One of my creative passions is decorating. If I were to define my style I would say it’s “shabby cottage” with a little "eclectic" thrown in. Ever since I began decorating (as a teenager), I have loved antiques and vintage items. I’m sure this came from my mother’s love of decorating with antiques. As early as I can remember I have loved to go treasure hunting at garage sales, thrift shops, and antique stores with my Mom...in fact, after over 40 years, we still love to do this together!
I remember my first apartment...having zero in the decorating budget, I made my home as “cute” as I could with hand-me-downs and garage sale finds. The funny thing is, I don’t ever remember feeling sad or deprived that I had to “settle” for this. I just remember treasuring every little piece of furniture and every vintage knick-knack that I could add to my little home. I was once given some old and tattered red checkered tablecloths. I used one of them to cover a cardboard box...the perfect solution for an “entertainment center” for our record player (yes, I said record player...this was in 1976).
Just like a scene from ‘House Beautiful’, right? Ok, I’m not saying that it was my best decorating moment, but you have to give me an A for effort (I was 19 years old, had a 10 month old baby, and very little money)! It makes me smile when I think of how cute and clever I thought this was.
As years went by, and more money was available to use for decorating, I found that I still preferred old finds to new ones. I know there are many women out there who know what I’m talking about...there is a certain satisfaction along with a pleasure and thrill that you feel when you find these special little treasures from the past. Oh, and the anticipation of bringing them home and finding the perfect spot for them...It just makes my heart happy!
When we downsized about four years ago, we were looking for a sweet little cottage style home to settle down in. The kind of house that I had seen in magazines and had longed for. This was my chance to have my dream home!
However, our search was soon to become a series of disappointments. The dreaded “practical” element soon took over our search. These lovely little cottages where just that...little. And what appeared to be “charm” on the outside, turned into homeowner headaches on the inside. Stinky basements, old plumbing and electrical, tiny rooms with almost no closet space, outdated appliances, bad windows, and single-car garages were the trade-off for living in a “cottage” that was in our price range.
So, after lots of prayer and months of searching, God blessed us with a 1976 rambler that fulfilled all of our practical needs. He put us exactly where we were supposed to be...and at the same time, He gave us yet another lesson in trusting Him with everything!
There was just one thing about this house...not only was it lacking charm, it was kinda ugly. Now I had a new goal...“How do I turn this dated rambler into a “cottage”? Here are a few “before” pictures...
That was four years ago. I can now say that we could not be happier with our “cottage rambler.” With God’s provision, my vision, and Gregg’s incredible handyman skills, I feel that we have achieved our goal. Well, almost...we still haven’t quite finished, and probably never will, which is another blessing from God. He keeps giving us opportunities to do the things that make us feel happy, useful, and satisfied...one of which is to re-create new areas of our home :) Thank you Lord.
In future blog posts I will be sharing with you some of the changes that we’ve made in our home, and some fun decorating ideas that might inspire you too!
“The love of beautiful things is Heavenly homesickness”.
Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2
Oh, how I long for my eternal home with my Lord!
To Him be all the glory!