Wednesday, March 11, 2015

5 Easy Projects to Make a House a Home

The Headlines:

A House is just a place to live... 

Until you make it a your own.

Then, it's a home.

Decorating is fun.  It just is.  Think of it like putting together a great outfit.

First, you Define your Style.  Read more about that HERE.  Are you Bo-ho Chic?  Tailored Classic?  Maybe Rocker Cool?  Then, you need: simplicity, balance, timelessness, some sparkle and a little black.  Put all those things together and you have a winning outfit but... you also have a standout room!

In fact, when planning a room (much like an outfit) those are the things I think about.  We bought a house in exactly the right neighborhood for us.  But everything needed to be re-done to make it our home.  And we actually WANTED to do it all.  Ourselves.  Slowly, but surely.

Remember, buying a house is easy.  Buying the right house, in the right neighborhood (for your family) is harder.  Then once you get it - the real work begins!

1 - INSTALL SHELVING (balance)

This trick can be used over and over again.  A shelf can go a long way.  It breaks up a room, it's practical, it's inexpensive and it looks cool.

We also put the same shelf (from IKEA by the way) in my daughter's room.  Read the step by step  HERE - we made a desk space from an old table I grew up using as my "dining" table.

 The look of this shelf works well in lots of places... it comes in natural wood from Ikea so you can decide what to do with it:  (stain, paint) and they're a steal at around 8 bucks.  I love the wrought iron look... it's in places (remember - black) all over our house.  Here's a closer look:

Lastly, there's a shelf in my son's room.  Different type.  These are from Home Depot...

and they're obviously "floating" but same concept.  It's part of his desk area too.

2 - PAINT ANYTHING (timelessness)

There's no end to how much paint can help things look better.  It will change junk furniture into a chic piece or a boring basket into a cool one.  Paint boxes, tins, anything!  I painted this awful, blond wood table years ago.

It made it a usable piece.  I just can't get rid of it now.

Also, this ugly old bookcase (and mirror above it actually) now looks so much better in red, for my son's room.

The rocking chair below used to be a boring wood color but fits in so much better with a fresh coat of paint.  You get the drift.  The possibilities are endless.   P.S. Spray painting takes little to no time!

3 - USE anyTHING FOR A HEADBOARD (simplicity)

This is a fun one.  People have gone coo-coo for coco puffs over this headboard in my daughter's room.  It's an old picket fence I found in an antique store.  Read the full story HERE - it's one of my most popular posts.

Other Headboard ideas: an old door hung sideways.  A large window, anything in threes (3 pictures, 3 basketball hoops, 3 -whisky or wine- Barrel Tops).  A surf board, even a cool blanket can be hung to look like a headboard.  SO many opportunities many of us don't ever consider.


Think about who lives in your house and show them off to guests.  Not the way everyone else does, but in your own way.  I like to hang my daughter/son's art work in frames.  I change them out with the season.  In the Spring the picture below hangs.

 Last summer this sat on the mantel.

Yes, it's the same frame.  I switch out art work and move it around.  Much like my family pictures.

Pictures of your family are great - just not too many.  Pictures everywhere is someone who doesn't know how to decorate, trying to fill up a room!  Think back to you college days.  Exception: a well done "gallery wall."  So think about switching out pictures and frames to match the season.  For instance, my Spring pictures have pastels in them, flowers, eggs, etc.  For Fall, it's all about oranges/reds and pumpkins.

Below is a fabulous Spring picture!

And one of my favorite picture projects I've done so far is this...

It's a giant window screen put over some mounted black and white pictures.  It's subtly cool.  Click HERE to see how it was done.

5 - FIND UNIQUE DECOR (sparkle)

This is my fifth and final tip on how to make your house a home.  Look for something you love, that isn't from Pottery Barn.  Find a few things that mean something to you.  It can be a heirloom, a cool find from an antique store or something YOU made.  Whatever - but it's yours and yours alone.

Here's an old school desk that used to be in my room growing up.  It now acts as a side table in our living room (and my daughter sometimes uses it as an escape to do homework or computer work on)...

These are old ceiling tiles.  I love the way they look on the wall as "art..."

I found these in 2 different antique stores over the years.  No catalog is selling these babies!

Closer up...

See?  Like putting together a great an outfit.  Each room (person) needs: simplicity, balance, timelessness, some sparkle and a little black for a winning look every time!



  1. You have some really nice pieces in your home! I love how light and airy everything looks!! :)

  2. OMG I love your house! I think you just inspired me to paint my kitchen's naughty pine. Can I stain the top dark and make the legs white? Do you have a tutorial for this?

    1. absolutely. it will be more time consuming than spray painting it all but it's worth it. i don't have a tutorial with a video but i describe how it was done in the painting posts. i should probably step it up and do a video huh? i know...!

  3. Love all the white!! I suck at decorating.. I just can't put things together. That is prob why I have lived in my home for two years and done very little to it. haha.

    1. i don't know why? it's not like you're doing anything.... ha!

  4. Soooooo, can you come do my house?! I love the white, but I am seriously challenged at all things paint/sanding/refurbishing!
    Is it really just a few coats of spray paint????

    I love the desk, btw!

    1. i actually love to help people in their own houses!!! and yes, it really is just a few coats of spray paint (sanding isn't even always necessary)!

  5. These are such great ideas! I love all of your decorating. We are slowly, but surely trying to make our house a home (moved in August). It's coming along, but I'm going to definitely use some of these ideas. I absolutely love that old desk- so cool!

    1. decorating is a slow process for people who have lives... and kids!!!

  6. Your home looks so warm and inviting and like I place I would love to relax in! You did a wonderful job with the pieces you have and I LOVE the fence post headboard. Very creative!

    1. Yep, the picket fence headboard is a popular post in and of itself! I have to agree it's pretty cute!

  7. This is great idea for home decoration. I love white..and simple decoration style. I love how light and airy everything looks!!


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