“Creating an authentic home is the slow process of learning to pay attention to what speaks to you and how your home feels to you. It invites you to embrace (and appreciate) the joy found even in the smallest details and improvements along the way.”
Warm, cozy, lived in, happy, welcoming…
Those are all words guests have used to describe our home.
Most likely, the adjectives
mismatched eclectic, old thrifted upscaled, disorganized, dusty, and more also came into play, but those would be mentioned by one of our five children, to my face. It’s ok, when it comes to our home, I know right where I stand.
Earlier this year, one of my dearest blogging (and real in life) friends, Melissa from The Inspired Room, wrote a book that helped women everywhere learn to “Love the Home You Have.”
I had the privilege of endorsing the book and her message went on to become a New York Times best selling book. I shared what I’m learned about Loving the Home You Have here and it was so good to re-read that post because I need to remind myself of those truths when I get discouraged about my home.
Now Melissa has invited us to share about one of our inspired rooms to help celebrate the launch of her new book: The Inspired Room: Simple Ideas to Love the Home You Have.
While I’m in no means a home decorator, I understand what it means to gather things you love (typically second hand), repurpose, brighten up and create a home you love without spending our kids’ college funds.
Do you know that I’m far from having any one room completely finished to what I’d consider a dream room and we’ve been in this home for 18 years now.
Is that discouraging to you?
I hope not because I want to give you freedom to breathe deeply, to tell yourself that in reality a beautifully decorated home doesn’t happen over night with big designer budgets and mapped out plans. My story reminds me that we can fling our doors wide open and love the home we have right now.
Melissa mentions that “the journey of creating a home is your unique and inspiring adventure” and I know that to be true. When I take that to heart, I couldn’t help but share my most inspired room: our front porch.
I know you might think that’s cheating a bit, but it’s not just any porch. It’s a porch that took 17 years to build. It’s a room that gives place for your soul to breathe; a place of welcome and inspiration. And while that porch doesn’t have a designer touch yet, it’s a space that invites everyone to leave their load at the door and unwind. It’s a reminder of God’s promises that His timing isn’t always our timing and that things such as unemployment will finally pass.
For 17 years, this is what the front of our house looked like.
I know, I know. I can barely believe the change myself and it’s been a few years now. You really must go back and read those posts if you haven’t. It’s so much more than a good before/after reno.
I think when nature shines on the surroundings of a house, you can get away with the front of it looking less than stellar (or at least that’s what I embraced all these years). This is my view out our master bedroom (pardon the screen).
Now we enjoy this every day.
and it’s still in process, just like I am.
Especially during the fall, with all our leaves. Oh MY! The leaves and leaves…
To cozy it up. I use things I already have like old, ugly garden stools and then spray paint them blue to reuse on the porch or take a big thrifted picture, paint over it and make it into a welcoming chalk board for under $10. (See each chalkboard tutorial here.)
And right now, I resisted the temptation to clean this up for you. The chalkboard should be moved over, the hanging candles should come down, the banner should be hung, but there’s enough editing of our lives. This entry way says “Welcome Home. this is a safe place,” to everyone who comes through its door – beauty and bedlam.
It’s been a process and only this year have we finally started getting our first ever landscaping done (Southern Living Plants have been amazing) and we finally put in a sidewalk.
I’ll show you that soon because it’s pretty fabulous, but wow, it’s an adventure and shouldn’t life be about that anyhow?
Savor your home.
My precious friend, Melissa, encourages you to do so. While Melissa and I do life on a personal level; we share raising kids stories till wee hours during our girls weekends, talk about ministry and being an entrepreneur, I’ve never once asked her decorating advice.
What have I been thinking? She’s been voted Better Homes & Garden blogger of the year TWICE! Now I guess I don’t have to because her new books is the answer for US ALL!
It’s so unique. It’s not a collection of photos of nice houses or designer rooms, it’s a relatable book about creating a real life home on a budget, starting with what you already have. It has lots of photos and tips for decorating and making your house feel like home and you can buy it off Amazon now aff (or in any major book stores.) I’m so proud of her and want to share it with everyone because it’s just that good! And it will make an amazing gift for any women in your life.
So encouraging, Jen
Thanks so much. It’s such a process, isn’t it?
No not disappointed that you didn’t have the dream room to show – relieved!! I don’t have any dream rooms either – all rooms in various degrees of progress, all with something in them that makes my heart sing and other parts soul destroying but I take pictures and blog about it anyway because I love all things about making home. Turns out you had a dream room in that porch anyways, more a new living space than a porch. Looks so comfy and welcoming and the leaves look beautiful on the driveway. Thanks so much for sharing your home. The Inspired Room one of the first blogs I ever discovered – truly inspiring.
Thanks so much for sharing, Tracey. Glad to know we are on this journey together. 🙂
So thankful for the real!
Sigh. Your porch is perfect, well worth waiting for. A friend of mine has been working on a big mosaic project in our back yard for the last two months. It’s starting to look nice, but the rest is mostly dirt and dog doo. It’s gonna be awesome when it’s done, though. Sometimes, the process is just as fun as the product, and we are going to have a big honkin’ party next spring for its debut.
SO fun!! And what a party is will be!! Can’t wait to celebrate with you all the way from NC 🙂
Jen, Love your post and porch!! I also loved your sis/in law? who you spoke with at Becoming. I want to read her blog if she has one but I can’t remember her name. the cute blonde with the big, beautiful family!!
Hi Pat – great to hear from you. Yes, my sis in law is Rachel, but unfortunately, she doesn’t have a blog. 🙂 Hope you can make it again this year. 🙂