This post is part of a 31 day series – 31 days to Love the Home You Have. I am blogging through the 31 day challenge in the back of the book “Love the Home You Have” by Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room. You can read all the posts in the series so far here. And to make sure you don’t miss a post you can sign up to have every post delivered to your inbox , or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram to get even more home decorating ideas and inspiration to help you fall in love with your home.
I am so excited to kick off this 31 day series today! If you missed the introduction, you can go back and read that here. But basically I am taking the 31 day Love your Home challenge that Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room included in her book “Love the Home You Have” and blogging through it over the next 31 days (every day in October.) I would love for you to participate in the challenge with me – maybe doing it a day behind me or even doing the challenge after I post it that morning. Whatever works with your schedule. But I would love to see pictures, read your comments, hear how you are applying the challenge in your home – share it with me in the comments or over on facebook. This challenge is for everyone – whether you own, rent, live in an apartment, live in a temporary living situation, no matter your family size, budget, work schedule, home management skills – it can literally apply to everyone. And I hope that it will be an encouragement to appreciate your home in a way you haven’t before.
HOME… let’s first talk about that word and what comes to mind when you think of it. To some you might think of a structure, to others you might think of a feeling (of feeling “at home”), and to others it has nothing to do with a structure but with who you have beside you. Honestly all of those can define what “HOME” is to us.
HOME is right where you are right now – whether that be in temporary military housing, an apartment, in a rental, in a home you own whether new or old or fixed up or not. You have a roof over your head, food on the table, and your family by your side! What more could you want? Sometimes we miss the greatest blessings by focusing on what we don’t have instead of seeing what we DO have.
Even if this isn’t your “dream home” or is a very temporary situation – “Happiness doesn’t have just one address.” Find ways you can be happy in and with your current living situation. Melissa says this so well in her chapter on Getting There is Half the Fun – “Your house is enough. And you have enough to make it home… It doesn’t have to be perfectly sized to be a great fit for your family. And a house doesn’t need fancy accessories to be meaningful. We won’t find contentment in a perfect house. We find it anywhere we learn to create a home.” (Love the Home You Have, p. 39-40)
One of the ways we can move our focus off of what we don’t like about home, what needs to be fixed, what we wish was different is to walk around and think of all the memories you have made or can make in this space. Take a walk around your house – stop and think of memories made or of memories you would like to make. It doesn’t take that Pinterest perfect gallery wall on the walls to make those memories – it just takes being intentional in creating the feeling of “home” in the space you live.
We will talk about ways you can make your home more functional and more beautiful throughout this series but creating that perfect Pinterest image of a room is not going to ultimately make us love our home or create lasting memories in our home that last. I loved this quote – “Creating a beautiful home is not about presenting a perfect image to the world. It is about creating a perfect space in which to live YOUR unique life. A well-loved home will always be a bit of a beautiful mess.” (Love the Home you Have” p. 75)
I love the open concept of our downstairs space although we have wished that it was larger over the years. I love that I can stand in the kitchen washing dishes or fixing dinner and yet hear and be apart of what is going on in the living room. We have hosted many large parties and gatherings in this space – easily flowing from kitchen to table to living room and sometimes to outside on the deck around the grill.
I think of this Craigslist kitchen table set that we bought after we first bought our home – we sold our smaller/not as nice kitchen table for $75 and purchased this one for $125. From the day we brought it home I always wanted to and intended on repainting the white legs and staining the butcher block top darker. But you know what, even though it is not “perfect” there have been COUNTLESS memories made around this table. We have hosted friends for dinners, I have crafted and painted numerous things at that table, at one time there were 2 highchairs strapped to the chairs and my nieces and nephews filled them as I babysat them and we ate lunches around that table, and now all the highchairs are gone but we share supper together with my nieces and nephew around that table several times a week. We have laughed, cried, worked on table manners, and talked about our day around this table. And when I think of all of those memories the orange wood and dirty white paint doesn’t bother me near as much. I love how in the late afternoon the light streams in from the windows and fills this area with light and I delight in walking by it during the day and seeing how I have it set and seasonally decorated at the moment.
I love what Melissa says in her first paragraph – “I regularly stop to appreciate little things around my home – how pretty my bed looks after I make it, the way the sun filters softly through my windows, how the colors of my walls flow nicely from room to room.” (Love the Home You Have, p. 7) It’s like taking time to smell the roses amidst the thorns – but inside your home! Notice which rooms or space you love when the sun hits it at just the right time during the day, pause and admire your table once the dirty dinner dishes are cleared and maybe a simple centerpiece is put back into place, the way your home or front door looks when you drive up after a long day – find what you love about your home. It doesn’t have to be a perfectly put together entire room – find little things!
So here’s your challenge for today: Walk through your house today and pause to really reflect – not on the imperfections, or the things that need to be fixed, or the things you want to buy… but on things you can and do love about your home. Stop and think of memories shared in that room or around that table. Find little things you love about spaces in your home even if they are in the midst of imperfections.
And share them with me! Share them in the comments, email me a picture, post a comment or picture on my facebook page – I would love to know what you found in your home today that you can appreciate.