Updated: Oct 22
February 27, 2023
Whispers of spring announce its soon arrival while winter quietly folds itself away for another year. Frosty ground gives way to the diminutive purple henbit flowers, a nuisance to some but a delight to children. Spring peepers enliven the woods with their cheerful chirps, and birds tweet their joyful melodies across the air.
While all the natural world bursts with new life, I find this time of year a perfect moment to freshen my home. Up go the pink willow plates and out come the blues ones. Winter dishes with snowy scenes return to their hibernating in the recesses of my cabinets. My cranberry-red crocheted blanket rests in the armoire as lighter blankets now adorn my bed.
In my early years of marriage, decorating for the different seasons was a tedious and time-consuming process, yet I had the time then to tinker and decorate to my hearts’ content. Fast forward almost thirteen years, and life has changed and now little feet run through the house. Life flies faster than I can catch those little feet.
I no longer have mountains of time to ponder the perfect vignette, and to my shame there have been many seasons when weariness took over and hardly any attempt was made to cheer our home for the various seasons. Yet my pendulum has settled in a new balance, hopefully a beautiful one, of adorning our home without too much fuss.
Creating beauty in my home is a gift to my family and a gift to myself. Adding touches of lovely wonder whispers to my family,
“You are important to me, and I want to make your dwelling place beautiful! I want you to love where you live and always desire to return like a swallow to her nest.”
Surrounding myself with beauty reminds me of God’s goodness and elevates the everyday to a level of dignity and calm. Amidst the whisk of the broom, the whoosh of the faucet, and the whir of the washing machine, my eyes can look up and rest on something pleasing if I have taken the time to dress my home.
When I choose to love the home I am in and embrace it with joy, I choose contentment. True contentment comes not in finally getting what I want but in learning to be thankful for what I already have.
Do I long for a different home someday? Honestly, yes. I long for a two-story farmhouse with a wraparound porch and generous living spaces. But the harder I long for that desire the unhappier I become with my current status.
To dwell unhappy day after day in one’s own home is like a prison. The more I think about others and their picture-perfect homes, the more chains are added to my bondage.
Breaking free of this bondage, I choose to embrace my current home with joy and do everything I can to make it the most beautiful place possible. One of the very best ways to love my home and choose the path of contentment is to continually work on improving my home. Each day I try to do something to make my home a better, more beautiful place.
Change takes time. Beautiful homes take time. I do not have a lot of time, but I have little pockets of time. I grasp those little pockets and like a mad woman work furiously during those moments.
Storage and time are premiums around my home, so versatile objects and easy decorating ideas are necessities. For example, I do not have room to store multiple comforters for my bed, so a simple white quilt from amazon adorns my bed year-round. I change out the pillows and blankets for variety when inclined to do so.
Disclaimer: I apologize for the "yellow look" of the pictures in my bedroom. Our room faces the north and has one tiny window, so the lighting is very poor. Also, I need to get brighter bulbs for our light fixture!
Part of learning contentment is learning to use what I already have. Many times I have prayed for wisdom and creativity to use the things I already have, and this frugality has almost become a game and a challenge. There is great satisfaction in creatively using what I already own and finding a beautiful purpose and place for my possessions. No one else’s home will be exactly like mine if I creatively use what God has given me!
For example, I found several pieces of fabric at a yard sale several years ago. The scrap of blue gingham from the yard sale was not quite enough to make a pillow, so I paired it with some leftover blue check from Hobby Lobby for a unique pillow cover. I made a simple envelope style pillow out of the various pieces, and I think it came together beautifully! One of my favorite finds at that same garage sale was a thick piece of cream fabric with blue stripes in it. I still need to hem the edges to make a true blanket out of the piece. I love how it looks draped across the corner of my bed.
The blue and white envelope pillow looks beautiful with blue toile pillow covers behind it during the spring and summer months. In the fall and winter, I like to change out the blue toile covers for simple white ones, a perfect backdrop for a new focal pillow: a ruffled red toile one.
I hope you are seeing how creating a neutral backdrop on your bed then allows you to change out a few elements when you have a fancy to do so. You do not have to break the bank to freshen your home when you use neutral staples with touches of color for various times and seasons.
In my bathroom, I have added a few new touches which make me smile. Now let me tell you a little secret right now; my bathroom is actually in a pretty rough state. We had water damage in January from a toilet overflow, and the floor has not been replaced yet. The bathroom is completely livable though not very beautiful. So why in the world am I decorating a bathroom that needs work? I added touches of beauty to remind me to be thankful in all things and to help me smile when I could feel like getting frustrated.
My mom gave me a beautiful frame and picture several years ago. Though the deep brown frame and nature artwork was lovely, it was not quite the look I desired for the bathroom. So I decided to give the ever-popular Rub n Buff a go, and it instantly brightened the frame! Rub n Buff was so easy to use; I just simply wiped it on with a paper towel.
After freshening the frame, I installed some lovely art by Andrea from Pine and Prospect Home for a bit of instant farmhouse glamor. Andrea has a beautiful collection of natural, country-style scenes that would work well in a variety of décor styles. Andrea's artwork is very reasonably priced.
Friend, I hope you are encouraged by this blog post. My heart’s desire is that anyone reading this post will be encouraged to make her home a sweet place with what she has. Someone else will always have more than I have, but I am learning to joyfully and creatively abide in my home.