Thursday, May 5, 2011

Decorating the Living Room and a Mirror Makeover

For those of you who have been to my house in the past month or so, this post will be old news. I'm a little late sharing these pictures! But if you haven't been over in a while, or want to check out my mirror makeover, stick around.

We first moved into the parsonage in September (October? Sometime last fall). Since then, the main wall in my living room has been decorated three different ways.

First, I used shadow boxes:

I've now moved them to the office on a smaller wall so they don't get lost in all that space. A few of my Willow Tree people live in them now.

For my second attempt in decorating this space, I cut styrofoam into rectangles (about the size of that middle shadow box above) which I then covered in cute fabrics. There were four of them which I hung in a row above the couch using Command strips. I loved this, and was planning on leaving it. Maybe that's why I don't have any pictures, since I didn't think it would come down any time soon.

Then a friend from church gave me this beauty:

I was so excited and knew just what to do with it!

First, I took off the stickers and painted it brown:

Yes, I paint on my living room floor. Without putting anything down. Thankfully, all the paint I spilled kinda matched my carpet, so I could just rub it in a little. Can't even tell :)

Then, I took green sea glass (from A. C. Moore, not the sea) and hot glued like crazy! The final project looks like this:

Love it! Since the mirror was from a friend and I already had the paint, the whole project just cost the price of the sea glass and mirror hanger- only about $8.00 after coupons.

I also wanted to make a book nook in the corner of the living room. It started out looking like this:

This arrangement was never meant to be permanent, I just wanted to share a shot of the "before." After buying bean bags and a carpet from Wal-Mart, hanging a few shelves I'd used at our apartment, and bringing in a bookshelf from Abel's room, now it looks like this:

Abel loves to get out his little books and sit in the bean bag chair! They are a big hit with both Abel and the 2 year old I watch. I also love that the top of the book shelf can be used as place to put drinks for people sitting on the couch.

With the addition of a side table I bought from my church's yard sale, I now love this side of my living room. It's such a good feeling to walk in the front door and love what you see!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Simple Homemaking Monday- a new link-up!

For a little while, I was joining in on the link-up party Menu Plan Monday to share my meals for the week. But when I switched to monthly meal planning (which is going much better than weekly planning!) and once a month shopping due to sharing a car, I stopped participating.

A blogger I love and have been reading along with for a few year now is hosting a new link up party that I am excited to join!

The purpose of Simple Homemaking Monday is "... to exhort one another and share little things we ourselves are doing or trying to do that point us toward a simple and abundant life as a Christian homemaker, wife, and mother." I love that she says "little things" because so often it is just a simple little thing that makes our homes more beautiful and welcoming, a refuge from this world, and a place that strangers and friends find comfort and love.

A few months ago, I read The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer which encouraged me to pursue different types of art and beauty in the home, and to sharpen the homemaking skills I already practiced. The chapter on flower arrangements was particularly eye opening for me, as I had previously thought that buying flowers was a waste of money. Why spend money on something that will die a few days later? But Schaeffer explained that while we shouldn't be wasteful or spend our money frivolously, we also have been created to appreciate beauty, and that the Creator made flowers beautiful, which brings Himself glory. She says,

"If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and gave you the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation."

Lately I have tried to be more intentional about pursuing and enjoying beauty in my home as a reflection of the the beauty all around us in creation, and as an extremely imperfect shadow of the beauty of God.

"One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple."
Psalm 27:4

"Splendor and majesty are before him,
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary."
Psalm 96:6

This week,we have been enjoying a very simple thing of beauty in our home. I rescued a few glass jars from the trash, peeled off their labels, and gave them a makeover with hot glue and various crafts bits I already had (leather cord, buttons, ribbon). Then Reed picked up a bunch of flowers for me when he went on a Wal-Mart run. The results have been making me smile all week:

in the office/guest room

in the living room

How do you bring beauty to your home?