How to Create A Warm & Welcoming Entry

Black and White Staircase Railings with Hickory Floors - The Inspired Room Neutral Entry

There’s nothing like coming home after a long day! Does your home welcome you in? With a chill still in the air this time of year (and many places blanketed in snow), it’s nice to walk in the door and feel instantly cozy, welcomed and at peace! But if your entry leaves you feeling cold or unsettled, here are a few simple and practical ways to welcome your family home (excerpted from my book, Love the Home You Have).

  • Keep your entry tidy and welcoming so your house is one you want to come home to and hate to leave!
  • Light a candle and turn on your lamps for a cozy, welcoming ambience as you and your family come in the door.
  • Turn on some music when you arrive home. It might set just the perfect tone for a relaxing evening.
  • Timers can be wonderful reminders to turn on a few lamps, turn on the heat on a cold night, or turn on a coffeepot or a crockpot with a hot drink, an appetizer, or dinner.

You can set the mood your want for your home in so many ways!

Here’s another surefire way to create a cozy (and affordable) ambience for your entry (or living room!): scour secondhand stores for unique pieces to add character and personality! Umbrellas with wood handles, old walking sticks, repurposed metal buckets and plant stands, old crates for organizing, funky tables, rustic and metal frames and art.

The Inspired Room Entryway - Hooks

I shared so many of my favorite tried and true decorating tips, including methods for adding color and texture, mixing patterns, my how-to formulas and helps for decorating and organizing your home in The Inspired Room book, my new best-selling coffee table book (which was just released just before the holidays!).

You’ll discover the help you need to arrange furniture to create perfectly comfortable and welcoming rooms, simply by pulling together what you already have. And if you don’t have everything you need right now, I offer simple suggestions for what you should be on the hunt for next!

I poured my heart into this book with the hope that it would encourage and help you create rooms you will LOVE to be in right now and spaces that can evolve with you and your style over time!

You can order The Inspired Room book for under $20 on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

The Inspired Room - New Coffee Table Book

You can find more encouragement and ideas for homemaking and decorating your home (on any budget) in my New York Times Best Selling book Love the Home You Have (order on Amazon or Barnes and Noble)!

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How to Set Up Online Budgeting for House Projects {Goal Setting}

How to Set Up Online Budgeting for House Projects and Goal Setting - You Need a Budget - The Inspired RoomThis post was created in partnership with You Need a Budget

Do you ever feel frustrated by the limitation of finances, especially when you have big future dreams for your home (or goals for life, for that matter)? I know the feeling. I’m a live-in-the-moment girl and I’ll admit, I struggle with budgeting for future things. I like the satisfaction of now.

Even if a fancy coffee is $5, quite a lot, it sometimes seems like a small price to pay for the joy of having it now, when the new kitchen appliances I might want could be $5,000.

A lack of a plan is often how decorative clutter builds up around the house, too. We might not feel too bad about buying inexpensive accessories on a regular basis, but without a budget we will never save enough money to do the bigger things that might truly transform the room. Pretty soon we have invested in a lot of accessories we might not even love anymore and our room still doesn’t feel right, you know what I mean?

But if money just slips through our hands and heads to whatever bill is currently screaming at us, or whatever our heart desires or even needs at any given moment, we miss out on the joy of being intentional about how we live and spend our resources.

The Inspired Room - Coffee Meeting

I don’t know about you but on a frivolous level, I love going out to eat, getting new clothes, decorating my house, AND sipping on $5 lattes. On a generous level, I love giving to support causes and ministries that matter to us or someone in need. On a practical level, I love feeling secure about my future. I love paying my bills on time and knowing I’m prepared for emergencies. I want to provide for our family’s immediate needs.

I thoroughly want to enjoy ALL THE THINGS money could buy.

Money may not really buy happiness, but we should tell it what to do for us, or it might be spent somewhere else, on something other than what we intended (maybe accidentally on a latte or a new throw pillow, instead of into our savings account for a new appliance or to add to our emergency fund, whatever the case may be).

budget

note: the budget images in this post are not of my own budget :)

When we moved to Seattle, I knew we’d have to be even more deliberate about how we spend money. While it would be awesome if we had moved here with a big home improvement savings account, an inheritance, a financial gift or big win to make that happen, we didn’t. We knew we would have to save our pennies if we were ever going to make our long term goals a reality, while still being faithful to giving and to keeping up with our immediate needs.

We love talking about home improvement projects around here, but often we ask ourselves what could be done “on a budget?” It’s actually impossible to answer that question for someone else!

Being “on a budget” should not imply that you are poor, or frugal, or cheap, or anything like that, it should just simply mean you have decided to tell your money where to go. I think everyone who cares about how they spend money, whether they have a lot or a little to work with, should be on a budget!

how to create a budget for goal setting - you need a budget

We will all have different goals, different means and different needs. You may spend money on hiring help to do a project, someone else might spend money on supplies and DIY the same project instead. Neither one is necessarily a bad use of funds, if we each proceeded with our plans based on our own budget, we can feel confident in our choices.

That’s the beauty of setting up our own budget, we will have decided in advance where we want our money to go. We can make decisions about when to spend, when to save, when to splurge and when to be more frugal.

A budget is our handy dandy decision maker when we face that all too familiar conundrum: should we buy THIS chair or THAT chair, this month or next month, or neither.

I started using an online budgeting system that I really really love and it is PERFECT for setting goals for the future, like house projects. It’s called You Need a Budget. RIGHT? I do need one. You know you do, too. When I was approached about sharing You Need a Budget with you, I was elated not only because I had it for myself, but because I knew this topic of budgeting was one I feel passionate about, in light of the topics of this blog.

Gray and White Kitchen - White Subway Tile - The Inspired Room

How can prepare financially to do home improvement projects on our budget?
When should we spend, and where should we save or splurge?
How can we pay off debt and reach financial goals while improving our home?

Clearly if we don’t set a budget, we can and likely will end up off track, potentially making decisions about our home (and everything else) that don’t make sense in light of our goals, or facing unexpected expenses that could have been avoided if we had made a plan.

Online Budgeting - Setting Spending Goals

You Need a Budget is the perfect solution. It helps you to be confident in your decision making because you tell the money you have right now where you want it to go, and you will know exactly where it went.  You can set a budget online, set up savings goals (it has really helpful features to help you track your progress!) and even check up on your goals and current financial situation via your cell phone. It’s pretty cool!

Give YNAB a try! I think you’ll like it as much as I do.

***The first 30 readers to click here to sign up for YNAB will receive the first 3 months free, so it’s definitely worth it! There are lots of video classes and tutorials you can take advantage of too, so sign up and take a look around!***

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