Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Working With What You Have


 Some of you may remember this post from last summer. When I thought about the idea of "working with what you have" for the Emily A. Clark link party, this is the one that came to mind. It was one of the first ones on this blog, so things have evolved since then, and will evolve even more. But I think it is a great example of how little changes can make a big difference; most importantly to our attitude.


There's a saying I try to live by, "The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they make the best of what they have." I think it pretty well sums up my decorating philosophy, too. So after writing about my ideas for Bela's bedroom the other day, I was motivated to go in and make some changes.

1. Moved her bed in front of the window. To make it look more like a daybed, I lined up her large stuffed animals (all dressed by her :) against the window.

2. Created a reading nook in the corner. Instead of purchasing a pouf, I used a large jack o' lantern pillow that I bought at an after-Halloween sale a few years ago. It's plush, round, and orange. My kids love it so it has never stayed in storage.

3. Placed a small bookcase that was already in the room in the area where I would be placing a desk. I filled it with books that had migrated throughout the house. Bonus: I put a few favorites on top to replicate the idea of the wall shelves. 

Another thing that I did was to put all of Bela's Barbie dolls in an old suitcase that she likes to play with. I placed it next to the bookcase and propped it open. In the old design, she would play with toys right by her door, which meant that there were always toys on the path to her bed. I wanted to find a way to get her to play more inside her room, rather than on the periphery. It worked and an unexpected benefit is that Bela actually put the Barbies back in the suitcase when she was done playing with them yesterday. WOW!

I also cleaned everything really well. The big guy helped me fix some things and hang a shelf for tiaras in a new spot underneath Bela's mirror. My amazing family sent me links to less expensive pieces and offered the talents of my dad (a carpenter) to try to replicate some of my ideas. And a friend from way back sent me an email to tell me how I could make my own flower hooks for much less. :)

Overall, I may not have been able to give Bela exactly the room I envisioned but the encouragement from all of you and the awareness that what I did made Bela feel special and loved is more than enough!


  1. We have that same bedspread as Bela on one of our beds, so summery! Really sweet room, she's a lucky girl :o)

  2. I love that little reading corner. Such a happy spot. Thanks for linking up :)


Thanks so much for commenting! I love to read what you have to say. ~Carrie


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