ve enjoyed & been encouraged by this “Thriving at Home” series: Be Present. Health & Wholeness. Gracious Order. All Alone. Make it Beautiful. In all seasons of the heart and home, God is gracious to help us. Oh, I am so grateful. This is my prayer for you, my friend–may you thrive at home!
** An offer just for you! My friend, Beth (a certified interior designer), and I (novice/self-taught “designer”) would love to offer our home-beautifying consulting service. Maybe you’re feeling like you don’t know where to begin bringing beauty to your home or perhaps you need help finding your “style” . . . we would love to come alongside you! Making homes functional and beautiful is one of our favorite things. Comment on this post or contact me directly and we’ll be in touch!