Showing posts with label Decorating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Decorating. Show all posts

The Art Of Coziness: Analyzing My Favorite Fall Show

 


As I type, I'm sipping on a warm chai.  I hear the kids laughing and chanting a rhyme outside the window as warm beams of sunlight angle across the grass.  I'm in my cozy pajamas, and the twinkle lights are on.

I figured if I'm going to write about coziness, I might as well get in a cozy mood.

This sudden inspiration for coziness actually came at the end of a pretty rotten day.  I checked, and there is a full moon right around the corner, so that might explain it (there is something to that).  Everything was a struggle all day, and I quickly found myself retreating into "hide" mode - meaning I locked myself in the closet a couple times to calm myself.  Let's just say the atmosphere of the home was not what I wanted it to be yesterday.

After working out and taking a shower, I put on an episode of Gilmore Girls while I fixed my hair.  I'm rewatching the show this fall - the last time I watched it all the way through, Wyatt was a baby, so it's been a while.  And I started thinking about how many times I've referred to Gilmore Girls as a "cozy fall show".  What exactly made it so cozy anyway?  And could I replicate that for my kids?  A little coziness would be a nice reset for everyone.

After careful analysis (ahem), I pinpointed all the elements that make Gilmore Girls so cozy to me.


Warm Lighting 

If you pay attention, you'll notice there is so much warm light in the show - everywhere you look there are twinkle lights or lamps lit - and I think that's a big part of what makes it cozy.  It gives you the feeling of being tucked inside a warm house.  Whether it's candles, lamps (of which I want to buy more), or twinkle lights, I think that aspect would be really easy to replicate daily in our home.  I already do this somewhat with candles, but I want to get a couple more good lamps to illuminate the dark corners.

Good Books 

Is there anything more cozy than curling up with a good book?  If you are a reader, you can't help but love all the references to books in Gilmore Girls - I don't know if all the books mentioned are actually good, but you know the characters think they are good, and that's what counts.  We've been adding more just-for-fun read-aloud time to our homeschool, and it's something I want to remember as a cozy way to reset.

Seasonal Decorations 

They really go all out on the seasonal decorations in Stars Hollow, don't they?  I'd love to know if any real-life town is like that.  All I know is that my kids are always excited when I pull out the the fabric pumpkins and faux foliage that I keep in the box under my bed.  When things are starting to get stale around the house, some seasonal decorations are a nice touch to make everyone feel like staying home!

Warm Drinks 

Chai, cider, hot chocolate, and of course, coffee. Are the characters in that show ever not drinking something warm? I am blessed to be able to say that every morning I'm awakened by the smell of coffee, thanks to Derek, and it's glorious!  But since I don't let my kids drink the stuff yet, I've been buying extra jugs of apple juice at the store lately, so I can periodically make hot cider in the crockpot.  It makes the whole house smell good, and it's perfect for keeping everyone happy while we read aloud.

Music 

There is so much music mentioned in Gilmore Girls, not to mention the town minstrel, and it sets the mood for the whole show. This is something I'm terrible at, but I would really like to get better at remembering to add some music into our day.  I could start something in the morning while we do our Bible time, or I could play soft music over nap/quiet time.  I think music would be a really great way to calm the house a bit and boost some moods.

A Busy Kitchen 

This is one I never thought about before, but as I was watching the show last night, it struck me that in so many of the episodes, there is a busy kitchen scene (usually with Suki).  Even if we don't see Suki, Lorelei and Rory are always ordering in good food.  There is something about just knowing that there is something good to eat in the kitchen, or something bubbling on the stove, that makes the whole thing that much more comforting - like virtual comfort food. 

I would like my house to feel like that for my kids, like anytime they walk in the kitchen there might be something good to eat waiting for them.  I've never been good about meal planning, and even baking (something I love to do) has fallen off in recent months.  I'd like to put a little more attention back into the kitchen this winter.

A Close-Knit Community 

It's sad that so many Americans have never really experienced a close-knit community, isn't it?  Stars Hollow, with it's host of eccentric characters that care about each other despite their oddities, is not exactly the norm anymore.  We've lost something.  

I think 50-100 years ago, more people knew what a small community felt like.  But if you are lucky, you've been part of a close-knit community at some point in your life.  When I was growing up, we went to a really small, close-knit church that almost felt like family,  Even today, my own family has enough roots in the town where I live that occasionally someone I don't recognize will ask how a family member is.  There are remnants here and there.  

Even as it's harder to find a close-knit community for my children to grow up within, I am trying to build our own, with family, friends, and our church family.  Even if we didn't have an option for those things, there is a sense in which a family is it's own little community, and if it's a Christian family, it is by nature a small cell of a larger community that stretches around the world - the church, the body of Christ.  A family can support and love each other despite oddities, and even host their own "community events" in the form of traditions - and we can connect ourselves to the larger context of the church through learning about church history and heroes of the faith.  So even as Stars Hollow towns are more rare, I think there are ways to still give our families that sense of belonging to something bigger.  We just have to keep your eyes out for opportunities.


Is it worth all this effort to add some coziness to our life?  Does this really matter?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, about how we as moms can help set a good atmosphere for our home.  I sincerely think it's something that is worth pouring into.  For me, chaotic days like yesterday happen too often for my liking. But my hope is that, overall, when my children grow up, they'll hear the word "home" and think of a cozy, safe place, with parents, family, and friends who love them.  

In a sense, a person's idea of home can even shape their idea of Heaven, and the God who reigns over all.  I don't always reflect Him to my kids as well as I want to, within the atmosphere of our home (or in general, honestly).  But in these small ways, I'm trying, and I'm praying the Lord will use my sometimes pitiful efforts and make something beautiful out of it by His grace.  


What do you do to make your home cozy for the fall or winter?  Do you feel like you are part of a close-knit community?  And, most pertinently, what other cozy fall shows should I check out?



When You Walk In (House Tour Part 2)


When we bought this house, the basement was unfinished.  When I got pregnant with Wyatt, we decided to tackle the project and we finished it right before he was born!

Still, for a long time we let the downstairs sit empty, but when I was pregnant with Clarice and decided I wouldn't be continuing to work, I saved all my pennies to decorate this basement family room.  This is the door we most often use to come into our house.  It's also the door that guests most often use.  I wanted to make sure people were walking into more than just an empty room.

A few months later we repainted and got the rest of the furniture.  Two years later, I'm still happy with it.  If I had to do it over, I might just go with a more adventurous couch color (my tastes just keep getting more colorful), but the rest would stay mostly the same!

I took these pictures two years ago, and the only things that have changed are the purses hanging by the door, and the piano-mantel, which I update periodically.

We mostly use this room for the occasional movie, and Derek works down here on the days he works from home.  Just in case you are wondering: the square prints on the chicken-wire bulletin board are from Artifact Uprising and Parabo Press.  The rest is a miss mash of stuff from Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Target, and Ikea!






















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The text signs are particularly special to me (from House Of Belonging, in case you are wondering).  The one above the blue cabinet has my favorite verse from the hymn "O Glorious Day".  I wanted more on our walls that symbolized who we are as a family and pointed us back to Christ.  This hymn verse communicates the Gospel and refocuses us on eternity, and I love that it's hanging on our walls now!

"One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door,
Now He arose, over death He has concurred!
Now He's ascended, My Lord evermore!

Living He loved me, dying He saved me,
Buried He carried, my sins far away!
Rising He justified, freely forever!
One day He's coming!  O glorious day!"

The second sign on the piano appealed to me because the quote spoke directly to my heart.  The reason we almost moved is that this house is very small for our big family, and we go through periods when we feel discontent.  But this quote reminds me, whenever I look at it, that there are good parts to living in a small house too.

I recently learned this quote is from an old country song called "Little Houses" by Doug Stone (oh, I miss that good ole country music!).  I looked it up on Spotify, and it's super-sweet, and almost feels autobiographical for me.  We moved into this house as newlyweds, and brought all our babies home here, and even though it feels small, it's full to the brim with noise, and laughter, and love.  So I've come to love our little house over the years.

"Love grows best in little houses, 
With fewer walls to separate,
Where you eat and sleep so close together,
You can't help but communicate.
And if we had more room between us,
Think of all we'd miss.
Love grows best in houses just like this."

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Here's the linkup if you want to join in!






Don't Judge A House By It's Paint Color (Home Tour Part 1)



When we first bought our house it was painted an ugly tan color.  Truly, it was ugly.  One of the first things we did when we moved in was to paint it.

What I couldn't figure out was what color to paint it.  

In the mountains, most homes have lovely cedar siding, maybe even with log accents.  This house had none of those things and needed paint.  But as a young newlywed with no experience picking paint colors, I had no idea what to choose.  What was a good color for a mountain home?

I ended up going with a pale green, with darker green trim, but I was never completely satisfied with it.

A couple years ago we undertook a major remodel after realizing that moving wasn't in our near future.  If we had to stay where we were, it was finally time to put some effort into making this house look the way we want, to make it comfortable and pretty for however many years we would be here.  Most of the projects were on the interior, but I felt like the outside needed to match the newly polished inside.  

I chose Le Luxe by Behr.  Derek taped up the trim and started spraying the outside of our home, and I have to say, we were both terrified.  It looked so...dark!  It looked almost black!  But we persevered, added the white trim, and in the end I loved the color so much.  Now our house not only looks polished, it's the perfect color backdrop for my instagram photos!

Most mountain homes still have cedar siding, but I have to say, I love the way this color looks for a mountain/forest home.  It brings to mind stone or slate, it doesn't match the surroundings, but it goes. I love the way it turned out!

(These photos were taken two years ago, in the fall, obviously.  Look how tiny my babies are, and how much Clyde looks like a Charlie Brown character!)











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If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that I invited you all to join in on sharing photos of your house over the next month!  I'm running a linkup, just because it might make it a little more fun (or if you are on Instagram, use the hashtag #bloglandhometours).  Share photos or even stories of your home, write as many posts as you want and organize them however you want, and come share them here so we can all check them out!  No need to link back here unless you want to, but I do reserve the right to delete links that do not fit this linkup.  I'll share the same linkup in each post, so come back and share on any of my house posts for the next month or so! I can't wait to see everyone's homes!  It's like we're all having coffee at each other's houses!







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