Making Yourself At Home, Part 2


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This is the kitchen when we moved in.

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Changing out the orange and ugly mustard color for white on the cabinets and painted the walls and ceiling with primer and then sea-foam type green.

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We changed out the slider for french doors.  My son also put up the door trim and medallions.  And prior to this the walls were very bad.  So we textured the top part and put the bead board on the bottom and then trimmed it out.  But this is with the slider in.  Watch the change with the other door.  This wall was in bad shape and we couldn’t remove all the paper so I decided to texture it.

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Changing out the door pulls is a great way to spruce up the old kitchen cabinets.

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Putting up the border and we added the crown molding also.

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A quick view of the living room that you will see when you walk in.  Since this time, we have changed out our coffee table and chair tables.

Are you ready to explore your home today?  I thought we could talk about some specific areas of a home such as the entry space.  One of the areas that helps make a home welcoming is to have order.  That doesn’t mean it has to be perfect, but picked up.  Just that step makes such a difference in how you feel about your own home.  Sometimes we have projects going on where that isn’t possible or we have kids that change it up for us.  But try to avoid clutter when possible.  🙂 You want it to be a place where you and others love to come.  It’s so much easier to keep it that way than to have to rush around to make it presentable at the last minute.  When your house has order, you will feel better and more confident in how it looks.

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This is still a work in progress as you can see with the planting we have going on.  But it is welcoming compared to what we had.  My favorite part of the outside is my rain chains!

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With that said, it takes a life time to have a home.  You are building it or decorating it from the ground up.  Your home will change as the years go by; objects will be added and objects will be taken away.  That is the joy of a home; it reflects you.  As you change, you will find you change your home up also.  Add the touches that make YOU and your family feel at home.  Surround yourself with what you enjoy.  In my case, I enjoy:

  • Light and being able to see and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Light reflecting through objects in my windows.
  • Furniture that reflects my upbringing and life and the people who were part of my life.  Those are memories to shared.
  • Fresh flowers to bring from outside.
  •  Using old linens on my table, as well as, on other pieces of furniture in my home.
  • Old light fixtures, and have several.  I am currently making a light for my kitchen out of a colander!
  • Old Bibles.  I have several of them throughout my home, and I read from them where ever they are.
  • Collections that I enjoy and I showcase them in parts of my home.
  • Special dishes and glasses that I can use every day, and some for just special occasions.

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Newly installed french doors with enclosed window treatments for privacy and no dusting!

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Above you see open spaces and light which I so enjoy!  Ah…my happy place…

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So the idea here is, what rings your bell and tickles your fancy?  Put those items around your home.  I haven’t spent a lot of money doing this, so don’t read this and think you can’t afford it.  Get out there to thrift stores, garage sales, friends who may want to trade something, and see what you can find.  Involve the family where appropriate, to share in the planning for the changes.  They may have some fun ideas!  Kids or grandkids make different items through their life, so, include them in your plans.  They love to see the items they have given you proudly displayed in your home.

What places can you start with?

~>Where do your guests come in to the home at?  Make some changes on the steps of that door; something inviting and cozy.  You can even start at the driveway with a cute sign or mail box, or now with solar lights, you can light up your driveway.  Little things can make a difference as people drive up to your home.  Check out that porch and see where you can make changes to make it say, welcome.  PlantsIMG_1552 are always a great addition to a front porch.  Change it up for the seasons of the year too.  As they come in, greet them and have the coffee on or hot water for tea…it’s all about the feeling of home and hospitality.  Now with different types of signage so readily available, you can put up a sign on the outside of the home, a small chair with flowers on it, or whatever you like best.  All of this is about a look that says your home is cared for and you enjoy it.  One of the biggest changes we made that we both love is, changing out our sliding glass door to french doors.  I love it!  I can open both sides and there is a screen for each side, and it’s like letting the outside come into my home.  The light is fantastic.  We had to save for a while but it was so worth it!  We enjoy that now everyday.  Maybe you have a large enough porch to add a couple of chairs or a small table and chairs so that it is inviting to sit there or to invite a guest to sit there to enjoy an iced tea, mocha, coffee or tea!  You can add things like an antique door knocker or chime, a special porch light, or a wreath on the door also.  Getting the idea?  Fun, huh?

~> What is the first thing you see when you come in the door?  You want whatever they see to be welcoming and comfortable looking.  In my case, I have a home that when you enter the door you see the kitchen, kitchen table, and the living room all in one glance.  So I need to have it picked up and ready to invite them in.  I am also kind of picky about the home always smelling good.  I don’t like odors in my home and in this house, there were smokers living here before us.  Every once in a while that smell will show up in the home. So I always want to have IMG_1410something fresh in the air!  There is also little things like a place to maybe hang a coat, wipe feet, or whatever is good if you have the room in that spot.  Since the whole area of the right end of our home is what I see when I walk in, I have worked to make there be interesting things to look at as soon as guests come through the door.  One of my latest purchases was a vintage red rotary dial wall phone!  I love it and fits into my home so well.  I have wanted one for years and just this last 6 months, we were on a trip and walked in to a thrift store/antique mall and there it was!  $9…patience pays off!  Do you have a guest book for visitors to sign?  That can be fun too.

Some of you may be asking, “What if it is just me?”  All the more important for it to feel like your haven.  You especially want it to feel like your safe place with the familiar things you like around you.  Another suggestion would be to leave a light set up to come on at a certain time, or music in the background or something that says to YOU, “Welcome home.”  

Here is another idea:  Did you know that painting your door a red, green or black is a welcoming color for the door that you enter in?  Yep!  Kind of old-fashioned looking, but even on the newer homes that I have seen, it really is very inviting.  I have wanted a red door since I moved into our house three years ago.  This summer, I will be painting my wood door red!

Here is another idea for overnight guests…I put a special folded bath towel, hand towel and wash cloth, and I put a bar of soap on top with a note tucked inside and a ribbon aroundIMG_0829 the whole thing.  The wash cloth is folded like an envelope and the soap is tucked inside.  It sits on the end of the bed when they enter the guest room.  Sometimes, I even have special shampoo and conditioner also.  It’s fun to make them feel special!  It might be the only time in a long time where they have gotten away, and they can enjoy the special environment that you have created for them.  I do that with special dinners for my hubby too.  Set a nice table with special dishes and make some of his favorite food.  You can do that for girlfriends also, which I have done.  It makes a house a home where your special people want to come to.

IMG_5985I hope you are enjoying the ideas!  I hope this gets your creative juices going!!  In the next post, I will share a bit more about the rest of the home, as well as, setting an atmosphere.

Walking the journey with you…

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2 thoughts on “Making Yourself At Home, Part 2

  1. JoAnn! I feel like this could be me. I love all the same things you do. 🙂 We have lived in our home for almost 16 years and it is ever-changing. Will it be completed to where we never have to work on another thing re-model wise? I don’t know. I seriously doubt it. We are project people! But I can say that even when it is cluttered with construction, our friends and family have told us it is a welcoming place to come. Whew! Mission accomplished. 🙂
    Wishing you joy, my friend!

  2. Thanks Anne! It has been a lot of work, but we are slowly getting it more and more like we want. I would actually like to live in the country more, however, it is what we have and so we want to make as much like we would like for a little country living. But that is the fun of the adventure of making it more and more a home we enjoy! Good for you that your guests feel that welcome in your home! Thanks for sharing also. I appreciate your reading loyalty! Blessings!

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