do this instead of moving (again!)

It’s the official day of spring and with that comes a burst of readiness to make big changes in your life. I’m actually getting this post done a bit late because I’ve come down with a cold and have been wanting to get some rest. I guess that’s what happens as the weather fluctuates. But back to my purpose of this post.

You may be ready to spring clean your home or make even bigger changes one of them being actually moving to a new abode. This may be for a number of reasons for moving:

relocation to a new city/job offer
growing family
your lease is up / rent goes higher
wanting to upgrade

(hint – and I’ll talk about this below – when you want an upgrade, your first move shouldn’t be to move)

Now let me tell you a bit about my experience living in 10 places other than my childhood home since I graduated high school including my grandparents, a college dorm room, a ministry dorm, a church, 3 apartments with roommates and 3 apartments since I’ve been married.

Most of these moves were because of major  life changes or wanting  a better life experience – that’s what happens in your twenties I suppose. As you discover what you really want in life you make drastic changes to get there and that can involve a lot of transition.

Then one day your realize that you want to settle into life a bit and not be so erratic with your ability to nest. The last big move we made was to our current place and this is what it looked like on move day:376429_248251701904711_1309168010_n

Yup that’s me and my hubby. We purposely gave those blank stoic stares because we were pretending we were on a show about hoarders. That’s what it felt like with all of our stuff scattered about. But looking at the pic now it doesn’t seem so bad (you can still see the floor!)

My desire to upgrade to a better apartment has been growing practically since we moved in but we’ve stuck it out here for almost 3 years. And we don’t have any immediate plans to move. Here’s my reasoning:

If you have no real reason to move, why not stay and make the most of things?

We live in a good location in terms of getting around – short bus ride into Manhattan and a long leisurely walk into nearby and mellowed out Hoboken, and although we’re not in that trendy of a neighborhood, it has its benefits (in very reasonable rent). We’ve thought about moving to Hoboken which is a bit pricier but we’ve realized that we don’t want to do that until we are doing considerably better financially to get the best place possible.

Waiting it out is giving us the ability to really sit down and consider what we really want in our next place. We can prepare now for the life we want to have down the road.

And what can we do while we are waiting?

Make some great investments into our current home that we can take with us to our dream home.

Now we haven’t really made many changes in the time we’ve been living here but we have plans to restyle things since we’ve decided to stick it out. This means a new couch, painting the walls, a new book case, curtains accessories, etc.

Cultivating the ‘stuff’ we own is a great thing to do now while our rent is so low because we can develop the style we want and acquire things that we really want. No we can’t take the painted walls with us, but we can play with color to start seeing what we really mesh with.

It seems that most of us who want the dream apartment/condo/house obsess over what we don’t like about our current space and think that having higher rent or a bigger mortgage means that we will instantly have an upgrade. But once you move into your new place, what will you be taking with you? Will you have to start from scratch because what you currently own doesn’t live up to your fancy new digs?

Why not be smart about it and start investing in your new home environment now, before you even discover it?

Don’t move because you don’t care for the lighting fixtures that you can’t change or because you don’t have granite countertops rightthisinstant. Your time will come for those things, if you don’t currently have them, upgrade your life now instead of complaining about your home’s flaws or wishing for the day you are rich enough for [enter your dream home desire here]. Take a look around and be grateful for all that you’ve been given in life. Then see where you can improve things right now.

Because if you can’t make your home feel great now you may get to your new place and find that you have the same problems (or bigger problems) cropping up.

Remember this:

“Do not despise the day of small beginnings…”

~ Zechariah 4:10 NLT Bible

And if you do have to move for any of the reasons other than upgrading listed at the beginning of this post take this wisdom with you if you find your new place isn’t what you’ve truly dreamed of.

It all comes down to this:

What do you envision for your life? How can you reach that vision? What changes to you need to make to get there?

Now I want to know, have you been itching to make a move? What is your biggest reason behind this desire?

Leave a comment and if you liked this post, please share it with your friends :)

And have a happy spring!

Jessica

the best places to find interior styling inspiration

So if you are not a complete interior styling junkie like me you may be looking for some great sources of inspiration when you are looking to update your own home. Well, I’ve scoured the web and beyond in search of quality design and wanted to share some of my favorites with you. Some of these sources overlap, but I want to give you a full look at my go tos.

First let’s think of the most conventional mediums for this kind of thing – MAGAZINES!

My top two favorites are:

House Beautiful - Offering tons of ideas, tips, and tricks for decorating

Domino - A quarterly and online mag that gives you the opportunity to ‘Shop the Look’ directly from their site

Next up – I have a few interior blogs that I follow regularly. These are the ones that I really love in terms of style, and they are each a bit different:

Style by Emily Henderson – HGTV Star/Interior Stylist sharing her journey to make over her own home and show off her work with other bloggers homes

Decor8 (by Holly Becker) – Interior styling hub that highlights so many beautiful ideas from around the web (plus ecourses on blogging!)

I Suwannee (by Jamie Meares) – This is the blog for Furbish Studio and I love getting to look at the behind the scenes of running this shop

Arianna Belle – This site has a shop full of gorgeous pillows and posts showing beautiful homes

Teal & Lime (by Jackie Hernandez) – She is an eDecorator (like me :) ) and blogs  a ton about DIY decorating

Some other great places to scope out beautiful interiors on the web are:

The Everygirl | The Glitter Guide | Rue Magazine

Each of these is a magazine style site with all different kinds of posts (on fashion/beauty/career/etc) but my favorite are the home tours that each of them exhibits.

And now for my book collection…

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Now, I must admit that I haven’t read through all of these yet as I’ve recently acquired  most of them as gifts. Actually, I got the idea for this post this past weekend when I got two of these as birthday presents from my aunt. As I go through each book I will give a review but here is the list of what is shown above:

Young House Love | Domino – The Book of Decorating | The Perfectly Imperfect Home
Design Sponge at Home | Decorate Workshop

We can’t forget Pinterest in this discussion. Just plug in interior styling (or any other home decor type search – think furniture, accessories, color) to the search and you will have a plethora of idea. I follow some pretty awesome boards that always bring up new vision.

Beyond all of this media some of the best ways to get inspiration are by being somewhere in person. Two of my favorite shops for this are Anthropologie & ABC Home & Carpet (in NYC). Not only do they offer great furniture and accessories but the stores themselves are beautifully put together. (ps – I’m going to put a resource list of my favorite places to go shopping – that’s a whole other project in itself!)

And here are a couple you might not have thought of…

Hotels | Restaurants | Offices |Other people’s homes

Some times the best ideas come when we are out and about in the world. Don’t be afraid to pick up on the design cues around you the next time you are go on a trip or visit a friend’s house. I actually got really inspired to get into interior design when I was staying at host homes during musical production tour I was on. Seeing how different people dress up their dwellings light a spark in me.

Now, I would love to know where YOU go to get inspired as you make your house/apartment into a home. Please share in the comments below!

If you liked this post and know someone who is looking for some great interior styling ideas, why not share it?

Hope this post was helpful to you, it was helpful to me to compile this collection together for you.

Now, its time to do some dreaming!

Jessica

how to instantly freshen up any room

Have you ever noticed when you look at a beautifully styled space that it always feels fresh? Have you ever noticed that there are usually flowers delicately on display in these images?

Does it feel unattainable?

Unrealistic?

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The truth is adding fresh flowers regularly to your home is the best and quickest way to freshen up any room. It might seem obvious but for some reason when we see this done we think yeah, right, like I’ll be able to pull off/afford ALWAYS having fresh flowers.

But it can be done.

Let me tell you a little story about a girl who lived with 4 other people (2 guys and 2 girls) in a small 1 bedroom + 1 closet(2nd bedroom for the guys) apartment / office space above a church in the East Village, NYC.

Living on a super tight budget as a missionary in NYC was quite a feat. There wasn’t much of a budget for decorating the apartment but this girl was on a mission to make their tight-quarters home. So she had an idea.

Once a week or once every two weeks she would scrounge up $5 to buy a handful of flowers from one of the many local bodegas in her part of town. If each person contributed 1 dollar they could make it work. Everyone end up loving it so much that even after the girl moved on to bigger and better things, the group continued the tradition.

You see, it doesn’t have to cost more than a couple of cups of coffee to bring this bit of nature into a dwelling and the impact is huge.

Not only does it look great, but the act of going to pick out flowers regularly is a lovely little ritual to incorporate into your life.

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If you haven’t guessed, that girl was me when I was in my early twenties.

Since that time I haven’t really kept up with this ritual, but starting this week I’m determined to make it happen once again.

The pictures above are of the sweet little grouping of tulips that I have on my desk (that I showed you last week) that I picked up this past weekend. And I intend on going next week too!

They really do make me feel like I’m living the dream life when I work in here, even if the rest of the apartment still needs some work. Plus I have the rest of the bouquet in a large vase in my kitchen. Its fun to break them up into multiple rooms!

Speaking of which, Holly Becker of decor8 will be publishing a book in the next couple of months exactly on this subject called “Decorate At Home With Flowers” – what a perfectly fitting title. You can get more info about it here if you want to be super inspired to incorporate more of this into your life & home.

Now I want to ask you, and be honest, how often do you bring home flowers to decorate, just because? Have you ever thought about it? Is it something you now want to start doing? Tell me your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog today, its always lovely to connect with you. If you liked this post I would love it if you shared it with someone who is looking for ways to freshen up their homes :)

Hope you are having a lovely week. Why not pick up some flowers today?

Best,
Jessica