Amy Clark

Personalizing Our Home

Living Room Before

We have been living in our little tri-level home for over five years now. When I think back to the house we moved into, I can honestly say that there is very little that has not been touched and retooled. We have a few things lingering that will require some time and money, but our house barely resembles the home we moved into.

The very first room that we tackled was our front living room. We had never done any real painting before and chose a neutral color that we thought would look good on the walls. The art in the room said little about our family and more about Linens ‘N Things. The color, just one tiny shade away from white and had pinkish tones to it that I just did not like. I did not have the heart or time to rethink our decisions, but five years later we have returned to that first room to revamp it.

This lamp, for instance, was one of my least favorite pieces in the room. The lampshade was dirty from years of use and abuse from my children and the brass spoke of another era altogether. I purchased a $3.99 can of black spray paint and visited Hobby Lobby where I found a new lampshade (marked at $40, but on sale for $20) and gave this little piece a makeover.

This tired old lamp now looks positively perfect in my house. With the coat of black paint and chocolate shade, it reminds me of a piece I would love in Restoration Hardware. Notice the walls? That is the new color we chose Dutch Boy in Honey Bear. It was the perfect neutral yellow that brightened our room up and made it look more modern.

That Linens ‘N Things art that spoke nothing of our family and our life has been replaced with three black-and-white 8×10′s that I had printed at Sam’s Club for a total of $4.38.

The first picture was taken just a couple of weeks ago of Emily’s foot dangling as she was swinging in the air at the park. Her little lacy socks and Mary Jane shoes were too perfect not to photograph. It spoke volumes about Emily’s girly-girl attitude even for a day of playing in the mulch.

The second picture, was a shot I took this fall of my entryway with all of the pretty fallen leaves and my sweet little white pumpkins. My favorite fall boots are resting in the corner after I had come in from raking.

The last picture was my most glamorous day ever- a photo shoot in my home with Redbook Magazine. Those shoes aren’t even mine, they are my friend’s, Kathy Friend from Flourish Boutique, who had supplied the wardrobe for the day. It was one of the most fun & exciting days for our family and that moment sealed the deal on our credit card free life.

I found beautiful picture frames at Hobby Lobby in black, to match our “new” lamp for $8 each. When you walk in, it brings people into a conversation about what those moments mean to us, who photographed them, and that our family is more than stock art from a home supplies store.

The furniture remained the same, but the curtains were switched to a cotton beige that would match the lampshade in the room. I found these for $19.99 at Target, but did four panels instead of two since this window is larger. The only other addition to the room was the leather ottoman resting next to our new personalized corner to add a little storage space for $59 from Target.

Faucet Before

Faucet After

Some of the changes we have been making, have been necessary ones because of the age of our house. A new roof was installed last summer and new gutters because they were broken, old, and leaking.

Little changes like a dripping and corroded faucet replaced with an oil-rubbed bronze one was a quick simple fix that brings me a lot of joy and less hassle when washing my dishes. We could have bought another white faucet, which would have been a lot less expensive, but it didn’t speak of our personal taste or have our personal stamp on it. These add personalization to our space and with each project behind us, the house becomes more about us and less about the previous owners that owned it before us.

With each project, we are able to modernize the house that I thought said nothing about our family. As we complete these projects that personalize our space, I find myself falling in love with corners in our home that I never thought I would love.

What have you done to personalize your home that you are most proud of?

Related Links:

Patio Renovation on a Budget

Our Kitchen Makeover

Our New Double Workspace

After Photos: Making Our Home More Inviting

Maximizing Your Space

Published May 05, 2009 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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