Sunday, January 17, 2021

How to Make a Graceful, Cozy Home Without Spending a lot of Money

It is possible to make a home cozy and inviting without spending a lot of money? I think it is. The general principal is to direct your efforts at appealing to the senses and the emotions. Unappealing elements such as dirt, disorder, and debris are not helpful in creating a comforting feel to your home and those things need to be banished. I like this quote and I think it sums up how to make a home that will bring about a feeling of contentment:

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful"- William Morris, 1834

I'm sharing with you all here are a few things homemakers have done for generations to make their homes graceful and a place they and their families want to be. Let's don't quickly dismiss some of these old-fashioned and frugal ways of making a house a home.

Declutter your home. 

Put away everything that isn’t useful or beautiful. Make the time investment to evaluate everything in your home. Keep what you love and donate or sell the rest. Getting rid of the weight of seen and tucked away clutter will make your house feel totally different.

Keep the house clean.

  • Bathrooms should be cleaned every day. Make sure sinks, toilets, showers, & floors are clean and shiny.

  • Keep the kitchen . After meals, sweep floors, wipe down and clear counters, wash dishes and put away. Do a quick mop several times a week. I use an all in one spray mop from O Cedar.

  • Tidy those bedrooms...make the bed and put clothes away and have children do the same.

  • Common living areas should be picked up daily, vacuumed and dusted weekly, polished once a month or so.

Decorate with heart, hands, the senses and imagination.

  • Light scented candles & keep luscious smelling lotions handy. If you want to splurge, beeswax candles are heavenly.

  • Use throws and decorative pillows to add color.

  • Extend the life of furniture by covering any worn places with throws,quilts and blankets.

  • Hang family heirloom or second-hand painting bought from antique and thrift stores.

  • Wood furniture instantly warms a room as do natural materials such as bamboo, wood, leather, cotton, wool, and linen.

  • Area rugs add a lot of charm, pattern and color.

  • Potted plants such as geraniums are lovely if you have a sunny window. 

  • Keep a vase of flowers on the table, either fresh or silk.

  • If you can afford to paint, use warm paint colors.

Live, create and do things in your home.

In these covid times, home is the place to be!  And so we can use this time to really learn how to live and be at home.  Here are some things to do at home that will make your home come alive.

  • Keep a lovely tablecloth on the table and then eat at the table daily; use pretty second hand dishes.

  • Put out seasonal decor and celebrate holidays. Bring in greenery from your yard if you have it and put in pretty containers around the house. It's free and brings noticeable life into a room.

  • Display children's art and family photos.
  • Play music. Musical instruments add a lot of interest to home. Also you can splurge on a nice speaker and play from streaming services whatever you, gospel, cooking shows, jazz, classical. This is a wonderful way to personalize your home by having music playing in the background.
  • Keep coffee brewing in a sparkling kitchen;  make tea in the sun.
  • Cook and bake daily. 
  • Have some needlework projects out in a pretty basket, also newspapers, books and magazines.

Pay attention to lighting.

  • Use natural light during the day as much as possible. Open the windows if you can and let in the smells and sounds of nature. When it's cold, open the blinds and let the sunlight in. Nothing makes a house feel better than natural light and breezes coming in from the outdoors.
  • Turn off the overhead lights and use table and floor lamps instead. This will create a warm, cozy glow throughout the room and house.
  • String lights are super cozy and help to brighten up dark areas in kitchens or on mantels. Ambiance and accent lighting are both nice in a bathroom. Dollar General store has a great choice of small accent lights on a budget. Don't forget battery powered candles that have timers. These are lovely to have come on early in the morning for soft lighting in closets, bathrooms and kitchens. Have task lighting for areas where people read or do writing, art or needlework.
  • When the sun goes down, create clusters of illumination where you want focal and conversation points to be.
  • If introducing additional lights and re-jigging your lighting situation is out of the question for financial reasons, at least make sure you are only using warm bulbs throughout the rooms that you want to cozy up.

This all sounds like a lot of work. Is it really worth it? 

I think so! Your family will gravitate toward a cozy, well-kept home that will bring comfort  and add to their well being.  Creating a warm nest  is one way of ministering to them,  to friends and extended family and anyone that you invite into your sanctuary.  A thoughtful, lived in, loved space can bring peace to your little world and you will stay busy, active and creative as you do it.


Amy Laurie


  1. You have a gift for describing homemaking in a way that is so inspiring. To create a cluster of illumination, that is so lovely! I can "see" what you are describing. Thank you!

  2. You’re welcome! I enjoy talking about homemaking and glad you do, too.

  3. Hi Mountain Housewife, Do you have an email subscription list that I could join? You have encouraged me for a few years now on Twitter, which I am no longer on. Thank you! Sharon K. from Vermont


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