Friday, July 9, 2010

Loving The Home You Have

Hi everyone! I had planned on showing you some bedroom photos today but I’ll do that on Monday as I’ve really been thinking about this topic for days.
It all began when my husband I were watching “House Hunters” and “Property Virgins” this week. First there was the couple who said they had to change out the gold rimmed shower stall “right away” if they bought the house. Like the shower doesn’t work because it’s frame is gold! I was drinking some soda and actually choked when they said that!
Then there were all the people who criticized the master bathrooms for being “small”- all of which I must say were  waaaaay bigger than the one we have. Then there were ones that absolutely had to have double sinks, granite counters, separate bathtub(only jetted will do) and separate shower…and many of these people were first time homebuyers! Everyone seems to want a palace first time around.

Watching these shows could make you feel like your home just isn’t good enough! Don’t let these shows, magazines (or blogs) make you discontent with your home!

No double sinks here! I have a tiny tiny TINY master bathroom but I’ve made it the cutest bathroom I could! I firmly believe in making the most of what I’ve got.
As you can see, I really use the space on my walls! Think vertical if you don’t have a lot of floor space.

If you want to make some changes, you don’t have to make them all at once and if you don’t, you have the advantage of being able to look for deals and repurpose things. I don't think I've EVER decorated a room all at once!  Above is the shelf before a few coats of black spray paint. I got the shelf for $1 at my neighbors garage sale a few months ago.

The topiary is from Goodwill (last year I think), the toile bowl holding some potpourri was a gift from a blogger, the picture with the harlequin rug is from Marshalls or Ross (a year ago) and the “La Toilette” sign is a recent purchase from TJ Maxx.

These black and white shell prints were done by me.

I found these goose prints last year at a thriftstore for a few pennies and used this site Vintage Printables for the images. Instead of printing in color I chose “grayscale” (should be in your Printer Preferences). They're printed on cardstock.

I’ve had these black and white ticking balloon shades for 10 years and still love them! They’re from Target.

I just bought this shower curtain from Target and it has the same ticking on the top! They’re both Waverly.

I always try to pay attention to the little things-like light switches. I’ve had the toile night light for about 9 or 10 years!

“Carpe Diem”. I hand painted that over the door so when you step out of the shower you’re reminded to “Seize the Day!”.

There’s no bathtub in this bathroom. There’s one in the hall bathroom. The shower is huge though which my 6’3’’ husband appreciates! We’ve tried to make showering a luxurious  event since there’s no tub in here. We recently installed one of those big shower heads that has all the different settings so it’s quite lovely to put it on one of those pulsating massage settings when I’m sore from gardening! Also, I always buy the nicest fluffiest towels that I can find! I’d rather have a few really nice ones than a bunch of cheap thin ones!
Believe me, I’m not immune to house envy. For example, I think about putting chandeliers in my kitchen and bathroom whenever I see them in magazines or blogs. They do look so pretty! Of course living in the hot South it’s kind of crazy to give up your ceiling fan for a chandelier!

I really hope that my blog doesn’t add to anyone’s discontent with their home. We’re all at different stages in our lives. I share what I do with the intent to encourage you to love the home YOU have and to make the most of what YOU have with the resources available to YOU!


Ali said...

Hi Manuela,

I really appreciate this post. I love watching the homebuyer shows too, but I am simply amazed at the expectations that first time homebuyers can have - they want what took their parents years to obtain, right off the bat. They'd turn their noses right up at my modest ranch but I don't care - I love my sweet little house so much!

And I can't help but laugh at the ones that turn their nose up at a house because they don't like the paint or carpet. Hello??!! My all time fave was the guy who wasn't sure his furniture would fit - and he didn't own any furniture! I think your house is absolutely charming, and I love your sharing it with us in blogland!

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

Your home is lovely Manuela because you have decorated it over time. I do imagine that there are several people that are VERY envious of your home. It it charming, warm, welcoming and more. And that is hard to achieve even with the largest of budgets.

You are a great inspiration to many people here in blog land, including me.

Flat Creek Farm said...

I very much appreciate this post. I need to remember this, and make the most of what I have to work with (which isn't much! :)) Your master bath is darling.. love it! -Tammy

Andrea said...

Thanks for that post.

I feel sorry for people who can't make do. It is such a shame that we think we have to have the best of everything.

I find it a pleasure to take something and make it better. That is the fun of having a home.

Thanks for all your ideas.
I do have envy over your garden. NOt everyone can garden, but you are really good at it.

Betty said...

Dear Manuela ... I can't tell you how much I love your bathroom .. I love how you paid attention to every detail and I especially love the pictures on your walls ... did you find the pix first or did you find them after you started your decorating?
Thanks for sharing.
Hugz ..Betty

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Amen, amen. I so agree with you. We need to remember that we are blessed to have a home no matter how big or how new. Everything is such a gift from the Lord. I love your little bath. I think it is just perfect. You've decorated it to be so beautiful and luxurious. Good for you. Hugs, Marty

Gloria said...

Hi Manuela. That is one of my favorite sayings, "carpe diem" seize the day! Also I love your bathroom, same colors as mine. We did ours last year in b/w. I posted about it and although small, it works well for us. Have a great day, carpe diem!

Nadine said...

A wonderful post...and so true! We live in a very small home and it is so easy to want what others have, but I am so happy to have this home that God has blessed us with!


Shelia said...

Hi Manuela!
This is a good post! And I know what you mean, it seems some of the new home buyers want everything right now! I'm a little turned off at HGTV at the moment with some of these shows. When my hubs and I got married we didn't have much money at all and just did the best we could. As the years have gone by we continued to build and appreciate what we had. I feel so blessed today and love seeing your home. You're an inspiration to me.

Now your bathroom is so pretty and I love all you've done. Really it's gorgeous. You've put yourself into it and that's another thing that makes it look so wonderful - it's you! I always love coming to see you!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

If those youger couples {like those on the shows you mention} would listen I would say "bigger is not always better"! Bigger means more dusting and vacuuming! More lawn to mow! I can't wait until we can down-size. I love your bathroom Manuela ~ this would be a perfect size for me. I don't see it as small; I see it as the size bathrooms were before they went on steroids.

As a fellow toile and harlequin lover, I love all the textiles you have going on in here. I love the idea of that picture with the harlequin rug and you have a harlequin rug in here.

Audra said... were one of the first blogs I stumbled upon when I started looking for inspiration. You have never failed to inspire me with tasteful,elegant decor that doesn't break the bank.

I too had lots of house envy, especially when I was reading magazines. So much infact that I finally stopped my subscriptions to all of them. I had to, they were making me crazy with trying to keep up with the other fabulous places I saw. My home is small, but functional. I have had to learn to fall in love with it all over again. It will never be a palace show place home. It is MY palace and I love coming home to my own place decorated with thrift store and garage sale finds.

Thank you for continuing to be a fabulous inspiration and an honest, down to earth woman.

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Good morning my friend...Girl I love your toile bathroom...Now I just love my home and the fact that it started it's life as a 1 room cabin and I can look around and see the 30+ years I have spend making it my home...Remember "Hands build a house...But Hearts build a Home" Great post today my friend...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Lee Laurie said...

I love your home and your bathroom is beautiful. I will admit when I watch those shows they do tend to make me feel like my little cottage isn't up to par. I've had to redo it almost from top to bottom because when I bought it it was in such bad shape. Those people would not have even looked twice at my little house. But with lots of love and hard work, I have made a sweet and pretty home for me and me little boy. I have a long way to go, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I would much rather read blogs such as yours and get inspration to keep on with what I'm doing than watch those shows with all that negativity. You have one of the prettiest homes that I've seen. You have done a beautiful job.

Lee Laurie

Destiny said...

Thank you for this's a nice reminder to appreciate what we have! We're about to try to sell our home and I'm freaking out trying to declutter, etc. to make "those" people happy LOL It's so exhausting! I LOVE the ticking shades and shower curtain! Ticking is my favorite...I can never get enough of it!!! Love your blog!

Jeanette said...

Your bathroom is adorable and I love the clock. Who'd of thought to put a clock in the bathroom but it seems just right. I always am looking for ideas for my house..constantly changing pictures and placement of stuff. Keeps things interesting!

Claudia said...

I feel the same way. We live in a teeny tiny house - but we have to make do with what we have. I watch shows like House Hunters and sometimes I find myself shouting at the television. "This master bedroom is too small" etc. - when it is twice the size of my small master. A perfectly good kitchen is 'too small' or has to be completely gutted. Yikes!' A little spoiled? I think so.

Love your bathroom, Manuela. It is charming and full of your personality.


Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Amen, to everything you said! What an adorable bathroom, Manuela! I love all your toile and Frenchy inspired touches. My bath is not very big either and I have to admit, I oftentimes drool over the bigger homes I see on those programs. Some folks are't happy no matter what they've got. But, you're right we ought to be thankful for what we have and make the most of our space. I think people today are waaay to frivolous! I wonder what they will do if hard times hit them! Thank you for voicing what most of us are thinking. Have a wonderful weekend.


Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

I never feel discontented here - just inspired! You are 100% right. Be happy with what you have, and if you aren't, work hard to make it what you do want. I do have big house envy, because I grew up in a big house. But I also know that I am so so lucky to have what I do.

Anonymous said...

I really love the shower curtain and balloon shade, I will be on the look out for one! Your home is beautiful, youve done a great job.

Ally's Corner said...

I love your bathroom. Some blog's do make you feel your house will never be that grand, but others blogs show you how to make your house look just as beautiful. Your blog is one of them. I've gotten so many ideas from you of course you probably already know that. So thanks!!!

Melanie said...

Great great post! I agree with being happy with what you have. I just visited my friend in Georgia and she gave me the best compliment....she said that she wished she could be content like me:) That made me smile.

I think I watched that House Hunters that you were talking about and I told my husband that these first time buyers really pick out things that just don't matter. Mirrored closet doors, white cabinets etc. You can tell that they have not been around the block before:)

Have a good weekend.

mamajuliana said...

Thank you for this post Manuela! Our family has lived in the home we purchased WAY before the children were born 23 years ago. We purchased what we could afford then and it isn't fancy or big. It is an old home that still needs work! Our financial conditions have changed over the years and our starter home is also be our retirement home. I chose to stay home with the kiddos-so I never had the money to put in the future home 'pot'.

I often get jealous when I see the new, big homes that colleages and friends purchase-but then I remind myself that we have made our house a home.

We work with what we have-small rooms...and don't have-absolutely NO closet space.

But we love our home and we have raised a family here. We decorate and remodel as our tight budget will allow.

I have to learn to become more content, I know.

Thank you for all your beautiful posts and ideas!

Brenda@Cozy Little House said...

It wouldn't be that much fun if you got everything all at once. It's the "adding to" that's fun for me. You can't go wrong with ticking. Pretty on everything. You have quite the eye for both design, decorating and frugality. For which we, your constant and faithful readers, are ever so grateful.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Your bathroom is pretty - really like the black and white. I know what you mean about the TV shows.
Have a great weekend.

Brandi M said...

Beautiful bathroom and great ideas! What an inspiration to us who aren't so artistic :) I added your blog to my blogs I visit. Check mine out at It's quite different than your blog but I'm expanding my blog and I added your website on the side. Thanks!
- Brandi

Debbie said...

I love this post!!! One of the things that I love about your blog is your ability to pull together beautiful spaces without breaking the bank. Your pictures today delight me as usual.

I also love the topic. You must have been in my head this week, because I have been thinking so much of the same thing. Though I long for an old country home, there is just no reason that I am not forging ahead with projects which would give my 1980s built home the old home touch. I keep holding off on ideas to "save" them for a home I may never own.

Odd bird, I am.

What kind of logic is that? Wonder what the term for "Seize the House!" is...

Thanks, Manuela, not only for the lovely tour but for the confirmation that what I've been thinking is on the right track.

RicKaren said...

I sooo completely agree with this post! I say that if you can't make the house you are ina home, you will never make any house a home! Great blog! I'll be back!

salmagundi said...

You are so right!!! In my 52 years of marriage, we have moved 14 times. The house we are in now is not the grandest we have ever owned, and I didn't think when we moved into it 12 years ago that it would be my forever house. But, I have so grown to love it just because it isn't that grand - just comfortable for us at this time in our lives. You young ones out there - listen to Manuela. Sally

The Intellectual Housewife said...

I appreciate this post so much! How right you are. I am a newlywed and a first-time homeowner and I am shocked at some of the suggestions we get from friends and other "concerned" individuals about "improvements" that we should make to our home. It's not an improvement if it sends you into debt! Thanks for driving that point home today for all of us :)

Domestic Bliss said...

Darlin' Manuela, Amen and Amen! You are so right about loving where you live. My home was built in 1940... no spa baths but, the black and white tile is still fab to me! I love my small cozy bath with all the little quirks. McMansions are not for me! Have a great weekend. Lisa

julie said...

Love your thoughts on this! We watch the same shows. Don't you just love it when a potential buyer comments on the color of the walls as a reason they can't purchase the house! Or my second stainless steel appliances - heaven forbid! I'm always proud to see that our girls comment on how ridiculous they are. They are future DIYs in the making.

Anonymous said...

Manuela! WELL SAID!!! I think your bathroom is beautiful. I think all of these shows are scripted by manufacturers just so we think we HAVE to HAVE Granite! who wants to be cookie cutter anyway! Your bath has tons of personality and budget busting ideas! BTW I have a huge garden tub with jets and in the last 9 years I've used it ONCE!!lol Sincerely, Jeannette

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

A gorgeous bathroom, Manuela and excellent advice.

We actually prefer showers and rarely use the tub in our bathroom. I wish now we had put in a big ol's shower and skipped the tub....but then...resale. I don't know.

Gotta have those ceiling fans, definitely!:-)

Happy weekend.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love ideas for small spaces. We have a condo here in NC and everything is small! I try to keep it from becoming cluttered and that is a full time job. And ceiling fans? They're the chandelier of the South! Enjoy your weekend! ♥

adsgram said...

I watch those shows as well, and I am always amazed. First of all by the "budget" they have to work within! Yikes...some of those starter homes cost enough to feed several small countries for a LONG time. Then you see a walk-in closet off the master bedroom off the spa bath that opens onto the balcony patio offering a 180 degree Pacific ocean view, BUT, darn the bad luck---...'that kitchen is just too 'yellow' or some such other problem. Give us all a break!

We have been working on our home for over 35 years now, and I still only have 1 bathroom. I have no stainless appliances and my backyard overlooks a swampy area- (not so very bad in the Spring and Summer.) My do I live in such a place??? Sure I wish I had another bath sometimes, but no one has peed their pants waiting in all this time.

Manuela, your home is lovely..just know that while you are watching HGTV you have lots of company and we are all thinking the same way you are. I'm glad to have what we have and I just hope that the next story those folks are on isn't "First-Time Foreclosures"


Our really empty nest said...

Manuela, Great points and well said, although i love to watch House Hunters, it always cracks me up at what is just not acceptable, ha! I love your bathroom, and like you we dont have a tub in our master either! Thanks for sharing, Sue

Cathy~Mille Fleur said... are the sweetest thing ever! I adore this post!I soooo agree with you! I believe we need to appreciate the journey! We are not all meant to be the same. I try to decorate my home the way that is pleasing to me and my family...not what others around us think! I hate decorating rules and trends...I like what I like and I am going to do it my way!

I have always loved your is very similar to mine...I think and that is one of the reasons I love visiting here! You are sooooo authentic and it shows in everything you do! You are truly an inspiration to me and this post is at the top of the list!

Love it!

Thank you!

Kim~HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs said...

What a great post, Manuela! I, too, can't believe the comments some of the people make on these shows.

Our home doesn't even have a master bathroom. The bathroom we all use isn't that big, but it works and we're happy with it...that's all that matters to us.

Your bathroom is darling :)

AshTreeCottage said...

I am in total agreement. Sadly, our nation seems to be so dissatisfied with anything small. If these home buyers want to see small, tell them to visit Paris or London and see what tiny tiny kitchens they have filled with doll house size appliances. And the bathrooms, well they better get over double sinks and learn to live with the water heater hanging over the tub. I LOVE what you did with your bathroom and prefer that any day to a big barn like room with double sinks. Your bathroom has a classic style! A few years from now those big bathrooms will be outdated and the owners will be longing for the next new fad. That is of course, if they have not already lost their house to foreclosure. Thanks for a much needed post!!

Susan and Bentley

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I got SO annoyed with those kinds of shows I had to stop watching them. It shows how people's expectations in housing has gone into the luxury realm and few people can really afford that.

When we had to sell our bigger house (which really was beautiful), it took a long time because the kitchen was not brand new and the master bath was considered too small. They missed the beauty of the house when they did not see granite anywhere.

That house was in a neighborhood which had been considered one of the nicest in town in the 60's and 70s when many of the houses were built.

I love your blog because you show what someone with lots of creativity can do to make a house a home. :)

Rose H (UK) said...

Hello Manuela,

Thank you for your lovely post. Yours was the second blog I looked at tonight - the first one showing another large and beautifully decorated room, I left it wishing that I had some of the large rooms that so many US homes appear to have. Then I read your post :o) You are quite right - make the most of what you have! You have made your home truly beautiful amd inspiring. I leave feeling content. Thank you again :o)

Andrea at Opulent Cottage said...

I'm with you when it comes to making the most of what we have! So many people are waiting for everything to be perfect before they can enjoy their homes. Oh and we have almost the same bathrooom (big surprise there), yellow with black & white, and touches of green! I love my tiny bath too, maybe next week I'll photograph it and we can compare!

Bonita said...

Manuela, your blog always inspires me and this is probably one of my favorite posts ever. Your perspective is so much better than those persnickety people on the shows.

That bathroom is ultra cute and gave me an idea of what I might like to do with my hall bath.

Thanks for keeping it real...and beautiful!

Andrea at Opulent Cottage said...

I'm with you when it comes to making the most of what we have! So many people are waiting for everything to be perfect before they can enjoy their homes. Oh and we have almost the same bathrooom (big surprise there), yellow with black & white, and touches of green! I love my tiny bath too, maybe next week I'll photograph it and we can compare!

BECKY said...

Hi! I'm here via Kathy's blog at Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy! I love your bathroom! It is beautiful, and I agree with you about the decorating shows on TV. And the couples who want the biggest houses possible, etc! The one that really "gets me" is the International House Hunters! The people that have so much money, they want a vacation home in a foreign country! Wow! Anyway...just wanted to say hello! I,too, decorate as inexpensively as I can, and am thrilled when I find fabulous bargains! Have a great weekend!

BECKY said...

PS I forgot to say that toile is one of my favorite patterns! And the little lamp shade night lights, too! :)

Angie said...

Such a great post! Yeah, I watch those shows too and am amazed at what some people think they can't live without. Also, a bigger house definitely does not mean better. I'm all about homey and cozy which is good since I'll never have a huge house! LOVE your toile bathroom! Can't go wrong with black and white.

Jennifer said...

I couldn't agree more! your bathroom is so lovely! I need your help with mine!!!!!! lol!

basketsbyrose said...

I agree with you 100%! These people are looking for a house and investment, and not a home. A home is made over time with family. My home is still being worked on, and we have been here over 30 years. Yes I have stuff from when I moved in and I still love it. HGTV is fun but they spend a lot of time trying to sell you something that they can not sell! Love and family makes the world go round!

Atelier de Charo said...

Many beautiful decoration ideas, for a fabulous bathroom! All is so pretty.


Sandy said...

Thank you for this post. I think everyone could do a little reflecting, and be more thankful for what they have. I always liked Kitty's saying "it's not what you don't have, it's what you do with what you do have" You have a wonderful and beautiful home, and that bathroom is to die for. Will you come decorate mine? Thanks for sharing.

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Manuela, well said! All the big bathrooms have the same amount of stuff, just a lot of empty floor space in the middle. It sounds like a lot of spoiled and pampered people who can't appreciate things. It makes me sad to see luxuries called necessities. Love your bathroom. Linda

Mrs.Rabe said...

I always crack up when the people on these shows say things like "I don't like that coffee table." Like they are buying the furniture! Yikes, people look at the space! Anyway!

I believe that we can love the homes we have and make the most of them! I love what you have done with your home - who needs a tub in every bathroom?

Also just to say, I love the towels in the bathroom. Saw them at Target and they are calling my name!

I must do a post about my new shower curtain. Similar to yours, found at a yard sale! Love it!

Susan said...

Your master bathroom is lovely! I couldn't agree more with you about the comments these couples make when looking at homes (on House Hunters, etc). If the tile is the "right" color or something is a bit out of place, they're critical. We live in a 1,400 square foot home (which is small for some people), but I love it. It's home!

Thank you for your post - it has not made me envious, but rather thankful for our home.


Milah said...

This is a wonderful post! When I complain that my "stuff" isn't good enough...I usually get convicted right away. I imagine God shaking His head and feeling pretty disgusted that I'm not satisfied with what He gives me. I want to be more like Paul, content in whatever circumstance. My humble little home is a mansion compared to some peoples and I need to keep reminding myself of that.

Sharlotte said...

Amen Sister! Looks like you have had a lot of comments on this subject and many of us have your exact feelings!BTW, I LOVE your bathroom. The yellow and toile is such a great combination!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and being so truthful!
Ms. Sharlotte's...Southern Reflections

Darlene said...

What a FABULOUS post Manuela!!! I think we ALL get house envy from time to time. Both of our bathrooms are tiny. I absolutely LOVE your bathroom. It is GORGEOUS and so inspiring to me. Those little details really do make ALL THE difference. I am hoping to re-do our main bathroom soon. We re-did the master bathroom about 2 years ago but I really need to add the little touches to make it really feel right! Thanks for always sharing your home and your touches.♥

Extra!Extra!BlogAllAboutIt! said...

You said it best ~ like what you have. We are blessed beyond measure... double vanities or not ... separate tubs/showers or not ...small or large house ... chandeliers or ceiling fans ... we are blessed if we have a roof over our heads, food in our tummies, and family and friends to love {& who love us back!}. It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you got ~ One word: contentment & that is a beautiful thing.

I, too, love chandeliers, but like you, Manuela, I live in the South and a girl's gotta have a ceiling fan so I won't be swapping mine out anytime soon.

Love your post(s) & your bathroom, too ~ tres chic!


Jane (Frugal Fine Living) said...

This is such a great post! It's true; we see all these grand homes on television, and all of a sudden, we are not content with what we have.

BTW, your bathroom looks gorgeous! You really have a knack for decorating.

Lorri said...

Thanks so much for this post. I recently bought a home that is 30+ years old and trying to update the house on a budget. Like you I have often shopped at thrift stores and tried to make a home on a very limited budget. I am so thankful for such talented bloggers like you ! I always come away with ideas to use in my own home. Thanks!

Victoria said...

Wow, my sis and I talked TONIGHT about the very same thing and the same shows! She was talking about how some of the individuals have a $350K budget for a new home and then how they will have to rip out the corian counter tops to put granite in! Holy cow and I have laminate counter tops. :)

One reason I love your blog is that it feeds the mindset that you CAN have a beautiful home by using creativity and by re-purposing items and not spending thousands on a credit card.

Donna, The Decorated House said...

Hi Manuela~

You have such a pretty bath. Certainly shows what can be done with a small space!
But sorry, it is big compared to our 1960 bath. It is one thing that I will fix one day. It really, really is too small.

Funny hardly anyone remembers when it became a big deal to even have a second bath.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Pen Pen said...

Very well said!!! I am appalled, at times, with the people on House Hunters... by the way, I love that show. I love your blog and you are such an inspiration for making a pretty home!

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

I agree so many times over with you as I get frustrated when I hear them complain about a very nice house. I have a nice home only because my husband was able to build it himself so we could afford it and even then were house poor at times! I am making due with what I have and changing it on the thrifty side. I LOVE your bathroom as it has so much more character than a sleek expensive model! Some things would be nice to have but in the end, I am happy with what I have! I'm glad you are too!!

Linda C said...

Thanks so much for this post! A great reminder to look around and be thankful for our homes and to be content.
It worries me when I've seen assertions made on blogs like,"I absolutely couldn't live with that"- and it was exactly what is in my home and I like it. I'm afraid that some ladies in different stages of life (as you say) question their own taste or decorating preferences or are offended by these remarks.
Our differences are what make life so interesting!:)
I would just suggest that bloggers be gentle in their opinions and how they are communicated.:)

Thanks again for this forum on an important subject.

Linda C

Nana's Fun Stuff said...

Very well said Manuela. Your bathroom is absolutely beautiful. You did such a great job utilizing all the space and loved what you did. Great job and have a great weekend! ~ Laura

Holly said...

what a great post! I do often have to remind myself to be thankful for what I have!

sewingseeds4U said...

Manuela, Thanks for the reminder...we are all just one crisis, natural disaster or illness from far less that we have right now which is 98% more than the rest of the world. I have to laugh...we purchased our 1954 cottage (at least that's what I call it) over three years ago with red kitchen cabinets and old red and yellow tile in the teeny, tiny bathroom. Most people said they knew we must want to change that right away. Nope...I think it's charming, but then that's my style. To each his own as long as we learn to be content, patient and creative. Blessings, Patty

Teresa said...

What a sweet and kind post this is. I lost my husband of 40 4 years ago along with my beautiful home. I have since moved into a mobile home and have much to do in it. I thank God for giving me this home and I am doing what I can to make the very most of it. I have a very small budget but lots of imagination and creativity so it is a fun exciting adventure for me.

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

Hi Manuela~

I loved reading this post! I liked what you said about not having to do everything at once when redoing a room, too. That is so true! You do what you can, a little at a time! It is good to be reminded of this now and again! Thank you for sharing this post with us.

I also enjoyed seeing the your sweet bath room, and LOVE the curtain. It is perfect! As always, I am left feeling so inspired after reading your blog!


Bella said...

Hi Manuela~
I could not agree more! I watch those shows sometimes and half the time I am caught between laughing at these people and being shocked. I mean, really! Everything has to be perfect the first time out? Or even the second or third? If I had a house that needed absolutely nothing done to it, I would be bored silly. It's amazing to me that more people aren't grateful for what they have. I know I am very blessed in many areas of my life, including my home. Anytime I catch myself with house envy, I shake myself a little and try to remember how lucky I am. And I always find your home to be beautiful and inspiring. You have wonderful ideas!

Beth at Aunties said...

Lately I have been browsing/reading my favorite blogs and not really posting. I am so glad I stopped by tonight and read your fabulous post. You echo my own thoughts as I too enjoy watching these shows and am blown away by their expectations.
It never ceases to amaze me what these young 1st time couples say they NEED, always wanting MORE when they have so much compare to others throughout the world... I am glad we raised our family in a beautifully small, humble home without all the extras!
You truly are so talented in creating a lovely home and I think you have charming ideas. Thanks for sharing once again:)

Vicki in UT said...

What a cute bathroom! I used to have house envy when my sister-in-law moved to a pretty new house. I handled it by telling myself that I could have a house like that, if I went to work to help make the payments. But then I wouldn't be home to enjoy it. So I might as well take that time to make the house I had cozy and nice. A few years ago we were able to move to a nice new house. But things don't really change that much, and we are still us. Although I love our new house, it doesn't make as much difference as I thought it would.

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

What a wonderful post Manuela. I feel the same way. I'm so thankful for what we have. I'm a bit saddened when I hear a young couple say they need a bigger house because they're having another child and each child needs their own bedroom. My children have always shared a bedroom (six kids will do that) and I really believe it's been good for them.
You're bathroom is beautiful, and it shows so well what you can do with a little, purchased or created over time. Thanks again for a wonderful post.

Kristine said...

I have been feeling the exact same way about my 30 something year old home. I spend a lot of time here while undergoing treatments for cancer. I can always know when I start to fill better because my creative Instincts come out. We are in no position to replace furniture, carpet etc. So my latest project is to declutter and rearrange, and repurpose. Oh and one more trick is to walk around my house at night with very few lights on. Somehow it makes my house more homey, cleaner, and I fall in love with it again. Thanks for you inspiration. We all need need to be grateful for what we have.

Kathleen Grace said...

I think this generation growing up in such an affluent time has given them some unrealistic expectations. Add to that the fact that so many people have lived well above their means, (one of the things that has contributed to this economic downfall) and their kids think that is the norm. I admit, blogging can also give some unrealistic expectations becasue we tend to forget that we all fluff and clean and crop to show our homes in their best light. I am thinking we should have a "My pretty pigsty" blog party so we can all feel better about our messes and see that everyone has them. Everyone does right? Lol.
Your home is such an inspiration that it doesn't take a mint to have a beautiful place to live. I try to take ideas from the lovely blog homes I see and incorporate them into my modest little cottage, but I have learned to be happy with what I have right now. That is the secret to happiness!

Angela said...

I admit it,,I'm a House Hunter awhile I did stop watching it though because I was getting more discontented with my home..Thank goodness I got over it and realized that I've been making my house a home and loving making the corners of this home a sanctuary for my family...I have laughed (sometimes in disgust) when I would watch the show and they would say,,'oh this is just not big enough'..EXCUSE house would fit in there three times and it's not big enough for you..and your only a family of 4? lol

Wendy said...

I love this post! We are leaving our double sinks to move to a smaller home that we will use every inch of the space and I am thrilled and can't wait!
I love your bathroom and all the attention to detail! I am also a girl that loves toile! It always makes my heart skip a beat!!
Beautiful :)

Kelley said...

"The blessing of the home is contentment."

Vee said...

Thank you for saying so nicely what is often on my mind...there's no reason to be trying to keep up with the Joneses and there are many Joneses in Blogdom. Your lovely home is a perfect example of how to have charm and grace, style and warmth without owning a McMansion.

Lori said...

I just love your post! You are right on the money about people not being satisfied with what they have. I really strive to have my family be conent with what God has given us! We are a cottage of content here at My Magnolia Cottage! :)

Storybook Woods said...

Ha I do not even have a master bath but you know what I have character. So does your home and I would rather have that any day, then some pre-fab, latest trend home. Love your bathroom xoxoxo Clarice

Country Mouse said...

Just found your blog and I love your philosophy! Thanks for sharing! I am now a follower and I will (try) to love the home I'm in!!! :) I do thank God that I HAVE a home...and just recently paid off in full. So it is "ours" enjoy~

Anonymous said...

I so agree that it makes a home more enjoyable to decorate it and make it your own over the course of your time there.
I am not one who moves often, but when I do, my tastes tend to stay similar.
Still, I enjoy watching those shows. Like you, I laugh at some of the comments. I really think I could choose a better home for most of them, but they still would be unhappy.

My visit today was prompted by the vintage plate you showed last year - Charlie & Charlotte. I found the matching pitcher and am trying to figure out its age.

Glad to stay and look around.

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

BRAVO Manuela!! This was a WONDERFUL post and I think you hit the nail right on the head. I think a lot of young people starting out looking for homes have 'dreams of grandeur' and it puts a lot of unnessesary stress on them to have EVERYTHING right from the start! It's another case of 'instant gratification'. I'm 57 years old and I've 'been around' when it comes to moving into different homes and I must say...the MOST gratification comes from slowly making your home the way you want it. It can save a person a LOT of money by not rushing out and having everything new right from the 'get go'. I love my home but I can see where some of these articles and some blogs can make a person feel like their home is 'not good enough'. You hit it right Manuela...'love the home you have' is wonderful advice. THANK YOU for posting this! Have a wonderful weekend...Maura :)

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

After all that I forgot to mention how much I love what you've done to your's beautiful in all it's little details. :)

Terri said...

Wow! You will never know how timely this post is for me. Thank you for making me think heavy about the home I have. More details later.... in my blog!

Teri said...

I know what you mean about the "house hunter" shows. I wish I had a dollar for everyone on the show who says with dismay "Oh, no stainless steel appliances or granite counter tops?? We have to have those." Then, when they hear the price of the home, they say it's more than they wanted to spend. I'm new to blogging, and I'm trying not to get "home envy". Both my home and budget are small, but I love the inspiration I get from the beautiful work of so many.

HeathahLee said...

I have just recently realized what I had been doing to myself. I would look through gorgeous pictures in Southern Living and BH&G and get so envious of their high ceilings, huge bedrooms and bathrooms, and up-to-date kitchens. I looked at my living room a few days ago and realized that I LOVE it. Are their changes I would make if I had the money? Of course, but I love looking at everything there. Now if I could just see my kitchen, 1 1/2 baths, and bedroom the same way!

Speaking of bathrooms, you and I have the same shower curtain! Actually, I thought you had added the ticking to yours because mine doesn't have the that but it is black and ivory toile, and came from Target! It was last year's model, evidently. : )

Here's a picture of it. You have to scroll down to the pics in the's about my then-new glasses. : )

Susan said...

Manuela, You have wonderful timing, my friend. I've been very upset as of late because we are not going to be moving like we'd hoped we would be. It's not the home so much that I'm dissatisfied with, but our very noisy neighbors. We have about three more years here now, and I'm inspired to make it the most it can be. Thank you for this post, it was exactly what I needed.

Your bathroom is lovely. You did an incredible job with it. Now I'm going to get back on track and start working on finishing ours.

Hope you have an amazing day,

diXymiss said...

This post is timely for me as well, Manuela, and I appreciate your wisdom. Your master bath may be small in size, but it's big on style! I love the look you've created ~ classic elegance with a touch of whimsy! I'm off to take a fresh look at my bathroom and stuff stash, to see what I can do to jazz things up with what I have on hand. ThanX for inspiring me (once again)!

PS: Care to recommend a good bath towel brand or resource? I like 'em big and fluffy too.

homesteader said...

Manuela, I just love reading what you write. You really inspire me. I want my blog to be like yours when it grows up. Thanks for being real.

Anonymous said...

Your home is beautiful because it is used, enjoyed, loved! Your readers take delight in it and you because of the pleasure you take in your home and surroundings. Thank you for being sincerely sweet and inspirational and for encouraging us to be the same. It is why you are at the top of my blog list. Destiny

Rhonda said...

Happy Saturday Manuela,
This is such a wonderful post. I also house envy, which is why I love blogging! I get ideas from my blog friends, and can see that we all have the same issues with our home. I also crack up at the "House Hunters" and other who complain about too small bedrooms, no stainless steel appliances, and no granite countertops. HELOOOOOOOOO! It has taken me years to get my home upgraded with the things on my wish list, and I'm still working on it!

I love browsing your home, and love your ideas. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post. I would also add go ahead and love your home while you have it. Some of us live in uncertainty and may have to move, but it is better to go ahead and love your house now than to keep putting it off because you might have to move. If you do move, then love your new house too!


Janet said...

I agree with you Manuela, today's buyers are spoiled and want absolutely everything. I always wonder what they will aspire to if they get everything the first time. After raising our 4 boys in our 18oosf 4 bedroom 1.5 bath house it seems large now that they are all grown and gone. We have none of the "must haves", but it works very well for us. We are content with what we have worked so hard to have.
Janet @ Housepeepers

Cottage Rose said...

OH I so agree with you,,, young couples today seem to want it all and want it now.... having no real idea of the real world.... then down the road they wonder what is wrong with their money.... I just love love your bath,,,and it looks bigger then it really is,,just by how you decorated it.... I feel the same way about my home,,, it is not a palace but I can make it look like one..... .the shabby chic thanks for sharing.


Susan said...

I loved this post because I need that reminder so often: love what you have! I love to watch House Hunters, but often get so aggravated with these people who reject a house because it doesn't have granite countertops or stainless steel appliances. My favorite HH episode thus far was about a couple who lived in Manhattan in a tiny apartment and were just glad to get a house. The kitchen was the original 1950s cabinets and counters - the kind with the metal strips around the counters? They bought the house, painted the cabinets, and left the counters just as they were. When the cabinets were painted, the counters just faded into the background. And they were happy with what they had.

Anyway . . . I enjoy your blog so much because you show us how to do simple things to make our homes look better. I only get overwhelmed when I realize that I couldn't possibly think of all these things on my own! LOL

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

You sure do an excellent job of making the most of what you have. Your home is wonderful.

Marie said...

I really enjoyed your post and seeing your bathroom. We are like you, we enjoy what we have. We bought the home that I grew up in from my parents. The house was built in the late 1930's. Of course, we have had to do some upgrading. Our home and very comfortable and at this point in our life, we are just praying to be able to live here as long as we can.
Thanks for sharing!


Dena said...

I absolutely relished this post Manuela. What wonderful words of about your adorable bathroom! My goodness is that ever cute. I am in the process of setting up home so it was true inspiration for me :)


june@craftyniche said...

I had to laugh about the those shows. I don't have all that fancy stuff, although I am striving for a more cottagey style home, and have learned to love what I have. And I will not give up my ceiling fan in my bedroom! You're right, it's too hot down here in the south!

Sheryl said...

What an inspiring post, Manuela! The most important thing is to love and appreciate what you have. And it shows in your beautiful home! There are people out there who have these huge homes with all the "bells and whistles" and are not even enjoying them. You have lifted my day with this post. Thank you!

Terri aka PennyAnnPoundwise said...

I am blessed to have a big master bath...but our main/guest bath is small though it is a full bath. DD will be marrying next month and it will be one of my first decorating projects since it is the bath most guests use as powder room. I love the ideas I gathered reading your blog.

In the meantime I am currently working on painting the cabinetry in our bathroom. I love decorating because it's a constant process.

Richella said...

Yes, yes, YES!

Marla, this post is wonderful! I appreciate it so much!!

We currently live in what I consider to be a very nice house--one that we bought when we were in our 40's. It's not a dream house by HGTV standards, but it is nice. But do you know what our first home was? A 500-square-foot married students' apartment. And then the first house we bought later was a big-time fixer-upper. We've worked our way over the years to this house. . . and there are things about this house that some of the folks who appear on the HGTV shows would consider absolutely unbearable!

Anyway, in all the places we've lived, I've never furnished or decorated a room all in one fell swoop. I still don't do that. I suppose that now I could afford to do it if I chose to make that my priority--but that would take away a lot of the fun as well as the sense of well-being of having done the work myself.

You are a wonderful example of the real pleasures of homemaking--not just superficial pleasures. I thank you for being a voice of reason and goodness!

Miss Janice said...

I agree with you and I love the home I have! Your bathroom is fabo!!! Love the shower curtain and those darlin' towels! I don't want a huge house with all the fancy stuff. I actually have one of those in Mississippi and I'm trying to sell it:) Thanks for a wonderful post and for sharing your bathroom photos with us!

{ L } said...

You write with such wisdom...thank you. And I really love that black and white ticking! I want to use that style in my decor.

Vickie said...

Manuela, I see you've got a lot of comments already, but if you see this 'un, come over to my blog today and see my post on your giveaway of "Savannah Style"! Thanks again!

I agree with you on making the most of your own home - I think it's actually Biblical - being content with what you have. And since we're "homemakers", let's get busy and MAKE our home the best it can be within the means that the Good Lord has blessed us with!

Have a wonderful week!!!

Recycled Rita said...

I think one of the reasons I have always liked visiting your blog is because you have such a great "do with what you have" attitude! I also watch those shows and know that if I ever were to afford a house in Southern Calif., we could not afford to redo I would make it mine as best I could and would probably love it!
Thanks for all the inspiration!
I love your black toile bathroom!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Great post, Manuela! I've said the same thing before too. We have to enjoy what we have. You've done a wonderful job with your little bathroom. It's so cozy & cute and colorful. Love it!

Denise Marie said...

Manuela, I love this post!! My sentiments exactly. We are searching the area for the next house and I'm not sure if I can leave mine after 16.5 years. I love everything about it. We've added to the ambiance in every corner of the property.

Pamela said...

I just think your bathroom is adorable! I love the toile! I actually am on the hunt for a toile panel like in your first picture. I have two but need a third and it is impossible to find. I order some other toile fabric in the same color scheme so hopefully I will like it as much.

Kristi said...

I could not AGREE with you MORE!!!! I used to get caught up in this or that, then I finally decided to make my house my OWN and have really enjoyed it these last (almost) 10 yrs!
I am always shocked when I see people who have never owned a home before basically DEMAND all these high ticket items like it's a NEED not a want. And maybe I shouldn't say this, LOL,. but when they go back to the persons house to show them living there it's never decorated very nicely for people who HAD to have granite counters or a bathroom the size of a dance hall!!! Ok that was mean, but it's true!!! :)

nannykim said...

Wow this is beautiful; thanks for sharing this with us. I love the words you did also!

Linda said...

A few spots in your house remind me of mine. I need to re-do my little master bath as well. I love your colors and style. Thanks for the pick me up on appreciating my own home.

decdiva1 said...

i agree with you! i get nothing but INSPIRATION from your blog! you've inspired me to have my own veggie garden next year and to keep thriftin'! i was wondering what technique you used to do the yellow walls in your bathroom, i love it! i've always love black and white and yellow! thanks for the reminder to be happy w/ the homes we have! after God blessed us w/ this home, so being unsatisfied w/ it is like saying to God "what you GAVE me isn't good enough!" could you imagine saying that to his face!!! never! so thanks again! and i think you hit a nerve w/ this one-way to go!

Shilo said...

I appreciate how you focus on what is truly important in life. Yes, we all love a beautiful home! But what use is it if we are discontent and miserable?
Well said, friend! May your day be blessed!

Anonymous said...

I had to stop watching those shows for that reason! Me and my hubby would love to buy a house but arent quite in that place yet, with figuring out where we want to plant some roots and all! And I think it is a shame someone can't see a beautiful house for the bones and not all the cosmetic stuff!! Makes me very angry!! =) I want a house I can put my own touches on! All of those things are nice but I'd rather pay half the price and then do it myself! BAH HUMBUG! =)

Gumbo Lily said...

I so appreciate your attitude, "Love the house you're in." It's so true that today people want bigger, more, better, and really we are so blessed to have what we have. Our job is to make it a beautiful, comfortable, peaceful place to live and you do that brilliantly. THANK YOU for sharing your ideas and your wisdom.


ElleX said...

I love this post! Thanks for the encouragement!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

What a beautiful post every way. Your topic resonates with so many of us as you are spot~on in that our culture/society/media breed discontent. This is such a well as a very subtle, negative force because what we focus on does grow. Thus if we are constantly focusing on what we do not have then we get more of the same (i.e. what we don't want ;).

In my own life I try very hard to incorporate the art of appreciating what I have into my daily life. Even if it's just the vintage china cup I'm drinking my coffee from every morning...or the volunteer tomato plant that is taking over our tiny garden and supplying us with an over abundance of delicious cherry tomatoes!!!

Please let me just say that, speaking for myself, your blog never inspires discontent with what I fact...I often leave here invigorated and inspired to take action in my own little house and garden Thank you my friend! I truly appreciate all you share with us.

Love, love, love from

Lori said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. I have had to stop watching those home buyers shows because it does make you feel that the home I have is not good enough. I am extremely thankful for what God has given to me and my family.

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed your blog but this post especially hit a note with me. I grew up really dirt poor, we moved a lot and lost a lot. my mother's motto was 'it is not what you have but how you arrange it'. Now, in my old age, I have a pretty nice house, but the majority of it is decorated from Goodwill and garage sales over the last several years. I know many people who have bought a lot of what might be lovely things but you would never know it because they just throw it into their houses and expect it to make everything perfect. It isn't what you have, it is how you arrange it!!