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bringing life into your home

My blog friend Melissa from The Inspired Room has a new book out that is just so great. It’s called Love The Home You Have.  I started reading and totally resonate with her thoughts: we may not feel like we’re in our forever home; we may be frustrated with our living situations or our not-perfect houses; we’re just waiting to make our house a home until the house is different, waiting to update until we can do the dream remodel, afraid to hang art on the walls because we don’t want to make nail holes, hesitant to paint the walls because we don’t know how long we’ll be here.

BUT, the truth is, home is right where we are and so we might as well embrace and delight in it.

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At the end of her book, Melissa has come up with a 31 day Love Your Home Challenge to help us gain perspective and gratitude for the home we do have. She suggests different activities each day to make our homes into a more organized, de-cluttered, pretty, personality filled places to live.

She has invited a handful of bloggers to kick things off and show a few ways we are learning to embrace our homes and delight in them.

I have written about this a few times before – this learning to love our home even with it’s imperfections, truly living in our home and allowing our pretty home to also be messy because that means we’re doing life here. We’ve put a lot of effort, time and money into making our builder-grade house better, and it is serving us well.

Of course I could say that the biggest way we’ve made our home a more enjoyable place to live is doing the big remodeling projects like redoing the kitchen or adding in hardwood floors or painting everything white (still loving the walls, by the way). And, yes, these things have made a big impact. We’ve invested in making our house more us and by doing so, feel more at home and excited to invite people in.

But seriously one of my favorite ways to make a big impact in a room for hardly any money is bringing in fresh flowers and greenery.

living room fireplace / jones design company

I know, such a trivial thing, but there is something about plants that brings life to your home.  They add a layer of color and texture and make a space feel more finished (ever notice that every room in a book or magazine has a plant or flowers in it?).

dahlias-on-coffee-table

I love having freshly cut bouquets of flowers around the house, but cut flowers don’t last long and it can get spendy buying flowers every few days (I love having a few hydrangea and peony plants in the backyard to cut from! Wish I was more of a flower gardener).

orchid

So rather than always putting my money towards cut flowers, I like adding in plants that last a bit longer. I’m not great at keeping things alive, so I go for easy-to-care for varieties like orchids (add a few ice cubes once per week to water). The petals will fall off and I know there’s a way to get it to bloom again, but I feel okay with replacing the plant every few months. Costco and trader joes sell them for about $15 and they last about two months.

Add potted herbs to your kitchen to bring life into your home / jones design company

I usually keep a few herbs near the kitchen window. The grocery store sells live basil (just pop it in a jar of water and pick off of it for dinners). Rosemary is very hardy and smells great. Even if you don’t use the herbs for cooking, they are super cheap and add a fresh feel to your kitchen.

a potted fern on a side table brings life, color and texture into a room / jones design company

Ferns are a long-time favorite of mine. You can find them at your local hardware store and sometimes in the floral department of your grocery store. Boston ferns are great (shown above) and last for several months (way longer if you stay on top of watering and pruning off the dead leaves). At less than $10, you can’t go wrong. I also love maiden hair ferns and find them at more specialty nurseries for under $5, but they are very temperamental and don’t last long in my house.

Add a plant to a thrift store soup tureen to bring life into your home / jones design company

Look for interesting varieties of tropical plants at your hardware store. Don’t forget to look up – some good ones are hanging, but you don’t need to keep them in hanging pots! This ficus (shown above) just needed a bit of trimming and when placed in a thrift-store soup tureen, it looks like it’s supposed to be overflowing.

how to make a linen ruffle wreath / jones design company

This plant is another tropical variety (sorry I don’t know the name!) and I just kept it in its pot and placed it in a glass trifle bowl to raise it up.

Moss in a concrete planter brings life into your home / jones design company

A tiny potted moss looks fresh in my current favorite concrete planter (from target!).

Fiddle leaf fig / jones design company

A fiddle leaf fig tree is a popular choice around the design world. I adore the big impressive trees – which can be hundreds of dollars and need a nice bright spot to thrive – but I’ve had a bit of luck with this cheapy one from IKEA. I almost threw it away when all of the leaves fell off, but then moved it into my office in front of the window and miraculously new leaves have grown!

A simple pot of succulents adds life to your home / jones design company

And then, of course, there are the lovely succulents that are having a moment right now.

Putting fresh greenery around the house keeps things bright and alive – especially in my mostly neutral home.  For little investment and minimal upkeep (just don’t forget to water!) you can breathe new life into your home. You’ll be amazed at the difference just a few plants make.

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Maybe you’d like to take the Love Your Home Challenge? If so, you can find all sorts of prompts in the back of the new book and you can share your discoveries at HomeLoveStories.com or on instagram with #loveyourhomechallenge.

For more inspiration, click over to The Inspired Room to see how the other ladies are learning to love their homes!

Do you have a favorite house plant?

19 thoughts on “bringing life into your home”

  1. I have a green thumb & love to grow plants in my home & have a few on my desk at work too. Unfortunately I have 2 house cats that LOVE to eat plants, so I can’t put them in front of any windows where the cats will get them. Thus, they lack light & I have had to put up a plant light on a high shelf out of their reach.

    I would love to see some ideas for plant placing from other readers who have cats!

  2. You asked about our favorite plants. Well a favorite of mine is the African violet. I’ve also bought some interior decorating high end fakes/ silk plants and they do the trick for someone that has a brown thumb like myself.

    1. The kitchen towel is one I’m thinking about adding to my shop. Hopefully it will all work out! The bathroom towels are my favorite from west elm.

  3. Emily, I’m so excited about your post. I love all the plants and greenery around your house. I think it is such a treat to ourselves when we bring home a new plant! I’m so honored to have you a part of this day. I love how you share your home, the real beauty of it, with others. It inspires me! Thank you for being a part of the challenge!

  4. That concrete planter. You just had to make me need a trip to Target right now, didn’t you? Live plants are so lovely, and you display them so nicely.

  5. I’m totally with you on this, we’ve been enjoying bulbs around the home this spring, as well as some pretty primroses that my daughter & I potted into an old teapot!…pretty petals add such personality to our home. As well as using ferns for shady spots in the home, I find cut eucalyptus works really well, as it dries beautifully & retains its colour. Happy planting x

  6. I’m up for the challenge! I “used to” feel that if I was renting then I had to wait until I owned to make improvements, etc. Thankfully, I stopped that nonsense. My husband and I rent a little beach apartment, and we have made it uniquely ours – a little haven filled with a lot of love and nice interior decor! We have lots of plants and we have had them for three years, so I must be doing something right. xx

  7. I love this challenge! I am an interior designer, so I get to work in clients home’s all the time and play with different styles, fabrics, paints, etc… but what happens a lot if that it stirs me to want to change MY own home all the time. Its a good reminder to myself to love my home (which is a rental for now) and not get ahead of myself.

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