We can't believe it...after twelve weeks our home series has finally come to an end! Time sure does fly when you are having fun! We have so enjoyed sharing our favorite tips on how to make our homes organized, warm, and welcoming. To wrap up we are giving our top picks for each room. We hope these ideas inspire you, and you love them as much as we do.
12 Tips on How We Create a Warm, Organized, and Welcoming Home
1. A Flag
Nothing screams “All American” more than having Old Glory waving in the wind. This is a very budget-friendly way to add warmth to your home and honor to our country. We fly an American flag most of the time on our porch. We will change occasionally for a holiday such as Christmas or….okay telling the story of our family here…. a Texas A&M Aggie flag for Football Saturdays. Flags bring instant character to a home. You can find a flag at any home improvement store or even Walmart. Do yourself a favor and get an American flag as soon as possible. It will change the feel of your home in an instant.
2. You Can Never Go Wrong with a Candle
You want your guests to walk in, take a deep breath, and whisper "home". How do you achieve this? Two words- Tyler candles! These suckers are the best smelling candles in the entire world! The best part- only one is needed to fill your entire house...talk about budget-friendly! Our go-to scent is Warm Sugar Cookie. I am literally smiling just thinking of how good it smells. We continuously receive compliments when guests arrive with how “homey” our house smells. Candles are a simple and inexpensive way to make a lasting impression on your guests without needing a big space.
3. If You Don't Want Your Kitchen Bland...Then Get You a Cake Stand!
When we were young, we had a good friend whose mom put baked goodies in a cake stand every time we visited. Let’s just say, we definitely looked forward to visiting this friend often. That was over 20 years ago, and we still remember how it made us feel. We just thought it was so homey and absolutely loved visiting there.
Well, fast-forward a couple of years, we decided to add that tradition to our own homes. Now with our own children, we want to give that same feeling to our kiddos and especially to friends that enter our kitchens. We love this tradition so much that we give cake stands as wedding gifts with a note hoping the newly married couple will start this tradition as well.
Any cake stand will do the trick, but we love the cake stands from The Pioneer Woman in both mint green and white and this Magnolia cake stand we were gifted from Target. They are inexpensive, and in our opinion mean so much more than just holding a dessert.
4. Pillows and Blankets
If you have been a follower, you know our love for pillows and blankets. They “scream” comfort, warm, and soft! Having pillows on chairs relaxes the space and makes everybody want to unwind. Blankets provide the same feeling. Our kids love having blankets close by to curl up with when they are watching a movie or lounging on the couch. They also use both to build forts, but that conversation will have to be in another post. Both pillows and blankets bring style and warmth to your living room and also providing a pop of color that matches the season.
5. It Doesn’t All Have to be Formal
Obviously, your table and chairs play a major role in your dining room! However, dining rooms don’t have to be over the top formal if that is not your style. In fact, we do not have anything match in our dining room, and that is just the way we like it. We have a wood table, black chairs, a distressed bench, and to finish it off two linen end chairs. It’s okay to not have everything match!
Furthermore, many people inherit formal dining room tables from family. If you want to make these tables a bit more casual just change the chairs out. We think an eclectic look in the dining room gives great character.
We prefer using multiple sources of light in our master bedroom. You can have lighting on ceiling fans, can lights, and we suggest lots of lamps too. We have four lamps in our bedroom. There are two lamps on nightstands, one standing lamp by a reading chair, and one lamp on the desk. Having several sources of light allows you to determine how much light you want in the room at a particular time. You can have all the lamps on for a bright and “get the day started” feel or a single light for that snuggle, “let’s watch a movie tonight” feel. Lamps allow you to control the space and sense of the room. Tip for lamps…they don’t all have to match. We prefer a variety of lighting because it gives your room personality and doesn't give the appearance that you bought everything straight out of a furniture showcase display.
(This is a similar option)
7. Make the Kids' Space About Them
We try to make each room about our kiddos and what they love. Whether it’s sports, animals, legos, or "girly" each room needs to reflect their interests.
8. Use White Towels for Bathrooms
As you are well aware, we are big fans of the color white in our homes. Can you believe it? We even love white towels!! Just like in every other room, whites are the easiest to clean. All you have to do is bleach them, and they are like new. Even better, you get more use out of them because they never fade. It doesn’t matter if the design doesn’t match because they all still flow. White towels are beautiful, clean, and crisp, and what is even better is they save you money! Now, that’s a win!
9. Lockers, Wall Hooks, or Hall Tree- A Zone Area for Everyone
Lockers, wall hooks, or a hall tree is a perfect designated place for each person in your family to store their everyday items. This not only keeps everyone organized, but it also makes life easier for Mom! These lockers from Wayfair give plenty of hideaway spaces that we can easily close, but it also provides two sets of hooks for backpacks, caps, purses, and jackets. If you have limited space in your mudroom, hooks on the wall serve the same purpose. Keep in mind that these lockers and hooks need to be placed by the back door, so it becomes an automatic routine that when you walk in the door you know where your things go.
10. Clear Jars Above Washer and Dryer
These jars are great. We use them to separate clothes pins, loose change, and lost socks in our utility rooms.
11. Closed Shelving for Playrooms
We like having the best of both worlds in the game/playroom. We love our open shelves for showing off favorite things, but closed shelving for us is a must too. These shelves are perfect for hiding all the toys, books, and extras you do not want people to see.
12. Tray of Goodies for Guest Bedrooms
We don't think there is a better way to welcome your guests than having goodies that are tailored to them when they arrive. We bought this tray at Kirkland's which is the perfect size. We usually put a few books or magazines that fit our guests' interests’ and also a phone charger, a sweet note welcoming them, flowers, and a little gift. Sometimes we give a sweet treat or pictures we printed off for them over a special memory we shared. It's just up to you, but a little gift is the icing on the cake when hosting visitors.
We would feel so blessed to see your pictures if you used any of our ideas. Please share them on our Instagram account @theoldrivernest. Also, thank you for reading and being apart of our home series. We are excited about the upcoming fall season. We will be sharing tips soon on how to decorate your home for fall.
Have a beautiful day,
Amber & Brooke :)