Come in, won’t you?

Thrift store decor. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

Thrift store decor. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

Thrift store decor. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

We've been on the farm for nearly two months now.

And I'm starting to feel like we're settling in.

We haven't painted yet (something I'm really looking forward to), but we're making it our own just the same.

I thought today that I'd show you around and share some of my favorite corners. Not the big picture (because there is nothing big about this little house!) but just a few favorite little touches.

Aside from a second-hand shelf or two we haven't added anything new. I am working on a few small pieces of art that the house is calling for, simply using what we have on hand – old maps, driftwood, calendars, and stones.

Otherwise we're just finding new uses for what we already had. And it feels good to see our old things in a new context.

Thrift store decor. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

Thrift store decor. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

Thrift store decor. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

This little collection lives in our upstairs hallway. It is a favorite corner for me.

The barn papercut was picked up at a rummage sale for 50 cents. The barn line drawing was also from a garage sale ($4). I bought them when I was focusing my energy on manifesting our own farm, so it's delightful to see them on the wall here.

The rose is a painting Sage made for me when he was small, painted on a decaying board we took off of our garage in Viroqua.

The woodblock of the snowdrift is from a marvelous local artist, also part of my country-manifestation-experiment.

And my favorite, the thrifted vintage shelf arrangement I put together one quiet morning here on the farm. I used an old vocabulary card, some Lake Superior stones and driftwood, and chicken feathers.

See? Pretty can be cheap or free!

Thrift store decor. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

Thrift store decor. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

Our bathroom is home to the art that once hung in our playroom. (Remember this?) I wasn't sure where it would fit in this little house and wondered if they would have a place here at all.

But they do brighten up an otherwise dull, windowless space perfectly.

Fabric hoops are the easiest art ever. Quick, cheap, and satisfying. (Second hand hoops run about 50 cents each.)

Thrift store decor. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

And the family room now hosts our nesting doll collection.

After putting most of Lupine's and my matryoshka dolls in the bye-bye box during the pre-move purge I had a change of heart.

Because I love them.

So I scored a sold wooden shelf at Goodwill (My big decorative spend at $6) and the dolls became art as well.

(You might recognize the kids' bed sheet curtains from the old house too. Use what you have is clearly a theme.)

Thrift store decor. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

Thrift store decor. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

The children have also set to work, carving out their own space in their bedroom. I often hear the tap-tap-tap of Lupine's hammer as she hangs another piece of art in her room.

Resisting the urge to be in charge of how their room looks is important work for me. It is their room, so I've relinquished the cute vision in my head of all that I could do to make it lovely to my eyes. Because it isn't mine.

And besides, they're doing great.

(The spool necklace rack was Pete's gift for Lupine on Solstice a year ago. It matches the music box I made for her. I know. It's completely rad. He's one crafty papa.)

Thrift store decor. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

I also framed a couple of vintage maps of Wisconsin – of both the Driftless (where we live) and the North Woods (which we love).

The maps came from a 1960's atlas of Wisconsin at the local church thrift store for 50 cents. I almost hated to cut it, but now we enjoy it every day. The rest will be used for decoupage.

If you thirft even occasionally you can find nice quality frames for a couple of dollars each. I had the frames on hand for another project but the map project trumped!

So there you have it. The artsy tour of our house. Sure, we still need paint (and curtains, and to rip out that old linoleum floor, and…) but progress is being made.

Adding these simple touches was truly the moment when our farm started to feel like home. What a difference a little art can make.

I'd love to know: what is your favorite way to beautify your space without buying new?



19 thoughts on “Come in, won’t you?

  1. amber jackson says:

    I love rearranging the furniture from one room to another. It seems to work out well because as it stands we have plenty of well just about everything 😀 Also I like to move pictures around. Your new space looks lovely, I really like the outside pics, wide open spaces…

  2. Trish says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I have been unable to part with a bag of vintage thread spools for YEARS. They have found a use, finally, thanks to you clever folks!
    Gorgeous, thanks for inviting us in!

  3. Karen says:

    All lovely spaces. The matryoshka shelf is especially beautiful.
    I am really in love with the idea of a little home. Our family of 5 now has only 4 members living under the same roof. We are getting smaller in everyday numbers and are making plans for a smaller future home.
    I love to add bits of nature to make a space feel complete – branches, stones, etc.

  4. Bianca says:

    Currently, my favorite way to spruce up a room is a fresh coat of paint. We can get free paint from our local hazardous waste recycling center. There is so much to choose from that you can nearly get the color you were hoping for. Or grab a few colors and mix em’ up to approximate what you wanted. It’s a fabulous resource, indeed.

  5. Karla says:

    It looks great! Where did you find the matryoshka dolls? We learned about Russia recently and my kiddos were fascinated with the nesting dolls, so we borrowed a set from my mother-in-law, but we’ve since given them back.

    I’m infamous for rearranging a room, or moving something from one room into another – even if it’s something we already own just changing the scenery can cheer up the space. I’m also constantly simplifying, so the books/toys/etc. in any given room tends to change.

  6. reb says:

    I love your idea of the “country-manifestation-experiment.” I’ve started to sort of do that in our no-yard-suburban-townhome lately as I find myself more and more yearning for a bit more land for us….or at least a yard. 🙂 I like to frame and hang up cards I’ve received from friends….many of them are pieces of art by themselves!

  7. Rachel Wolf says:

    The largest was a gift from my mom last Christmas. She rummaged it. The next one up came from Magic Cabin (also from my mom). All the rest are from thrift stores or yard sales through the years.

  8. Beth says:

    I love a small house! We moved this past summer when our son was a small baby, and the real estate agent kept saying “When he gets older he’ll want a bigger room” and I said “Well, he’ll just want a bigger room, then. There are worse things to want in life!”

  9. Lisa says:

    My Miss 10 collects Matryoshka dolls too (we even arranged a 10th birthday party with a matryoshka theme). I just showed her your shelf … and oh dear … “mama can we go to some second hand furniture shops now?” “ah sweety it’s nearly dinner time”. “Oh that’s right, well how about tomorrow then?” You have inspired her … lol

  10. Molly says:

    Not sure I have a Favorite way but we’re always repurposing furniture, wood, art… We packed up all the ornaments on our holiday tree and decorated it for Valentine’s Day! That’s my favorite recent one, for sure.

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