We were spending some time at my in-laws, and most of the day we padded around in our socks, and raided their pantry. You know, the normal things you do when you visit mom and dad. This wasn’t the first time we had spent our day over there, and honestly, it was pretty typical of our time there. On his way back to his recliner from one of his raids, Matt said in passing, “You know, I love being at my mom’s house. I always feel so cozy when I’m here”. He plopped down in the recliner and popped up the foot rest, in one fluid motion.
That statement right there would’ve sent the old me into a fit, because I would’ve understood, “You aren’t as good as my mom, because our house isn’t cozy”, but we were only a few months into rebuilding our marriage, and I was doing things differently this time, so I stopped, I listened, and I got the message Matt was telling me.
I like a place that’s cozy and welcoming. That’s the kind of home I want.
It was now in my mind, in my awareness. A cozy home. I began to take mental notes as I looked around my in-laws home. I had no idea how to create a cozy home. I was clueless about colors themes, textures, and decor. How did she create an environment where people wanted to pad around in socks all day, and eat snacks straight from the pantry? What was her secret? It’s not that I never tried to decorate our home, but it usually meant a couple of framed 8x10s on bare walls, and a candle or two on overcrowded bookshelves. It’s just that cozy was never my goal.
Then, with a zero budget I embarked on a
journey to a cozy home.
Looking back, zero budget was a gift. Instead of running out to buy stuff, I began to spend my time reading blogs, scouring old home magazines, and creating Pinterest home boards. For the next year, I learned what it takes to make a home cozy. I discovered what we wanted our home to look like. I learned to pay attention to the details, and most importantly, the Nester, taught me that “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”.
For an entire year, I found new ways to use twine, I learned that you can decorate with anything, and paint is my best friend. Instead of getting discouraged because we couldn’t afford a new couch, I covered our hand-me-down couch with a quilt to try and make it look better. I didn’t allow myself to despise our “on loan” dining room table, but rather made sure to practice gratitude for people in our lives who cared enough to let us use their table and chairs.
I knew I was on a journey, and I’m learning to enjoy the journey, and not just wait for the destination.
We moved again, but this time our home was prettier than we could’ve hoped, it was bigger than we could’ve imaged, and we knew we had been given a perfect gift. I now was living in the exact blank canvas I needed to create a cozy home, but we still needed more time.
Then, after several weeks of living with an empty living room (our hand-me-down couch wasn’t worthy to be in the room), we had enough cash. Like two tweens on their way to a Katy Perry concert, we bounced and giggled our way to Weekends Only. We flopped down, we stretched out, and we curled up on couch after couch all in the name of cozy. We cleaned out our bank account with one of the biggest purchases in our ten years of marriage, and we went home overjoyed that we were on our way to creating our cozy home.
I was able to purchase a few extra pillows and I added in a few thrift store finds. The next several days I hung and painted things, and arranged our living room. I was thrilled to watch our home take on a personality that reflected us. For the first time I was creating an environment that welcomed everyone who stepped through the door.
Lounging in our new living room, I waited with bated breath, while Matt assessed our home. Had we finally made it? Was it cozy and welcoming? Matt smiled at me, and said, “Babe, you did it. You made our home cozy. I love it”. My heart was full.
I still don’t know anything about color themes, textures, or decor, but I know one thing, my home doesn’t have to be perfect to be cozy.
Are you on a journey to make your home just like you want it? Do you want your home to be more cozy or more fun? Do you dream for your home to be a place people want to come and relax?
Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect, and don’t be afraid to try when you don’t have a clue what to do. Find inspiration everywhere you go, and don’t get discouraged or jealous when you see a friend’s beautiful home. Celebrate their beauty, and remember you’re on a journey and someday you’ll be there too. Jump in and enjoy your journey of making your house a beautiful home.