Close to Home

It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since life changed for me (and the entire world) in a way that I never thought possible.

January may have seemed like a long month, especially if you have been limited due to renewed lockdown restrictions, working from home, or your children have been at home for virtual learning.

February brought memories of how life in February 2020 was rolling right along before whispers of the changes that the pandemic might bring began to circulate in the news and on social media.

In March, my optimism somehow led me to believe that I would have rebooked all my travel plans by then, and that things would be back to normal. A different normal, perhaps, but one that I recognized.

The reality is that I will be sticking close to home this year. I have made peace with that decision, and continue to do everything I can to keep my spirits up and provide variety and fun around my home.

After my travel plans were cancelled last year, I wrote about the changes I made around my home to make it a more enjoyable place to spend time. My favorite change is not having cable. A subscription to Disney+ proved to be a wise investment. There have been a few movies and new series released that make movie nights thrilling and television watching enjoyable.

Speaking of family movie nights, I made a few changes to my movie room.

Movie Room Upgrades

My family and I love superhero action movies (especially Marvel movies), and for quite some time, it was a part of my plans to create a super hero wall in the movie room. On a sunny day in September, we set out to find the art we needed to make the vision of the superhero wall a reality.

There is an entire section of superhero art in Hobby Lobby, and on this particular day, all framed art was on sale. After a family discussion of the art pieces needed to create the wall, the purchase was made. I hurried home, excited to create this new addition to the room.

We discussed the layout several times, wanting to make sure that we had it right before making holes in a new wall.

At that moment, I had an idea. I knew that my son was skilled at using Canva, a platform for creating graphics. He took a photo of each piece of framed art and I asked him to create a few different layouts. He knew exactly what I was asking for.

In about 15 minutes, he returned with a layout for our superhero wall.

Canva is a great tool for designing a gallery wall.

We all worked together to ensure the final measurements and placement, and our superhero gallery wall became a reality.

Happiness is: A completed Superhero Gallery Wall!

One of the things I focus on when decorating is making updates that are budget friendly. If I can update or repurpose existing items, it helps me allocate funds towards items that may be more expensive.

I had old pillows in great shape that did not fit the decor of the area, and it occurred to me that all I needed to do was update them with pillow covers. I searched Amazon and found a set of 4 pillow covers that fit the vintage theme of the room. You wouldn’t know that the pillow in the photo above had a bright yellow pillow underneath!

TIP: When shopping online for your pillow covers, read the reviews, especially those regarding fit. They are very useful. Read the return policy, and if you’re shopping on Amazon.com, look for the words ‘Free Returns’ just in case you receive your pillow cover and it doesn’t have the right fit.

Another great find at Hobby Lobby (on sale of course) was a movie ticket and ratings signage. Each piece was a separate purchase, and they fit one of the walls perfectly!

What’s a movie room without snacks?

The one snack that I, and everyone in my family, missed the most was hot, buttery popcorn.

A popcorn machine is a big investment, and I read every review I could find about the one machine that caught my eye. It took a while for our machine to arrive, but when it did, my son and my husband assembled it, and it was tested during family movie night.

I was not disappointed. The popcorn was delicious! I’ve tried it in caramel, too.

The movie room was making progress, and I turned my attention to the outside of my home.

Outdoor Transformation

When the restrictions related to our state stay-at home-order began to lift, my first trip away from home was to purchase a set of beautiful patio chairs.

Creating a patio living space wasn’t at the top of my home decor list when I moved into my home 2 years ago. If I needed to sit outside, a folding lawn chair stored in my garage was used for seating. This was not convenient, and it definitely did not offer any comfort or style.

Whenever I begin to plan the decor for an area, a clean slate is the best start. So I moved everything off of the patio, swept it clean, and started to plan the layout of my patio.

A clean patio offered a view that could be designed exactly the way I wanted it to look.

Maximizing the small surface that I had to work with was of utmost importance. The patio had to feel cozy without feeling crowded. One thing I knew was that the color of the accessories I purchased would play an important role in the look of the space. The anchor color inside my home is blue, and I started to shop for items that contained that color.

Within a few weeks, I found the perfect outdoor rug on Target’s website. To make things even better, it was on sale for over 60% off the original price. After my rug was delivered, I created layouts for the seating. The table I would choose for the patio would be determined by the layout.

TIP: The best time to purchase patio furniture and accessories is near the end of the season. Items begin to go on sale a few weeks before back-to-school merchandise is placed on store shelves.

The chairs, blankets, and cushions in my photos were purchased at savings of over 70%.

When I started shopping for a table, there was one shape that I did not consider — square.

A table with a square shape allowed the chairs on the patio to be spaced for conversation and coziness.

There was another element that was added when I chose a square table — fire.

A fire table meant that chilly evenings could still be spent outdoors.

My patio was coming together, and even though the space that remained was small, there was still room for a few more accessories.

Hey, Bullseye!™ and A Finished Patio

Disclosure: Since 2017, I have been a member of the Hey, Bullseye!™ community at Target. I receive free products from Target, and in return, I share my honest opinion by writing reviews about the items I use.

A few months ago, Target sent me two products to use and review.

Both products brought a stylish finishing touch to my patio.

The first product I received was the Nesting Patio Accent Table from the Project 62™ line at Target.

The set consisted of a small table that fit directly underneath a slightly larger table. Even when the tables were expanded, they were a perfect fit between two chairs near the wall of my patio. The powder-coated steel frame of the table provides a rust-resistant finish.

I accessorized the tables with outdoor lanterns that I bought at Target several years ago, and added a flameless LED candle to each lantern.

The next product I received added a natural touch to my patio.

A new décor collection – Threshold™ Designed With Studio McGee – was recently introduced at Target. One of the items in this collection is a faux eucalyptus tree. When I unboxed my tree, I was pleasantly surprised.

From realistic looking leaves that rustled in the outdoor air down to the sturdy stem, everything about this tree looked real. It was the perfect addition to my outdoor space and added the completed look that was missing.

The ThresholdTM Designed With Studio McGee Faux Eucalyptus Tree looks fantastic!

With everything in place, days and evenings are stylishly comfortable.

It has been therapeutic and relaxing for me to improve these areas of my home. Every element that I added inside and outside made it easier to be at home. I have no plans to travel this year, but it feels good to be close to home.

Now that spring has arrived and summer is on the way, are you ready to enjoy the interior and exterior spaces of your home?

Have you made easy updates to your home or apartment to welcome the new season?

9 thoughts on “Close to Home

    1. Thank you, Wendy! My patio became the relaxing outdoor oasis I dreamed it could be. I could probably spend hours talking about Marvel movies with your daughter. I have a few more changes planned for the movie room, so stay tuned! 😉

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  1. Everything looks sooo cutee…the movie room is awesome and the popcorn machine is next level!! Really good tips about saving some money. Love the two tables with the lanterns…been looking for two lanterns like this for a while but we don’t have Target here!! Overall, lovely space<3

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    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment! The popcorn machine was definitely one of the finishing touches in my movie room. Lanterns make any space warm and welcoming. Would you believe that my lanterns used to be bright pink? I’ve spray painted them a few times, and finally settled on black last year. I hope that you’re able to find a few to choose from at your favorite store.

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