Plants bring so many benefits to our lives: 1) They give us oxygen and clear the carbon dioxide from the air. 2) Like pictures, they bring life and promote creativity to one’s home. 3) They bring the outside in by causing a de-stressing effect, and 4) For the most part, they are simple and low-maintenance.
A few months ago, one of my friends blessed me with two plants. I decided to add them to my bedroom so that I could feel refreshed upon waking up in the morning. I am all about aesthetics, and especially having spaces that are light and airy. I decided to place one in the corner of my bedroom in front of a wall mirror. The second one was placed on top of my storage trunk, along with another faux plant.
My son was given two plants recently for his birthday. One of them is a bamboo plant. He placed them in chairs by the living room window so that they could get proper sunlight. At first, I was questioning the location. Now, I have decided that I like them there. The greenery against the natural colors of the chairs and the curtain makes you feel so relaxed.
What simple, functional, grace-filled plants do you own? What places are you keeping them? Send in some comments and pictures below.
Today I am featuring a guest post on how to decorate, coming from a blogger over in Sweden. Our last DIY decorating post can be found here. I hope that these tips will inspire you as you decorate your new home.
Interior design and home decor does not always feel like the easiest field to dig into. However, it will always be of importance for as long as human kind moves around and keeps it interest of beautiful surroundings. Research studies during the past decades have shown that general content and happiness can be correlated to how beautiful one person’s surrounding are perceived. We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but that does not take away the fact that if you regard your surroundings and your home as beautiful, your mindset and overall content will increase and improve to the better! This is something that everyone would benefit from!
But the first problem remains, interior design and the project of decorating your home beautifully is not always the easiest task. Therefore, we have written a small guide for you to go through and hopefully fins some guiding and useful advice whenever you find yourself browsing through online furniture shops.
Step 1: Do research on brands and style in order to decorate
Research, research and then a little more research. Why does this topic feel sometimes obnoxiously persistent in everyday life? But the fact is that without doing your thorough research, things will happen ad hoc and you will hence not feel content with your final choices. In the big ocean of interior brands one group stands out of everyone. Can you guess which one? Well, it is the Scandinavian design houses of course! Scandinavian interior design, with its unbarked and simple look has been on everyone and their mothers lips for many years now. Sleek oak wood, beautiful washed linen fabrics and a bright and uplifting palette are a few words that describes the Scandinavian design best. There are plenty of websites to browse through while doing your thorough research of Scandinavian furniture and interior. We have picked out a few examples for you to get started:
Reforma Sthlm – One of Scandinavia’s biggest inspirational websites where you easily can get inspired by everything from kids furniture with cool design to vintage and industrial interior. If you feel like buying something, they are also an e-commerce site so feel free to shop til you drop! Their focus is divided into two main parts. Danish, and modern interior as well as more rustic, vintage and industrial vibes. With good prices (it surely sometimes feel like you are shopping at one of the bid low cost furniture chains) and magnificent quality you will surely not find anything like it anywhere else. Make sure to be ready with your google translate button though, if you are not from Scandinavia that is. Otherwise be inspired by the beautiful pictures of homes and nice interior. It is just like a mini pinterest focused on only furniture and design!
House Doctor – The queen of Danish interior design. If you haven’t heard of House Doctor yet, be happy you are doing it now! They sell everything from sleek striped down wooden pieces, like drink trolleys, coffee tables and dining chairs to more bohemian and soft interior like seat cushions, decorative pillows, blankets and even vases and candle holders with ethnic patterns. The designs are always luxurious and high quality.
Bloomingville – The Danish furniture saga continues to the next of beautiful brands. Amongst Bloomingvilles range of everything from table cloths to decorative mirrors, you will find exclusive and fun design perfect for every home out there. With a fun and fabulous color palette and design that really has been though out outside of the box, you will get a smile on your face while figuring out how to decorate and furnish you apartment or house on this website. If you feel like getting something for yourself, why not head back to Reforma Sthlm and buy it. Reforma is the main retailer of Bloomingvilles products and you will surely be happy and satisfied with your new dining table or bureau.
Ib Laursen– For the people who wish to be different. If you don’t want your home to feel like the “home next door”, make sure to be inspired by the range of furniture you find at Ib Laursen. They use plenty of recycled materials such as old wooden doors and parts from former industries. The fact that they can use these wared parts and create them into amazing décor and furniture is something from out of this world! Buying vintage furniture online has suddenly become a possibility which is something that many people have not yet been informed of. But hey, here you go! When your research is done and you have gotten a picture of what interior style you like, move on to our next step!
Step 2: Write a list of what you need for your home
To not find yourself in a situation where you seem to drown in excess pieces of furniture that are just standing around doing nothing to no one, you need to figure out what you really need. And we need really, when we say really! This step is easy (and fun!) make a room-by-room plan where each room gets a list of what will be needed there. For example, in a bed room you will need a bed, blanket, decorative cushions, a night stand, a wall shelf, maybe a secretary with matching chair, a couch or an armchair, Some beautiful vases and pots, a soft carpet and… stop there! By writing a structured list of what furniture you need and where, it will be easier to make a budget as well as visualize your future in your new home, which brings us on to the next step in this guide…
Step 3: Visualize
We will try not to sound too new-age and hippie in this section, but visualizing your future somewhere will make it easier for you to actually create it for yourself. Step into the room you are decorating, for instance the kitchen, and try to really picture the colors, the fabrics, the materials and what will be placed where. Imagine you kitchen table, the plates and color palette and use all your new knowledge from the research you did at Reforma Sthlm. You will find yourself actually seeing what you want and how you want it to look. When this is done, head over to the next step!
Step 4: Plan and Shop
Bring out the note pad again, it is time for some planning! What furniture shops and interior boutiques have what you need? Do you want to go buy it physically or do you wish to purchase it online and get it delivered to your door step? Make a budget and make sure it is aligned with your monetary capability. Be smart and creative during this step, for a lot if people the actual planning is the most fun part of the interior process. You can structure your shopping list in whatever way you feel is the most convenient. Either you do it after each room, with boxes to tick next to each item when it is purchased and receiver. But the easies way is to do it after what shop you will get what. To give you an example: Let us say that you want to buy that beautiful lamp from House Doctor, that eye catching book shelf from House Doctor and that beautiful vintage coffee table made of recycled wood from Ib Laursen, fins a store that offers all of these items and structure the list from there. Too continue on the same example, the online furniture store Reforma Sthlm offers all of these items and thus you can tick off the boxes next to each items when you have gone through with the safe and quick purchase. When buying furniture and home décor online make sure that the payment methods are safe, that the store you are buying from offers good customer service and for your safety, also make sure that the pieces you get are refundable. Hopefully you will be pleased with your new items but better safe than sorry, right!?
Step 5: Put everything together in your home
The beautiful thing about online interior stores are the obvious fact that you get everything delivered to your doorstep. How did people manage 50 years ago? Let us be happy that we don’t need to drive around ourselves anymore. When you get the delivery, the fun begins. Make sure to have a friend or family over because this can still het heavy and sweaty! Putting all your need furniture together, whether it is that beautiful velvet couch or all the kitchen accessories that needs to be put into place, it will take time and energy. And together with a friend, assembling furniture becomes a lot more fun!
Step 6: Decorate to Enjoy your home
When your new home is furnished and decorated it is time to enjoy your achievements every hour of every day. With your new home décor, such as astonishing mirrors, cool lighting and comfortable upholstery you can now live a life in beautiful peace. Just like research has shown, a comfortable and appreciated environment in your home will in fact improve your happiness and content and therefor this process is as fun as it is important and life changing.
As a kid growing up in the projects, we always played games to keep ourselves busy. Some of my favorites were Captain, May I?, Red Light, Green Light, and It. We also loved playing board games. My cousin and I were a little jealous because the kids next door seemed to have all the best board games. One of my favorites was Backgammon.
As adults, it is also important to create memories with our friends and and family. Now that holiday time is upon us, this means getting together and playing the board games that we probably have stored away and collecting dust. About a year ago, I saw an idea on Pinterest to create a tic-tac- toe board game. It was one of those days that I was in the creative mode, and I was surfing Pinterest, as a lot of us do. It took no time, and I had all the materials either here in the house, or right outside my front door! The wood that I used was left over from the breakfast bar that my son and his friend built. You can find that post here.
Activity: Making a Tic Tac Toe game
Time: 40 minutes
Piece of wood (Menards or Home Depot ) $2
Small Jar of Acrylic Paint $.99
Rocks : Outside or bag from Dollar Tree for $1
Paintbrush $1 from Dollar Tree
Use an extra piece of wood that you have at home or get a piece cut from the lumber department of the hardware store.
Using a paintbrush, make two lines going across, and two lines going down.
Paint O’s and X’s on the rocks.
If you are a homeowner, and are looking for a one-stop spot for all your homeowner resources, check out “Consumer Advocacy“, where there’s a little bit of information on home owner’s insurance and everything else that you need!!!
Sometimes you end up with the situation like myself, where you want the ability to seat more people in the kitchen (perhaps 10 to 12), but you don’t have the space, nor the money to do it. This is where building a breakfast bar comes in handy. Breakfast bars are great because they are multifunctional. They can serve as a breakfast bar/homework center/painting spot/reading area. You decide.
Last time, I explained how to build shelves using plumbing pipes here. The breakfast bar featured in this post only takes about 30 minutes to build, and very few materials. Plus, you can’t beat the price. Since the length is only 12 inches, you can probably setup two of these in a smaller kitchen, and still be fine.
Four years ago, I purchased the stools that are featured from Amazon. I decided upon these particular ones because I wanted a combination of an industrial/farmhouse/rustic look, along with something that would withstand wear and tear of teenagers and usage in general. Plus, they are both simple and functional, and that’s what Valley of Grace is all about. I don’t like to have to keep buying furniture. The stools come in two different sizes: table height and bar height.
Building a breakfast bar
2 ½” Tees
4 ½” flanges
2 ½” 36” nipples (or whatever height you choose)
2 ½” 12” nipples (or whatever width you choose)
A box of 2-inch screws
1 piece of 8 ft. 8” lumber from the lumber department (add additional 2 ft. for 6 people fitting comfortably, and another 2ft. for a coffee/tea station to be added at the end)
4 clips (optional for securing lumber to 12” nipples)
Assemble two 7 shapes to build the bar without tightly screwing:
Connect the 12” nipple to the flange.
Screw the Tee onto the 12” nipple.
Screw the 36” nipple onto the tee.
Connect the flange to the 36” nipple.
Use a stud finder to find the location of the studs in the wall.
Using the 2-inch screws, drill the two 7 shapes into the studs in the wall.
Place the piece of lumber on top.
Optional: Secure the (2) 12” nipples to the piece of lumber with two clips using a drill, and two screws per clip for both 7 shapes.
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Psalms 127:1
******I am not receiving compensation for the links that are mentioned in this post.
Background Story on Wire Baskets
A little while ago, I talked about the different uses for crates for organization. You can find that post here. Today, our organizational focus will be on the usage of wire baskets. I love baskets of all shapes, sizes, and textures. And so, of course, wire baskets would be included in this group. I like organizing things period. What I have realized within the last few years, is that when we are organized, we are able to turn the five hour paper search to a 15 minute paper search. Our lives run smoother, and we’re able to spend more time doing the things that matter: spending time with our family and friends, serving others, and being able to get those hobbies in. This is what happened when I didn’t have my scrap-booking supplies organized.
Not having things organized discourages doing anything because our efforts are multiplied. We start to think to ourselves, ” Why even bother? If I want to paint, it’s going to take 2 hours to find all the supplies!”
Baskets take the look of organization to a whole new level. Here are five reasons to contemplate using wire baskets:
Simplicity and Practicality
Wire baskets are easy to clean. All you need is a damp cloth to wipe them down and keep going. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Dust naturally collects on anything, and that where the damp cloth comes in. Also, every now and then, something may leak out, that is when a small squirt of dish detergent gets added to the cloth. Wipe and you’re done!
Wire baskets help you to get the clutter off the counters and off the floor. Because they can be purchased as a three or four in one, or individual units, they are easy to mount on the wall using 2-inch nails.
I home-schooled for 12 years. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about using wire baskets at the time. They are perfect for organizing individual folders and subjects for each kid without losing your mind. If you have more than one basket on the wall, then you can use one of the wire baskets to store all incoming bills and important papers that need attention as well.
Other homeschool and business ideas for wire baskets can be found here, where they have wire baskets specifically for mail and magazines, and as part of a wall organization unit for home and business.
There isn’t one room that I can think of in the house that wire baskets can’t be used in. For the bathroom, you can use them for facial and toiletry products. They can even be used for towels and shampoo.
For the kitchen, wire baskets are good for storing mason jars filled with items such as nutritional yeast, corn meal, and sugar. Spices and seasonings stored in wire baskets help you to get them off of the counter tops, along with still being able to see what you are needing to use. Lastly, for you bakers, wire baskets are perfect solutions for storing your rolling pins.
Other kitchen uses for wire baskets are the following: fruit and produce, napkins. place mats, and apron storage. I love the Madam Stoltz ones pictured here at Reforma Stockholm as a fruit and produce idea.
Last, but not least, wire baskets just look good. I am all about the aesthetics being in line for number three after simplicity and functionality.
Happy wire basket adventuring and have a blessed evening!
How would you like to make something fun for your door with less than $5? Well, that’s what I did this past April. Recently, I had the idea that I was going to take it down since we are now in the fall season. However, it just hasn’t happened. I liked this project for three reasons:
By the way, I purchased all of these materials from Dollar Tree.
Here are the materials that you will need:
1 bundle of jute material (optional) $1
1 wreath $1
2 small bundles of fake flowers $2
Total Cost $4.00 + tax
Fold the bottom half of each of the flowers stems.
Tuck the flower stems into the wreath by placing them in between the individual pieces of the wreath.
Tie bows around each of the individual flowers.
Hang on your door and enjoy!
Optional: This wreath can also be used as a table decoration.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Upcycling things can be an adventure. It just takes a few minutes of creativity and little bit of down time. A few months ago, I upcycled my pillow cases on my bed using a scarf. You can go to the link here.
I am starting to really appreciate Saturday mornings now. Every blue moon, I have to leave out early, but for the most part, my new thing for Saturday mornings is to do my devotion, eat some breakfast, and sit in bed and read for a good two hours. This doesn’t always happen during the week, so Saturday morning reading is my relaxation time.
What I love is when the air isn’t too cool or too warm, as the air is here now in the Midwest. I love it! It has been raining for the last few days, but I love the idea of a good book, a blanket, physical rest, along with the concept of resting in Jesus on a Saturday morning.
I am rereading Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen, Unexpected by Christine Caine, and about five other books at the same time. I know that this might sound strange to some of you, but sometimes in the evening, I like to have a good cooking show on while reading.
It’s nice to still be able to hear the chipmunks playing outside. It wasn’t until two and a half years ago, that I became familiar with the sound that the chipmunk makes.
This morning, I finally got brave enough to do something that I had planned on doing for some months now: upcycling the throw pillows that are on my bed. I already had all of the materials here. I was able to get one pillow done today.
The process was pretty easy. What I have noticed is that the worst part of any project is getting the materials together, and just doing it. It was also therapeutic. I am even thinking about using the rest of the material from the scarf to make a purse. We’ll see.
Here is the project:
Upcycling Throw Pillows from a Scarf
A Scarf that has Pom-Pom Style Strings Attached
(3 to 4) 25 or higher of embroidery thread
A thick enough needle to go through the scarf material and pillow cover
A Throw pillow with a cover
Cut off the Pom-Pom Style Strings attached to both ends of the scarf.
Sew the Pom-Pom Style Strings to both sides of the throw pillow using the needle and embroidery thread, making sure to double enforce the thread because of the fragility of the material.
When I moved to the place that I live now, I appreciated the layout of the kitchen. It isn’t large, but a decent size for having company and entertaining. The one thing that was a drawback is the fact that we lacked cabinet space. I had gotten used to the pantry that we were blessed with at the last place. So here, I had to get creative. That’s where the shelves came in. Last week, I featured a post on building a clothing rack with plumbing pipe material here.
I needed a place to store more dishes. Plus, I needed somewhere to store things like cereal and oatmeal boxes. What I decided is that I would build four shelves using plumbing pipe materials and lumber. I went to one of my favorite hardware stores, Menards, and got to planning. This project didn’t require a lot of materials. It just required planning as far as finding the studs, and then making sure that the flanges are being screwed into the studs in the wall. If they aren’t, well, we don’t want to go there, because it would be a disaster of broken dishes, drywall, and everything else.
Building the Shelves
Instead of stacking boxes, and all that drama on these shelves, I decided to use mason jars. To me, they give more of a clean, organized look. I liked the look so much, that if there was wall space on the other side of my kitchen window, I’m quite sure by now, I would have another set of shelves lined up there. Kitchen shelves are one of my favorite things to view in kitchens when I am glancing through home magazines.
I should also specify that I planned everything, and I gave my son and daughter the pleasure of dealing with the hardware. To be honest, I am not comfortable using a drill. I used a drill once at the last place when I got tired of waiting for them to place a shelf on the wall in the laundry room. When they saw that I had put the shelf up, with anchors and all, they kind of gave me the look, “Okay”. Anyways, here are the materials and instructions for having fun. If you are bold enough to try it, send a comment and post pictures below.
(4) 48″ X 12″ lumber boards
(8) 1/2 ” Tees
(8) 1/2 ” pipe flanges
(8) 1/2 ” 12″ pipe nipples
Use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall.
Make sure that you leave enough space in between the shelves.
Using a drill, screw the nails into the pipe flanges, and then the nipples into the flanges.
Screw on the 1/2″ Tee to the pipe nipple.
Place the lumber board on top.
The weight of the jars and dishes will keep the board in place.
If you prefer to attach the pipe nipples to the boards, attach two metal clips on both sides for security.
Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. Psalms 127:1
Four years ago, when my kids and I were living at our last residence, my daughter wanted a clothing rack that she saw in a PBteen magazine. The clothing rack was $400. At the time, I wasn’t able to afford any kind of rack. We had just found a place to live. Four months later, the Lord blessed me with the funds to build her a rack. I gave it to her as an early Christmas present. She had enough closet space, but she wanted this particular clothing rack to be used as a furniture piece in her room.
I took the picture from the PBTeen magazine to Home Depot with me. One of the guys there was more than happy to help out. I told him that I wanted a spin off of the rack with the best solution possible. He took the time to walk me through the aisles, showing me every single part that I needed. I wrote all the parts down so that I would be prepared whenever God’s timing was right to send the funds. The list of parts came out to about $118.00. Three months later, I had the money to build the rack. That’s when I decided to go to Menards to compare prices. I was able to get all the parts that I needed for about $56 dollars.
I had my son to build the rack while my daughter was gone to a function. I told him, “You have to hurry up before she gets home, so it won’t ruin the surprise”. I could tell that he enjoyed doing it, because he stated that it was just like building Legos. I was so excited to be able to bless her with this gift after everything that we had been through. After he put the rack together, we waited for her to come home. I told her to come up to her room because I had something to talk to her about. When she got to her room, she was had the weirdest look on her face. She kept saying over and over again, “When did you get this?” This made my heart happy. The smallest things during the toughest times can mean a lot to anyone.
If you like to be adventurous, and build a rack, then here are the instructions:
(4) 1/2″ pipe flanges
(2) 1/2″ T’s
(4) 1/2″ 8″ plumbing pipe nipples
(2) 6 feet nipples
(1) 1/2″ 3 feet nipple
2 1/2″ 90 degree elbows
2 1/2″ 45 degree elbows
Make sure not to tighten all parts fully until you have put the whole thing together.
Place two flanges on one side and two flanges on the other side.
Picture in your head that you are building a towel bar.
On both sides, screw a 90 degree elbow into the two pipe flanges.
On both sides, screw an 8 inch nipple, then T, then 8 inch nipple to form a “towel bar”.
Attach the 6 feet nipples to the T’s on both sides.
Attach the 45 degree elbows to the 6 feet nipples.
Place the 3 feet long nipple in between the 45 degree elbows.
My kids know that when it comes to me getting my hands on some paint in the house, it can be really dangerous. I mean really dangerous. When I am trying to process things, and having an emotionally challenging day, it calls for creativity and fresh air. Creativity for me could be dancing, praise dancing, painting, journaling, writing, or decorating. When I am in painting and decorating mode together, watch out! So about a year ago, I was in one of my moods, and I sat on the couch thinking about how absolutely bland and lifeless the color of the kids’ piano was. I also started looking at a particular chair that I’d found my daughter about seven years ago from World Market on clearance for $24, which at this point, had been painted three times already. The original color was espresso.
On A Mission
Well, my mind kept going on the possibilities, and I ended up using the last bit of Antique Silver Paint, a color that I had bought from Menards in their Paramount Pittsburgh All in One, One Coat Paint and Primer Series. I had a paint brush, drop cloth, and paint, and one extra tray already in the laundry room. I was on a mission. No one was going to stop me.
I wanted to get everything done before the kids got home from school. They walked in the door, and they had the look of shock on their faces. My son’s main concern was that I didn’t ruin the piano. I said, “NO, you’re good.” He still looked skeptical. They slowly walked over to check it out. I think it took them a week to get used to it. All in all, it turned out pretty decent, and the best part about it is that I had just enough paint to finish the job. God is good. All the time!