So these days everyone is talking about “sparking joy”. You know, it’s the “Marie Kondo way of organizing”. You’re basically keeping only the treasured items that evokes this feeling of happiness. I got inspired a couple of months before the holidays to make changes in my home. Not nexcessarfily using this approach for purging and organizing, but startig to explore what in my home creates joy. I didn’t really think that my home reflected my personality or sparked joy, honestly. I think sometimes we get so completely involved in surviving, that we neglect other areas. For me, home upkeep is was of them. For a couple of years I had a particularly rough period of time parenting my teenage son. Anyone that has a teenager or that’s been a teenager before can imagine the details. As a single mom, all of my time and energy was dedicated to getting effective resources, stabilizing my household, and quite frankly, keeping my sanity. Add in the everyday struggle of running a household and working a full time job, not to mention parenting another teenager, and I really didn’t care about doing things in my home other than keeping it clean. Thankfully, teenagers don’t stay the same, things started to improve, and eventually, I could shift some focus to other areas.
Making the decision to start any home project, big or small, is exciting but can become intimidating real quick. Self-doubting my abilities or feeling like things need to be perfect ( see my post “The Problem With Perfect”) can stall me. I am in no way, shape, or form an interior decorator. I have tons of ideas, but most of the time I need real inspiration and step by step directions. God bless You Tube and the couple of bloggers and influencers that I found, whose homes reflect some of the feelings that I associate with home. Armed with a couple of you tube videos, Pinterest and Instagram, I began feeling kinda confident.
One blogger (and decorator) that I came across is Shavonda Gardner of SG Style. She specializes in small spaces and one of her mottos is “a home is a marathon, not a sprint.” I devoured her blog featuring her deliciously decorated cottage bungalow. Her home is beautifully decorated with bold colors and global decorations. She also says “ Life is too short to live in a home that doesn’t make your heart happy.” I decided that taking the time to add some details and changes that make my home not just comfortable, but pleasant f was so worth it. I’ll just take it slow.
I started small and painted my living room… by myself. Ordinarily I would just let the building management paint it some version of off white. This time, I researched some bolder colors that I loved. Minimalistic white was diffinitely out, color was “in”. I would definitely call my style ecclectic, not minimalistic anyway. I was a little hesitant with going for the increasingly popular black walls, so I opted for a moody dark green accent wall instead. I painted the rest an off white with a green undertone. Hey i figured if it didn’t work out, I’d just paint over it. I fell in love with that green wall. It just seemed sexy to me. Lol
I then started looking for some accents. I added a beautiful portrait called “Olivia” by the artist Victoria Bradley. I saw it on Shavonda’s Instagram page and acquired it online through Juniper Print Shop This portrait is stunning in person! I can just stare at it and it brings joy. I also added a piece of art from my Cuba trip. Pretty much everything about my Cuba trip last summer makes me smile. There’s a blank space above it, simply because I’m looking for the right piece of art or wall decor to put there. I’m completely fine with the wall being incomplete. One thing thats changed about me is that I refuse to buy things that I dont love. If I start to get anxiety about finishing it, I just tell myself, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint…remember?”
The last thing I added was a totally awesome console sofa table that I scored on Craig’s list for 40 bucks. Who knew just how ridiculously satisfying a $40 table from Craig’s List could be?! I was so proud since it was my first Craig’s List purchase. It fits snugly in the space between my accent wall and the back of my sofa. It’s the perfect spot for my my oil diffuser and meditating little dog that always makes me smile.. It houses all my seasonal decorative accents too.
I definitely agree that your home should make you feel happy. Even if your home is small, or it’s a rental property. Even if you’re going to be there for a relatively short amount of time. Decorate and enjoy it for yourself. Take chances and don’t care about anyone else’s opinion. Let your personality show. It’s actually therapeutic for me to make successful changes. This was just a beginning. I’ve got a little to do list to accomplish. I’ll start to share them here to journal them. Maybe I can also inspire some other amateur like myself to be bold and take baby steps to create joy and make yourself happy in every way.