“Home sweet home”. “Home is where the heart is”. “Home is wherever I’m with you”. “Always come home”. What does your home mean to you? How do you feel when you walk into your home? Does it make you happy? This is the driving force behind my blog, The Third White House. You see, I am a wife, mother of 3 young children and a 1st grade teacher. What on earth do I know about home decorating and blogging and how do I have time for this? The answer is simply, I want our home to be a place that makes us happy, that is beautiful and meaningful to our family. I have found easy, inexpensive ways to do that in our home and I wanted to share that journey.
I have been teaching for 15 years- most of those years have been in 1st grade. I will always love teaching. I will never tire watching a 6 year-old learn how to read. That is something that is truly amazing to witness, no matter how many times I see it. My husband is also in education- we live and breathe it! We have 3 young, active children. Needless to say, we are busy. However, I have always LOVED home design and decorating. As I child, I used to draw neighborhoods ( I know weird, right?) and then when my husband and I bought our first home in the city, I started discovering my love of DIY on a shoe-string budget. Fast forward to 2 houses later and our house is filled with curbside and resale store “treasures”. I paint everything- furniture, tile, cabinets- nothing is safe.
My time is limited and I do not spend a lot of money on furniture. I scour resale stores, craigslist and Facebook marketplace for diamonds in the rough. Even my friends and family are in on my addiction- I love getting pictures of curbside treasures to come scoop up! It also helps that my Mom always has her eye out for treasures for me too- she is for sure my personal shopper. I will get pictures with “do you want this?” or “this is only $10!!!” throughout the day. My garage currently has an armoire and 3 chairs waiting for me to tackle. I may or may not be picking up 5 more chairs this weekend (don’t tell Pete!). There is always a project brewing!
I enjoy the process of taking something that might be considered trash to someone else and making it into something unique for our home. I have dressers everywhere- they are easy to find, they are easy to paint and they have tons of storage! The process may take me longer- I paint at night or on the weekends in between running here to there, but the end result is always worth the time and energy.
I also love surrounding our family with what is meaningful to us. I can never have enough photographs and quotes on the walls. I recently framed 2 recipes from my grandmothers- every time I pass them, I smile. When I’m doing laundry, I look up and read the quote about cherishing the day with my children, and believe me, I need that reminder in the craziness of the day. When I’m exhausted and cooking dinner for our family after spending the day with 21, 6 year olds, I look at the frame next to the stove where I switch out quotes depending on the time of year and just breathe (in between screaming, of course). Photographs of different seasons of our life are everywhere- maybe I overdo that a bit- but, I love it. I definitely do not follow the “less is more” approach when it comes to covering the walls.
My message to you is this- you should love where you live. Your home should make you happy and be a place that comforts you. If you don’t like something about your home, change it. If you have furniture in your basement, use it. If you hate the color of your bedroom set, paint it. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and you can make your home beautiful with a little bit of patience and DIY. Don’t be intimidated by the process. Look on pinterest, find bloggers you love, watch demonstrations on youtube. You can do it. Believe me. The pride you will have in something you made or DIY-ed will be priceless and the result will be beautiful to you.
Join me on my blogging journey at http://thethirdwhitehouse.com and follow along on facebook and instgram too @thethirdwhitehouse!
(Erin is born and raised in Delaware and a St. Marks, UD, and Wilmington University alum. She’s a self-taught decorator and DIY extraordinaire, a wife, mother of 3 young children and a first grade teacher.)