Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A happy home

Julia of Hooked on Houses did a post recently, called 10 ways to a happy home.  It really resonated with me, so much so that I thought I would repeat Julia’s words, with my thoughts and some pictures I thought were appropriate.

1. Stop resenting what your house isn’t and start appreciating what it is. There is always something to be thankful for!

I can’t say I’ve ever resented my house – ever. But there are times when I feel a little dissatisfied – it’s not big enough, it doesn’t have any character (unlike this little beauty, below), the kitchen’s not my dream, blah blah blah. But the reality is, my home is my haven and I love it.


2. Respect it enough not to clutter it up with things you don’t really like or need.

open plan living simon kenny content

This is something I really live by – only things of beauty (in my eye anyway) are out in view, everything else gets tucked away in a cupboard, drawer or robe. And if I don’t use it, I give it away to charity – I clean out regularly. It’s like being your own editor, constantly picking and choosing for your home, deciding what is on display and what’s not.

3. Have a comfortable chair in a quiet corner where you can read and recharge.

impressionen blue chair

Well, I’ve got my couches, but would love an elegant chair like this in my bedroom!

4. Turn the TV off and your favourite music on.

music maggy B.

 I like to blog or read with some nice music in the background occasionally, but then again I have to admit I also find it comforting having the tv on when I’m on my own.

5. Keep fresh flowers on your kitchen windowsill in glass jars or bud vases.

detergent bottle

I don’t have a windowsill in my kitchen, but my dream kitchen does have a window over the sink, and when I get it, I’ll have some flowers or herbs on the sill, most definitely!

6. Try eating dinner by candlelight, with music, for no special reason. And use your best dishes.

 krakvik&d'orazio via desire to inspire

Ok, I don’t do this often enough, I know. This is a kick up the bum for me to do it more often!  

7. Create character where there isn’t any–crown moulding works wonders!

reclaimed doors

 Ok, no picture of crown mouldings, but I do love the character that these recycled old doors add to this newly built home.

8. Surround yourself with your favourite “happy colours,” whether they’re trendy or not.

 room set up via camilla at home

I think this is so true. Who cares if yellow is all the rage?  Live with what you love. For me that is always white, with wood tones and sandy neutrals with the odd pop of colour here and there. 

9. Display something from your childhood that you treasure.


I’m a sentimental type, so I totally agreed with this bit of advice. Above are my son’s first pair of shoes, coupled with my grandfather’s baby spoon.

10. Don’t try to replicate the look of a model home. Strive to create spaces that exude warmth, love, comfort, and peace.

white painted vintage chair paul massey

I think this is such great advice. To me, the most beautiful places aren’t those where it looks like everything was ordered from the same store on the same day, or where everything is the height of fashion. I love places that grow over time, that are filled with calm and serenity, and that are the product of ingenuity and creativity rather than an unlimited budget.

So thanks Julia, love your advice, it was great food for thought.

1 Martha Stewart 2 Simon Kenny 3 Impressionen 4 flickr 5 unknown 6 Krakvik & D’Orazio 7 Australian Home Beautiful 8 via Camilla at Home 9 me 10 Paul Massey

Best wishes,


Claire Jackson said...

A gorgeous post Catherine, simple & beautiful images, so full of what really matters... thank you for passing on such wise words and lovely thoughts...Claire

knispel4 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Oh, wow! I just love the photos you chose and enjoyed reading your thoughts about each one. It's beautiful! And I'm honored that you thought my words were worthy of posting. Thanks, Catherine! :-)

my favorite and my best said...

hi! just found your blog and i love it. i too am a white and sandy neutral kind of girl with the odd pop of color (as you put it). so true. and this list is a great reminder of the things that make a house a home. thanks!

Solange said...

interesting... I guess there are so many things which make a house a home and yes, even though we are not always satisfied, we can improve easily with simple ideas or just another colour of paint here and there.
enjoy your day!

Solange said...

interesting... I guess there are so many things which make a house a home and yes, even though we are not always satisfied, we can improve easily with simple ideas or just another colour of paint here and there.
enjoy your day!

LaurenFaythe said...

Thank you for this post. It is important to constantly remind ourselves of these things. (The images are beautiful too)

Marie said...

Amen sister! Those should be my words to live by...I'm lucky enough to have a home I'm happy with but for some reason, not always satisfied with...I should print that list and post it somewhere in my house.

AnNicole @ OurSuburbanCottage said...

I love both your post and Julia's post. Your pictures are fantastic. I especially love the baby shoes. I should totally do that.

Your comment about Vegas cracked me up. Vegas was about a 5 hour drive from where I grew up so it doesn't seem all that glamorous to me. Australia on the other hand...:). I guess it's all relative.

Things That Inspire said...

I missed Julia's post, so thank you for this post!

I have been desperate to move for years, mainly because I spend half of my life in the car. And yet, when looking for a new house closer to the kids' schools, I find myself looking for features that I have in my current home. I really like my current home, and like it even more now that I am changing a few things around, making it more 'me'. I am trying not to constantly say 'I should wait until my next house to get a new rug'. The constant waiting...it was driving me crazy.

These kind of posts help me ground myself in the present and appreciate what I have. I once read that wanting what you have, not what you don't have, is one of the keys to happiness. I think it is true in so many ways!

Jade Creative said...

your idea of the branch with hanging tea lights is so inovative. It creates such great atmosphere. Enjoyed all of the pictures.

Great thoughts!

vicki archer said...

The perfect advise and your pictures exactly right Catherine. xv

ansley b. said...

lovely post. glad you shared.

also, that purple-ish chair would be the perfect reading chair!

my2boys said...

As usual you've managed to find beautiful pictures. I loved the red baby shoes hung in a red frame - my 2 boys both had red shoes for their first pair of shoes so I've now discovered a beautiful way to display them. Thanks!! Ange

A-M said...

Catherine, such a beautiful post and great inspiration for me while I plan our move. I pretty much have nothing to start with... sold all my old furniture and ploughed almost everything into the four walls and roof... but I am looking forward to 'growing' my home over time. I love your little darlings shoes... precious!!. A-M xx

Amanda said...

This is a beautiful post Catherine! Thanks for sharing. xx

Sa-Sea Boutique said...

i would love everything about those pictures!! absolutely beautiful!

Terri said...

Catherine, what a beautiful, thoughtful post. I think this is my favorite post ever that you've done. I loved all the sentiments and all the lovely images you compiled. You have such lovely taste. WIsh I could visit you some time!!

xo Terri

River said...

My home has clutter, mismatched everything and clashing colours in every room. No style at all, but I love it. It's mine.

Porchlight Interiors said...

I absolutely agree Catherine. You have chosen some very beautiful pictures to post too. Hayley

Millie said...

A wistful & beautiful post Catherine. I've been trying to 'persuade' MOTH that we need to de-clutter, but I'm convinced that he's old Albert Steptoe's love-child! However, he did finally admit last week that he understands the 'bring one in, take one out' rule may be worth considering - hooray!
Millie ^_^

susan said...

I agree with every single suggestion, especially about the "editing". My mind just does not function well in clutter. I love the shadow box with your son's shoes and grandfather's spoon. How special!

Willow Decor: said...

I loved that post too! I also love all your photos and reminding us again of what is important!

Lee said...

Catherine - this is a lovely, thoughtul post with beautiful, inspirational images. From everything I've seen on your blog, I can tell that you endeavour to make a 'happy home' for you and your son.

BTW, I love that grey armchair! Lee :)

Lauren said...

such great advice. it really makes you appreciate what you have.

and i LOVE what you've done with your son's baby shoes & grandfather's spoon!!!!


ness lockyer said...

What a wonderful thing to write about...being thankful for your haven. Now this would be a great thing to have circulate and find out what everyone elses thoughts are...love yours!
Ness xx

Pearl Maple said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts. Found your blog via the brown button and really enjoyed the inspiration you are sharing. In the midst of moving, it is great to take a break and get a fresh perspective of all the things that are possible.

ed said...