It’s about dang time (a.k.a. a house is not a home)

Four years.  That’s how long we’ve lived in our house, a house that we were so excited about.  Our ‘forever-or-until-our-yet-unconcieved-children-are-out-of-the-house’ house.  We moved in just days before Christmas in 2007 having just moved to NC, excited to be in a place where we felt we could settle down, set down some roots and start a family.  Having already had a house, we had most of the furniture so you’d think it would be set up in no time, right?  And yes.  Our rooms are furnished and boxes are unpacked.  We have a few personal items out on the shelves in our family room.

But we never got around to making it a home.  Only two rooms in our home have been painted.  That’s it.  Two.  My son’s nursery in 2009, almost two years after we moved in, and my craft room/guest room just last summer.

Everything else is low-quality blah-blah-builder-beige (although the paint can calls it ‘antique white’).  It chips and scratches just by looking at it. And it’s so drab.  But it’s not just the paint.  We haven’t put anything up on the walls except for a couple of prints in our entry door (‘antique’ maps of the world).

The need for ‘home’ in our house has been nagging at us for a while and now it’s like a bomb went off.  It’s not a just nagging need, it’s an itch, one that has grown into a really annoying, stinging, poison-ivy-meets-jellyfish-meets-fire-ants kind of feel, right in the middle of your back where you can’t reach it and it drives you nuts until you take care of it and then are all like “AAAHHHHhhhhhhh.”

Alright, I’m sorry about that.  Where were we?  Oh yes.  Making a house a home (or is it finding a good back-scratcher?).

It may seem superficial, but making your house pretty, personalizing it with memories and things that make you smile really adds to other memories.  Coming home and seeing photos of your baby when he was a baby or that trip where you fell in love all over again feels like coming home to hugs.

But where to start?  For us, it was here:

While taking down Christmas decorations, my hubby apparently got into a back-alley fight with a Command hook that resulted in a chunk of paint being ripped off the wall in our family room.  Unfortunately, the way our house is, if we paint that chunk, we’d have to paint the wall, and if we paint the wall, we’d have to paint the whole downstairs because of the open layout, so that left us with the option of covering it.  So off to Kohls we went and replaced the blank wall with this:

And their home accents department was having a buy-one-get-one for a dollar sale, so we got another mirror for our entry (and moved the map prints to the dining room). Then we decided to move a chest that we had cramping our garage entrance to the upstairs, hang some pretty trivets on the wall, pulling out a really pretty red depression glass plate that was handed down and using it for a pop of color…and so on and so forth.

I even put back the coffee table into the family room.  It had been moved out of the way soon after my son was born to a) make more play space available and b) keep him away from the fireplace.  Now I realize that having the coffee table limits how many toys can be out (he still has plenty of room to play) and gives me my fireplace back.  And a place to put my feet while I blog or cruise FB/Twitter/Pinterest.

We kept holding off adding personality until we painted.  But I can’t figure out what color(s) I want, since each room flows into the other so everything is visible and I don’t know how to choose a color that will work..and…and…and.  So many reasons to sit inside my builder’s beige world and not add personality.  But no more.  Even if I’m not ready to paint yet (and oh, God, how I need to do that!) there is no excuse for keeping my house so lifeless.  I don’t have to spend a fortune, I just have to have it reflect who we are.

I’m so excited to finally get some personality into our house!  I hope you don’t mind coming along for the ride with me.  How about you?  How do you make your house a home?  How did you choose a color?


5 thoughts on “It’s about dang time (a.k.a. a house is not a home)

  1. Rebecca

    Be creative with the painting… You don’t have to paint a whole room – or even a whole wall! One of my favorite rooms was where I only painted under the stair bannister… Added color, but was clear it didn’t need to be added everywhere! If I remember correct, we had a bar on the kitchen, and I also painted just the area under the bar with the same color. anyhow – painting doesn’t have to be a room-by-room thing!

    1. aliciamariel Post author

      I know! We’ve definitely thought about that, but the paint we have now is such bad quality that I really think it will look weird to have a nice wall or two. If I hadn’t seen the painters themselves, I would have honestly thought someone just covered the walls with chalk!

  2. Anonymous

    Just jump in feet first!!! And do it!! Why don’t you go to a paint store and borrow one of their paint books? Then, just spend a week to decide and get someone over there to paint it all at once. Let me know, I will help! And, would love to see the new additions you did.

      1. aliciamariel Post author

        Thanks, P. I really need to get to work on this. I’ll have you over soon so you can see the little bit we’ve done and maybe you can help me pick out a color.

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