Make Yourself At Home, Part 3



IMG_2261This time, we are focusing on our homes like a painting canvas; we start with an outline and then we add the color!  It may seem plain in the beginning but as we add our personalities in to our home, it takes on our colors, reflections and memories.  I have enjoyed that process very much and it is a continuing project.  So last week, we left off in the entry area and what you see when you walk in.  Today, we were going to talk more about the rest of the house.  We will come back to talk about the kitchen more when we leave the home.  Let’s see what we have for today.

One of the features you will see when you enter our door, is the fireplace.  We love a fire and sitting around in the evening or even the day time in the colder months, and watching IMG_3499the fire.  It is a cozy feeling and one that makes you want to gather there and rest a while.  We all enjoy the living room to relax in.  So in this case, you have something inviting for your guests to see when they come in the room.  But even if you don’t have a fireplace or stove, your living room, or you may call it a family room, is usually one of the places people gather.  It is a place where you can sit a while, and enjoy a visit.  It’s a bit harder in my house because my living room is open to that whole end of the house. However, I do try to make it look “set apart”.  This becomes the place to gather on holidays, where laughs and fun take place.  In my case, there are many memories to notice in this room:

A couple of tables that belonged to my mom, a couple of vintage lamps that I just love that sit on a table in each corner, a decorative balls with inspirational words on them in a beautiful wooden dish, a vase made from all the different woods in Honduras from my trip there, table books of all kinds, Bibles, music boxes from my trips to Japan, and many other things that inspire great memories when I see them.  I also have a shelf that I have some of my grandma’s dishes that were given to me by my mom, along with other vintage items.  There is also a scale that came from our childhood barn.  A lantern from our barn that hangs on a wall hanger that I painted red adds a bit of nostalgia.  I remember having to light that lantern to see in the barn before we got electrical lights.  I love seeing these items each day and it never fails to bring good memories to my mind and heart.  This room in my home has seen many holidays celebrations, and I hope it sees many more!   It is a space I enjoy sitting in.  As the morning sun casts rays across the room, I enjoy my quiet time with my mocha in hand.  It makes me want to take a deep breath and tarry a while.

I enjoy a home that is well used and our home is just that.  I love light so my windows are always open to the light and we don’t worry about faded furniture.  We sit, lay, play, dream, deep chats, and at times, even eat there.  One of the reasons I try to keep it tidy so that when someone walks through the door, they will see an inviting space.  In my home, I don’t have a lot of room to img_2298-e1407215390181consider how I place my furniture, so I have placed it how it fits best into the area, and where it is easy to communicate with others.  But if you have the room, look at what would be the best place to set a couch or chair, set up a sitting area with a chair, side table and lamp, so you have a nice place to read a book or have quiet time.  The way my living room is, I can be cooking and see what is going on in the living room and I like that.  My grandson can play there and I am still able to be working in the kitchen if I need to.  We are still trying to work out some streamlining of our furniture and items…that is an ongoing project right there. 🙂  We both love books, my sweetie is a crazy book lover, so we have many in different places in our home.  However, those kinds of items in a home shows what you enjoy and tells your story.  You want the home to reflect who you are as a family and what your interests are.

No matter how your home is set up, each area or room should be welcoming.  You may even have his or her places, such as a den for him and a hobby room for her.  In our case, I have an office and it is the first place I set up when we have made our many moves.  But it is important that those two areas reflect who you are and who he is.  Add personal touches like a candle, a dish with rose petals, shells gathered from the beach, or whatever speaks to you.  I think it is important for our homes to be a place to gather and enjoy.  While our lives get hectic and schedules can over take us, it’s nice to have a comfortable home to come back to.  I prefer that the living room is a place you can sit, lay, grab a pillow or two, and an afghan to cover up for a rest, and still be able to be where you can see kids play or other activity you might need to keep an eye on.



 I have always had many special items that are out on display in my home.  As Ethan, our grandson, has grown up around our home, he has just learned about what is out.  When you explain the things, they lose the curiosity IMG_0166about handling them, and leave them.  You have stories to tell.  I have a treasure box in my office for Ethan to go to whenever he wants.  There are items about my life, my husband’s life, my parent’s life, about him, his daddy, his uncle, pictures, and all kinds of treasures.  He will ask to go get that box, and then we have story time again.  He asks many times if I have put something new in the box.  I love that!  One day, some of what is in it, will be his.  We also have places where we keep things that Ethan knows about such as, the small jar for sunflower seeds which he loves, and his special treat of peanut butter cups.  Just recently, we got an old gum ball machine and it will work with gum, jelly beans, m&ms and lots of other items.  He loves that, and we keep a small dish next to it with money in it that he can use to put into the machine to get his treasure.

IMG_4167We try to combine the things which my sweetie enjoys with the things that I enjoy.  We are working now on an office area for him as well, and that will make it a place that reflects all that is him.  At this point, his most treasured possession is his books.  So we are working on a plan to have some nice bookshelves as a part of our rooms so that we have a place for them. But in doing that, it is important to blend each of your interests together, where possible, so your rooms flow well.  Think of the activities you do in the rooms and adjust accordingly.  If you eat in front of the TV sometimes, then make sure it is an area that cleans up easily.  For example, have trays available to put the food on.  I like a set table, but there are times that it’s just fun to be informal and we will eat and watch a movie.  Maybe for you, it might be playing games together, so you will need a table or coffee table that can easily become yourIMG_7035 game board.I have a tray that is handy, but not seen, that I can pull out for my grandson to use for his Legos or any number of things that he plays with.  When he is done, it is put away.  Works great!

I don’t think it matters the size of the rooms if you think it through and plan for that space.  It is really more important that it is a place of memories where stories are told, love and warmth is IMG_1446felt, and everyone is comfortable.  If your living room has a warm feeling, it sets the stage for the house.  If you have a stove or fireplace like we do, look for things that go with a fire-place to display with it.  Ideas would be: a basket or box with some wood in it, a vintage iron, or a teapot on top.  I have an old iron that sits there with a vintage teapot that sits on the floor.  In the summer, I use it to decorate because it doesn’t need to be on.  So I put flowers there, even an old-fashioned fan would look good.  Candles or a vintage doll would look good also.  You can put up pictures of you and parents, grandparents, and family in the area also.  Another one of my favorite things is…lamps!  I would have them everywhere, but I can’t.  So I save them to use on side tables next to the couch for lighting, and I have a floor lamp by my hubby’s chair.  The side tables provide storage for books, the tops for decorating, and this space makes for a nice place to read.  Pillows are a great way to decorate and I love to see pillows throughout a home because it speaks “welcome” to me.  If you have the room, or a corner, you can take several pillows and stack them up with a ribbon or a length of fabric and tie them.  Then, set them as an accent to the space or corner to add a comfy touch.  Another idea for that area is to use small trunks stacked on top of each other to put a lamp on, or as a side table/coffee table.  Even a large trunk can make a great coffee table!  And…floating flowers always add a beautiful touch to any area of the home!




Now let’s move on to the other rooms, such as bedrooms.  I have a guest bedroom, a master bedroom and a bedroom I use for an office.  I want my guest room it to say, “Ahhh…come rest a while”.  Make sure your curtains give privacy for guests.  I have that situation now where I have only a heavy sheer curtain, but it isn’t as private as I want for my guests.  However, our house sits up high from the street so that helps for the present.  But, I do need to get it changed.  It’s on my goal list.  But those are things to think about.  Consider whether you have a comfortable bed so that it will fit a taller person if necessary.  Setting up a sitting area where they can relax or read before retiring is always nice.  I have both lamp light and ceiling light with a fan for the warmer evenings.  I have my grandpa’s suitcase standing at the end of the bed which I enjoy looking at when I walk in the room.   The little dog and the baby doll in the photo above are from my early childhood.  The shoes on the side table are my favorite shoes as a little girl.  The Minnie Mouse is a part of a set that was made for me by a sweet friend in Japan.  The doll standing is from my childhood also; she was a bride doll in her prime.  The bed belonged to my grandpa and my brother gave it to me, and so even though I can’t use it because of its unusual size mattress, I have leaned against the wall and use both pieces as my head-board.  You can’t see it very well, but on the floor under the little suitcase is a footstool that belonged to my folks that I have always loved, and was the one thing I asked for.  My name was written on the bottom of that for years!  So it is a very comfy room to come to.  The quilt was the first and only quilt I have made so far!  I now have a deep red afghan that I found, plus a beautiful hand crocheted doily that sits on top of the afghan at the end of the bed now.  I also added a doll with a crocheted dress to the middle of the bed.  There are other larger pieces of furniture that adorn the room.  Also, I like to put my feet on something soft in the morning, so there is a soft rug that is right by the bed.

The next room is the master bedroom.  I wanted a beach/cottage look in this room.   I painted the ugly purple and lavender (it wasn’t an ordinary type of lavender you would like) and took off the ceiling border and painted it all blue.  Painting smaller rooms all the same color will make your room appear larger.  I purchased the bed cover and shams, and then made a throw for the end of the bed.  I put a tray on top of the bed, there are lots of pillows, and it looks very calm and inviting as you walk in the door.  I like a romantic look in my master bedroom, so I have several of Jack Vettriano’s art.  You can see one of them in the photo below.




This little gem of a chair fits was just perfect in this corner!  I have a sweet angel that is on the wall above the chair that was given to me by another sweet friend from Japan.  I also have a beach picture and a marriage prayer there also.  I have chosen to have a little bit of red in each room because it shows some continuity of color throughout the home.  Of course, it IS one of my favorite colors!  You can see that touch of red in the ribbon on the wall hanging.  We also added a massage table to the room.  Did you notice?  It comes in very handy on those days when you get a little stiff and sore.


I enjoy the beach, walking the beach, searching for treasures and so it fits my sweetie and I very well.  We have rocks and shells and sea glass we have collected that lays in a dish.  We have a dresser that was my sweetie’s grandma’s dresser.  It is quite a treasure and fits perfectly in there.  I paid a friend to shorten some curtains for me and it was complete.  Well…so far!  Pictures and wall art add to it also, along with a lovely color of blue touches throughout.  At some point, I want to change the fan-light out for one that has leaf blades so it fits better in the decor.  But… that is for the future!Ok…are you excited to start your own dream project?  Start with an idea, and then just build on what you have, or consider how you might repurpose a piece.  It really becomes a fun project to see how you can do it without spending a lot of money.  

So, are you getting some creative ideas?  I hope so!  Curious about any of the items mentioned that you couldn’t see?  Just let me know and I will post them! I would love to hear from you about your thoughts and ideas!  Leave any comments or questions on the blog!  It’s always a joy to hear from you.  In the next post, I will be sharing about offices/crafting space, touch on bathrooms, and then, we will come back out to the kitchen as we go back out the door!  Thanks for reading and sharing!

Walking the journey with you…





2 thoughts on “Make Yourself At Home, Part 3

  1. Hi Joanne! You are so creative. I love your use of color and old objects…It inspires me to express more of myself where I live…Right now at least my bedroom looks like a mishmash of stuff, not cohesive. Somehow you manage to make everything go together. Years ago I decided to make my living room red and green and my bedroom is blue and yellow and it doesn’t look like they belong in the same house so maybe I will soften the difference somehow…Thanks for your inspiration.

  2. Hello Marilyn! So glad you enjoyed the post! It is fun to get your home to reflect you, and it is important for it to be a welcoming space. I hope you do find that feeling soon for yourself. If you have a dominant color that you like, carrying it out throughout your home with accents or small ways will make the home flow also. I am glad you were inspired! That is what this place is about…encouragement and inspiration. Can’t wait to see what you do! Thanks for sharing!

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