Saturday, November 12, 2016

Before and after: LR edition

I love spaces. That's not a secret: We've lived in strange and wonderful apartments and houses for almost 40 years and our spaces are always in flux.
Before: it's hard to pack up and say goodbye
I love the "before and after"s that others post, so I'm guessing that maybe you do, too.
Before: Move-in day - front room
Our main room is constantly changing, depending on who is in it and what's happening.
Before: side view
We don't have a lot of money for decor. That's a given. But what we need seems to appear at the right time. The trick is to recognize it and not just walk by. (Then we'll have to find it later, usually for more expense.)
Our neighbors help move things around
And the space breathes a little before settling back in
Whenever I walk into a room, it starts to move and reconfigure in my head. When the picture locks in, I have the beginnings of the home I'd want to live in.
Day 1: as we arrive, we add our two chairs and a rug from another house, which begins to define the space
A few weeks later: add an IKEA sofa (a gift, thanks J!) 
Art is inexpensive: a man comes by the porch with huge painted canvases ($7.50) and offers to frame one for us for the same amount. A coffee/art shop goes out of business: original drawings are $2-10; paintings are $10-100.
After a few months: I find a bigger rug at IKEA As-Is (70% off) and
pack an old purple slipcover along in my suitcase from Seattle
We buy less meat for a week or two and put a $5 crayon landscape in a $10 frame. I know! Priorities. The finished 24"X30" art is the price of 3-4 Starbucks coffees - and luckily I don't drink coffee, which disappears in 5 minutes. I'd argue for the ongoing pleasure of local art. haha
A few months ago: a comfortable space
The big round dining table is a must: we move the old rectangle to the office and it becomes my desk.

I find a 72" folding office table and cover it with tablecloths at unbelievable prices ($12 vs. +$80 here). If you set a holiday table, check out Tablecloths For Less.
Worth the wait: narrow dining chairs at half price
Without an American Thanksgiving, Christmas feels just around the corner. W hauls the big box from storage and set up the pre-lit tree.
Yesterday: the Christmas tree goes up
Immediately, the room feels cozy. Bit by bit, we'll decorate up to the big day.
Here's where we're at
Mind you, when we host gatherings, everything shifts. Friends and strangers sit, sprawl, and stand everywhere. What a blessing to have a space in which to enjoy God's presence and people!

Let's face it, every space is about the people in it
Read more:
*For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9A NIV

*In the midst of the congregation I will praise you. Psalm 22:22 ESV

*I delight in the way of your decrees as much as in all riches. Psalm 119:14 ESV

*The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. Matthew 13:45–46 ESV

*May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5–6 ESV
Moravian Prayer: Father, we will praise you, O Lord among the nations; we will sing unto you among the heavens. Glorious, everlasting are you, our God!
Lord, help us to know that your kingdom is worth more than all the riches of the earth. Let the material world around us not dissuade us from the ultimate treasure of your glory. Amen.

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