If you have been on Instagram or Facebook in the past 3 or so months, you are well aware that Jon and I are in the process of building our forever home on Eaven’s Branch Farm. WE ARE SO EXCITED. However, with a new construction comes a pretty tight budget. (I know I hate the word too). So, in an effort to play my part in this new venture, I decided to take the contentment challenge back in May. One of the rules of the Contentment Challenge is to give up spending money on anything for yourself or your home for three months, other than absolute necessities. Surprisingly, I have stood by this promise to myself and my household but not without some tears shed along the way over deals I could have snagged. I have learned so much about myself, the faithfulness of God and how blessed we truly are in the course of the challenge, but I am definitely looking forward to doing a little shopping sometime soon.
In the meantime, I have spruced up our little rental (as best I could) to feel more welcoming with some of my favorite things that I already had from our previous home. Turns out, houses aren’t built in a day. So, as the construction process lingers throughout the next 9-12 months, we now have a nice, neat, cute place to live. Though the paint is chipping, the ceilings leak and there is limited access to air conditioning, I have done my best to make this temporary house a home. You can too! There aren’t many people in their twenties or thirties that start out living in a nice apartment or three bedroom houses. While things may be temporary, it’s important that your space is just that: yours.
Here’s my advice:
1.) Keep it clean.
Rental properties usually aren’t very big. Our little house is very old and very small. There is limited closet space and only one bathroom. When we first moved in, I thought I needed more stuff to make it manageable. Turns out, more stuff only equaled more clutter which equaled more stress.
If you don’t absolutely need it, or absolutely love it, give it away. Do not sell it. Do not store it. Give. It. Away. I hoard everything thinking one day, I may need it. Turns out that has never, not once happened. So from the closet to the living room décor, if I knew it wasn’t making the cut to Eaven’s Branch, it went to Goodwill. Trust me, you will not regret it.
Instead of having pictures scattered on every wall, I took my favorite frames and prints and made a collage above the couch. Not only did it add much needed décor to a dark living room, but also felt more like home seeing our family pictures up on the wall.
One of my favorite pieces of the collage is the “Our Happily Ever After” print by Shop Winnie Jean. This print is discontinued but she has some adorable signs on her site. Shop her collection here!
2.) Keep it light.
We don’t have a whole lot to work with wall wise in our home. The wood paneling stretches from room to room. So, in essence, everything is brown. But, instead of trying to glam up that which cannot be glammed up (without looking very 1970’s), I chose to keep things natural and light. I keep every window uncovered that I can during the day to let in natural light. I leftthe vintage cow dinner bell hanging on the front porch and added a wheat wreath (say that ten times fast) to one of the doors. In the entry room, I added lanterns next to the wood stove without going crazy on accessories. By keeping the space what it is, you come to appreciate simplicity. By using natural tones, you keep the space light and fresh-even if it is 90 degrees and wall to wall wood paneling
3.) Keep it personal.
Your house is your home. It’s your space to live, love and grow. Make sure the items in your home actually mean something to you. We love our little Dachshund, Lily so we have plenty of décor to remind us of her sweet face. She’s part of our family! We also have a hand lettered sign from our wedding from Spruce and Twig. In the kitchen we have a recipe box from Rifle Paper Company filled with Nanny’s recipes. We also have sweet sentiments in the most unlikely places to remind us to love each other fiercely.
Whether it’s an old quilt, a framed verse or the family Bible, make sure to center your home on your roots. In our home, that center is this beautiful wooden sign I purchased at Lifeway. We constantly need reminding of who we are thanks to God’s amazing grace. So we placed this in the center room of the house where we spend the most time-the living room.