Work with what ya got

That title has terrible grammar doesn’t it?  I got your attention though so now to deal with the title of the post. After our house fire in Feb 2011 we moved into a rental house. We saw God’s wonderful providence, since a member of our church had just bought this house as an investment property.  It was located close to our old home.  When we moved in, I immediately started nesting; trying to create a home for us. I didn’t care if we might only live there for four months; it has always been important to me for things to feel like home. We joke that on the first day of moving in somewhere you’ll find me with a hammer, whacking up nails to hang pictures.

I wanted to show you that creating a home isn’t about spending money, it isn’t about having a house that is simply aesthetically pleasing, but it is about creating warmth, and beauty and function where ever you are. I am blessed with a husband who is handy, and likes hanging shelves, and pictures and creating a home. So here are some pics of the house to give you an idea of how we made it “our” home for nine months.

Outside of the rental home when we moved in.

Outside of the rental home when we moved in.

After spring arrived we spruced things up with flowers.

After spring arrived we spruced things up with flowers.

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The porch started out as a big junk room....

The porch started out as a big junk room….

and then evolved into a place to eat and have parties.

and then evolved into a place to eat and have parties.

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Here's the evolution of the living room.  We used the hodge podge of furniture we salvaged from the house.

Here’s the evolution of the living room. We used the hodge podge of furniture we salvaged from the house.

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The kitchen was really functional and big, so that was nice.

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It’s really important to me that things are functional It’s more important than how things look.  So we created a calendar/phone center right away.  We also decided to use the small breakfast area of the kitchen for our computer, and just have one dining area in the dining room.  I do find it very handy to have two areas to eat from, so you don’t necessarily have to clean up everything off the table, just to have a snack.  So, we made this bar counter out of a piece of formica from IKEA (found in the office section of IKEA) and created a place for snacks or homework.

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Organized entrances are really important. We took our IKEA shoe bench and coat hook shelf from our old house and they fit perfectly in the front hall.  We also moved the shoe cabinets, and rigged up the “pockets” for all the mittens and stuff.

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Finally, we tried to create pleasant bedrooms for the kids.  They were abruptly uprooted, and it was important for them to feel at home. The boys dressers and our furniture survived, but not Katrina’s.

The boys room

The boys room

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Katrina's room

Katrina’s room

Our room which was pretty tight but it worked.

Our room which was pretty tight but it worked.

The whole experience was really beneficial for us.  We realized first of all that setting your heart on your home on this earth is a losing proposition.  There are much more important eternal realities to consider.

We also realized that having a nice new home, or beautiful things doesn’t make you happier or more content in life.  We have to live holding things in our hand loosely.  Trying to create beauty and order isn’t wrong; we are creative beings like our Creator.  The struggle is to plan without coveting, to create without idolizing.

~Lora

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Lora

I am a 40 something wife to my patient and talented husband Scott, Mom to my five children (from toddler to teen) and oldest sister to eight siblings. I am interested in too many things, love to read everything around me, and have developed a strong interest in design and renovation along with my husband. I am conservative, Christian, and by the grace of God, trying to find His way through the ups and downs of my life.
This entry was posted in before and after, do-it-yourself, home decorating, organization. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Work with what ya got

  1. Andrea says:

    Great post, Lora. I never saw your rental home so it was neat to see what it looked like. But I especially love the last two paragraphs. As someone who cares a lot about my home, decorating, and renovating, not getting too attached is one of my weaknesses.

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