Friday, January 10, 2014

Finding Beauty In What Surrounds You...

There is something so refreshing and inspiring when it is time to decorate again after the Christmas decorations go back in their boxes. Things seem to transform as the now blank slate slowly fills back in with new ideas and a fresh outlook. In other words, I can't remember what was there before so I'll see what combination inspires me today. 

Finding Beauty in what surrounds you

Putting different decor out doesn't have to be a huge expense. It simply means using what you love and what means the most to you and your family to make a room with four walls come to life. A person's home is where they can communicate to others what they like and what they don't like. For instance not liking to decorate is perfectly probably means that you are super passionate about other things like maybe taking individual food ingredients and transforming them into succulent, mouth-watering gourmet meals. I can almost always tell if someone loves to cook by looking at their spice collection. :-)  

Our mantle became a blank slate after the Christmas decor came down. Most things that are now there tell a story of some that time my joy almost burned up.

I have been wanting a map for years. Those small framed ones in the Sky Mall magazine get me every time. I start dreaming of having one. One with pins...everywhere! But then I wake up and realize that I haven't traveled very far from home..someday I will. One day my passport will have stamps that go beyond Mexico & Canada. 

A winter mantelI received this inexpensive map from Amazon for Christmas from my husband. I wasn't quite sure how I would display it since it came unframed. And then suddenly I realized that it might fit the frame that was already on the mantel...perfect fit!

The thing is, in the mean time...without going anywhere far away we can invite guests into our home and hear all of the wonderful stories from afar. And now when a friend comes to dinner and says that they are from Ecuador, we can actually see which part of their country their story began in.

a world map

The international feel continues as you move down to the bookshelves. I decided at some point to collect a few coffee bean bags of sort. Friends traveled to Ethiopia and returned with a bag of yummy coffee for us. The trick is to enjoy the coffee beans and then fill the bag with something else before it goes on the shelf.

The bag to the far left was also a gift from friends. It is actually the "anniversary 2013" Starbucks blend that turned out to be a sweet memento since we were in Seattle celebrating our ninth anniversary in 2013. 

bookshelf decor

I picked up this blue oversized mason jar from World Market not intending it to be on my mantle.

It is one of had me at hello pieces.

large blue mason jar

It is actually a drink container that I bought with the intent of using it to store our homemade laundry detergent and bring the fancy notch up a little. The only problem was that the detergent separated and I couldn't easily stir it when this was on our hard to reach shelf. Not to mention that it poured out of the spiket way too slow because of the thickness of the detergent. So I just turned the container around (so that the spout isn't showing) and used it to house extra tea lights.

We are a family who loves sushi but rarely get the chance to make it so I grabbed some soy sauce bowls that were sitting in the cupboard and decided to put some delicate paper flowers in them.

mantel decor

No rules for decorating...

no expensive things...

just items we love that tell a little bit more about our family.

a decorated mantel

Last but not least while the faux sheepskin rug worked out wonderfully in front of the fireplace at Christmas time, I did decide to move it up to my bedroom for the other eleven months out of the year (its white surface is safer up there.) The soft feeling when you first get out of bed is delightful (and I noticed that the small rugs are now on sale at Sam's Club for only $19 if anyone is interested!)

faux sheepskin rug

You see it doesn't matter if an idea to contain laundry detergent didn't work, if I am a terrible chef or if I have never traveled the world. There is still beauty in all of those things.

What stories of failures, future dreams, or simple delights would your home tell of?

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  1. I've never felt like I had the vision for decorating. I can look at something and say whether or not I like it, but envisioning it beforehand has always been a struggle. So, between that and a lack of money, I keep it simple. Dave calls it "simple, yet elegant." And since I value my home as a sanctuary of peace, I think the ambiance speaks of serenity. There are also articles and pictures that tell the story of our marriage, our individual journeys, and our passions.

    1. Crystal,

      What a beautiful thing to have a home of serenity and to be surrounded by stories that reflect the precious people living inside of it.


  2. I bought a home recently and was so excited that the woman was going to leave the curtains. Long story short, no curtains. Since I am curtain challenged and my husband just had quadruple by-pass, no rods or curtains have made it up yet. I bought two sets, but the colors were not right. I loved your curtains and am going to give it a try. Pray for me!

    1. Bummer that the curtains weren't left. I hope that the curtain project goes well... and that your husband recovers quickly! Good luck!



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