March 7, 2016

Making a House a Home

katiefarrin, home, decor, succulents, Pinterest, decorating, stock imagery, styled photography, kitchen table, home

This may be the most cliche post title ever. In fact, I will even nominate it for that category but this post is something I have been thinking about for a long time.

One week before R and I got married, R called me at lunch and told me he found a rent house for us. He wanted to go look at it ASAP. At the time we had just moved (literally days before) all 3,000 boxes of my things into a townhouse that R was already living in with his sister. Reluctantly I met R at a neighborhood I didn't even know existed in Jonesboro and within minutes of stepping into this house I loved it.

I walked around and was amazed at the quality of the home and the layout was ideal for us. It had three bedrooms, a big soaking tub, an open floor plan and the large wooden back deck was my favorite. The guy showing us the home had built it and was interested in renting it but already had a list of applicants a mile long. He noticed where R worked and knew the family that owned the company and said he would give it to us if we wanted (largely due in part to that wonderful family). We jumped at the offer and one week before our wedding we loaded all our stuff and moved out of the townhouse into this home.

It wasn't until that house that I really started finding my decorating style. We had a mix of everything: new, hand me downs, vintage, side of the road, craigslist, all of it. We couldn't fill that house if we tried but over time it started to fill like ours. We were also newly married and merging our styles.

Since then we have moved into 4 other homes and 1 apartment. When we move I want to decorate fast. I want to buy furniture. I was to downsize. I want to organize. I want it done but through mistakes and accomplishments I have truly found that making your space perfect for you doesn't happen over night. It takes time, money, inspiration and research.

I thought I would share the three tips I have learned over time when it comes to decorating.

Your style evolves. This is the biggest thing to me. When we first started decorating our first home I bought so many hues of brown. Our walls were beige. Our carpets were beige. Our cabinets were brown. Initially I loved shades of brown. Over the years I run as far away from brown as I can and that is no offense to anyone who loves brown. I have discovered that I am a color girl through and through. I want color splashed everywhere. Give me color galore. I also love to paint my walls gray and that may be a problem to others. Our house now has gray walls in 70% of our house. As my style has evolved I have sold things I once loved but now am finding forever items because I am following my true style.

I don't always do what is trendy. In fact, I think it would be hard to define my style but here goes. I love vintage furniture, colorful pillows, mid-century modern lines and a twist of classic touches mixed in there too. See? How would I have known that in my first home. Learning what I love, browsing Pinterest, seeing others homes, reading blogs, all of it has helped me find the style that makes me happy. Luckily, I have a husband who lets me do whatever I like.

It takes money and time. This is the hardest thing for me to accept....even now 6 years after decorating our first house. Slowing down to really find what you love is so important. When I was first a homeowner/renter I would spend money on something cheap and quick to get what we were missing then to realize I hate it 6 months later. Instead of waiting and saving I ended up with something I didn't love and something that I spent money on short term versus keeping long term. A perfect example of this are the two end tables we have in our master (the most untouched room in our home). We didn't have bedside tables so I raced out to grab some at the nearest store. While they have held up over the years, I truly don't like them at all. I have made myself keep them. At times they are a reminder of a quick and rushed decision but ultimately they are a reminder to keep looking for something I love.

We also have been so eager to fill up our home that it distracts us from what we ultimately want in our house or a specific space. We put a shelf there because we think we should fill the wall to realize that really a large simple framed photo is more our style. Learning that making a house a home isn't a thing that happens over night is hard but in the long run it saves you money, time and frustration.

Take your time finding things you love. Save your money. Invest in pieces that transition into your space perfectly. If that means you wait two years for the perfect dresser for your master, you wait. Typing this makes me roll my eyes because it is hard but it has made us happier in the end.

Save for what you love. This doesn't just mean money but also your eyes and zest. When I find exactly what I am looking for I go for it. Other times I may have to wait to save enough pennies or maybe we aren't on that project yet so I bookmark my find. Regardless, I don't spend any more time browsing Pinterest or sites for that certain product if I already found the one I love. It isn't just saving money. If you find something you truly love, don't keep browsing for things like it or seeing what else is out there. This even comes to projects around the house not just home decor. We have talked about how we need to replace all the windows in our house. R immediately started looking and while there is nothing wrong with that we don't plan on replacing them for 3-5 years. I told him not to waste his time. We aren't just saving money but also saving our time searching. When the time is closer, I will start researching and browsing Pinterest. R saved what could have turned into hours of endless browsing for windows that aren't in the distant future. Until then we are focusing on saving for the windows and tackling other projects. At times I feel like I make this point crystal clear.

Image via Katie Farrin

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