My husband and I (along with our 3 kids, of course), purchased a new-to-us home last summer. We had to choose between buying an older (but bigger!) home in our favorite neighborhood, or buying a newer (but nicer!) home in another neighborhood. We love to do house projects, so it was an easy decision for us. While having a newer home, with features that we love (high ceilings!  3-car garage! not-terrible appliances!) was tempting, we went with an older home that we could make our own.

We pretty much gutted the thing, and we have years of work left (we haven’t touched the basement…it’s like an 80s shrine), but we have loved making it our own.  One of the things I was most worried about was making sure that the design of the house flowed from room to room.  Before we even closed on our home, I bought a simple journal at Target and dubbed it the ‘House Book.’

I started by creating a page for each room. When I began choosing paint colors for the walls, trim, and doors, I just attached a sample card to the page. When I chose fabric for curtains or upholstery projects, I stuck a swatch in the book. Each time I add something semi-permanent to a room, I make sure to document it in the House Book.

This has really saved me time and money. I almost always have it with me in my bag, so if I’m out shopping, it’s easy to see if something will match or clash. For example, we decided that we would donate our old dishes when we moved. They had seen better days (like, um, college), and we felt like a new house deserved new dishes. I had already chosen a color scheme for the dining room, so when we were at Ikea, it was easy to see that the dishes we had our eye on worked perfectly with the wall color.  

It has helped my impulse spending at Target, as well. If I see a pillow that I *need* (you know it happens to you, too), I can whip out my House Book and make sure it actually works in the space.

It’s easy and cheap to get started. There are always cute notebooks to be found, and paint sample cards are free! Happy decorating!

This blog post was written by Abbey Niebel for the Limelife Planners Media & Creative Team. For more information about Abbey connect with her on Instagram: @mrsniebel. Please share and repost this blog entry with your friends! All we ask is that you give credit to Limelife Planners and the post author.