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