I’m grateful to have a home that’s evolved with us as a family over the past 26 years. The bedroom walls have multiple hidden layers of our daughters’ favorite colors, the floors once scattered with Halloween candy remnants and waxed for blanket rides, have been resurfaced again and again, with life’s comings and goings. So many treasured memories have been made here.
But when the kids moved out, it seemed like an empty shell of what once was, so I decided it was time to love it in a new way. Luckily my husband and I have similar tastes when it comes to decorating, so he gave me freedom to explore.
My “story board” was the simple intention to honor my family by decorating with treasures that have love and meaning, so that our memories are woven into the place that holds us. It was fun creating spaces that make us feel connected and peaceful. Mostly, I just freed up space to be, where the end result combines function with an appreciation for where we’re at now. Home.
Illuminating décor doesn’t have to come with a high price tag
Do you have a collection of something you’ve acquired over the years? Or are there places you’ve visited or wish to go that might be inspiration for a cool retro vibe map display with pins marking destinations? What can you create to let more joy in? For us, what was previously our daughters’ playroom where they read their first books, built forts and hamster mazes, has transformed into our “Zen Den,” a sparse space where we meditate and workout, and it has great lighting for Zooms. A colorful collage I made from our kids’ pre-school art is a now a masterpiece on the main wall, and I see their smiles and paint smudges every time I look at it. Our hallways also reminds us of an adventure abroad, with a hanging tablecloth and woven baskets adorning the walls in softening earth tones.
Typographic art always remains the rage, and what keeps it on trend is the warm and fuzzy feelings a positive message can give you. It can be fun to set aside one space with multiple expressions and textures, or perhaps simply sprinkle quotes that inspire you around the house, in places you see them every day. We’re especially fortunate in this category. Over the years our girls have gifted us a collection of handmade inspirational etchings and ceramic pieces that grace our walls and more than one bedside table – a subtle loving touch before lights out.
I love how this concept grants special status; beginning with shadow boxes, where everyday objects like keys, matchbooks, ticket stubs, or whatever, become a showcased item just waiting to tell a story. Maybe you create an intimate wall space with themed images clustered in various sized frames, or perhaps you relive the good vibes with a selection of your favorite vacation photos clipped to a string with tiny clothespins, ones you can swap out as the mood strikes, or the grandkids grow. I got nudged when I found myself overwhelmed with mementos I just couldn’t let go of after my mother transitioned. As a dress designer, she kept a collection of wayward buttons in a tin next to her sewing machine. They were wondrous to me as a child. I used to spread the buttons across their king-sized bed while she worked, grouping them by color, feeling their texture, and making up stories about adventures they would have on imaginary coats. Those same buttons are now a conversation piece nestled on our living room coffee table in a weathered wooden dough bowl I discovered at an art festival in Idaho. And on those days when I’m in need of a mom hug, I hold my favorites in my hand, so I can feel her in my heart.
You don’t have to be an interior decorator to upgrade or repurpose your household bliss, you just need to shine a light on what moves you. See where your creativity takes you. Simple items can create a huge impact, and best of all, when you make it playful, there’s freedom in changing it up.
Love is what makes a house a home.