Sunday, June 5, 2011

8 Weeks to a Better Me: Week 6/Home Sweet Home

Welcome to week number six!  This week's wonderful guest poster is the gorgeous and talented Mandi.  Mandi is one of those girls that could have written on any one of these topics, but lately I've really been admiring both her lovely home and her design aesthetic, so what better person to talk about making your environment a great place to be?  Mandi inspires me on a daily basis and I always find myself eagerly clicking on whatever she posts- I know that when I leave her blog I will always be filled with a sense of happiness, and of course, inspiration!  If you don't already read "Here's Looking at Me, Kid," then I suggest you hightail it over there...after reading her awesome contribution though- I know you'll love it!  Thanks again, Mandi.

http://sometimessweet.blogspot.com/2011/05/8-weeks-to-better-me-week-one.html

Hello friends! I'm Mandi, from Here's Looking at Me, Kid, and I'm so honored to be a part of Danielle's 8 Weeks to a Better Me series. Making home a wonderful place to live is a great passion of mine, and sort of a necessity that goes along with living in Northeast Ohio. (Spending 6 months of the year inside can be a bit rough if you don't like your home). Danielle asked me to share some ideas for beautifying your living space, so I've put together three great tips on ways you can make your home a better place to live.



1. Don't buy or keep anything you don't love.

This one can be a tricky rule, when you factor in gifts from well-meaning family members, personal indecisiveness, and the original cost of said item. I adhere pretty strictly to this rule, but I do leave things in my home that are of absolute functional necessity. These things are called "place holders." You might not like it, and you're looking for something better to replace it, but in the meantime you just gotta have something to serve the function.


That being said, keep things personal. I like to have family heirlooms, things made by my family, and things of sentimental value out for display. I might not have selected it for my home had it not been made by someone I love, but I like it, and more importantly, someone I really love made it. So it's more likely to make the cut.



2. Start small.

Choose one room and tackle it! Transforming your space into your dream home really doesn't take a lot of money (take it from my personal penny budget), but it does take a lot of motivation and attention to detail. It can be really overwhelming to look at your home, not really like it, but also not know where to begin. My best advice is to start with one room, or even a corner of a big room, and start thinking about how you envision it to look. Browse home tours on blogs like Design Sponge and Apartment Therapy for inspiration, if you're lacking any, and then start getting rid of things you don't like or need (excluding placeholders, as mentioned above). Start a pinterest or, if you use Google Reader, star some favorite home decor images so that you can hone in on design elements that you really and truly love.


Sometimes paint can make a great difference. I personally love the fresh feel of white space, and while my apartment walls are off-white, I really wish I could paint them all a bright snowy white. My landlord did consent, however to my painting our kitchen cabinets white. The room didn't need much more than that, just a few cute thrifted accessories to make it feel happy and pretty.



3. Don't neglect function.

It's pretty easy to get wrapped up in prettifying your home, that you might overlook organization and function. For instance, if you have a lot of makeup, perfume bottles, hair brushes, and other things that take part in your morning routine, it's easier to keep them out on your dresser. But it's even easier for them to get out of control. I don't like to keep these things in drawers (out of sight, out of mind), because the drawers just get unmanageable and things wind up getting lost or forgotten. So I like to find little trays at the thrift store to corral everything together. They might all still be out in the open, but grouping them together looks a lot neater.


Also, if you are a crafter, an artist, or have children, please don't live in years of denial, like I did. I used to think that I could stow everything away in a closet, but that just resulted in either me not crafting, or crafting and being too overwhelmed by the mess to clean it up in a timely manner. Now, I have turned a corner of my living room into a crafting area. I hung up a pegboard wall so I can easily get things out and put them away. The desk I found for the space has plenty of drawers to keep the not-so-pretty items. I am not a girl who can't function (in a tidy fashion) using a desk without drawers, so I would never buy one or fool myself into thinking it will work. (Sometimes really pretty desks will try to deceive you into thinking this is not so! Trust me.) If you're going to be engaging in specific activities (especially the cluttered kind), make sure there is a place to do so. It will not only save your own sanity, but your family's too!


If you're craving more tips and inspiration, you can check out the "home" category on my blog where I share how my personal space has transformed through the years, as well as where I share some links to articles I wrote for Apartment Therapy.


1. Our dining room has been on my mind for weeks and week. There are a few small projects that I need to finish in there, but I keep getting overwhelmed when I think about all of the other things I need to do too. So, I'm going to take Mandi's advice and start small. I'm going to just focus on one room at a time, and this week it's the dining room!

2. I love what Mandi said about not keeping anything you don't love. I've already half-tackled that with my closet, but there are still some other areas of our home I could edit a bit. So, this week will "purge anything I don't love" week. Ahem, junk drawer!

3. And finally, I'm going to focus on getting up our family photo wall in the hallway. We had it up before but it could have looked better, so I took it down to redesign it. It's been months now and it's time for me to get on the ball. That hallway made me so happy when we had photos up, and I'm looking forward to getting it right this time!

How about you? What are you going to do to make your living space even more wonderful this week?

21 comments:

  1. this post was great! I have been doing a "big sort out" this weekend, so this post has gave me so much insperation.
    Thanks for sharing and a great feature.

    Zoe x
    http://blessedbeeapothecary.blogspot.com/

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  2. Such great ideas!, they are all so simple! Great advice Mandi, I guess when you get caught up in everything, you forget how easy it can be if you think about it and start small :). This week I'm going to slowly get rid of things I don't love or just bought for the heck of it.. I think I need to go through my draws too, I tend to stuff things in there and forget about it or don't use it again. Danielle such a great idea to have your hallway filled with all photos of family, we just painted ours and I think that would fit perfectly! I can see pretty pictures in vintage frames! Thanks for sharing girls :) Hugs, Chloe.

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  3. Excellent timing! I want to redo my bedroom and this week I'll be making a start. :)

    I love Mandi's style so much and her tips were wonderful. Thanks for sharing, Mandi!

    xo

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  4. Mandi's tips are inspiring, I just love the vintage style of her home.

    I love your goals, Danielle. Family photos walls are always so darling. I can't wait to see your completed design.

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  5. Fantastic tips. We're re-doing our bathroom, and I've been given full choice when it comes to colour palettes, so I'm really struggling to decide on that.

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  6. Such great tips!! We just sat down last week and made a list of home improvement projects we need to tackle. There are little areas that definitely need some love but Mandi is so right: you have to start small. I love this feature so much!

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  7. Great post! Such great ideas. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Love Mandi's home style (great tips too)- it has been one of my favorites for a while now.

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  9. This was an awesome post. It's so important to make your house a place you love to be.

    http://flbrowneyedgirl315.blogspot.com/2011/06/8-weeks-to-better-me-week-6-home-sweet.html

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  10. I love this article! I always get so inspired from looking at pretty home decor blogs. And I definitely agree with you that if it's not beautiful or functional, it's probably not worth keeping around. It's so refreshing to do a big clean out of a home space. :) Thanks so much for the great tips!

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  11. This was a fantastic read. I especially loved the advice about keeping crafting stuff easily accessible...in an effort to keep things "clean," I've packed away my crafting gear so well that I haven't used it in over 6 months. : p

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  12. What a great post! Its really going to motivate me to get more things I love in my house and less place holders.

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  13. Loved this! I wish I could do more with our house aside from moving furniture. We still rent and though we do have options, we just don't have the time/money right now to do too much. Hopefully if I ever get to stay home with babies and we own our own house I can focus on at least one room! Great advice and good luck!

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  14. I love this one, the advice was so useful and easy to apply!

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  15. Very good post! I love the ideas and thanks for the inspiration!

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  16. marvellous! I've been sorting out my house lately- my partner has been sorting out my gardens ;) and it feels really good to be doing it!

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  17. yes! love this! i'm in a full-on spring cleaning mode right now. Mandi's post was just what the doctor ordered!

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  18. Such wonderful inspiration here! I'm hoping to move soon (we pay too much in rent) but I can start to put a few of these ideas into action now. Out with things I don't love!
    XOXO

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  19. Such great advice. Mandi is so talented and I absolutely love her style!

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  20. I really need to clear out a lot of my clothes. Donate all the things I don't wear anymore to goodwill and keep only the things I actually wear! No more excuses saying "Oh but I might wear that to THIS thing one day..."

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