Making Yourself At Home, Part 4

IMG_6951As we come to the end of this series on “Making Yourself At Home”, I want to say how fun it has been to share this series with you!    I hope you have enjoyed it as well!  You know, we all want a place to bring our weary body home to; to rejuvenate, read a good book, catch a restful sleep and to share special times with those who are closest to you.  But it is also important that along the way it is a place to take care of and pamper YOU!  Your home is a place where you take care of yourself, refresh and renew.  So I decided I would share a few of those spaces with you this week.  I will include all areas of the home.  You have seen a bit of the kitchen, and I will show you other parts of it in this post.  Just a suggestion for you:  I have kept a notebook or two for several years of things that I see that I like from a magazine, a picture I take, or where ever I find it.  I pull it out and put it in cover sheets in the notebook.  Then when I want to change things out a bit, I look through there for other ideas I have liked.  It’s fun way to keep things fresh!  But, let’s explore how we can include some special places in our homes.


We kind of left off in the bedroom, so I will share a few thoughts about that before we walk into the other areas of the house.  Your master bedroom is a room of retreat.  You go there to rest, that’s true.  But you also have your most intimate times in that space.  You also spend most of your time there!  You may even retreat there to get away, shed a few tears, or just to have privacy.  So, doesn’t it make sense for it to be one of the most welcoming places to be?  Wouldn’t you rather it say, “Ahhhhh…” than, look like the room where everything else goes to hide it?  You don’t want laundry baskets, magazines, toys or whatever you are trying to hide so the rest of the house looks good, do you?  At our house, we have always wanted our master bedroom to have a romantic feel to it.  Something that invites us in to relax a while, whether it is to connect and just talk over something, or just to lay and enjoy the atmosphere for a few minutes.  Even if you are single, make it a room you enjoy walking into.  Colors that invite you, a candle you like, a throw rug you might enjoy, and let your senses lead you to making that a place of retreat.  In my case, we both enjoy the ocean so our bedroom reflects that; in colors and in decor items.  I love the light of the room when I walk in…it speaks of a cottage or cabin by the sea that is open airy!  Fluffy pillows and light-colored curtains to help reflect the light, with a light blue sheer underneath.  You would see books there because I love to read.  You would see a portable type of stereo there because we enjoy listening to music as we relax in our bedroom.  Of course you would see various types of lighting; soft light and reading light.  I have a tray set on my bed which easily accommodates a breakfast, or snack for a time of relaxing enjoyment.  You would probably find a small craft of massage oil on that tray too, just incase someone might need a massage!  So change it up and make it a room that you enjoy seeing when you walk by it, and enjoy sinking into when you go to stay there a while. My motto has always been to surround yourself with things you love; that goes for any room in your house!  Remember too, a made up bed is always more inviting than a messy one, and… clutter can make your spirit weary.

IMG_2572The bathroom is another area that is important.  It’s usually the bathroom and master bedroom that often times get the last emphasis, when they should get the most. IMG_2573  Your bathroom may be a part of your master bedroom or it could be a single bathroom.  In my case, it is the ONLY bathroom.  But we spend a lot of time there get ourselves ready for my day, and also before our rest at night, and all times in between.  I want it to say something when someone walks into my bathroom.  I have photos that I have taken on the wall.  It reflects my bedroom a bit in that it has an ocean theme too.  I have a few antique items on a shelf that were my father’s shaving cup and brush, and I have a vintage jar that I have several soaps in so I have a new bar to share with a guest that comes.  I have a tall hurricane jar that has shells and various items I have found at the beach, each having a splash of color that I have in the room.  My bathroom is a good size, but not large, and can be a bit dark at times, so I have a white, ruffled flowered shower curtain hanging there that adds softness as you walk in.  I have a wonderful light fixture that I found at a thrift store for $1.50!  Fits perfectly in the plan.  Have fun with your bathroom because it is also a place of retreat for a long soak, or even a short one sometimes if you have kids.  Have candles, bubble bath or flower petals soaps on hand that you can treat yourself with.  I always have items on hand to give myself a facial a couple times a week.  It’s amazing how much that can do to make me feel pampered.  Have a little basket in your drawer or cupboard just for that purpose.  Above all, enjoy your bathroom retreat and watch for ways and ideas to make it your own.

If you have a guest room, remember to consider whether you have a mattress that is comfortable for sleeping.  I have a guest room and a bed, however, the mattress is not all that comfortable, as some good friends have told me.  So I bought an egg crate type mattress to put over the top for right now.   But at some point, getting a mattress for that bed is on my list!  But the decor in that room makes up for it.  It is a step into yester year and I think those that stay there enjoy it.  I have items in this room that say, “Do you remember this?”  So when a guest steps into this room, it is like taking a journey back in time.  But, *giggle inserted*, my whole house is a lot like that!  A few ideas to consider for this room are: add a lamp by the bed so its easy for them to read a bit before bed, a clock for time and alarm, and maybe even a small personal gift to leave on the bed.  As I shared in an early post, I leave the bath towel, hand towel, wash cloth, and new bar of soap all wrapped in a ribbon and set on the bed for a guest.  I will soon be adding a bathrobe and slippers to the room soon.

IMG_2774IMG_6102Where ever you spend the most time when guests come, whether it is the living room, deck, or kitchen, make that your area of focus for having things look exactly like you would want them.  In my case, it is my kitchen, and the entry to my home.  So I want that area to be neat and inviting and give the eyes something to look at.  I like my home to have a fresh fragrance at all times.  I also have cups out on my wall which says I enjoy drinking tea, coffee or mocha, and in my case its a mocha.  I have a few coffee items out that will back up that theory, such as my barista, my Vitamix, and my tea kettle and tea-pot.  You would see that I have an apple theme around my kitchen also.  And…the whole thing centers around my heritage, which is Norwegian.  I love having things have a place and even in a very small kitchen, as mine is, you can have items that help you store.  I have to carts built by my son that house some important items, such as my pots and pans so my cupboard space is more available, and a touch of vintage with a norwegian bowl of veggies and potatoes on top of the cart, with a bowl filled with vintage rolling pins on the bottom shelf.  But my little table in the kitchen is always welcome to any guest for a little something to drink and great conversations!   Now, think through the area that your family and guests will land in and start there.   Make it an inviting space to come home to.


IMG_2538Because my home is smaller, it is also our goal to make the outside space welcoming also.  This way, we can enjoy the out-of-doors at any time of year.  Bringing the outside in is a great way to refresh yourself and your home.  Opening windows to let the fresh air in, even in the rain if your house sits right, is a great way to Ozone your home.  Let the sun shine in your windows to brighten a room.  In our case, a covered deck for year around BBQing is in the plan, as well as, a nice table and chairs to sit at.  I enjoy covered areas to do my study and devotions at while the rain falls softly around me.  We have close neighbors so we are considering what we can do to add privacy around our home.  We also have heavy traffic by our home, and we are looking at ways to give more privacy and muffle sound also.  Adding plants to your deck or covered area is another way to add a touch of comfort to your out-door area.  Just this last year, we put in french doors in our home and what a wonderful addition that was!  I love looking out those windows to the porch and seeing the green of the yard and the little table and chairs we have set out there.  Look for an old quilt and use that as a table covering…it is a very sweet look and very inviting!   As you can see, it is always ongoing, but as activities outside the home get more and more expensive to do with family, having your own a place where everyone enjoys gathering, is more and more essential.

What about the children?  The same would go for those of you who have children.  Have an area where they can play, and know that its ok to play there.  Create space for storage of their toys and items they play with.  A chair or two that they can sit in when they read a book, or a small table for putting a puzzle together.  An old chest that would store many toys but also enhance a room, is a great idea.  A foot locker works great too!  We have a tote that we have for Ethan’s toys and items, and he knows where it is and get it himself when he comes to visit.  Give them permission to create and play in that space, whether inside or outside.  Our space for our grandson is the coffee table because he can sit on the floor and it’s just the right height for him.  We have a couple of trays for legos so he can be creative and not lose parts.  Of course, we still find them here and there.  But it just reminds us of how thankful we are that we have that little guy in our lives.  I never mind the cleaning up!  🙂

IMG_2296You may be working from home full-time or part-time, so having a space to operate from is also important.  It’s hard to run a business from your kitchen counter.  If this is you, give some thought to how you can develop a space for yourself where you can conveniently get things done.  Maybe for you, it may not be a business, but maybe you write, journal, or enjoy writing letters or doing genealogy where having a spot in your home to operate in is very important to the success of your endeavors.  It would help to have access to a phone and space set up for sitting and writing.  I personally have a bedroom in our home that is my office.  I live a big share of my time there.  I create, study, write, and communicate there.  I do my devotional studies in this spot where I am sitting right now as I write.  I have all things reflecting “ME” in this spot, and it is my first place to set up any time we move.  I love this room in my home.  The first thing I did in here was change out my light to something vintage.  If you don’t have storage space to store work items, then use them to decorate with.  I have the headboard from my doll baby crib which I got when I was 1-year-old and it hangs on my wall.  I have photos I have taken, books and more books, a rocking chair that I sit in sometimes to read, a bookshelf with vintage cameras that I collect, a vintage typewriter that sits on my desk, along with a vintage rotary dial phone I paid pennies for.  I have a vintage glass that holds my pens and pencils and my daily devotionals are stacked with my small travel bible right on the top of my desk.  I have a few vintage cameras out in different places in my office because I love photography and it reflects my interests.  You would find items in my window sill that reflect the lights that comes in to my office.  Yes, everything in here says JoAnn lives here!  I recently added a new to me desk and comfortable chair to the office which I am very thankful to have.  Each time I walk into this room, I love being here.  THAT is what you want to achieve with every part of your home.  You want it to reflect you and those who live there with you.  Not all of you have space to have an office, but you can set up a table/small desk in an area and work within that space.  OR, what about that closet space that you might be able to rearrange?  You can easily make an office space very nicely out of a closet.  They are awesome and not a lot of work.  The best thing about that is the space is already there!



The light below is my famous find when I first set up my office.  I just found another light too that will go up as soon as I figure out how to hang it in a home with out ceiling lights in the living room, and hubby doesn’t want to replace fans in the bedrooms.  But I will find a place for it.  It might be just perfect for my future “She Shed”.  A picture of that light is posted on my Facebook page.  Get a load of that carpet!  Another project!  But in the meantime, I have a lot of it covered by a beautiful oriental rug.  Good change up!  Below is the light and ceiling medallion I put in my office.


I want to remind you all of this decorating and the changes didn’t happen over night.  I have worked years adding and subtracting until I have gotten more of what I like in my home.  I am very blessed and fortunate to have the man in my life that is supportive of some of my whimsical ideas, such as, bending a bit as he comes in to my office because I have lace with crystal tear droops hanging from it in my door way.  Or, the one I put up going into the laundry room that keeps others from seeing items I have to store on top of a closet there.  But I love the look of it and he is very patient in allowing me to exercise that creative side.  He is also working on a light for my kitchen that I shared with you before in a previous part of this series.  It will soon be up!  It really is a joy to see things come together!  When I find that treasure that just fits a spot, or some special linen that I can’t wait to put on your table, it is happy dancing time for me.  Whatever it is you decide on for your home, it should be fun and not feel like a burden.  Take your time and enjoy the hunt!

I even have cute things in my laundry room.  Who decorates that????  Me.  If I have to stand there and do laundry, I like to enjoy what I see.  Since you can see the laundry room some as you walk in the door, I wanted to have cute things to see as your gaze went that way.  I have an old coffee grinder on the wall.  There is a shelf that my son built for us and it is on the wall with spices in it.  Since it is so close to my kitchen, and no room in the kitchen, it is nice to be able to enjoy in that spot as I look in.  I also have a cute cushioned pad for the floor that adds comfort and color to the area.  It’s not complete yet by any means, but its’ getting there!  In the meantime, what you see now are special items as you walk in and look that direction.  My kind of camouflage!


My creation of a wall hanger that my son helped me to make!  I found the rolling pins, and he cut them for me and made them ready to mount.  I have a couple of these up throughout my home.  Love them!



You can see another project that is in the future…new cabinets and range hood.  So you can see that it is a step by step, inch by inch kind of plan, but always forward moving.  Don’t get discouraged!IMG_2825

And in closing… as always, add a flower to the mix.  It is always a welcoming sight!  

I think our homes aren’t ever really finished…they just keep evolving with us.  I like that idea.  I like dreaming of how it can be and I think we should all feel free to keep dreaming.  If it hasn’t happened yet, I say START!  Look at a place that screams of change in your home and get going!  Not sure what to do first?  Need ideas for that special spot?  Ask your questions here.  Get online.  Buy a magazine for ideas.  But, get that creative part of your brain jazzed!  You will be so glad you did.  There is nothing like walking into your home and feeling like you have no other place you would rather be!  Nothing beats that.

Walking the journey with you…







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