Tuesday, November 19, 2013

how to make a {base} house a home


When I rejoined Facebook last month I was kicking and screaming (figuratively, of course).  I've been able to connect with other military wives in our squadron, which was the only reason I joined.  My friend, Ashley, also told me about a FB group for families stationed at Offutt AFB so I joined that as well.  She explained that it was a good way to get information and connect with people and she was right!

One topic that gets revisited frequently on the thread is about base housing.  Choosing a home for your family is such a big decision so it's nice to see people giving information to newcomers and helping them make a good decision.  I've written about our experience with base housing here and here.

Today I thought I'd share a few ideas of how to turn your base house into a home.

Cover the Walls
When we first walked into our home, all we saw was beige.  The walls, doors and moldings were all the exact same shade of flat paint.  And the carpet was only a shade or two different.  It reminded me of an old, ugly hospital ward.

I was disappointed that our housing office doesn't allow painting, so instead we've covered the walls with other things.  Downstairs I have family pictures hanging.  And in our son's nursery I hung a pennant that my mom made.  In our dining room, I hung twine between two nails and used clothespins to hang 4x6 pictures.  If you're decorating on a tight budget, try looking for cheap frames at Goodwill and spray painting them to match.

We have two tall bookshelves (and will need another soon) that add height to the room.  And yes, putting up bookshelves definitely count as decorating.  :)

I love walking into a home and seeing lots of family pictures and a tasteful amount of decorations.  Decorations are tricky though because they often look cheap/tacky or they're expensive.

If you are lucky enough to live in a base house that allows painting, I would paint accent walls.  That way you get the pop of color, but when you move out, you only have to repaint one wall of each room!  Livia from All Things Life and Air Force Wife talks more about that here.


Keep It Clean
Magic Erasers are THE BEST for our walls.  Since our paint is so flat, it shows dirt very quickly and is a pain to keep clean.  I use Magic Erasers regularly and am amazed at how much better my walls and baseboard each time.  (fyi, I am not being paid to say this...it's my honest opinion)

The same is true of our carpets - they show everything!  We vacuum regularly, but let's be honest: having a toddler in the house means that we have many spills on our carpet.  Several of our friends own their own carpet cleaner and use it on a regular basis.  Since we're planning to live in base housing for awhile, I'd love to own one as well to keep the carpets from getting stained.

Decorate The Outside
Since our houses all look similar, you really need to add your touch to the outside to make it your own.  When we first moved into our home, we didn't have a lot of extra money so we focused all of our decorating on the inside where we would enjoy it.  I'll never forget the time that we saw neighborhood kids in our backyard using our water spigot because they thought our house was empty!  This was after we'd lived there for several months!  We're trying to do better about decorating outside our home and making it look lived in, but our neighborhood puts us to shame!  So many people put up elaborate decorations for holidays and take meticulous care of their yard during the summer.  We love taking walks and seeing how the exact same house can look different depending on the owners' personal style.


What suggestions do you have about turning a house into a home?


1 comment:

  1. I concur with decorating the outside! The homes all look exactly the same and I love seeing all the little personal touches people add. I can't wait for spring when I can plant some new flowers in our pretty bland flower bed.

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