What Does It Make You Feel?

How many items do you have lying around waiting to be fixed?  This is the one thing that will drive me nuts,  seeing things  needing to be repaired or finished.

An an empty nester who doesn’t work outside the house, I spend a lot of time at home.  I want my home to feel inviting and comfortable.  Yet, I was living with yellowed cabinets, an ugly mirror, a broken drawer pull in the kitchen and even a leg broken off my loveseat. Maybe one broken or ugly item might not have been so bad, but all added up it gave my home more the look of being inhabited by someone who didn’t care what their home looked like.

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The following image is from Pinterest.  I used to have a fridge like this one,  many years ago, but it was mostly brown. I say mostly because with years of use it had instead pinkish tones where it received the heaviest wear.  Yet this blue color and the stencil hide signs of age that would distract from the freshness of the rest of this kitchen.

fridge

Yes, I love my apartment but it has needed a few tweaks to make it feel like a home.  I have been on a mission to add a freshness to my apartment.  Little things like ugly and broken drawer pulls are things that will distract us from enjoying our space, especially when living in a small space.

Another thing that bothers me, in any size home, is clutter on the counter top.  This next idea is both attractive and functional while clearing off the counter.

apple storage

No matter what style of home you have, if you rent vs own, if it isn’t in good repair or the things which fill your rooms need some TLC your rooms will look unloved and neglected.  It doesn’t have to be something major that distracts you from enjoying your space, especially if you live in a tiny home, it can be as little as dead leaves on a houseplant. What a different feeling you would have to walk into a room where these daffodils were wilted and dying.

daffodils

Spring is coming, if not already here where you live, or you may be moving indoors for autumn and winter if you live in the southern hemisphere. Instead of trying to ignore something that bothers you, why not take care of it today so you can enjoy the time you spend at home.

Even outdoors I like my things, even if pulled out of a dumpster, to look nice.

outdoor table beforeoutdoor table after

Making a few changes doesn’t have to be expensive. A new drawer pull can cost as little as $1.50 and paint can be had for less than $5, or free if someone you know has some left over.

When I totaled up the cost of the updates I’ve made over the last few weeks I found I only spent $18.

Is there something that bugs you about your home?  Could you fix it for less than $20?

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40 thoughts on “What Does It Make You Feel?

  1. quite a lot of the wall sockets in our house are loose and it’s been on my to-do list to call the letting company since i moved in almost a year and a half ago… this is a little reminder for me to get up and make that phone call. I HATE looking at them.

    • P, I hate when I find lose wall sockets. I don’t bother to call the landlord, I just fix them because I fear lose ones could eventually cause an electrical fire. Hope they get those fixed for you soon.

      • yea perhaps I should stop putting it on the long finger! I did however, after reading the post replace a plant long departed from this life with a new fun strawberry plant!

        • Dead plants! When I have one I am trying to save it seems to stick out like a sore thumb and draws my attention to it as something that is ugly in my home. I was able to ignore them when I had a bigger home by putting it somewhere I didn’t spend as much time, but that’s not the case any more. Glad you added a new fun plant to replace it.

          • yea it was time. It’s amazing how you can needlessly turn a blind eye to these awful things out of laziness for so long :S

  2. I have two items in my house that I want to paint. They were both made by children in shop class, and both made of plain pine with no primer or anything. I am always wondering if I should prime them, what kind of paint should I use? One has a drawer. If I paint the drawer, will it have trouble pulling out? Too many questions, and I’m not one to dive in without all the answers. What would you do?

    • If you don’t want any grain from the wood to show through I would prime, especially pine which also soaks up paint unevenly. I generally use Kilz primer (looking for an equally good eco friendly primer) and then I would use any kind of latex paint. You could use an enamel but then the fumes and clean up are horrible.

      When painting with latex paint it can take a couple of weeks to dry enough so the drawers don’t stick. I solve that here by letting it dry well, at least overnight, then seal with polycrylic which will take care of any sticking issues. It will also give the paint a much longer life.

      I do hope you will share when you decide what you want to do. You have me intrigued by mentioning they were made by children in shop class.

  3. You are inspiration on what can be done around the home. I have a creativity block at times when it comes to interior design, your blog is full of ideas to get me started.

  4. We try hard to fix and make do with what we have too, both my husband and I grew up in households where you don’t throw out something in case you might need later. That means we have a shop full of things that can be used to make repairs. The husband just fixed my old leather footstool and my mom recovered it in some nice leftover tapestry material.

  5. For me, my problem is time. I have so many projects waiting, just not enough time to address them all. So, I try to prioritize which projects will take the least time and give me the biggest result. For now, that’s the best I can do. Some day I’ll have more free time, then I can get to more projects.

    • I know exactly how you feel. With my dil needing to use the dryer her almost every day I have to stop and think which projects I can tackle. She brings the puppy with her, so nothing with wet paint can be done if she’s coming over. It’s frustrating some days, but I do love them. For right now, I at least know I can work on sanding things and then trying to find the free time to get into the paint.

  6. We have big projects and little projects here at Home In Douglas! The bottom of our kitchen cabinet under the sink is rotted out, and I think the floor has a hole in it as well. So, out it must come, to be repaired. An easy fix, says my husband, but it takes time and money (I have time but no money and he has no time, at least until he is done with the illustration for his new book :-)!! ) We have to reside the “weather side” of the house and repaint the rest of it. We have to enclose our shed with clear fiberglass, build a patio….etc…

    • Paula, those are some big jobs. The one thing about renting is my jobs are limited to the little repairs and cosmetic fixes. I hope you can get to those big jobs and the money comes in to do them sooner rather than later. What kind of book is your husband illustrating?

  7. Ugh. I do know what you mean although I only live in a flat (with my son). Grubby hand prints on the light switches I HATE though. I reckon do it ALL one weekend!!! Or at least try….

    Great post :)

  8. At the moment I need to just do a good Spring Clean, and sort out my bookshelves and wardrobe space, We did quite a bit of clearing out last year giving to charity shops what we no longer needed… I’m saving glass-jars at the moment, from preserves as I am hoping come Summer my strawberries will be plentiful to enable me to make Jam. .. I also want to create another jar to hold my paintbrushes in,, I may photograph the stages and share that as a blog soon…. But the outdoor is calling for attention at the moment …

    I think you have done a fantastic job with all your renovations and Im amazed at how little cost.. showing us all what is possible when we put our minds to it. :-)
    Thank you for sharing ~Sue

    • I too am called outdoors, when the weather allows. I am so looking forward to consistently warm days and am a little concerned that in a couple weeks time I will no longer have heat with this crazy weather.

      I love strawberries and can’t wait to start getting some fresh from the garden as I won’t eat them any more from the stores, they taste so sour and even like cardboard so flavorless. I won’t spend my money on them no matter how much I would like to have fresh berries in the winter months.

  9. Hmmm, I have a number of burnt out down lights that need replacing, that is my task for the weekend. I didn’t really notice over summer but now the days are shorter and we need the lights on more, it’s time. By the way, I love the blue fridge. My grandmother had one for about 40 years. If only things lasted like that these days….

    • Isn’t that fridge gorgeous? I wish I had seen that color on a fridge when I had my very old one (rental house) I would have painted that in a minute, that fridge was older than I was by a lot!! Yes, they used to build things to last. I would bring that home in a heartbeat, even though I have found I don’t have much use for a fridge.

      Burned out lighting, why is it that they all seem to go at the same time? I’m hoping I don’t have to change my light fixtures for a very long time now that I have all CFL and LED. If those went all at the same time it would be a real strain on the budget.

  10. This is the key to my life – the mental clutter of things not done, especially simple to fix. Like updating my soap dish that was uncleanable. Or a ottoman I got for free with a damaged corner – with some L plates and screws it was fixed. Lately, there’s not much that’s on that lingering list. I have a light that won’t work, but I’ve already booked in the electrician (can’t DIY that in Australia). Nothing else bugging me, when I think about it.

    • Sarah how I wish I had a short list. At the moment the outdoor list is longer than the list for inside, but I still have a few more tweaks to complete inside.

      I’ve heard before that rewiring a lamp or simple electrical fixes aren’t allowed in Australia, why is that? It seems like a law to keep work steady for the electricians.

      • Hahah I shouldn’t complain, I work with electricians! I think at the end of the day, it’s too easy to die with electricity (less so with plumbing for example) Houses burn down from bad wiring. But I agree, buying an Ikea lamp and needing a sparkie to install it is overkill (on a cost + cost basis). I know many people DIY but they risk fines and much worse.

        As for my short list, I hope to get it up on my blog on Friday – I have this weird theme idea where everyday has a theme. Friday is to become my ‘review my goals/lists’ day. Today is about Waste (i’m already into Wed – I know you do a Change the World theme them). Tomorrow, house DIY, so you can see the projects I mentioned the other day.

        • I would be in so much trouble if I lived in Australia :-) I not only rewire lamps, I change out ceiling fixtures, and change switches and outlets on my own.

          I like the idea of a theme for your blog by day. I started with the Friday Favorites, and then was inspired by Smallftprints to join in on Wednesdays. I’ll be over shortly to see what you have to share about waste.

  11. Oh, this made me laugh out loud. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with this one! My entire house is an ugly repair project waiting to get done! I always have such good intentions, but when it comes down to it, I’ve generally got my hands full just dealing with the functional stuff. I try to keep things reasonably clean, but pretty just seems to be one step beyond what I can handle. Sigh.

    A few years back I got all excited about giving my kitchen a facelift… I even went so far as to get a hunk of countertop to replace the little section that doesn’t match the rest of the kitchen, and bought special cleaner to deal with my yellowed vinyl floor tile, and had great plans to paint everything and replace the door and cabinet pulls, but alas, I pooped out and other things took priority. Oh well…

    I did toss a load of cat beds into the washer today, and it’s remarkable how much better it feels just knowing that my kitties have clean beds to sleep in.

    I stand in awe of people like you who always make everything look so nice. Maybe someday pretty will make it to the top of my list, but I’m not holding my breath!

    • Oh don’t stand in awe of me, you should see my house right this moment. I will take on any home improvement job in a heart beat if it would get me out of doing normal housework. I had my grand daughter today, we played in the mud when the rain took a break (which means I have to vacuum yet even though boots came off at the door, our dishes need done and I have a load of laundry waiting for morning as I won’t get to it tonight. Then there is the change I am making in the closet, which means tonight I have a pile of things on the loveseat waiting to be returned to their home. Definitely not a lovely sight at the moment.

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