Red vase with flowers

I’m still loving our new rental home. I’m slowly buying things to decorate it and wanted to share the pics with you.

This is the first time in 20 years of marriage that I’ve been able to buy furniture in my own modern taste, other than a daybed I bought the 2nd year of our marriage!

Below is the cute modern dinette set for our dining room.

We aren’t eating in there yet, because I want to first buy an area rug to go underneath it.

Our daughter Heather bought this same dinette at Nebraska Furniture Mart and I loved it, and decided to buy one for us, too.

Dining room dinette

Dining room dinette

Right now we’re still eating at the breakfast bar in the kitchen.

Kitchen breakfast bar

Kitchen breakfast bar

I love the red contrast of this Italian art picture against the cheery yellow painted kitchen walls.

Red Italian art picture in kitchen

Red Italian art picture in kitchen

The unique soapstone sculpture souvenir of a man and a woman as “one” that Ray bought me on one of his missions trips to Haiti goes perfectly with our kitchen countertops, beside our coffee bean grinder.

Green soapstone Haiti sculpture

Green, soapstone Haiti sculpture in kitchen

I shopped at several stores to find Italian art and wine pictures for the dining room. Kohl’s had these 4 pretty ones on sale. I plan to buy one more to hang in the middle of the pictures:

Italian pics for dining room

Italian pics for dining room

I hung 2 wine pics like this one from Kohl’s on the opposite wall:

Wine pic for dining room

Wine pic for dining room

One of the main reasons I wanted this house was the unique, Spanish archways and a little arch in the dining room. I found a beautiful, round, red votive candle holder and white votive for the cute little shelf:

Red glass votive holder and candle

Red glass votive holder and candle

 

I have claimed our front entry room as my room. 🙂 I wanted a black fabric loveseat and a red chair, but NFM didn’t have any, so instead I bought a chocolate-brown (looks black) loveseat on sale and a red chair marked 50% off online.

The loveseat is soft and comfortable – a place where I relax, text friends, check email and Facebook on my Iphone, pray, and take naps.

Red chair and loveseat

Red chair and loveseat

I found the beautiful picture of the man and the woman kissing in the rain at Kirkland’s in Lee’s Summit, MO, a treasure chest of pictures.

It reminds me of the time Ray and I kissed in the rain in Italy when we went on the honeymoon trip that we’d never had, for our 10th wedding anniversary – very romantic!

I love the stark red and black contrast in the pic, especially her red raincoat and the red umbrella.

Pic of man and woman kissing in the rain

Pic of man and woman kissing in the rain

I found this cute black pillow of a lighted city and bridge at night at Walmart for the black (chocolate brown technically) loveseat:

Black pillow with lighted bridge and city

Black pillow with lighted bridge and city

And this cute, red-orange, ruffled pillow at Walmart, too, to go with the red chair and the red in the rain picture:

Red-orange ruffled pillow

Red-orange ruffled pillow

For a decoration by the loveseat, I found this tall, red vase at Walmart.  Kirkland’s had these beautiful red and white flowers.

Red vase with flowers

Red vase with flowers

I love this expression on this black-framed pic for the front entry room: “Live well. Laugh often. Love much.”

"Live well. Laugh often. Love much." pic in front entry room

“Live well. Laugh often. Love much.” pic in front entry room

I found this cute girly-girl pic for the front entry room at Westward Flowers Shop in Butler. It says “Enjoy the little things.” Amen!

"Enjoy the little things" pic in front entry room

“Enjoy the little things” pic in front entry room

I also found this pic at Westward’s of a bird flying free out of a cage. It says “Free to be.” LOVE IT! Are you free through Christ?

"Free to be" bird pic

“Free to be” bird pic

It took several weeks to go through the plastic tubs of letters,  papers, and photos in my office. My office is now organized.

When we moved here, Ray got his desk back and it is downstairs in the “man cave” (which we aren’t through with yet creating into a man cave).

For now, my “desk” temporarily is a black card table and chair. Use what you have at hand and make it work! I will get a new desk eventually.

I’m very excited about this office because it’s my own space that nobody else uses!

I no longer have to worry about my family noisily scrounging around in the kitchen cabinets or fridge for food in the background while I’m doing a webinar, or needing to do something on the main computer while I’m blogging, writing a speaking presentation, or doing other work.

The room also has 3 windows so there’s lots of light in the room.

My new office

My new office

Of course, I had to decorate it with Hello, Kitty decorations – a cute, ceramic piggy bank and Hello, Kitty stationery box set.

Hello, Kitty decorations for desk

Hello, Kitty decorations

I bought 2 new, inexpensive, black bookshelves for my favorite books, one with these decorations:

  • A ceramic blue and yellow star with the inscription, “Wish upon a star”;
  • A paperweight with the letter “B” for “Beth,” that our daughter Heather gave me as a special gift;
  • A Curious George stuffed animal that was a precious present from Florence Littaeur, when I attended Upper Class professional speaking training (she said always learn, always be a Curious George);
  • A Hello, Kitty photo holder that has pics of my 3 long-distance, best friends – Rochelle Valasek, Kimberly Ehlers, and Kimberly Weber.
Bookshelf with decorations

Bookshelf with decorations

Your business needs to include your core values, and one of my most important values is love for my family. I decorated the wall in back of me with family pics:

Familyh pics

Family pics

I have one “Heather” wall – pics of our daughter Heather when she was little, growing up, graduating from homeschool, and on her YWAM missions trip to South America.

Heather wall

Heather wall

The other wall is decorated as a “Leah wall” – pics of our daughter Leah when she was younger.

The wall includes a sample of her computer graphic art, one of my fave (a young girl looking out a window at night at the moon and a shooting star, with a flower on the windowsill).

Leah wall

Leah wall

On the wall to my left, I have a pic of God the Potter and the Clay (a beautiful, Asian woman being the pottery that is being shaped by God’s loving hands). Next to it is a small painting of the ocean and the beach, which Leah did for me (I love the ocean!).

The Potter and the Clay pic and Leah's ocean pic

The Potter and the Clay pic and Leah’s ocean pic

Ray bought me this cute pic because of my love for chocolate:

Chocolate pic

Chocolate pic

To the left of my desk on the wall, I hung this aqua-blue pic that I found at Kohl’s, which has the inscription: “Be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart, and strong enough to live the life you’ve always imagined.” Are you doing that? 🙂

Life you've always imagined pic

Life you’ve always imagined pic

We have 2 full bathrooms and 1 half bathroom. I use the half bath to put on my face in the morning. Of course, I decorated this in Hello, Kitty decos, too. 🙂

Hello, Kitty br

Hello, Kitty br

This Hello, Kitty deco makes me think of all my wonderful friends who God has blessed me with.

You know who you are and I love you so much! 

Hello, Kitty friends deco

Hello, Kitty friends deco

Soon I’d like to buy an area rug for the dining room and a couple of pretty pics for Ray’s and my bedroom and Leah’s bedroom. But it’s all coming together, slowly but surely.

Ray is enjoying his work bench downstairs in the unfinished half of the basement, where he’s been setting up his tools. Tools are to men what shoes are to women.

He’s been working on cleaning rust off of old guns. He also shines his boots here and does other work.

Ray's work bench with tools

Ray’s work bench with tools

Just as I claimed the front entry room, Ray has claimed this area of the house in the basement for himself.

Here he has:

  • his science fiction and medical books;
  • his boots; Ray was born and raised in south Louisiana and Texas and no respectable Texan would be without his boots;
  • his black Texan hat;
  • street art pictures from his (5) Haiti missions trips;
  • his grandfather’s old radio that he listens to country music on while he’s working;
  • his childhood marbles;
  • a few swords;
  • his Spyderco knife that I bought for his birthday last year;
  • a few telephone pole glass insulators;
  • miscellaneous other objects he treasures.
Ray's work room

Ray’s work room

He has a 4-drawer box filled to the brim with nuts, bolts, and other mysterious things that only God and men know what it’s for, as well as a toolbox with tools, which are men’s toys.

Ray has always worked in emergency fields, with over 25 years of experience and high adrenaline coursing through his veins: Marines corpsman, Navy combat medic, paramedic, policeman, police chief, fireman, firechief, SWAT team.

As a result, he has a collection of uniforms and equipment. He used this bookshelf in the basement work room to put this equipment on:

Shelf with work equipment

Shelf with work equipment

Ray’s “collections” of other things over the course of 20 years of marriage are the topic of many heated discussions (i.e., world war) between us. He is a hoarder (although not to the extreme of those on the t.v. show). This is something I’ve tried to change about him for 20 years, to no avail.

Once Ruth Graham was asked if she ever thought about divorcing her husband, world famous evangelist Billy Graham. ” ‘No, I’ve never thought of divorce in all these 35 years of marriage,’ she said, ‘but I did  think of murder a few times.” I understand the temptation!

Here’s just one small example of Ray’s papers stuffed in a bag. He has boxes and boxes of stuff in our two-garage and an entire shed full of stuff that he rented, because he refuses to part with it in this lifetime.

Ray's papers

Ray’s papers

He doesn’t throw anything away and I give away or throw away many things (or shred it) after not using it for awhile. Purging sets you free!

In fact, research shows that clutter causes you major stress, which can lead to serious health issues.

But he is happy that he has a work bench and a space where he can put his stuff.

He also has the recreation room downstairs in the finished part of the basement for his “man cave” – his desk and laptop, a bookshelf with his books and movies, and the walls to hang his many certificates and training certifications.

You can see part of a blow gun hanging up on the wall to the top right of the pic, I think a gift from a friend. I’m not sure where Ray might “need” this.

Ray's man cave

Ray’s man cave

He is glad to have his own big desk back and to have a place for his certificates, swords, and other favorite things for his desk:

Ray's desk and certificates

Ray’s desk and certificates

I even found a picture for him that says “Man Cave.”

Man cave picture

Man cave picture

So there you have it. A tour of the rest of our house. It’s been fun shopping for bargains for the decorations and furniture.

I love it here!

What do you think?

Where is your favorite place to shop for furniture, pictures, and home items?

Please leave your comments below.

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