At long last, I love our house. It used to be old and poorly designed but it is now newly renovated and the layout is beautiful and suits our family’s needs. The problem is, I have no idea how to decorate it, to take the lovely bones of the structure we’ve built and make it our own. See, there’s pretty much zero budget when it comes to decorating. All of our funds are going to slightly more important things like food and the mortgage and stuff. I’d love to march in to HomeSense with a dozen empty buggies, madly run down the aisles tossing in every throw pillow, end table, stretched canvas painting, and flower vase that happens to catch my eye, but we just don’t have that kind of cash. So, instead I don’t buy anything and I just stare at the bare walls and the unfinished corners and feel kind of mopey about it.
Which is DUMB. Because our house is lovely and we’re beyond lucky to have the space we do and 97% of the world lives in cardboard slums so I should just quit my whining and move on, right? But here’s the thing: I know people who are really gifted at making their homes lovely, on a budget! They go to thrift stores and find lamps to spray paint and they make headboards for their beds out of old doors, and they always have candles burning and banana bread baking and I kind of want to kick them in the nards for it. I envy their vision and their skill in the homemaking department. I wish I could do what they do, but since I don’t know where to start, I just do nothing. Good plan for success, hey?
I think part of the bigger problem is the pressure we all feel from channels like HGTV and all the home decor magazines and shiny, happy craft blogs that portray life as one big chance for everything to be beautiful and I just don’t know how attainable it actually is. Sometimes the walls stay bare and it’s mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner and (gasp!) there can still be happiness in the home. In the same way that supermodels make us feel like fat slobs if we don’t wear a size two, all the home improvement magazines send the message that our places just don’t quite measure up.
(I’m not saying we can’t strive for beauty in our bodies or our homes, but I do think it’s good to realize where the ideals are coming from, you know?)
So much of it comes down to how we choose to spend our time, I think. If I have a spare hour, I’m going to catch up with a friend, or write a blog post or watch some TV with my husband, not run out to the garage to sand the antique desk I found for a steal of a deal at a garage sale.
Do you feel pressure to make your home better? Do you set aside part of your monthly budget for things to beautify your living space? Are you one of those people I’d like to kick in the nards? if so, any secrets or tips to share on how to make my house a home on a minimal budget?