Today, we’re rounding out the Summer Essentials series with a focus on what’s probably the most visible room in your home: the living room. Check out my favorites!
It’s so interesting how your spending habits can change the instant that your husband has full transparency of your finances upon the creation of a joint bank account. In the years before joint checking, I’d buy whatever my heart desired, whenever my heart desired it. Clothes, shoes, home décor, you name it. If it was on sale and cute, it was mine in approximately 3-5 business days. I was a bit reckless. Oops.
Now, things are different. I’ve done a little growing up, I’ve become infinitesimally more responsible, and I respect that I can’t be careless with our money like I could be with mine. But mostly, I feel like Skyler won’t consider a brand-new jewel-toned velvet sofa as crucial of a purchase as I do, and if he came home to that beautiful, soft, wonderful, perfect little sofa in our living room, he would not be as thrilled as I’d like him to be. So, as we have begun to navigate this aspect of married life together, we’ve been handling all non-essential purchases as joint decisions.
Enter: Skyler’s new set of golf clubs, and a set budget for me to spruce up the interior of our home in any (reasonable) way I’d like.
The crazed frenzy of spring cleaning is, for me, not something that happens just once a year. Instead, I’m almost constantly reimagining the spaces in our home. What can we donate, repurpose or sell? How can we organize this? Should we rearrange the furniture? How can we spruce up this room? I am always looking at our home through a lens of opportunity. How can I make this space even better than it already is?
So, in the spirit of falling in love with your home all over again this summer, I’ve rounded up my top 10 must-have items to spruce up every room in your house, all under $50. Today, let’s talk about the kitchen!
We’ve almost been homeowners for almost an entire year! I feel so lucky to have our perfect little home with our perfect little family full of pets, but on some level, it also feels kind of crazy. Like, we’re real adults. With a mortgage.
Growing up, my mom had a distinct style in her home. If I had to name it, maybe I’d say it was a mix of rustic Americana and garden-inspired. But no matter where she lived, every square inch oozed with this stylized life that she would breathe into it. There were lots of trinkets filling the space, each with their own story, but it was never overbearing. In fact, it was a space that could make you feel like there was no other place in the entire home for that woven basket than exactly where it was. It was homey and inviting, unique to her personality and clean. Never a fleck of dust anywhere. And it always smelled sweet.
Now that we have a home of our own, my favorite part is the blank canvas I have for decorating and for making it my own, just like my mom always did. And it’s a space that’s completely ours! I’m not renting from a total stranger, or sharing common spaces with roommates. It’s our home, totally and completely. And that’s really freakin’ exciting.
A few months ago, I had the crazy idea to build shelves in our living room. Four simple, white shelves on each side of the fireplace. I was excited and I was nervous. I had never built anything that didn’t come with instructions. Not even the catapult required to pass Mr. Storrick’s high school Physics class. (Shout out to you, Mike Myers.) But, we were determined to make our house feel more like a home, and we thought shelves would be just the thing.
I scrounged up a measuring tape only to discover that our fireplace is 10″ off center. So, with two different measurements and a ton of ideas in mind, we headed off to Busy Beaver.
Two months, one quart of frozen paint, one shipment of wooden brackets from Ikea, one paint-stained pair of Under Armour pants, one brand new drill, and six packs of whatever kind of screw we needed to stick into our drywall-covered-brick walls later, we were ready to begin actually hanging the shelves.
This is the part where I completely passed the baton. It took forever to get four shelves hung perfectly, which I now attribute to the fact that not only is our fireplace not centered in our living room, but the walls themselves are crooked. Pittsburgh homes. I tell ya. Gotta love ’em.
Fortunately, I know a few handy people, and my shelf dreams came true. (Disclaimer: Half of my dreams come true. Somebody managed to score tickets to last night’s playoff game, so our shelf hanging timeframe was minimized. We’ll get the other half done… eventually.) Check out the fruits of our labor… and Lauren Graham’s “Those shelves look amazing!” face!
Even Buxton is happy with the upgrades!