From Making Do to Making Home

Let’s talk about something a bit more frivolous today. I have been moving towards changing the style of my home from Replaceable Walmart Kitsch to a Vintage Durable Curation.

After my second daughter was born last year, I fell into some poor shopping habits. Even though we adjusted our budget I was regularly overspending. As I look back, I can see where the carelessness of those first days with a newborn influenced me in a long-term way. Also, Walmart is a trap for me. For some people its SBux, others Target. For me it is the home goods section of Walmart. Pioneer Woman tablecloths? 😍 Mason Jar products? *swoon* I get all those fun aesthetic items that I truly do love, technically have a function, but are not exactly necessary.

Finally, if I am totally honest with myself, I think it is some form of rebellion. We went through so many years with so little that when we bought our house, I went off the rails. We were so good at managing a tight budget. But since owning a home it was one unexpected purchase after another and… you know how it goes. I got used to ending every week with no clear picture of where our money went and feeling like I never got the things I really wanted.

I have always had a love for homes that looked like curated and eclectic collection of a person’s life. The boho/traveler if you will. But when I look around my home, I don’t see beauty and carefully selected pieces. I see a hodgepodge of convenience. I think that the thing that separates a basic, Target décor home and an artistic retreat is intention. A friend of mine has a collection of prints by an artist that they really love displayed in their dining room giving it a specific vibe. These prints weren’t picked out at Target but intentionally sought out. That’s what I want. But I couldn’t get it until I got myself and my habits in order.

An example of my poor purchasing is this: I needed a new jar to store my sugar. I have been meaning to convert the storage in my baking pantry to all glass. But when I was at Walmart in a hurry and not paying attention, I got a new, all plastic container with one of those lids that seal when you flip the tab on top (by the way, it doesn’t work unless you keep the rim and lid totally clean of sugar).  I was not purposeful and ended up getting something I’d rather not use for food. This is exactly the kind of habit I want to break. But figuring out the best way to make the change was the hard part. There was no obvious choice though other than to stop shopping at Walmart. This was not easy.

To put this in perspective, imagine you couldn’t shop at Target anymore, or for some reason couldn’t shop at Sephora for your makeup when that was the only place you had ever shopped for makeup and didn’t know where else you were supposed to go. It’s kind of like that. I really liked Walmart, but it had to go. The next thing I did to readjust my shopping habits was to only buy groceries and gas for one month. Of course both my girls got sick that month and needed medicine, but I was sure to only buy the necessities and nothing extra. At the end of the month, I recognized that I had fallen into the habit of always finding some extra thing to buy for myself as a treat. It could be anything: yarn, make-up, or a new cutting board. Not only could I somehow justify my little treats, but I also realized that I left the store for the first couple of weeks feeling down. Just because I could not get something new. I’m not certain, but I am pretty sure that is unhealthy on some level.

Okay so how do my shopping habits tie into my home décor? Like this: I had to come to terms with the fact that I was spending our money in all the wrong places. I always went for the microfiber sheets – knowing that the print would fade, the elastic would wear out too quickly, and the pillows would twist after the first wash – simply because they were $5 cheaper. But where does that get me? In need of new sheets every year.

I had the pleasure of walking into the home of another friend that gave off that vibe I was looking for. Hers was a much more classic and traditional style, but everything in her home looked as if it were purposefully sought out to fill its exact spot on the wall or bookshelf. The antique store prints, the blankets in the basket next to her couch, even the basket itself, each item was sought out with intention and felt like it was made just for her living room. None of it felt plastic if plastic were to mean lightweight, Walmart, discount bin. This vibe went throughout her whole home and I think I will never forget the impression it gave me.

So this year, 2021, among managing the best garden I’ve had yet, changing my diet to manage my anxiety, attempting to design a new crochet pattern every month, running a blog, and raising a toddler and baby, I’m also trying to redesign my home. Lol. What is life if you’re not trying to do everything at once?

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