My first home as an 18 year old was a $900 trailer from the sixties. It had two small bedrooms. It was rundown and needed a lot of work.

Someone gave me an old gold couch, and I recall that I moved that horrid thing around many times trying to decorate that place. 

But it was a losing battle, because you just can’t do much with “ugly.”

Still, I dusted and cleaned as if it was a mansion instead of a decrepit little trailer house.

It was home to me and my infant daughter. I’d just graduated from high school, and enrolled in a nearby junior college. There I met the man I first married, my psychology instructor.


When he and I got together, we three lived in his house in Norman, Oklahoma. It was a small three bedroom tract home, about a thousand square feet. But I endlessly moved things around and decorated as best I could with house plants and things I collected.

I gave birth to my second daughter. He had adopted my first daughter soon after we married. 

We were to move three times during our marriage.

All this to say that I have been decorating since I had a place to decorate. 

I seldom had my own bedroom growing up. Usually slept with one or two people in the room with me. 

But decorating was in my blood, as was gardening.

Aside from keeping a home clean, it should reflect who you are. Your personality should shine from every surface. 

I hope mine does.

I really don’t know where this came desire to decorate came from, as I grew up in dreary environments. But it was always there, a small seed that grew to fruition. 

I’m certainly not a “neutral color” decorator. My heart sings when I’m in colorful surroundings. Too much white and beige reminds me of coloring books that have yet to see a crayon touch them.

I love cozy little spaces (hence my blog title), candles burning, something simmering in the kitchen, flowers blooming in the gardens, and coffee brewing every morning. 

I am a homebody through and through. It is as much who I am as if it were in my genetic predisposition. Perhaps it is. 

Home is more than a dwelling to me. 

I am happy strolling the dusty aisles of antique malls, sorting through treasures that I visualize in my small space. 

I love collecting vintage jars and bottles. White pitchers and wash boards. Old signs.

I love to repurpose, because thinking outside of the box makes my heart soar. 

No matter where I happen to put down roots, it will be a cozy little spot that I decorate with love. Because love is what I feel when I come home and open my door. 

It is where I relax and meditate. Do yoga and find peace. 

Home is where I hang my apron. 

What does “home” mean to you?

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  1. I have a few old, rather beat up pieces of furniture that make my house seem like home. There is the old oak dining table from the 1940s that originally was my great-grandmother's; a pine nightstand that was my brother's when he was a boy in the early 1960s; and an old cedar wardrobe, maybe from the 1930s, that my husband got from a relative years ago. We've moved a number of times, some other furniture has come and gone, but those three pieces always wind up in a spot where they are used constantly. We are getting ready to move again, and we've already talked about where to put the wardrobe and the dining table. The nightstand gets bumped around — sometimes it gets to be a nightstand, but right now it's being used as an end table in the living room. I like it in the living room because I seem to get to look at it more. Those three pieces almost seem like members of the family and give the house a cozy, secure feeling.

  2. I can so identify with you- I have no idea where my incentive to decorate and 'nest' came from-certainly not the farm where I grew up. I think it started when I visited friends/relatives' homes and felt 'at home' there.
    Thank you for the wonderful post. I always relate to you on many levels. xo Diana

  3. What lovely thoughts, Brenda. I've always loved your creative vision and use of bright colors. I don't really know where I first got the design "bug" either. My childhood home was pretty average for its time. But I got my degree in Interior Design and have loved it ever since.

  4. Home to me is where I hide to get away from the world's crazy. I have a corner of my reclining Lazy Boy sofa where I snuggle into when I've had enough of everything else. It is my safe, warm, happy spot. Sometimes I read, sometimes I just stare at my lovely den or out the front window at my beautifully blooming crape myrtle, or neighbors getting their daily walk in. And wonder where they get the desire or energy 😉 And it's a place to enjoy decorating – so many ideas when I discovered blogs and learned so much about making my house a more beautiful home.

    Maybe you love to decorate yours so much because you grew up in a less-decorated house – plus admit it, you're an artist (writing, decorating, flowering). And artists have to be surrounded by beauty.


  5. I truly do believe the urge to nest and garden is in my DNA as well! I have loved to decorate ever since I can remember. Even at home as a little girl I was always moving furniture in my room around, adding new items and switching up the theme. Altho I have tried different styles through the years(Southwestern, Gypsy/Boho, I always come back to the romantic, pastel, floral, chippy – I guess you would call it shabby = style. That is what makes my heart sing. Thrift store and yard sale finds and repurposing are my passion!

  6. My home is definitely my haven and nest, too. I'm very much a homebody. Like you, decorating has always been in my blood – and I also love color!

  7. I've always enjoy your posts. My feelings about my home are very similar to yours. The first thing I purchased (with green stamps) when I got engaged in 1967 was a room divider with shelves. My mother and father were hysterical since I'd had the same room since I was 3 years old and it was way too small to divide. I had returned to my parents house after collage and was still sharing the same small room with my sister. My side of the room was crammed with art projects, design inspiration for my future house and garden, recipes, etc. I was always rearranging the furniture in my half of room and working on something. Even now after 48 years, I still feel wonderful when I return home – where ever that happens to be at the time. We've moved 8 times and I could do it a few more times just to have a new place to decorate.

  8. My feeling of home is the same as you… exactly. Home is my haven.. my safe place, my nest. I'm a true homebody and always have been. I love making it cozy and comfy. I always wanted a "cozy little cottage".. never dreamed of a big fancy house like most girls did! I liked small and still do. yes.. I do have more "stuff" now and it's hard to squeeze in my small spaces, but I still love it. I don't like leaving home for to long and always SO GLAD to get back to my comfort and sweet place, filled with my sentimental things and favorite things I've gathered over the years. I don't move around my furniture or stuff very much… once I find a spot for it, it usually stays there for quite a long time, until I bring home another treasure and have to somehow squeeze it in and then I have to move stuff around to make room for the new guest! Yes.. I love cozy.. always have and always will. I love pastels mostly and not alot of bright colors, but do love color!

  9. You and I are truly kindred spirits. My first home as an adult (19 years old) was a small apartment above a pizza place on a main street in suburbia, USA. I nested my little heart out in that apartment, buying pieces from the Salvation Army and dragging them home and painting them to give them new life. I bought a used sofa from the classifieds, and brought home half dead plants from the clearance table at the local home improvement store and the supermarket. I painted the walls, ceilings….I hung hand me down curtains…and I put down a new floor in the bathroom. And then I learned to cook, and I hosted dinner parties at my tiny kitchen table. There were always candles, and soft music, and good friends coming and going. Some of my furniture may be nicer now, but the feeling is still the same – home is the best place on earth. xo

  10. Brenda, I cannot believe how much we have in common! My first home was a camp trailer. Later I lived in a duplex and painted the walls and did a lot of "decorating." The urge to make a home has always been with me. That and organizing things. I want everything to have its proper place and to be kept there.

    When I move, (and I have moved a lot,) I have to unpack everything right away, and do not rest until it is done. As I unpack, I stack all my wall art and decor pieces on the dining table. It is my "reward" once I am completely unpacked, to then decide where the decor and art should be placed. Once that is done I feel like the house has become a home.

  11. Home is where the heart is… Don and I are both big homebodies, too. Would rather be home than anywhere else! Maybe that is genetic, cousin!

  12. That's so funny as my first home was a small trailer. Husband was based on an island in Washington and I remember doing arts/crafts all the time. There was no room to move anything. I love your writings, makes me feel I'm there with you as you describe things.

  13. My home is my haven from the world. It is where my life story unfolds. I wish I had a fraction of your decorating ability, but sadly, I do not. Therefore, your blog is where I get my decorating inspiration…

  14. Brenda your home is such a "cozy little house". So charming and pretty. I too am a home body and see my home as more than a dwelling. It is a sanctuary for feeling rested and at peace.

  15. We have the same thoughts on decorating. I like some of the pictures that I see where people have contractor white through out their homes. But, I could not live there! I have to have color all around me & things that make a home cozy. They are the same as your list this morning. I don't care if I leave my home either. We have a small bungalow, small yard & I am very happy.

  16. Fabulous post. I adore how descriptive you are with your decorating identity. I had to chuckle about the first home. Mine was a 1948 Vagabond camper. Married at 19, and my husband was in the US Coast Guard and away at stations. I stayed in our hometown for work and college. I dragged a twin bed into that small living space and chopped off the legs from one side of it to fit on a ledge in the back of the camper. I ripped out a wall from the kitchen and original bedroom/living area to open it up. No matter what I did, I had to continue to improve it. Eventually, having a newborn son sent us to move into a real home. Haha~ Growing pains!

  17. Thank you for sharing a beautiful story about what makes you tick. Some people never figure that out, just drift along and don't discover (or acknowledge) their passion in life. P.S. I left a few small zucchini and a dozen eggs in your refrigerator. There is a basket of lovely fresh tomatoes on your counter. ha!

  18. I am a homebody also and love to move and redecorate by moving even the smallest item to a new location in the house. Home is where I nurture myself as well as my family. It is indeed more than a roof and four walls to me. It is my little nest. ?

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