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Real Life Decorating for Moms

I want to encourage you moms with limited decorating budgets. There are many people out there who either have large sums of money they dedicate to decorating, or they have a lot more free time than I do to create lovely things for their home. I have neither lots of time to dedicate nor money to allocate. I am a mom of three—suffice it to say that money and time fly out the door at lightening speed. And it isn’t spent on decorating projects.

So what is a mom to do? Do what moms do best! Create something beautiful out of play-doh!

What? Have I lost my mind? No. I am not suggesting play-doh sculptures to adorn your coffee table (you probably already have that anyways). What I am saying is that as a mom you learn valuable lessons that you can apply to your home to make it beautiful. Play doh is one of the first “mom lessons” in creativity. You take a lump of clay and mold it into something fun! You just have to get your objective in mind before you begin.

My objective in decorating is to create a mood in my home for everything we do. I really don’t care about where my furniture was purchased or if it is new or old or in or out. And I do not have to LOVE each and every little thing in my house—things just have to serve a purpose and look attractive enough to not distract.

I want to create a home that nurtures my family in the way that I feel suits us best. And, I want to feel happy as I go about my daily responsibilities as a wife and mom cleaning house, preparing meals, entertaining and running the household. Not to mention my responsibilities in running my own business. I think having that many responsibilities requires that I be surrounded by things of beauty, not ugliness or disorder.

So, what makes this style of decorating different?

In order to create a beautiful home with our limitations of time and money, we do not focus too heavily on the craft side nor do we focus solely on the shopping aspect of decorating. We don’t start with either of those as our focus or we will likely get distracted, depressed or fail before we even get started! Instead, we ask ourselves questions like this:

My kids art supplies are all over my kitchen table. Where could I store them so they could get to them easily but I don’t have to look at them?

I want my kids to invite friends over for game nights. How could I create a perfect hangout for them?

I have an ugly window in my house that I cannot afford to replace. What could I do to make it not so prominent in the room?

I love to read books. How could I create a cozy little reading nook where I could enjoy a quick cup of tea and a few pages of a novel while the kids are at school?

I have to figure out a way to keep control of three kids’ schedules, permission slips, party invitations. How can I accomplish this in a way that keeps things in front of me but doesn’t look out of control?

Do you see what I am doing? I am addressing REAL life here, rather than considering it “decorating.” As I answer those real life questions, I start to get creative. Not necessarily in a crafty sort of way, because I really don’t have time for in depth craft projects. But in a “what do I have in my own house or could I find at Target (while I am shopping for school supplies for the kids) to address those needs in an attractive way?”

As you find a cute picnic basket to store kids’ crafts in under the coffee table, hang bulletin boards for kids’ schedules in the kitchen, or pull a chair and a lamp next to a garage sale cabinet filled with mystery novels, you start to create ambience. You can create ambience in any style you like, whatever makes your heart happy! You don’t need to be crafty or know where all the finest home furnishing stores are. You just need to do what moms do, be a problem solver. As you solve problems, you can find solutions that add character, beauty and simple pleasures to everyday routines.

Originally published on The Inspired Room