How to Make Your Home a Haven

What makes your home a haven? What makes it cozy, relaxed, or enjoyable to come home to? In a Pinterest-perfect world, you come home to a clean house, with little to no chores needing done or errands that need run, and your fridge is fully-stocked with exactly what you need to make your family a delicious + healthy meal? EH. Wrong answer, at least in my house. Ever since finding out that I’m pregnant, I have been struggling to keep up with my to-do-list, and the short list of things that actually do get accomplished, I can usually thank my husband for helping out with. I just don’t have the energy I did, and I am going to bed earlier, making the amount of time to get things done in the evenings shorter.

A “haven” can mean different things to different people. To me, it’s the overall vibe in the household. Is it peaceful? Is it happy? It is relaxing? Is it chaotic?

I’m learning that things that aren’t all that important can wait and that some things still have to get done in order to make my home run smoother. And there are some things I like to do to make my home feel more inviting and “homey.”

 Around the house, I like to keep it festive + fresh! You guys, when I have my house decorated for the seasons or a holiday, I feel like I’ve got my stuff 100% together. I’ll admit: I’m pretty festive! I love to decorate, celebrate, and plan parties. My husband recently re-did our old, red brick fireplace/mantle with stone, tile, and barnwood. I’ve had so much fun learning how to decorate it. I also love to switch out decorative pillows & throws with the seasons… it gives a little ‘oomph’ when you walk in the door. He is always (and I mean ALWAYS) working on some kind of renovation project at our house, so I just work around it.

  I also never go grocery shopping without a list! 9 times out of 10, I’ve got a fairly well-planned out list in hand when I walk into the store. I’ve tried doing it the other way– just buying random ingredients and hoping for the best when it comes to meal time and it just does not work for me. I ended up never having what I needed and making an excessive amount of grocery store trips per week. So now, I pick out a few recipes online, and make my list based on that. I don’t always stick to it completely, but it at least gives me something to go off of. It also makes evenings go smoother  for me and leaves the question of “what’s for dinner?” already answered!

Little things like lighting candles, keeping up with laundry, framing some photos and hanging them, and buying fresh flowers can easily spruce things up, set the tone, or make me feel more refreshed!

At the end of a long work day, I just want to be home…  And while I do like a clean house, it really doesn’t matter if there are dishes from this morning in the sink. Life isn’t perfect and despite the to-do’s and chores, I’m just thankful to come to my husband every day, mess, projects, and all!

What do you do to make your own home more “homey?” Comment below! Amanda and I would love to hear it!

Design On A Budget | Home Tour by Ashley Friend

Hello! I’m Ashley Friend! I was SO excited and humbled when the lovely ladies of The Wild Revival asked me if I would write a guest post about design on a budget, along with a tour of my home! Buying a fixer upper has come with its fair share of difficulties, but I love being able to watch something that has been neglected for so long shine with new life!

I am going share 5 tips on how to design on a budget that have really helped me!

Home Tour Home Tour

 

Home Tour

#1: think creatively with what you have

It is amazing how much a coat of paint or a new location can give new life to an old piece. So just try it. if you are not happy with something try moving it to a different location. Turn it around, flip it upside down, just experiment! You may be surprise with that you discover!

Unknown-1

Home Tour

#2: Thrift Thrift Thrift

Yard sales and thrift stores, even trading with friends have become my favorite ways to find new items. Have a list of what you’re looking for so you don’t just impulse buy, and realize that it may not be there that time but items are continually moving in and out of thrift stores so just keep checking in! Helpful hint: Mondays mornings/afternoons are usually a great time to thrift!

Home Tour

Home Tour

#3: Think BIG

 It is so easy to get distracted by all the tiny shiny items that glisten and glow in the isles of Target or Hobby lobby. But remember to think big with your purchases. Meaning, buy items that will make a statement, rather than just take up space. Wait and save up for more expensive items instead of buying that $5 knick knack that is “calling to you”

reading nook

 

Reading nook

#4: Find it a new home

Something that really helps with living and designing on a budget is selling items on places like Craigslist, local yard sales, even Facebook has yard sale sites where you can sell your items! So dig those items out of your “storage” closet and find them a new home! There is no better feeling then when someone take items out of your house that were just taking up space, and hands you cash!

little girls room

 

Storage

#5: Don’t compare

It is SO easy to get wrapped up in comparison especially the world of Social media. Things may not come together right away. And your Kitchen may still have painted laminate counters, with ugly yellow spots (me! haha) but remember what matters most in life. Try to create a safe, peaceful place for you and your family, whatever that may look like!

kids room

 

Rustic dresser

I hope you enjoyed this tour! Most of the furniture in my home is thrifted, from yard sales, or Ikea! Hobby Lobby, Target Clearance, and Michaels Craft Store are some of my favorite places to find great decor!

guest room
Guest room

Fixer upper Kitchen

Kitchen

Kitchen

If you’d like to see more details on our home projects and about our life, you can follow me on Instagram at alifewithfriends. Or check out my photography website… I hope to see you there! 🙂

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