The following is a guest post from Shaina at Food for My Family:
When we bought our house two and a half years ago, my husband had just finished his graduate degree. We’d been living, then as a family of five, in a small two-bedroom with free furniture that we’d been collecting from anywhere we could. On a budget, I focused on filling our home with restored furniture and Craigslist finds.
What I didn’t do was put anything on our walls. For a year and a half, we lived in a blank canvas while we finished the basement in our ’50s rambler. Then I started the process by painting the kids’ bedrooms and our living room, and then all attention was focused on giving my girls a girl room and my boys a boy room. And then I had a baby.
Now, I’m working on filling that blank canvas with things that are a part of our family and make us feel at home. Still not willing to spend the cash (and after years of scavenging), I’ll be doing it on a budget, one wall at a time. For ideas, I have been searching magazines, websites and design blogs. When I see something I like, I save a copy of the image in a folder on my computer called “Home Design.”
I loved the picture rails I saw in a catalog for Room and Board, one of my favorite furniture stores. In fact, I loved the whole room. However, especially with kids, furniture and fixtures and things that could be bumped by flying paper airplanes or bouncy balls need to be things that aren’t worth their weight in gold or even quarters.
Inspired, my husband and I headed to the nearest lumberyard and picked out two solid oak boards. The back portion we filled with a cheaper pine because no one would be able to see, and we fashioned a picture rail or two. We actually put these up shortly after moving in and filled them with a collection of random frames we already had. Slowly, as I scanned the clearance aisle on our weekly Target trip and picked up a frame or two at Marshall’s and Ikea, I have managed to fill the rails with frames that match the style I’m looking for.
The other part I loved about the room was the use of the basket for the baby toys. What a perfect way to include the youngest members and have their playthings close at hand without sacrificing style or filling your room with plastic bins for toys.
One thing I’ve learned as I start making the time to make our house belong to us is to be patient and content with what I have at the moment. While I would love to have a big design budget to blow, it is rewarding to do things on our own and search for inspiration for things that make us comfortable one wall at a time!
Where do you pull inspiration from when designing your house? Do you have a favorite store, website or retailer? Are you an HGTV junkie?
Shaina is the home cook and wannabe photographer behind Food for My Family, where she shares recipes, tips, opinions and her philosophy on food as she wades through the process of feeding her family, her friends and anyone else who will let her.