In the Fall of 2011, we took a leap of faith, packed up our belongings, and moved our family of 5 to the sweet little town of Kalona to set up roots. Having previously lived in and around the Des Moines area, it was so comforting to be back in a small-town atmosphere. And what a blessing it was to be in a HOUSE after almost 5 years of apartment living. We finally had our own space. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed our old places (some more than others), but this one really felt like a home. We aren’t afraid of disturbing the neighbors with our (obnoxiously loud) surround sound during an epic action movie. I don’t have to be concerned with bothering the other tenants if my kids are getting rowdy outside or playing too loudly near their window. I no longer have to “shush” them for jumping up and down and running through the house because there are no dwellers downstairs that might be irritated by them. And for the first time in a long time… we don’t have to share a laundry room with numerous other building mates. (Truly thanking the Lord for this one!)
Let me tell you, it has seriously been soo fun decorating the inside of our house. I unintentionally end up having themes for every room. Our daughter is donning zebra print and hot-pink while the boys’ room is decked out in Hawkeye gear – Iowa jerseys, Iowa helmets, Iowa footballs, Iowa sock-monkeys, Iowa posters and signs (what can I say, we bleed black and gold! GO HAWKS!!!). Our bedroom and living room take on more of the warm/neutral earth tones with accents of maroon here and there. Basically every room has it’s own little personality…. and I like that!
Well, after almost 2 years of living here, I realized that we were only expressing our style inside our home. I admit, I have completely neglected adding any sort of decorations or “curb-appeal” outside the house because it seemed like such a daunting task. Plus, flowers, landscaping, fire-pits, pretty little windmills, shepherds hooks, and other outdoor embellishments are expensive… and I’m cheap!!! Not to mention, since we’ve been married, we’ve never had to deal with taking care of a lawn (one perk of apt living), so we basically just mowed and that was the extent of our outdoor maintenance and décor.
Tangent – every once in a great awhile, I get super motivated to take on some big undertaking. I get all gung-ho about it and obsess over the task until it’s finished and near perfect.
Back to reality… about a week ago, I had one of those moments! My workout buddy had mentioned that she was heading over to the greenhouse after our run to grab some flowers and veggie plants. I instantly became inspired! Seriously, a spark lit inside me and I started having all these visions of a cute little walkway to our front door and beautiful flowering pots accentuating our driveway. And I was finally going to utilize that old iron-looking table and chair (that never got used because it was super uncomfortable) to fill that awkward nook next to the garage door. Eeeks, ideas were coming together so quickly. But, how could I add a touch of “the Claussens” to our home?! There was nothing more logical than to fill the space with our love for the Iowa Hawkeyes!
We knew we didn’t have the bucks to shell out for licensed Hawks décor, so we did the next best thing…. we made our own! We hammered out tons of projects that day! After many hours of hard work, we’d gone through countless cans of spray paint, our fingernails were caked in potting-soil, my back ached like I’d just run a marathon, and my husband and I’s determination and creativity had fizzled out. But, it was done!!! We had given our house a touch of personality! I kid you not, for the next couple days (on multiple occasions) I would walk out to the end of our driveway just to admire everything we’d accomplished. It finally looked like a home, our home – not just the house on the corner by the field. Ha!
So now tell me, what inspires you to give your space a touch of YOU?! Do you pride yourself in handmade and DIY projects? Are you all about giving your rooms personality? Does it interest you to do the decorating on your own, or do you enjoy handing that daunting task over to a professional? I thrive on others’ inspiration and I am always open to new ideas! =)
And one last time… GO HAWKS!!!!