We live in a small house with just over 1500 square feet on 2 levels. It was built 23 years ago, and is not what most people would call a traditional farmhouse, but it is a house that is on a farm and I am slowing creating my ideal farmhouse out of it. I love to create things. My mind is always working when I look through magazines or walk through stores. When I’m in Hobby Lobby or Joann’s, I don’t usually buy, I just find myself saying “hey, I could make that!”. Sometimes I can and do make it, other times that reasoning doesn’t turn out so well for me. But it has not stopped me from trying.
However good I may be at creating some things, I have never been known for my decorating skill. Putting colors together and laying out attractive displays has always escaped me. My sister-in-law is the one who can decorate like a pro. She can turn any old house into a beautiful home that looks like it belongs in a magazine. I go to her house and just stare at all the goodies that she has artfully displayed together. She is very inspiring and has come over many times to rescue my futile attempts at decorating.
I usually am a little behind on the “trends” so I finally get decorating done and it’s no longer a “trend”. I’ve went through a wallpaper phase; a border at the top, border in the center, border where-ever phase; even a every-room-should-be-a-different-color phase. Just in case you’re wondering, that one didn’t turn out so well (not even sure why I thought it would!). Since I can’t actually call in the troops each time that I need to decorate, it was time for me to come to some conclusions or at the very least make some rules for myself as I try to create this farmhouse of mine.
My farmhouse needs to be simple and easy to keep up.
Working a full time job right now and having busy life on the farm means I can’t have a lot out on display or in storage because I can’t take care of it. I have learned to face the fact that I’m just not that good of a house cleaner and the dust bunnies would take over. Also I know that if I have a lot of items in storage, the extra work required to get them out from the pole barn attic will deter me from using them. What I need are pieces that have easy to change options for seasons.
Seasonal items that I would easily use are wreaths, big and small. An example is an old painted cabinet door hanging in my bathroom with a clothespin on it. Swapping out wreaths for seasons on this door is very simple and can totally change the look of the room. The same goes for flower and green stems. Change out these items in your mason jars or vases and you will change the look of the room with the season. These might seem like simple things that everyone knows how to do, but to a decorating-challenged mind like mine they were not.
I have allowed myself only one small portion of a closet for storage of decorations, not including Christmas and Easter. Sorting these out and getting rid of things was a difficult task. I had such silly emotional attachments to so much of it. Some were gifts that I had received almost 20 years ago and I felt bad getting rid of them. I only kept those things that absolutely struck a cord in me and am glad that I did. My life feels simpler now that I have.
The inside of my farmhouse should reflect me and not be a trend.
I have many things that I am not going to get rid of because they were family heirlooms. Displaying these or using them in decorating made sense. Why keep something stored and take up precious living space? I threw away some cardboard storage boxes and used vintage tubs or baskets for storage instead.
What about colors? I have painted many colors in the past, but I do think that using neutral colors on the walls has worked out the best for me. I love a deep red color and think I will always use it around the house. It makes me happy.
I also want the inside of my house to incorporate elements from my farm outside. This actually meant bringing some items from outside to inside. I have some old galvanized items that were in the barn that I was not using. Why not bring them inside and use them instead of buying a new decorations that resemble a vintage item? I love the art that can be purchased right now of farm animals. But wouldn’t it be even better to have your own animals on your walls? I haven’t gotten to that idea yet, but am working on it.
Creating my farmhouse shouldn’t cost me a lot of money.
And this is key, isn’t it? I would much rather spend money on my animals (or more animals!) than on decorations for the house. Here is where my love for creating things comes in handy. A lot of the fun in doing things yourself is in the creating, so I get to enjoy making something and enjoy seeing it on my walls. I also have a new rule that if I buy something for the house, something else has to go away. This has kept me from a lot of impulse buying.
Re-purposing or using everyday items around the house is also a great way to save money. I do a lot of canning (or try to), so why not use mason jars in decorating. I have a lot of them and they are very useful. My husband made me a very rustic looking shelf from an old pallet. It is a simple way to incorporate the look that I like without spending any money.
We’ve begun to remodel our house, room by room. Pulling up all of our old carpeting and replacing it with hard flooring was such a beautiful change. And so easy to take care of (remember my problem with cleaning?). I have painted my walls more of a neutral color – leaving just one wall in my living room my deep red color because it makes me so happy to look at it. We have chosen quality over quantity, not just for its simplicity, but because I need to leave space for all the creations I have yet to make!
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